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Need some trailer advice

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by gilroy69, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. gilroy69

    gilroy69 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I just got a trailer for my bobcat and have a few questions.
    For some background, I don't really need to trailer very often - maybe a couple times a year, and even then the most I'm going is 30 to 40 miles.
    My experience is pretty limited when it comes to trailering. I've hauled small boats, snowmobiles and ATVs, but nothing this heavy before.

    I have a bobcat s175 that weighs just over 6k lbs. My truck is a 1/2 ton 2003 chevy avalanche 4x4 with towing mode and a 4.10 gear ratio.
    The trailer is a 10k dual axle trailer with steel mesh decking.
    I'm using a 2 5/8" ball in a factory receiver.

    My questions:
    1. Where do I want to park the bobcat on the trailer exactly? I have read that I should park it just a little past center of the axles toward the truck.
    1a. Should I back the bobcat on or does it even make a difference?

    2. Should the trailer be level when loaded or slightly sagging the back of the truck?

    3. How do I keep the fold down ramps on the back of the trailer from "moving"? The first time I loaded the bobcat on the trailer, the ramps kicked out a little bit and the back of the trailer went down, causing the back of the truck to lift up in the air (tires off the ground).
    I ended up using a couple lengths of chain to secure the ramps in place when I later unloaded the bobcat and that seemed to work great. But I can't imagine that I am supposed to do that every time. Or am I?

    4. What is the best way to secure the bobcat and equipment to the trailer? Is there a guide for this somewhere? A legal code to follow?

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  2. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    I like the weight just past the mid point of axles. Level the trailer before loading. Drive on to the point where the truck is dogging an inch or so. (my hitch has 14 inches of adjustment) then I will relevel the truck with additional drop in hitch. Both units will travel better level, to much rear weight will lift the truck and the trailer fish tail all over the place. To much forward weight will cause "light steering and truck will wonder.

    4 points on trailer. Jack stands or blocks of wood under rear of trailer when loading or unloading.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,389

    You do have trailer brakes and an in cab brake controller correct?
  4. gilroy69

    gilroy69 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Not yet. I only loaded it up and drove it in my driveway without the electric brakes hooked up. The controller is on it's way.
    The brakes on the trailer are new and work.
  5. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,389

    Ok, and I also need to add the brake away battery assy for the trailer brakes.

    Some states require you to back it on, I would just say whatever feels comfortable, and if you do get stopped play ignorance.

    As pat said 4 point ties. 4 binders and 2 chains are all we generally used.
  6. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,053

    To add to this........

    A equalizer hitch will help distribute the load and also help keep the trailer from whipping.

    Ratchet chain binders are nice and easy to adjust instead of the old school cam over.
    Trailer tongue Jacks work well for supporting the tail end of the trailer while loading/unloading. The nice thing is you don't run the risk on not being able to pull a block or jack stand and they're attached to the trailer so you won't forget them.

    It also looks like your tires are about shot and not trailer service tires. When you do go to get new tires get load range "D"
  7. gilroy69

    gilroy69 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for the tips!
    The rims are rusty, but the tires are in decent shape and say "trailer service only" on them (or something similar to that).
    I'll price some new ones.
  8. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Experiment with loading your machine forwards, backwards, different spots on the trailer, etc and see where it is most comfortable. Personally I prefer to load it forward so the exhaust isnt into the wind when driving. Also your trailer should be level when loaded and you're going to need 4 binders and chains on that machine when trailering. Check with your local Dot office to see what size chain/binders they mandate.
  9. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 877

    To make sure the trailer is level after I'm done loading it, while it's still empty I hang one of my straps on the front A frame if the trsiler so that the end of the strap is just touching the ground. When I liad my equipment, I move it around the trailer until the strap is back to just touching the ground again.
  10. rjigto4oje

    rjigto4oje PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,379

    Her is a pic of mine loaded. The skid steer front tire is slightly past the front tire on the trailer, by an inch or two. If you tow it on the highway get a weight distribution hitch.

  11. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    If you plan to tow it with the 1500 Avalanche in the picture, get a quality weight distributing hitch and a friction sway control.

    Hopefully you've already upgraded your rear tires and I would consider better shocks then the factory. Increase all your tire pressures to the max, remember if you use WD hitch you will be increasing the front axle weights.

    The 1500 avalanches were ride tuned and have fairly high final drive ratios, not the best choice for heavy hauling. keep the OD locked out and hold the downshifts if the tranny starts to hunt for a lower gear.

    Check all the brakes on the trailer and adjust them, few trailer brakes are self adjusting and having them all adjusted the same is critical for controlled stops. A low tire or out of balance brake adjustment can cause your butt to suck up more seat then you ever believed possible.

    Check the tires for tread cracking, everybody looks at the sidewall for dry rot and cracking, just as serious is the cracking that appears in between the tread of the tire, leads to tire disintegration and having one come apart at speed is not the best experience.
  12. Broncslefty7

    Broncslefty7 Senior Member
    Messages: 945

    i am having a similar issue, i tow with a 2014 diesel f350, it tows fine however, i have a 9600 lb. machine and it crushes my 12k lb trailer to the point the mud flaps drag on the road, and the wheels are pitched out severely from the weight. i get severe trailer sway on the highway with the machine loaded a few inches in front of the axles. im no sure if its because there is too much weight on the trailer or possibly because the hitch on my truck is so dam high. i literally need to put the jack of the trailer on a block and then crank the jack to get it high enough. any suggestions or just need a bigger trailer? and if so which one should i get?

    rite now i have this

  13. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    That trailer only has a 7400 capacity if that link is right.
  14. Broncslefty7

    Broncslefty7 Senior Member
    Messages: 945

    i have the tc12d
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Your trailer should be level when hooked to your truck.
    Get the right drop hitch.

    a 60-40 split.. for weight. 60% forward of the trailer axle.

    Get a trailer that can handle the weight of your load.
    or you will meet a DOT officer.
    Sway control is only needed for improperly loaded trailers or those with a large "sail" area.
  16. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Need a drop hitch for starters. You've got too much weight on the rear of the trailer causing it to sway. A drop hitch will put more weight on the front axle which will help balance the load and should help eliminate some of the sway. I have a similarly sized machine and I bought a 16k gvw trailer so I'd be good when I eventually run into the dot man.
  17. Broncslefty7

    Broncslefty7 Senior Member
    Messages: 945

    yeah im looking at a 16k deck over for like 5600 today, its brand new. 20'. they have a tilt deck for 6100 but that only gives me like an inch between wheel wells on either side of the machine.
  18. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Trailers need to be level or sightly tongue low to tow properly. Too high a tongue height overloads the rear axle and allows the trailer to move around freely, there is no leading connection to the truck. You will not only bend your rear axle, but the trailer will shake its head on every highway seam, bump, pot hole, etc. If when the trailer is level both axles have a high degree of camber then you need a heavier trailer.
  19. gilroy69

    gilroy69 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey guys, it's been a while but I wanted to follow up.
    I got good brake controller and new chains and ratchet binders.
    I did not get a WD hitch.
    I only needed to haul the bobcat about 30 miles.
    My tires are fairly new and all at max pressure.
    I love my avalanche, but I have to admit, that on an 8% grade, I couldn't get past 25mph starting at about 5mph.
    Thankfully it wasn't a long grade and once I was on level ground I was able to get up to 60mph with no problem.
    The trailer pulled true and the brakes worked great to slow me down and stop.

    Thanks again for tall the advice. I learned a lot just in that short haul.