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  • dabar39
    started a topic broken trailer tongue

    broken trailer tongue

    I had a customer call me up yesterday morning yelling and screaming that the trailer he bought from me about 3 months ago is falling apart and what a piece of crap it was. He tells me that either I didn't weld one side of the tongue to the frame or the weld wasn't good enough and broke. Seeing he lives about a 100 miles away I suggested he take a picture of the problem and e-mail it to me. He sends me one picture of the left side of the tongue, sure enough it's not attached to the frame any longer. The first thing I'm thinking is maybe when the trailer was framed out we just tacked it and forgot to finish weld. I told him to carefully bring it back to me so we could repair it and check over the rest of the trailer. This morning he pulls up with it and I immediately go right to the left side of the tongue and take a look. The weld was fine, It ripped the metal, so I get up and start walking around the trailer to find the problem. He had mounted a tool box on the tongue and the right side of it is caved in, yes you guessed it, he jack knifed the trailer and it's my crappy work to blame. It took me almost an hour and a lot of patience to explain why the tongue was ripped off and wasn't covered under warranty. In the future I think I am going to have to put a stupidity clause in my warranty policy. The first picture is the one he sent me. The others I took, he still thinks he shouldn't have to pay for repair as it's only three month old.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by dabar39; 04-06-2007, 09:46 PM. Reason: should say first pic is same view as the one he sent me

  • dabar39
    replied
    down19992000

    You have not upset me in the least. A few people have stated that this is a very poor design for a trailer tongue, but I'm not the only one doing it. I am asking for the doubters to back up their personal opinion with hard facts as to the issue. Who's right , who's wrong, I can't determine that as of now because nobody has given me any documented proof that this is a bad idea. The only thing I have gotten so far is personal opinion.
    I don't have a degree in engineering so all I can do is look at the industry as a whole, and if the majority of builders are doing the very same thing only two conclusions can be made.
    1. We are all doing it right, or 2, we are all doing it wrong. I just find it hard to believe that with the amount of builders using this tongue design, we are all doing it wrong.
    Dave

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  • down19992000
    replied
    i never doubted your welding in the least just the design using angle iron on the tongue. i guess we will just have to agree to disagree. sorry if i upset you in any way just trying to let everyone know MY opinon whether mine is right or wrong that is just what I think

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  • dabar39
    replied
    down19992000

    Jokes on you, I ain't mad. I would just like some of you people doubting the design of the trailer back it up with some real hard facts not just personal opinion. I am defending my work, designs, welding abilities, over all competance, and pride. If I thought for a second that I was doing something wrong it would be changed immediately, if not I wouldn't be able to consider myself a professional. Dave

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  • dabar39
    replied
    down19992000

    The empty weight of the trailer is 880 lbs., I'm sorry but I did forget to add the weight of the soda machine to the equation.

    16,000 lb. truck moving at approximately 6-8 m.p.h.
    fence post holding rear of trailer from moving
    trailer weight 880lbs + 350lb machine = 1230lb. total trailer weight (unless of course you think the weight of the straps should be figured in add another 1-2 lbs.

    Now with the corrected figures kindly explain how it would factor in any different result.

    The truck will always win.
    I would really like to have an engineer do the math and figure it out, and finally put this to rest. If I am wrong I will openly admit that I'm an incompetant idiot, If I'm not wrong we will just put it to rest. No hard feelings either way. Dave

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  • dabar39
    replied
    tony j

    I worked for the original owner of Indian River trailers many years ago. Thanks for the pic. to back up what I have been trying to tell a few of the people on this thread. Dave

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  • tony j
    replied
    angle tongue 3500

    i bought this after the 2nd hurricane from indian river trailers, it has angle for the tongue. its a 6x10 3500 lb. this seems to be the norm around here on the east coast of florida...tony
    Attached Files

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  • HMW
    replied
    Originally posted by dabar39 View Post
    How did you make out with the info I sent you, Wes is a real nice guy and should be able to make you happy. Dave
    I called them and they are very nice. He gave me a number in indiania which is probably closer. I called them and they dont carry anything as big as what we use. The shoes are 12 1/4" x 5". They are on Dexter 12000lb hi-profile dual wheel axles. They do have interchange stuff on smaller axles that sounds good. We can probably use the smaller stuff. Thanks for the info

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  • dabar39
    replied
    Hmw

    How did you make out with the info I sent you, Wes is a real nice guy and should be able to make you happy. Dave

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  • HMW
    replied
    We have a bunch of 18000 gvw trailers and they have 12" I-beam in the tongues. In 19 yrs here they have bent [2] of them. belive it or not some people will tear up anything. We accuse the operators of being able to tear up an anvil with a wet napkin

    You should be fine with your eyes, they have really good ways to fix them nowadays, good luck again

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  • dabar39
    replied
    I ain't mad

    I think that the people questioning the integrity of my trailers are not getting the whole picture here. Lets go to common sense 101 here, and review what we have learned.
    1. truck weight: 16,000
    2. empty trailer weight: 880
    3. estimated impact speed 6-8 m.p.h.

    Now lets factor in the fence pole wedged against the back of the trailer, I'm sorry guys' but I'm no engineering major but I would have to believe that the trailer held up very well. Is there any one on here who can figure out the math and determine the amount of force exerted by the impact of the truck? I am quite sure the force exerted would have to be way above the 16,000 lb. truck weight, probably double or triple the force weight.

    Since I started my business I have personally built 294 trailers in the last 4 years with this being the first one with any kind of damage to the tongue area. I had built dozens of trailers before this time as well. I didn't just wake up one day and say this is how I'm gonna build it, I looked at many of the Big manufacturers and basically copied what they are all doing. If I was the only guy in this business building this way I would say o.k. you got me guys, but I'm sure somebody had an engineer design their trailer frames.

    I am not mad, and hold no grudges as it may be. I take this to be a public forum and everybody is going to have a better way to build a mouse trap. I just happen to believe that my mouse trap held up with minimal damage for the incident. Over designing things is not always the answer to the problem, this guy would have tore up a Sherman tank given the opportunity. Dave

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  • terry welds
    replied
    dabar39
    well said. there are some real winners out there. that we have to look out for.they depened on us.they cant help it. there are the ones that think they can back a trialer. and the ones that can tear up a crowbar in a sandpile. it dont matter what it is made of.thinks for the update i have been waiting.

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  • dabar39
    replied
    294 trailers later and I guess I still don't know what I'm doing.

    The whole point of the thread was that this guy damages the trailer and is not willing to take any credit. I don't care how you build the tongue it was going to get tore up.

    I am going to say my opinion one last time, If you take 16,000 pounds of rolling mass and wedge a 880 lb. trailer on a fence at an angle and keep pushing on it, something is gonna give. I don't care what the tongue was made of it would have been damaged. Say it all you want but channel would have twisted up just as box tubing would have also bent.

    Myself and hundreds of other builders build it the same way, I guess we all have no clue as to what we do. The idea behind a angle tongue is so that it will bend on impact same as cars have crumple zones built into them. With the impact this trailer took it would have been a total loss if not for the tongue having some give. Also to make it clear this trailer is a 6'4" x 12' trailer, it aint that big and even though SSS is correct about 7000 lb. axles that doesn't mean the trailer is rated for that. This trailer has a duty rating of 3500 lbs., 300+ lbs. more than the max load this guy carries. Any of you who are skeptical about this matter, I suggest you look on ebay and other web sites and you will see most light duty 3500 lb trailers have an angle frame and tongue assembly. Also if you look at the builders using tubing on their tongues most are using 14 ga. wall thickness.

    Every body has their own way of doing things whether it be right or wrong, people will always have their own opinion. That's one thing I like about this forum. I do take each and every position available and try to learn from it. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't and I mean no offense to any one who has posted their own personal opinion. Dave

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  • Sundown
    replied
    Originally posted by dabar39 View Post
    The trailer owners insurance company has come and looked at the trailer last week and the adjuster said there is absolutely nothing wrong with the engineering or construction of my trailer. After him being here twice to talk to me, I was left with a check in my hand for 1000.00, The amount of a deposit for a 18' car hauler. I talked to the adjuster today and he also told me they are denying his claim altogether and have dropped him as a client as his acts were in a criminal manner (leaving the scene of an accident with property damage) Dave

    Also to all the guys asking about my eyes, I'm scheduled for surgery on the right eye in about 8 weeks from now. Thanks for asking and the concern.
    It is begining to look as though there is some justice in the world after all. Good luck on the eye surgery

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  • dabar39
    replied
    additional info.

    The trailer owners insurance company has come and looked at the trailer last week and the adjuster said there is absolutely nothing wrong with the engineering or construction of my trailer. After him being here twice to talk to me, I was left with a check in my hand for 1000.00, The amount of a deposit for a 18' car hauler. I talked to the adjuster today and he also told me they are denying his claim altogether and have dropped him as a client as his acts were in a criminal manner (leaving the scene of an accident with property damage) Dave

    Also to all the guys asking about my eyes, I'm scheduled for surgery on the right eye in about 8 weeks from now. Thanks for asking and the concern.

    Leave a comment:

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