Friday, August 14, 2009

The wheels have come off... From a Homemade Utility Trailer

Reporting by Kyle Mullin

Russell Hayward walks past his overturned trailer next to the Trans-Canada highway on Wednesday afternoon. The Nevers Road man was unhurt in the single-vehicle accident. Hayward entered the eastbound lane of the divided highway at the nevers road intersection hauling a small, homemade trailer loaded with three logs destined for a sawmill. “i was on my way, and she just started swayin’,” he said of the trailer. The left wheels flew off of his trailer, sending him into a tailspin straight into the ditch.


Similar situation as last week with the travel trailer. Too much weight on the rear of the trailer judging by the size & length of the logs. This causes the "tail wagging the dog". In this case, it probably swayed to the point it either rolled the tires off the rims or broke the rims away from the axle hubs completely.

Prevention is the name of the game with proper weight distribution. However if it does occur, take your foot off the gas and slow down gradually. Jamming on the brakes will generally cause the trailer to beat you to your destination. If you have trailer brakes and the presence of mind, you can apply those brakes only to get whoaed up.

Robert Clinch, St. Stephen on 13/08/09 08:29:11 AM ADT
Homemade trailer..probably need engineered correctly. two sets of axle not lined up properly + heavy load will do this. Sometimes it's better to let the professionals do the job. Especially when public safety comes into play...

Enough is Enough, Clearview on 13/08/09 01:50:24 PM ADT
Do these trailers have to pass some kind of inspection? If not, why not?

RA EL, Fredericton on 13/08/09 08:42:55 PM ADT
A trailer has to pass a motor vehicle inspection each year, same as your car. However I think all they check is lights, tires, wheel bearings and brakes (if applicable). Structural integrity (excessive rust, etc) would probably come into it as well. I'm not a mechanic, but I did learn to drive 40+ yrs ago towing a trailer, so I have some experience that way.

But as the previous poster implied, if it isn't constructed properly in the first place, i.e. axles not lined up, that may not be picked up during an inspection.

While that could very well have played a part in this case, looking at the length of the trailer and the size & length of the logs, I suspect there was too much weight aft of the axles which will cause the tail wagging the dog every time.

Robert C., St. Stephen on 14/08/09 08:00:28 AM ADT
Oops, sorry I forgot to mention that they also inspect the coupling mechanism

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