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Thank goodness for tow chains...

 

Years ago, when I first started using a trailer, I was very good about dropping the receiver on the hitch ball, hooking up the safety chains and plugging up the electric. However, a couple of times I forgot to lock down the reciver to the ball. Twice, I had the trailer come loose from the truck. luckily, neither time was at highway speed. One time I hit a speed bump and the other time it was at a railroad crossing. I was able to pull off to the side of the road and jack the trailer up and reconnect. Twice was all it took before I developed a safety habit that has stuck ever since.

 

Whether I'm pulling out for the first job of the day or leaving a job for the next, I always pull the rig at least twice it's length and then stop. I get out and walk around the entire trailer. I check that the chains are on, ball is latched and electric is plugged. I look to verify the ladders are secured and drop ramps are latched. I also look for loose items that could fall out (brushes, buckets, wands, etc).

 

More than once I've had helpers ask why I don't just check all that before I move. I move the rig and check because the last thing I'm looking for is anything that might have been set down or rolled under the truck or trailer. In the last 5 years, I've never dropped a trailer again and several times I've found a pail, pump-up or wand that was missed when we loaded.

 

Dropping a trailer could be catastrophic...losing equipment could be costly. I hope sharing my mistakes and solutions helps someone.

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I had the weld break that held the receiver to the trailer once about 18 years ago.  It passed me up on the right and careened into a ditch...narrowly missing a fire hydrant and street sign.  Now I keep an eye on the welds also.  Also I never used any hitch but a bulldog hitch.  Once you shut them and put the pin in they do not come loose.

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Guest A to Z Roof Cleaning   
Guest A to Z Roof Cleaning

I had a close call when I was younger, now it's just habit to check the chains and pins.

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Thank goodness for tow chains...

 

Years ago, when I first started using a trailer, I was very good about dropping the receiver on the hitch ball, hooking up the safety chains and plugging up the electric. However, a couple of times I forgot to lock down the reciver to the ball. Twice, I had the trailer come loose from the truck. luckily, neither time was at highway speed. One time I hit a speed bump and the other time it was at a railroad crossing. I was able to pull off to the side of the road and jack the trailer up and reconnect. Twice was all it took before I developed a safety habit that has stuck ever since.

 

Whether I'm pulling out for the first job of the day or leaving a job for the next, I always pull the rig at least twice it's length and then stop. I get out and walk around the entire trailer. I check that the chains are on, ball is latched and electric is plugged. I look to verify the ladders are secured and drop ramps are latched. I also look for loose items that could fall out (brushes, buckets, wands, etc).

 

More than once I've had helpers ask why I don't just check all that before I move. I move the rig and check because the last thing I'm looking for is anything that might have been set down or rolled under the truck or trailer. In the last 5 years, I've never dropped a trailer again and several times I've found a pail, pump-up or wand that was missed when we loaded.

 

Dropping a trailer could be catastrophic...losing equipment could be costly. I hope sharing my mistakes and solutions helps someone.

Great idea to pull twice the length of rig forward and then double check.  I have made the mistake of not latching the ball, luckily nothing bad happened.

That was a great post Barry! I had a trailer get loose on me with 500 gallons of roof cleaning mix that spilled all over the grass on the freeway!  :phew: Thank God it was raining, or the state police would have arrested me!

Holy Cow!! That must have been terrifying!  Was the trailer totaled?

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As we say in the wood working industry... Measure twice... Cut once... !!!

Back in 1995 when my father owned some heavy equipment machinery... I was driving our Ford L9000 dump truck pulling an empty 20 ton trailer... On Providence Road. going South... Right after passing New Town Rd. which starts going uphill... A slow but very steady 50 mph. uphill.... Kaboooom the trailer came off the pintle because I forgot to latch it down... ZapItWash... You know exactly where this is... Right past the Auto Bell on the right side going towards Waxhaw... When that happened it was instant WTF adrenaline rush... Fortunately no other cars were headed in that direction because the trailer crossed completely over the North bound lane... Fortunately it was chained down because she was dancing... !!! Only a 2 lane road... Right after I stopped a motorcyclist was next in bound heading North... If that trailer would have hit him it would have been good night for him and for me... I'd still be locked up... !!!

Moral of the story is... Whatever type of hitch you are using... Check twice to 3 times to make sure all is in check... This incident was 100% my mistake for not checking twice... Fortunately it ended well... !!!

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