Need help with trailer tire size

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sidepasser, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I have a 16 ft. flatbed trailer that I haul hay on, usually 150 bales at 55 lbs. average each.

    The tires on the trailer now are F78-14ST. I want 6 ply or larger tires, got any recommendations? Reason for asking is I hauled two weeks ago, had a nightmare of a time with one tire that blew out, load shifted, and had to limp home with a load of hay that had shifted. Got 40 miles from home when we ran into a fella with a tractor w/bucket and he pushed the whole load back upright for me. We bought a spare tire when ours blew, but it is only a four ply - I have to go back in two weeks to get another 200 bales and at ninety miles...don't want to take ANY chances of another blowout.

    BTW - the tires on the trailer were not worn, were almost new and had a lot of tread, the hole was on the sidewall...

    Thanks for help - wish I had a gooseneck 20 footer, but funds don't permit right now!!

    Sidepasser
     
  2. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that you can get a 14" tire that will handle that kind of a load. I have a 16' flatbed trailer myself. And the gross weight capacity is only about 5500 pounds. A bigger trailer or smaller loads is the best answer, IMHO.
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ............Based upon your numbers you're hauling ~~8,250 pounds . Most 16 foot , 2 axle trailers are equipped with 3500 pound axle(s) . The trailer probably weighs in around 1500 pounds so 8250 + 1500 = 9750 pounds on 2 axles rated for a maximum load of 7,000 pounds . Sounds like you're way overloaded both on the axle carrying capacity and even more so with a cheap set of tires . You can buy 16 inch tires with a higher load carrying capacity but you'll have to buy a set of 16 inch rims to mount them on . You might also consider NOT loading the trailer so heavy and limit the load to 100 bales and making 2 trips , although the price of fuel has and IS a consideration . Hope you have electric brakes on both axles as stoping 9750 pounds is rather hard with NO brakes . Alot of the 16 foot trailers were only equipped with brakes on 1 axle , but now most of the new trailers are mfged with brakes on both axles . good luck , fordy.. :)
     
  4. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Are you sure you don't have mobile home axles under the trailer? Are the tires on odd, hollow rims which are held on with separate lugs the sides?
     
  5. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Not mobile home tires, but the trailer was rated for the tractor and equipment , It is a smaller tractor though - 25 hp. but add the finish mower, and bushhog to the load, but maybe that is not as heavy as the hay.

    If I put 150 bales at 55 lbs per bale (some are less, some may be more) I get 8250 lbs. Divided by two axles that is 4125 per axle. Would I be ok if I upgrade to 16" rims and heavier tires? I want a larger goosneck trailer, but due to building a rather expensive pole barn/hay shed this year along with a riding arena, I can't afford to buy a trailer too. Can't afford multiple trips either to get hay at 90 miles each way..jeez, we've had so much rain here no one is baling, that is why I have to go so far to get reasonably priced coastal at $2.75 in the field or $3.00 in the barn. I offered to pay the man to deliver, but he doesn't want to do that (for 400 bales which is what is on contract)...

    Oh and did I figure the weight correctly above? I put 50 bales on my truck w/no problems, the other 150 goes onto the trailer..

    Thanks for your help - I'm equine inclined, not mechanically inclined!!
    edited to add: yes, electric brakes on both axles!! If I go with 16 inch tires, what kind should I look for? My log trailer has lowboy tires on it (built by a farmer and bought at auction and made out of crossties for the bed..it's a monster of a trailer and heavy as all get out - right now it is not roadworthy as I have to replace two tires on it).

    Sidepasser
     
  6. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    See Fordy's post above. You need to also add in the sprung weight of the trailer so it's about 8250 + 1500 = 9750 / 2 = 4875 per axle. I'd say you are way overloaded. Fordy took the guess you have 3500 pound axles. I think there's a good chance you only have 2000 pound axles. That's why they put 14" tires on it instead of 15" to begin with.
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As others say, your trailer sounds too light for the job you are giving it. Fine to limp along the back roads for 10 miles with such a load, but roaring down the highways for 90 miles - you are a hazard to others out there.

    What is your towing vehicle, with 50 bales in the bed, you could be exceeding your GVW as well.

    There is no easy answer here, as you are exceeding limits by quite a bit. Better rims & tires will only address one problem. You still are exceeding several other limits, which has DOT & insurance problems - you would get a ticket around 'here', and be exposed to a lot of liability if anyone has an accident near you. So, it is hard for us to tell you to go ahad with the bigger rims - you still have issues, and can easily get an over-load fine, or tear up your trailer, or hurt someone.

    Not good for us to advise you to hurt people!

    --->Paul
     
  8. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ................Sp , I would check into 16 inch rims , ONLY if you have 3500 pound axles . My suggestion would be to take your trailer to a trailer sales shop and simply ask them what size axles you have . All trailers , made within the last 5 to 8 years are Supposed to have a mfgers ID plate attached to them which clearly states the date of Mfg. , max. carrying capacity , Size of axles , date of mfg. and place of mfg. USually , this data plate will be located on the Neck of the trailer if it is a Tongue\Bumper pull type trailer . Might want to check with your local tire supplier and quiz him on what he carries in the way of a heavier trailer tire to fit your trailer . There are LOTS of tires mfged specifically for trailers because of the popularity of Travel trailers . Lots of choices and I'm sure they will have one to fit your needs . fordy.. :)
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Aren't the number of lugs related to the rim size? 4 for 14", 6 for 15" and 8 for 16". Can you get more than a standard number of lugs in each size?
     
  10. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Check in your phone book under tire, commercial. That's where you'll find heavy 6+ ply tires.
     
  11. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You are on the right path, but there are more 15" rims with 5 bolts that I see (and own) around here.

    Generally the more lugs, the stronger the axle. Most tandem car trailers have 14 or 15" rims (my trailer came with three 15", one 14", but the rubber diameter matched as it was a huge 14" tire - didn't noitice until I was replacing the blistered rubber!) 5 lug axles. Matches a Chevy rim. 3000# axles. Very very common. Can find 14 through 16" rims for it.

    Trailer tires are supposed to be rated for trailer use per DOT. Can possibly be a fine if not. Need a 'T' or 'LT' on it (Truck or Trailer, 'L' for Light) and ply ratings don't mean much any more, have little relation to the actual plies. There is a letter code for the weight each tire can handle, need a bigger letter for the bigger weights - or a DOT fine again. Local conditions & enforcement come into play tho on fines. In my rural area if you look like a farmer & do not look like a hazard no one will stop you. Go to a city or suburb & they will be all over you.

    Be sitting down when you get the price on 4 legal tires that will support 8-10000 lbs GVW. These are _not_ cheap. You might wish to trade your light trailer for one made heavier with better tires and come out better both $$$$ and in safety.

    I don't want to be a nit picker or tell you what you _must_ do, etc. After all, my car trailer has my wife's old car tires on it - works around here, I do not haul more that 4000# on mine, I take back roads & short distances.... Just alerting you to how it could be. You choose from there what works for you where you are.

    --->Paul
     
  12. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I have five lug nuts per rim. I haul with a Chevy HD2500, 2003 model. Ok - let's approach this from another angle; my axles are 3500 each. So I see what you mean about being overweight (not good)..

    I went on ebay and was looking at trailers, also went to several trailer sites, what type of trailer should I look for? I know that sounds stupid, but I am going to have to upsize the trailer or downsize the load and by the time I make three trips at 180 miles round trip, instead of two, several times over the next few months, I may wish I had bought another trailer (some horse is gonna have to go to pay for this though)..

    I saw 20 ft x 6 ft. with four tires, but they looked like they belonged behind a semi, not my truck. What is a pintle hitch? I have a drop down gooseneck hitch and a bumper hitch. I haul my gooseneck three horse trailer without a problem, it is 5500 lbs. unloaded. My truck has a tow package made for pulling heavy loads.

    Suggestions? I sure don't want to cause an accident, there aren't any highways where I go, just back country roads all the way (speed limits are not over 55 mph). Not much traffic either and cell phones do not work where I bought hay (not for miles and miles!!).

    A link to the type of trailer I should be looking for that my truck can haul would be great (save y'all typing).

    Thanks a million, I have never had to deal with big trailers before, so don't want to buy too much trailer for my truck or too little (some dealers will tell you anything to sell something!!)

    Sidepasser
     
  13. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Your first step should be to determine how much weight your truck can safely tow. Look in your owner's manual, it should have the CGVWR (combined gross vehicle weight rating), and probably the amount you can pull behind you including truck cargo. Once you have those numbers, go to the trailer websites to find a trailer that will handle your needs. A gooseneck trailer with a capacity of 10,000 pounds or so should do nicely assuming your truck can handle it.

    BTW - a pintle hitch is essentially a hook and eye setup.
     
  14. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Oh and the rest of the story, The flat tire happened in outside Piedmont, Alabama (11 miles out), nothing was open in the town except the hardware store. This lady there, she heard the story, and said, "Wait, I know the tire store owner" well she didn't have the number at the store, so called home and had the kid get it off her refrigerator and called Mr. Tire Store Owner. He came to his shop, waited on the bad tire, sold a good tire, wouldn't take a penny extra. While at the hardware store, after I found out that part of the jack was missing, the Upholstery man said "follow me" I got the tools you need. So left there, went 11 miles back, got tire off, went back to town, met Mr. Tire Store Owner, got new tire, left tools for the Upholstery guy, and drove back to put new tire on. By this time it was 5:00 pm and since hitting the road at 6:00 am and not eating since 6:30 am, I was starving. Drove the next 50 miles or so at 25 to 30 mph with the load leaning but tied down (load leaning due to shifting from the tire blowing) and get all the way to Wedowee, Ala and had to stop due to lost ratchet strap. So there on the side of the road, looking at the load leaning 35 to 40 degrees out of plumb, I was about ready to either cry or cuss and the state police stopped. The trooper looked at me (I was ready to cry thinking I had to unload all that hay and reload it) and he said "you need a bucket tractor, bet you don't have one of those in your pocket", and I said "no, but if I did, I wouldn't have a load leaning like this",,,he said I'll be right back, he went down the road about 1/4 mile and came back with a guy with the bucket tractor. By that time, I had another guy with a flat bed rollback trailer who stopped, got out with his wife, and their poodle dog, and they were looking at this mess, other people were stopping and giving their opinions, and here comes Mr. Bucket Tractor and he simply pushed the whole load upright and held it while chains were fastened and ratchet straps fastened.

    This was in Wedowee Alabama and I didn't get a ticket, no one would take a dime in pay although I offered several times, by that time I would have paid whatever, as I was very tired (had been up since five, hit the road at 6:00 am, drove 2 hours, loaded hay for 3, had flat tire and couldn't find any help
    So I had many people to thank in Alabama for me not loosing my load due to a flat tire, I was starving as hadn't eaten since 6:30 am, and ready to just break down and either cuss or cry...couldn't cuss as the Good Lord was already not allowing rain to ruin the load (and it was dark and cloudy), so chose to buck up and try to not cry...when the calvery came to rescue so to speak.

    Got home at 9:30 pm, unloaded hay until 2:00 am and finally could relax. Not an experience I WANT to repeat, that is why I am asking all these questions. I gotta hand it to those folks in Alabama, they were so nice and friendly, and here's the kicker: Mr. Tire Store Owner - dirt track race car driver; Mr. Rollback - same, and Mr. Bucket Tractor - same..all raced cars on dirt tracks in Alabama and all were heading for the races and made time for me and my load of hay...can't get any nicer than that!

    Thanks to all of you for pointing out that a 7000 lb. worth of axles can't possibly haul 8000 lbs plus of hay and my tires aren't made for that - some things women have to learn the hard way (I never knew about the axles, just figured tires would make it better) - i used to rely on my Dad to tell me these things, but he's deceased now so THANK YOU!!

    Sidepasser
     
  15. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...............http://www.pj-trailers.com/products/

    ................sp , These trailers are made in Sumner , tx just east of dallas . when you load the website ....LOOK at the 4th. picture Down on the Left side of your screen . This is tongue pull trailer , they call it a "deckover" . It has 2 7,000 axles and has a deck that is a full 8 feet wide . They are available in , 16 , 18 , 20 and 22 foot lengths . With a 2 foot dovetail to assist in loading a tractor , and loading ramps . This would be a real good match for your truck . Once you've recorded all the particulars then you can "go a ' lookin" for the same thing around your local area . they are good for about 13,000 pounds which is more than you will ever want to pull . fordy.. :)
     
  16. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok. Your truck is a nice size. 3500# axles are fairly tough. You sound like you are on rural roads with rural attitudes. With better tires:

    A lot of folks would haul just as you are doing. Works for many people. I've helped unload 200 bales from just such a rig & setup many times.

    As it is overloading, and it does go beyond some rules, I'm not going to say you _should_ do it.

    But a lot of folks do.

    If you get a bigger trailer, you get into another problem. DOT has special rules for folks hauling with a total weight over 10,000#. Now some states have ag exemptions (like mine), but others are very exact on this, and you need to pull into every weigh station, have a CDL licence, get haulers insurance, or other horrors. Again, I'm spelling out a worst case deal - might not be any such laws for you in your state. Just mentioning it.

    Really, would be good to make 3 trips of it, you are kinda pushing the limits with 200 bales per trip, even with a bigger trailer, then the truck starts to look kinda small, should have a 3500 (1 ton) class truck for such loads - remember a bigger trailer will be heavier and add more pull to your load.

    Would it be possible to find a hauler to bring you 400 bales at a time, we have folks like that here? Might be another way of doing this. Let them have the road liabilites.

    A pintle hitch is a grab hook on your pickup that locks down, and there is a cast loop or eye on the trailer. Very popular in the military, and on bigger trailers.

    --->Paul
     
  17. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks everyone for your valuable suggestions and ideas, I do think that Georgia has the DOT rules but don't know if that applies to agriculture or not, I would have to check on that.

    I tried to hire the man who sells the hay to haul it, but he didn't seem to keen on the idea. I will continue looking into a bigger trailer (heck I will probably end up with a semi before all this done - ha! get a bigger trailer, then need a bigger truck...).

    I know now how you guys get those big "toys", it starts out small like this and just mushrooms :goodjob: and the great thing is it is justifiable!!

    I'll sleep on all the ideas and let you know what I decide to do, but it won't be hauling that much on my trailer again, too scary especially with no cell phone coverage way up there!

    Thanks again
    Sidepasser
     
  18. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    this company has tires that will hold the weight, but you will have to keep the speedunder 30mph or they well over heat,

    they are air plane tires, and can hold 10,000lb per tire, i have them on my pasture pickup and have not had flats or problems since i put them on, before it was not unusal to have two to three flats a weeks on it,

    http://www.noflats.com/

    they sell them as no hyway use, or AG use, not DOT rated

    http://www.goodyearaviation.com/img/pdf/properties.pdf

    even on you current tires if you up the tire pressure to 45 to 60 psi it will help a lot,