Contributors to this thread:
In the process of moving. It’s a 500 mile move to our new home. Rented a 26’ U-Haul with a car hauler to take a Suzuki Samurai down there. Tightened the tire straps down as tight as I could. After about 200 miles we stopped to eat and checked the tire straps to make sure they were tight and the chain on the rear was tight. The final 300 miles was through the mountains and the truck lane was pretty rough. Lots of road construction and uneven pavement. The last off ramp was under construction and I almost missed it. Had to hit the brakes hard and cut to the right. I got to my sons and looked at the trailer. Both tire straps were off and the chain on the rear was loose. I don’t know how many miles it had just been sitting there bouncing up and down? On those 18” wide tracks on the hauler. My wife had been following me and said it looked like it was bouncing up and down a lot but at night just couldn’t see anything abnormal.
Years ago I was hauling my boat back to my house and had some similar "luck."
I was using one of the hitch pins with the integrated rotating "clip" like the one shown in the pic. After parking in the driveway, I noticed that the hitch pin was gone. Apparently it rattled loose and fell out. Somehow the ball mount stayed in the receiver. I can only guess that the tongue weight was enough to keep it wedged together.
After unhooking the trailer, I decided to back track to see if I could find the pin and sure enough, it had fallen out in my neighborhood, about 3/4 of a mile from the house and was laying in the middle of the road.
Sometimes we just get lucky I guess.
Needless to say, I no longer use that type of hitch pin and have changed to one with a hair pin cotter. Once was enough for me.
One afternoon my brothers and I were standing in our driveway 20 yards or so from the road. There was a whoopdy-do in the road there and a guy was hauling a smallish sailboat, with a kayak strapped to it, down to the nearby lake. His trailer tongue came unhitched, the whole thing took a weird hop and ultimately the tongue of the trailer came down into the berm of the road and buried itself at about a 30 degree angle, coming to a sudden stop. Any straps came loose or broke, and the boats took off racing down the road and berm. The kayak won, traveled farther, and actually made it down into a small stream. The trailer stood their, tires in the air, tongue buried in the berm. It was really something to see. The sailboat was deeply gouged. We got picks and shovels and got busy digging the trailer out.
A state highway goes by our place. One day a guy in a pickup was towing some sort of smaller tillage equipment, apparently held up by a strap or cylinder. Somehow it failed and the teeth came down and dug into the asphalt, of course it stopped immediately. It pulled the back bumper off the truck.
A friend of mine was driving home from the lake one rainy and dark night and when he got home and got ready to back the boat into the garage, the boat was gone...Drove back the way he had come and the first entry ramp to the interstate (almost 80 miles away) the boat and trailer were sitting in the meridian. He hooked back up and drove them home...I don't know how he could have driven that far and not noticed that the boat was not behind him, but he did...8^)
A couple of months ago, I picked up a load of wood with my dump trailer. After getting home and dumping the wood, I backed the trailer into it's original spot and noticed the ball hitch was sagging. My entire hitch was nearly rotted off the truck. So glad there wasn't as much wood as expected. It was a heavy load, but not as heavy as I would've had it. It could've been ugly, if not tragic.
A few years ago not far from where I live a guy left the lake with his boat. A few miles down the road the hitch came uncoupled and the boat went into the oncoming lane and killed a young woman on her way home to her family. No safety chains, etc. This is a great reminder that if you are going to be towing something, make damn sure you know what you are doing!
better to be lucky than good...
When I retired in 2011, I bought a 2010 16' center console boat in Florida to take up to Michigan with me. It was a used, low hour boat (<40) with a new aluminum trailer...great shape and all that stuff. Anyway....somewhere in Indiana I stopped for gas and did a routine walk-around the boat to check everything, kick the tires, etc. For some reason, I looked at the stainless attachment ring on the front of the boat and noticed it was sticking out from the center line of the bow. It turns out the retaining nut inside the bow compartment that secures that attachment ring backed off and only had 2-3 threads holding on. If that nut finished coming off, the tow ring, safety chain and winch strap would have separated from the boat and nothing would have secured the bow of the boat to the trailer. At highway speeds the bow would have gotten airborne and left the trailer probably popping the strap on the stern of the boat/trailer. It could have impacted whoever was driving behind me. I'd hate to think what could have happen to them if my boat flew into the front of their vehicle at 65-70mph. I took some pics and re-tightened that nut. I called the manufacture when I got home and told them what happened. Scared the crap out of me at the time.
In 2004 driving thru WY on a very windy day I had the bow of another boat lift off the trailer. I had to put a ratchet strap on the front boat to keep it from getting airborne. The give away was seeing the bow lift up in the rear view mirror.
A client of mine just witnessed a bad wreck with a trailer. Stock trailer with horses came uncoupled, broke the safety chains, and the trailer veered into the other lane and struck an oncoming truck head on. Killed the driver of course.
My client said it hit so hard they couldn't even find the head of one of the horses. It was just gone.
That's a tragedy for sure. Was it this one?
A few years ago I was coming out of a circle K when I heard a loud noise in the intersection. Looked up just in time to see a landscaping trailer come off the ball, went across 3 lanes of traffic on its nose and plowed right through a backyard fence of a house. Thank God no cars were hit but it was incredible to watch that block wall explode when the trailer went through. Didn't have any safety chains.
Back in the 80's we were towing a friend 42 jeep on I-80, we were coming down the long steep grade at Blue Canyon when will feel the jeep jitter and sway a little, buddy starts to brake when one of the jeeps rear tires goes buys us with an axle shaft still attached, it hits the concrete meridian, flys up in the air, hits the the middle of the freeway on the oncoming side and bounces over a car in the slow lane and down into a gully. I will always remember the wrenched gut feeling of thinking it was going to hit that car...
Wow.....I just remembered another bad towing one. It wasn't me but a Suburban next to me. It was on M-59 in Utica, MI. The traffic in the fast lane was running about 60-65. The slower lane maybe 55-60. I approached this Suburban towing a pop-up camper. The camper had a bike rack on it with maybe 4-5 bikes on it. The rack was a tall one sticking above the popup camper in the air stream. As I approached the camper I noticed the bikes on the rack start rocking side to side. That in turn got the camper fish-tailing a little. As I passed the Suburban I looked out the pax window and seen it slow down. When I looked in the side mirror then the rear view mirror the camper was violently fishtailing. About the 2nd fishtail I seen was so violent it whipped to the left and pulled the Suburban's rear end sideways. At that point the Suburban headed/skidding to the shoulder where hit the dirt and started rolling over in the air. Couldn't see much at that point due to the dust and debris. It was too dangerous to try and stop on the highway with all the traffic speeding by. I went a little further to where I could pull over. By that time the highway behind me was blocked and the 911 folks had numerous calls on it. I don't know if anyone was killed.
I witnessed another one that I helped on that was real bad. A semi hit the back end of a Toyota Corolla that just pulled onto the fast lane on the interstate. There was a little girl in a baby seat in the back that was critically injured. When I got to her, I could she she was unconscious, encased by the back seat, had numerous broken bones and looked like she was scalped. The skin on the top of her head was pealed back and her skull was exposed....I won't forget that sight. I remember picking her head up so she could breath. The baby seat was pushing into her throat. She was medivaced out and she did live but had neurological damage. That one bothered me for quite a few years afterwards.