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Trucks, Trailers and Hauling for Shows The ins and outs of setting up a show trailer and getting it to and from the engine show. Please be fully aware of our web site Terms of Use Disclaimer as you read. Safety first!

Trucks, Trailers and Hauling for Shows

Trailer Mounted Engines


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  #1  
Old 06-04-2002, 12:52:00 PM
Tim Claremont
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Default Trailer Mounted Engines

I am in the process of mounting my engines for the show season. My question has to do with weight distribution.

The trailer deck is 17 feet, wood. Dual axle. Brakes on one axle. Axles slightly biased to the rear of the deck front to back.

The engines are:

6 hp Economy (850 lbs) 6 hp IHC 'M' (900 lbs) 3 hp IHC 'M' (350 lbs) 1.75 hp Hercules (300 lbs???) 2 hp Taylor Vacuum (300 lbs???)

Total 2700 lbs + misc, figure 3,000 lbs of weight.

Right now my plan is to mount all of the engines sideways with the flywheels toward one side of the trailer and the heads toward the other side of the trailer. This will make it easier to pull the flywheels over on the big engines while standing on the ground.

In my mind I think I want to mount them as follows:

(1) Economy up front, about 2 feet from the front of the deck, straddling a crossmember)

(2) Taylor Vacuum (Just ahead of front axle)

(3) Hercules (Right between the two axles)

(4) 3 hp M (Right above the rear axle, straddling a crossmember)

(5) 6 hp M (Behind the rear axle, straddling a crossmember)

The tow vehicle is a 1987 Chevy Suburban with a trailer towing package. As such, I do not believe the 3000 lbs trailer load will be much of a concern.

Is my weight distribution plan sound? What thought process do you use to determine where the weight goes? What is the correct way to determine your tongue weight?

Any trailer loading suggestions are welcome. I will post a picture when I find the camera battey!
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2002, 01:32:04 PM
Tim Claremont
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

Looks like most of my questions are answered here:


Trailer Towing Guide
  #3  
Old 06-04-2002, 03:55:58 PM
Patrick Marsh
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

If you are going to run your engines mounted on your trailer remember to jack up all 4 corners of the trailer to take the weight off of the wheels. If you don't all of the bounce will be on the roller bearing that is on top of the spindle at the time. This will cause a dimple to form in the bearing race. That translates to a rough spot in the bearing that will cause bearing failure.
  #4  
Old 06-04-2002, 04:26:25 PM
Norm S
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

Tim,

When I mounted engines on my first trailer, I just remembered the old axiom that came with our pop-up camper when I was a kid. Load the trailer so there is about 50-75 pounds on the tongue and you're good to go. Too light on the tongue will make the trailer sway at speed - an UGLY prospect. I simply put the engines on the trailer and shifted them forward and backward as necessary to acheive my tongue weight. Happy trailering!

Norm
  #5  
Old 06-04-2002, 06:32:02 PM
allen lapage
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

tung weight should be 10% of the gross weight. that includes the trailer that is most likley 1500 empty. So you should have somewhere arround 400 lb. for a safe handling trailer.
  #6  
Old 06-04-2002, 10:03:45 PM
Al Hettich
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

10 to 15% of the total load on the tongue. It should be law, that is what it takes, BOTTOM LINE. If your tow vehicle uses light automotive tires you may stay toward the 10%, if you have a heavy tow vehicle with heavy tires go toward the 15%. In all cases DO NOT EXCEED THE RECOMENDED MAX TOWING LOAD. These guidelines are not the only factors that may apply. Keep all equipment in PERFECT condition. Al
  #7  
Old 06-05-2002, 02:12:16 AM
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Paul Spence Paul Spence is offline
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

I always had trouble guessing trailer tongue weight . No more, I bought a Sherline (1000#) scale . I also purchased at the flea market a complete Reese load leveling hitch. No one should be with out one. It makes trailering easier. Read the Sherline trailering guide and use it. Strange things can happen when trailering . Got a spare trailer tire, jack and light bulbs

Paul
  #8  
Old 06-05-2002, 09:00:46 AM
Ken Fall
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

Good point Patrick I went to a salvage yard and picked up four sissor jacks they were cheap $2.00 ea. welded one in each corner where they are always ready to go.It took all the bounce out and I also use them to jack up the trailer for the winter. Ken
  #9  
Old 06-05-2002, 09:17:40 PM
allen lapage
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

HA KEN Fantastic idea about the jacks. Now you have made more work for me. allen
  #10  
Old 06-05-2002, 10:28:47 PM
Steve/OH
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

Paul

Are load leveling and weight distribution hitches the same thing?
  #11  
Old 06-06-2002, 02:01:14 AM
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Paul Spence Paul Spence is offline
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

Steve: I would say they are one in the same. Just different words for the same thing. Don't have a sway control set up yet, but with the weight distributing/load leveling set up I haven't had a sway problem. - Paul
  #12  
Old 06-06-2002, 12:14:05 PM
Franz
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

My thinking is that it is a matter of copywrite and brand name. Reese has an amazing number of copywrites filed, and spends a lot of money enforcing them. They also have done some cute things relating to size of certain parts and patented them so there is no competition.
  #13  
Old 06-06-2002, 12:26:07 PM
Tim Claremont
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

OK, I loaded most of the engines. Just the Taylor left to go.

The big 6 horse engines are bolted down. The smaller engines need to be removed from their skids before I bolt them down.

Weight distribution seems very good. I can lift the tongue of the trailer with a little bit of effort. It is not "easy", but it is not overly difficult either. I would guesstimate my tongue weight at around 150 lbs at this point. Keeping in mind that the Taylor Vaccum engine will be biased toward the front of the trailer, I think I will be in good shape. I will go to the weigh station before making any road trips, however.


  #14  
Old 06-06-2002, 04:52:01 PM
David Greenwalt
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

Hi Tim, that's going to be a real nice display. Mind if I ask you something? How did you bolt them down? Did you put anything underneath? On mine I ran a small piece of C channel underneath to distribute the pull across the boards so if I had to hit the brakes hard, hit a large bump, etc, the bolts would not be ripped up through the boards. The way those are sitting, you are going to get a lot of pull at the base every time the trailer is jerked, and at every stop and go. David.
  #15  
Old 06-06-2002, 07:11:37 PM
Tim Claremont
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

Yup. Lots of C-Channel going the full width of the trailer, so that the load is distributed across all of the deck.

Note also that the wood decking is made up of planks that run the full length of the trailer. 17 foot planks ain't gonna be cheap to replace, I am afraid!

If you look at the picture below, you will see that two of the engines are still on wooden skids. This picture was taken when I was working out the arrangements of the engines. Those two engines are NOT bolted down yet, and will NOT be left on the skids when bolted to the trailer. If I did it that way, then the weak link would be the strength of the skids, which is NOT something I want to rely on!

At the back of the trailer is a piece of angle iron that runs from side to side. Just remove 5 bolts and the planks lift right out. So, the deck will be easy to replace, just expensive.

The plastic tool box at the front of the trailer was something like $49 at Wal-Mart. I have that bolted down and it holds all of the incidentals.

Today I picked up one of those gas can mount assemblies off an old military vehicle. Not quite sure where that will be mounted just yet.

Also left to do is mount the spare tire.

I am now ready to assemble a bunch of PVC pipe to form what amounts to an A-frame over the length of the trailer. Then I will just toss my plastic tarp over the whole trailer and bungee it down. Obviously that will not be used when hauling, but rather just in inclement weather while parked. The plastic pipe will just lay down on the trailer when not in use, so it will not be in the way during displays.

If you look at the right side of the picture below, you can see one of the ramps made for this trailer. It is two pieces of 2 x 6 covered in some "cat-walk" metal grating. Under one end of each ramp is a pair of casters. This makes the ramps really easy to move around. At the other end of each ramp is a piece of angle iron that mates up to another piece of angle iron at the rear of the trailer. If you pull the ramp off the end of the trailer, the leading edge of the ramp hooks into the channel at the end of the trailer, making for a great ramp system that is VERY heavy, yet provides good traction, and is quite managable by one person due to the wheels.

I will post more pictures as the project progresses.


  #16  
Old 06-06-2002, 09:56:08 PM
Mike Bisbee
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

A quick and easy way of judging how much weight is on the tongue of the trailer is to use a measuring tape.I for example know that with 400# on the bumper (me and a friend) of my truck it goes down 3/4 0f an inch,so I just measure before and after loading. Works great every time! Like another response said to much or to little weight is no fun. Hope this helps someone!
  #17  
Old 06-06-2002, 10:05:46 PM
David Greenwalt
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

Good, better safe than sorry. I don't imagine it would be a whole lot of fun to watch one of your engines go bouncing down the highway. Have fun. David.
  #18  
Old 06-07-2002, 11:56:19 AM
Dave Brink
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

Tim, One thing you need to do is put brakes on that other axle. Not only is it a good idea but it's also the law. Any trailer grossing more than 2500# must have brakes on all axles, and you will obviously be over that. Thought you'd rather hear that from me than your friendly DOT officer.
  #19  
Old 06-10-2002, 09:18:15 AM
Tim Claremont
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

I have had a couple people on this site tell me that brakes are required on both axles.

However, I have found nothing official that states this is the case. All of the trailer laws that I have found simply say that "trailer brakes are required over 3,000 lbs." It does not say one way or the other if that requirement applies to both axles.

I HAVE found some statements that imply that brakes are required on both axles for NEWLY MANUFACTURED trailers. In other words, brand new trailers rated for over 3,000 lbs require the manufacturer to install brakes on both axles. This very same document says nothing about how this applies to older models such as my 1971.

The New York State DMV website is practically worthless with regard to listing trailer towing laws. The documents that I have found are provided by boating interests and RV enthusiasts, or by trailer brake controller manufacturers or hitch suppliers.

If anyone has some more definitive information or sources, I would like to hear about it. I will do some more research today as I go about weighing the trailer, rewiring the lights, etc.
  #20  
Old 06-10-2002, 05:20:44 PM
allen lapage
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Default Re: Trailer Mounted Engines

All I can tell you is that there are a lot of new trailers sold in il. with brakes on one axel only. But mine has them on both and i wouldent have it any other way. Think about this, how many wheels on your tow vehicle have brakes, why would you only want 2 on your tralier?
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