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Who Is Right?


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9 replies to this topic

Poll: Who is right? (6 member(s) have cast votes)

Who is right?

  1. Ryan313 (5 votes [83.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 83.33%

  2. Neighbor Dave (1 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

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#1 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2012 - 07:22 PM

Neighbor Dave and I were having a discussion that got a little heated. Were were talking about the hitch I am making for the '71 and he says that the distance between the ball and the rear axle on the TOW vehicle does not make a difference on the tracking of the trailer. He thinks the only difference is how long the tongue is on the trailer. I tried to explain that the tongue does not matter on the trailer, on the trailer what matters is the distance between your axle and the ball.

We went back and forth and I tried to draw a picture, and I tried to show him using a few pieces of steel as stand ins for a tow vehicle and trailer. I told him that he is right, that matters, but so does what I am saying. He kinda chuckled and that bothered me a lot.

I told him that a longer distance between the ball and rear axle of the tow vehicle causes the hitch-point to swing outwards pulling the trailer outward causing it to track better. He told me that the ball on his truck sticks out 6 inches from the bumper, and trailers track fine, as long as he takes some turns wide. I told him that the ball to bumper distance does not affect anything. Of course he did not believe me.

I asked if he has ever driven a tractor with an attachment on the back, and know how it swings outward in a turn. He said they don't do that! I then asked him why I have suck a hard time getting through the woods with the york rake on the back of the '75. He says that the rake is wider then the tractor! I told him it was not. Do you think he believed me?

We went back and forth for about 15 minutes overall and then he said the thing that finished it "I have pulled lots of trailer, and know what I am talking about." At this point, the tape measure in my hand "jumped" across the garage and I walked away. I know I should not have let it go that far, but I was already in a bad mood after he ripped apart my idea of how I was going to make the hitch. He said it was way over-built and doesn't need to be as strong as I want to make it. I told him it would match the rest of the tractor. Which by the way, he thinks is not strong enough for what I do with them.

Ok, I am done ranting now.

EDIT: I added a poll for laughs.

Edited by Ryan313, November 04, 2012 - 07:22 PM.


#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2012 - 07:53 PM

Who said what??

Ok Ryan, ball location matters, keep em close to the axle to keep the front end down. Length of tongue matters to keep the tires off the trailer front in sharp turns. as for tracking, every trailer tracks different, the farther the trailer axle from the hitch, the easier it is to back, and the better the trailer rides, but it tracks to the inside of your turns more than tow vehicle. Also the farther from your back axle you have the ball the more you can throw the trailer tongue when you back around corners (jack knifing improves, catching up, forget about it). Ryan, build whatever you want the way you want. I say there is no arguing you can to to change Dave's opinion, he is set in his ideas of trailer tracking. You however, will learn from trial and error and form your own opinion. In the end, you are both right, so how do I vote for both of you lol.

Edited by wvbuzzmaster, November 04, 2012 - 07:54 PM.


#3 Farmlife OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2012 - 07:55 PM

I agree with you haveing grown up on farms and have had every kinda trailer you can imagine on the back of full size to garden size weaving in/out of tight areas and also on trucks on the road. ball, fifth wheel, pinto hook....all depends on the set up......as far as a trailer swinging out on its own....thats only happen to me with a pinto hook style hitch on a hay trailer and it can be controlled to a degree.....It aint his tractor...tell em you'll build it the way you like.

#4 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2012 - 08:24 PM

Huh?? Longer trailer is easier to back, but won' turn as sharp and need to take wider turns as you go around. Ball to axle on puller......hmmmm......not sure. Think with little area that the PK would have, not much difference. Thinking the height of ball is a factor to keep the front wheels from pulling up with load or pull action. Pulling from below the rear axle line is best, not up high with a raised 3pt or such. I have little GT hauler trailer, short tounge and it turns real fast if you try backing at too much angle. Little longer tongue would have been nicer. Once it starts going, you have to stop and pull ahead again, take shorter turn to get right. About all I have experienced! Haven't done much tractor and trailer moving, just with my pick-up and flatbed trailers.

P. S. They have "anger management" classes to save tools and damage to someone else! :smilewink:

#5 Bmerf OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2012 - 08:48 PM

.....It aint his tractor...tell em you'll build it the way you like.

I'm a firm believer in over built. Easier to build correctly the first time then to try a fix it after it’s broke.
But really Ryan, does it matter who is right? Realize that some of the best advice is what we don’t want to hear.
Just build it and if it breaks, tell him you should have listened. Sometimes you need to find out for yourself. That is how we learn, trial and error.

#6 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2012 - 08:49 PM

Ryan, you both are right. The distance axel to hook point does affect trailer tracking, but so does the distance from hitch to trailer axel.

You may be dealing with a generational thing here. Once a belief if firmly entrenched, us old duffers are loath to admit that someone younger than us is right... Just ask my kids, Galileo, or Copernicus.

Best advise I can give you here is let it go. He is your friend, and sometimes friends just let friends win.
After you told him he's won, build the damn thing the way you want to. (just don't make it to long or you'll be poppin wheelies like KC mentioned)...

I voted for you, because you were able to admit the validity of Dave's statement. He wasn't able to do the same for yours. In that he's wrong.
  • wvbuzzmaster said thank you

#7 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2012 - 08:54 PM

I have pulled a lot of trailers behing autos. trucks, GT's, and my motorcycles.

This being said, the tongue length makes all the difference in the world in how a trailer follows the tow vehicle....what-ever it is.
My current utility trailer and a 1975 cargo trailer that I pulled behind the M/C had very short hitch to trailer axle length, and were prone to quick "jack-knifing" while backing....going forward wasn't bad.

Trailer tongue length (hitch to trailer axle) should be 2 1/2 times the trailer tire to tire width.

#8 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 04, 2012 - 09:21 PM

Trailer tongue length makes a big difference in how the trailer tows while going forward. The drawbar length has a big effect on how easily you can back up. A short drawbar means you have to change the way the rear wheels are moving to steer the trailer. With a longer drawbar, it will 'swing' the trailer tongue and change trailer direction more quickly. Also, as you noted, a longer drawbar will cause the trailer to swing wider.

#9 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 08:37 PM

Ok, sorry for any confusion. Dave and I both know that the distance between hitch point and trailer axle make a difference. I think that distance from hitch point to rear axle on the tow vehicle makes a difference, and he does not believe me.

Today, I decided to ask my welding instructor about it and see what he thought; he was on Dave's side. Then the assistant principal came in and was on their side also! I still did not give up and the assistant principal suggested we do an experiment. So, the assistant principal and I walked down to another teacher's office so we could barrow one of his model trucks for the experiment.

After I got back, the welding instructor told me to go figure out a way to extend the hitch, and that is what I did. I cut a little piece of sheet-metal, drilled a hole in it for the trailer to hook to and another that I put a screw through in the 5th wheel to attach it to the truck.

The line labeled "curb" represents exactly that, a curb. The line labeled "truck" is the line that the inside tires of the truck followed each time. The line "control" is where the rear inside tire on the trailer went, with the normal hitch point. And lastly the "extreme" line is where the inside rear tire of the trailer went, with the extended hitch. (click for larger image)
Posted Image

Since the lines are all drawn with soapstone it is kinda hard to tell the difference between them. But, it is not hard to see that the extended hitch caused the trailer to take a wider path, and cut less of the corner off.

After the experiment, both my teacher and the assistant principal accepted defeat! Lol! I have yet to tell Dave of the results of the experiment.

Edited by Ryan313, November 05, 2012 - 08:38 PM.

  • MH81 said thank you

#10 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted November 05, 2012 - 10:14 PM

Atta boy Ryan!
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