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Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors


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  #1  
Old 09-25-2007, 01:24:13 PM
Brad Kelley Brad Kelley is offline
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Default Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Inspired by the Oil Pull thread, I went looking for discussions on chaining and securing our steel wheel tractors. With a rubber tire tractor it's pretty easy to tie down, and you can pull down tight and let the tires flex and hold the tractor down. But, steel wheel tractors aren't as easy, especially if hauling on a metal deck like a rollback. So, I wanted to see if my method is correct and what has worked well for others.

When my Huber came up from Alabama, I was present when the trucking company transfered it from their wood deck Landoll to the steel deck rollback. I helped them run the chains through the spokes and they had an older fellow instructing a new driver how to tie it down. The older guy let the new guy put the first chain on wrong, chains through the front wheel spokes and stretching back the deck like this, \__/ . The older guy then corrected the new guy and made him cross the chains, like X , so that the chains pulling cross ways would keep the tractor from sliding. They tied the engine down with 4 chains through the wheels pulling forward and backward for each axle, and also a chain in center holding the front of the engine, and the winch holding the drawbar. I was happy with this method, and later realized the potential for sliding when we unloaded the engine and the rear wheels (still on the truck) slid slightly when the front wheels hit the ground.

I used the same company to haul my Case to Somerset, but they sent a different driver with the rollback to pick it up. He started chaining the engine down, but he was putting 1 chain through the rim of 1 front wheel and pulling it toward the back corner of the truck. I thought this was putting a lot of stress on the wheel and prefered the method used on the Huber. Luckily, he had a "customer is right" attitude and redid it the way I prefered, and he agreed that it was a better method.

Is this how everyone else chains their engines. Certainly 6 heavy chains is overkill for a 10,000 lb engine, but it's easier to pull 6 chains than pick the engine up off the highway...
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:46:57 PM
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GaarScott GaarScott is offline
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Brad,

I have been accused of overkill when chaining my scale models down. I use six chains for each engine. This take time...but I feel the same as you, it is a whole lot easier to pull two extra chains that pick up the pieces off of the highway from an engine getting away on you. I place four crossed chains on the rear wheels. I go around the wheel and hook the chain to itself and then throw the chain to the opposite side of the trailer deck. I do this x four. The fronts are crossed also. I don't put a lot of pressure on the front chains...enough to take the slack out and maybe a touch more. The four chains on the rear wheels are the ones I get kinda hefty on the over-the-center-tie-downs with. Also, the last engine to come up on the trailer, I keep the winch hooked to this one. So that engine actually has seven tie downs.

Yeah, I know, overkill. But it works for me.

Lawrence
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:15:51 PM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

brad,

i've never hauled traction engines, but have moved a lot of machinery from toledo to detroit or cleveland and back, on a steel decked f-800 flatbed. if anyone has been down I-75 between toldeo and detroit they know it is a bumpy ride at best! the express way is a million small concrete pads of varying height, HUGE potholes, and scrap iron or rocks flying at you from the gravel trains.

we use old rubber conveyor belting to act as a non-skid surface to rest the machinery on, between the deck and machine. we will mark the pieces (machine and deck) with a paint marker after everything is strapped down and check it after a few miles to make sure it hasn't slid or shifted. haven't had any trouble except for one time moving a 10,000# layout table (cast legs) slid a few inches when clamping on the binders. that was the last time we didn't use rubber.

i think beth is the resident pro engine hauler on here.
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:38:44 PM
Dan Dyman
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Good thread, I can add a couple of "close shave" stories, the first involved someone who had little experience binding a load, ( we did not know that he was clueless when it came to tying down) the 26k lb engine was sitting in the bed facing forward a chain with a large link in the middle was coupled to the rear drawbar and fixed with a pin througn the center ring, this chain was then pulled tight with screw binders, then a chain was passed from one side of the bed through the front wheels and then to the other side, this chain was somewhat resting on the spokes of the front wheel, what happened next still gives me chills thinking of it, as he was plowing along the narrow country lanes the pressure of the chain on the front spoke caused the front wheel to turn, completely loosening the whole front end, the engine lurched to one side until half the front wheel was hanging off the bed, needless to say the screeching as the engine slid alerted the driver to what was happening, he got the load to a layby and hot footed it to the nearest house to use the phone ( no cell phones back then) "we" received the call and drove the 100 miles to assist getting the engine back on, which we did with a rail jack and a binder, the load was retied correctly and proceeded without further interuption,

The second near miss was caused by familiarity, the driver being a seasoned vet when it came to steam, he "thought" that the little engine would not be any bother so a "quick" tiedown was performed, the small engine was siting on the neck of the lowboy, the judicious use of brakes would not have caused a problem, but it was a hard boot to the floor breaking that caused the "small" engine to break free, but for the grace of God go I, you, and us. the engine came within 18 inches of the back of the cab, its forward travel arrested by the sweet petter engine used for driving the hydraulic pump,,,,,,,,,needless to say the petter, the pump and the soiled undergarments of the, now well "seasoned" vet needed to be changed,,,,,,,
The motto? better to be safe that soiled
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:46:18 PM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Dan,

Both of those stories reassure that my method...of madness, is well worth the effort. I would say with your luck, you better be buying lottery tickets!

Lawrence
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:20:09 PM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Overkill works for me as well. That, and stopping every so often to see if the chains have worked loose any. Ratchet binders make small adjustments simple, and are more forgiving than load binders.

David
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Old 09-25-2007, 05:34:42 PM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Well.... Most Steel Wheeled Tractors And Steam Engines have Holes in the Rear Wheels for the purpose of extensions ect... And what I like to do is prepair 4 Hooks welded to A Heavy piece of steel and bolt them to the existing holes in the rear wheels then 4 chains to the tiedowns on the trailer...

That way the rear is secured 4 ways against any movement.... And I usually add a chain or two to the front mainly for appearance sake.... And to satisfy the DOT...

The Back wheels are always secured real well to the rest of the machine as they were built for pulling....

As far as hooking to Flimsy front wheel Mountings or Castings I would never expect them to do much in a Panic stop or other emergency....
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:47:27 PM
20Avery 20Avery is offline
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

First of all, this is a great thread. There are probably hundreds of ways to secure cargo. Everyone has a way they are comfortable with. The timing of this conversation is also perfect. I, and a few others are planning to haul our newly purchased Avery home this weekend. I am not very keen on knowing how to secure large heavy loads, but I know some people that are. My father has hauled many loads of large excavating machinery. He has some interesting stories from those years too. Also the gentleman driving the truck for us is very good with hauling, etc. The largest machine they haul is a 300 Komatsu track excavator. Which is overwidth and overweight. So I am sure they know what they are doing. I am sure that there will be numerous pics taken of the endeavor, so stay tuned... for triumph or ... you know.

Jace
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:12:05 PM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Good Thread. Every load has its own quirks as does every trailer. Dad had our double drop lowboy custom designed & built by Nelson Trailers with a folding gooseneck. An electric motor raises it. We have a heavy duty winch on the tractor. ALL engines are winched on for safety & control. I prefer to load the engine facing the front. The other trailer was designed to Dad's specs and built in our shop. It is only a single drop & is similar to a Landoll. It has a winch on the front of the trailer. Both trailers have wooden decks.

We saddle EVERY steam engine whether it is on steel, cast or rubber. We prefer a real 2 x 4 or larger for a saddle block. I prefer to pull the engine up about an inch from the floor. The engine will settle into the blocking.

Chaining of the drivers depends on your preference and location of your trailer pockets or rings. They also depend on the size of your drivers and location of gearing (Fricks & Geisers can be an issue...) Some use 4 chains to "X" them like they do with track equipment. We normally do an "A" format on the drivers, a pull back chain on the hitch and a chain through the front wheels.

Many engines have fragile or delicate front pedestals that do not take to pulling or tying down. Many Russell owners have a cable attached to the throat sheet wings for pulling versus the pedestal.

You must know your trailer, load, as well as state & federal laws.

Food for thought.
Beth
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:55:44 PM
Jim Jake Templin
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

In addition to the chaining described above, we always keep a few old tires in the neck for the wheels to rest on when in position.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:04:02 PM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Yup... Rubber or Wood really adds to the traction on a steel deck if thats all thats available.... Steel on Steel... Baaaad Deal...
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:41:39 PM
John Hanson John Hanson is offline
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

I've been hauling steel tracked stuff off and on for 25+ years, and learned (the hard way a few times) a few rules. Steel on steel should be avoided at all costs... I don't care if it's just going across the yard... don't do it. Rubber matting (or tires) works well if it's DRY... just a little bit of moisture and it's worse than steel on steel (been there, done that, and took a ride to the ground, ending up with broken bones and a mashed loader). The best thing is a wood deck, and like Beth says, winch it up a ways before saddling with GOOD lumber. ALWAYS take a wrap and cross a chain, then use a couple binders. If it's on steel, you can use a spring binder, or better yet, the screw binders. A chain just layed across or through a wheel does nothing but drag the trailer in the ditch as the machine falls off... you have to take a wrap. I prefer to have all the chains diagonal, so they are holding both side and forward/backward tension. The big thing with something on steel is not to let any slack get in the chains... that's a sure recipe for disaster! And GaarScott, I've never seen anything fall off from using too many chains..good for you to make sure it's overdone!
JH
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:15:16 AM
Emma Emma is offline
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

My husband been hauling for over 20 years. He has said, "people try down the load and then forget it till the end." Bad idea. He always checked his loads first 50 miles then every 150 miles after that. He has seen many an accident where a trucker has been injured or killed, cuz of lack of safety.
No such thing as being too safe! Better to have too many chains then not enough! Even if it's a short trip. I've seen him try down the riding mower with lots of chains(like it was going cross country )just to go down the street to his sister's.
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:20:40 AM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Beth & John, what do you mean when you say to "Saddle" and engine?
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:44:28 AM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

In the last few years I have used large rachet straps for my models versus chains....less scratches to the paint...easy adjustment along the road... hooks are larger and easier to stay set...plus a chain can start bouncing and work slack against itself because it weighs so much...with the lever pivot type load binders sometimes an additional link is impossible to get and the link that you have is not quite enough... you can see twists in the strap a lot easier than a chain... I believe that for large loads you need chains because rachet straps have lower limits.... but for scale models I prefer the straps... but watch out for sharp edges...
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:46:01 AM
Casemaker Casemaker is offline
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
Beth & John, what do you mean when you say to "Saddle" and engine?

Andy,
this might have something to do with "Breaking it in".
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:55:03 AM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Casemaker, you may be on to something. The little Huber has tried to buck me off before. Like you I use straps often and preferr them for a lot of things. Since they have a little bit of stretch to them they can be easier to get and keep tight. Chains and straps almost always break because they were not tight and the load was allowed to jerk on them until failure. When they point out to me that chains are stronger I admit that they are. My solution is to use more straps. Most of mine are 2" 10,000 lb straps with a 3500 lb WLL (Working Load Limit)
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:59:30 AM
John Hanson John Hanson is offline
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Andy,
What we always termed "saddling" is a block ahead, and one behind, full width of the wheel, with the weight of the wheel mostly if not totally on the blocks... puts more pounds per square inch on the deck, so less apt to slide. I imagine that's what Beth is talking about too, as she's saying to winch a bit up onto the block, then let it come back down on both to rest. I've even been known to "attach" my saddles to the deck at times, if I know I'll be hauling that particular load again shortly.
JH
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:08:40 AM
Ed from Mason
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Hello to all.

Some states require x amount of chain per load weight Might want to keep that in mind as well as how you do the chains. The club I belong to adds what our state requires & how it is to be done in our news letters from time to time just to keep us informed on any new laws dealing with tieing down equipment. I do not know about other states but here in Michigan we have the motor carrier devision of the state PD & some counties like Ingham where we live have there own weigh masters who keep an eye out for things like over loads & proper securring of equipment.

They do tend to leave us old iron guys & gals alone, How ever one of our members did get stoped once no paper but was informed that we need to have 4 chains on each point or corner of our equipment.
(4 chains per tractor or equipment)

This might be a bit of an over kill but I have seen it at our plant. The trucking company & our plant will change out the chains being used for new every 2-3 years due to streching & ware. I have seen a chain that over time has been streched around 2 3/4" past its original leangth & seen the week link from this.
Keep in mind the chains we use are for securing or moveing steel coils & stamp dies. but over time it could happen to any chain. I think it best that when you take care of your iron for the year don't forget to take care of the equipment you use to tie them down with.

Thank you & take care.
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:24:35 AM
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Default Re: Hauling, chaining steel wheel tractors

Thanks John, you are correct on the saddle blocking (hard wood, of course.) By pulling the engine up on the rear saddle (like an inch or so off the trailer) and then putting the front block tight, they "saddle" the engine. The saddles help contain any rocking of the engine.

When we talk about chains, make sure they are the hi tensile ones. Yes, always check your chains for excessive wear and cracks. If you use the "snap" binders, wire them to the chain.

Prior to using straps on a steam engine, please check with your DOT. DOT allows 1/2 strength of the rating on straps when calculating needed ties. I use straps only for small items (like a loose roof, the spare tire, etc). Yes, chains scratch pretty paint (my Port has proof), but I'd rather scratch it than lose it!

Beth
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