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Trucks, Trailers and Hauling for Shows

What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?


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  #1  
Old 04-04-2017, 09:05:11 PM
thefrendlyghost thefrendlyghost is offline
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Question What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

Here's the long and short of the story...

Back in the day, my grandfather bought a 1911 CASE steam traction engine. (Self-propelled) He used it on the farm until he sold the farm, and after that, the engine was still being used at the local antique power show until it wore out a bushing.

The bushing is in the clutch assembly, and the flywheel has to come off in order to replace the bushing. We don't have anything ​strong enough to support the flywheel, so the old steamer just sits in the back lawn, waiting for "that day" when someone will care enough to do something with it.

The family has no interest in selling the steamer, and it seems that no one locally is willing to haul it anywhere to be repaired unless we sell it to them.

I'm tired of seeing this beautiful piece of family history just sit in the yard and rust. I want to take the engine to a shop for repairs. And once it's repaired, I want to use it both for farm use again, and at shows.

Unfortunately, I don't currently have a trailer to haul the thing, and I don't know enough to decide what trailer I need. Here is what I do know. Dad owns a 1948 Chevrolet 5 ton truck. The truck is in serious need of repair or replacement (because like the steamer, it's been sitting unused and not cared about for over 20 years) I know that Dad will be willing to sell the truck. Or, if the truck can be repaired, that would be even better.

So, now we get to the questions. First, even if the Chevy is fixed, is a 1948 5-ton truck strong enough to pull a 7+ton (when empty) steam engine plus trailer?
Second, if the truck is strong enough, what type of trailer is recommended? Bear in mind that we live in South West Wisconsin, where the area has many hills and valleys. (That will probably change whether or not the truck is strong enough.) I remember when we brought our engine to the show, a house hauling company would load our steamer onto a large trailer that had a large main bed and a higher small bed above the 5th wheel hitch. I don't remember the width of the trailer, but I do remember that they were able to load the engine pretty easily. I think they used a winch, but more for convenience than for safety. It took about 2-3 hours for our engine to build up enough steam to run on its own power.

Third question: If a 1948 5-ton isn't enough truck, what is?
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:07:46 PM
Mike McKnight Mike McKnight is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

If all you want to do is haul the steamer occasionally, you're probably better off just paying to get it hauled than to try to fix up a 1948 truck to make it really safe to haul it with. Or, maybe just go ahead and fix the steamer short term, fix the truck longterm?

As far as not having anything heavy enough to move the flywheel, I think you're greatly underestimating what it would take to move it. As far as picking it up, I picked mine up with a two-ton engine hoist and mounted it on my 60 HP Case. Not the optimal set up, but it can be done! Biggest hurdle would be to pull the gib key and get the flywheel to move off of the shaft, especially if it has been grown on there since 1911.

Mike
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:44:00 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

This is a textbook perfect example of a situation where hiring a qualified professional is called for. There are so many things that can go wrong at every step of the process, this site doesn't have enough electrons to list them all. And in addition to wrecking your old machine, it's easy to envision mishaps that could seriously injure or kill someone, either you or some unfortunate who has the bad luck to be around as you are trying to navigate the roads you describe.

The very questions you ask and ideas you suggest offer proof that you don't have an idea what you are getting yourself into. First off, I have never seen any Chevy "5 ton" trucks of anything approaching that vintage. The Chevys were at best a two ton and were grossly underpowered at that. And getting it going, replacing the brakes and tires, hoping the engine will run, and run for as long as you need it, converting the truck over to 12v so you can hook up a trailer brake controller, lights, wipers, parking brake, adding a hitch that's up to the task, you're already in way over your head money wise, and all you have is a truck that you'll be running up (and down) those hills in first gear at 5MPH, to the absolute delight of everyone behind you, especially the cop who pulls you over.

Plates, insurance, and maybe $5K for a decent trailer, and you're still a guy who in all probability does not have the requisite skills to break that machine loose from its resting pace of decades, load it properly onto an appropriate trailer, secure it safely and legally, then drive the thing to where it has to go. Just fill a bushel basket with cash and wave it at some local contractor or trucking company and you'll be way ahead of the game. He'll probably charge less than the cost of the tickets you will accumulate on this adventure. And if you can't or won't do that, just leave the engine where it is and do something else.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:25:05 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

7 tons = 14,000 lbs, so at an absolute minimum you are talking about a trailer with GVWR of 18,000 Lbs, and long enough to fit that engine, so probably a 30 ft'r. To pull that any new 1 ton chevy/ford/dodge diesel truck. And you will need to have a CDL to haul a load that heavy. If you are not driving a truck like that already you are probably better of paying someone to haul it.

Call any local heavy haul towing company and say "its not for sale, I want it delivered to X address" and hand over the cash. Have you found someone qualified to fix it? If so they probably know someone that can haul it.

You do realize those things are money pits?
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:50:01 AM
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ListerDiesel ListerDiesel is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

Most of the traction engine owners/operators in the UK either have their own haulage company to borrow a truck and low-loader semi from, or bring in a specialist to do it for them.

Same with repairs, boiler work etc, there are established specialists who service this relatively small market.

Peter
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:13:24 AM
thefrendlyghost thefrendlyghost is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

I already have a CDL. (Class B, but I can upgrade to Class A easily enough. The main differences are that you have a trailer and you have to take the turns wider. Yes, there's more weight when loaded also. My current Class B CDL has Air Brake, Passenger, and School Bus endorsements, and right now I have an automatic transmission restriction. But, I do know how to use a clutch.)

I don't need anyone to tell me that I'm foolish for trying. I need information, but I am quite capable of doing this. I just need to know if a 5 ton truck can pull the load. I'll have Dad verify that it's actually a 5 ton truck before I even consider using it. The truck used to have a wooden cage on the back, but that's so rotted it won't be difficult to remove. Then it's simply a matter of bolting on some plate steel to hold the hitch plate for the 5th wheel. And like I said, that's all only if the truck is worth using to begin with. I would rather just sell the truck and use something else, but I don't own the truck. Nor do I own the steamer yet. Everything is in Dad's name, so he makes the decisions.

As far as waving a bucket of cash at a hauling company, that could be a one-time thing, but I don't want to do that every time we move the engine. Dad owns two properties, and we will probably transport the engine between them every year. I don't want to hire a company to do that for us annually.

As for actually loading the engine and "breaking it free," I'm not too concerned about that either. Every year since it was parked, I have gone out and manually cycled the engine several cycles. I turned the flywheel by hand about three strokes of the engine every season. I know that the mechanical parts are all free on the engine. I don't have the strength to turn the flywheel with the drive wheels engaged, so the hubs might give a little trouble, but they were always properly greased, so I'm not too worried about that.

The biggest problem I anticipate when loading the engine is the fact that the rear wheels have sunk down about 6 inches. I've kept the soil from getting into the wheels, but they have made a bit of a rut to pull it out of.

As for going down the road, the engine is parked on property next to a county highway, so the road can support the load. There are no bridges between the property and the nearest Federal highway. Also, there aren't any major hills between the property and the Federal highway.

So, I go back my original questions. What trailer do I need, and is a 5 ton truck enough to pull it? (Thank you Dalmatiangirl for the weight information. I'm really looking for a trailer type recommendation. Is a low trailer with a removable gooseneck the best type? Or what else works well? I saw someone else asking (and receiving the scorn of some members here) about using the frame from an old trailer house. That seems a little flimsy to me, but if it works, we have a trailer house where the house part is already falling apart. I'd be happy to scrap it out to use as a hauling trailer, even if I need to buy new wheels and tires.

For a shop, I'm thinking about Lund Machine Works out in Iowa.

---------- Post added at 09:13:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:51:21 AM ----------

Oops. Lund Machine Works is in Minnesota, not Iowa. Where is that edit button?
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:02:09 AM
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Beth V Beth V is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

Nate,

Interesting thread, I'm glad you are looking for information. Pictures of the engine and the Chevy would really make this discussion easier. I won't debate the viability of the Chevy because I don't know its condition and capabilities.

Here's my perspective as a steam engine owner, steam engine hauler, CDL holder (everything but haz & school bus,) farmer's daughter & wife, and more:

For small engines, I like Ken's set up with the Dodge & heavy trailer (skid loader). Make sure you have power to pull and above all: power to stop safely! Make sure you have DOT approved chains and have at least 6 on the engine-all 4 corners plus front & back. Keep in mind that some states may make you pull into the weigh station. Be prepared for an inspection.

This would be my partial list based on the engines we have hauled.
  • Wooden Deck--if steel, cover with belting that is attached to the trailer.
  • WINCH!!! Always use a winch when possible because you can control the load.
  • Saddle the engine. Using the winch pull the engine up on the blocks so it is about 1 inch off of the trailer, block the rear and let it settle into the blocks. This minimizes rocking. Keep in mind that the engine will settle down into the blocks and you'll need to check your chains.
  • Use at least 6 high tensile (DOT reg) chains-all 4 corners plus front & rear. If using snap or over the center binders, wire the handles.
  • Check your chains about a mile down the road and again especially if you have rough roads. You'll be surprised on how they loosen.
  • I prefer never to put the wheels up against the gooseneck or beaver tail. Some prefer it that way, but I'm not a fan.
  • I prefer to haul with water in the boiler as I was always taught it helps cushion the tubes. Other folks prefer hauling dry.
  • DOT check the trailer if it isn't yours. Use a creeper to run the underside looking for bad cross members, faulty wiring, brake lines, etc. Check the tires especially if you are hauling heavy or in heat.
  • Watch for tree limbs. They will take out a stack or a governor if you hit them just right.
  • Be prepared for gawkers. They are a hazard.
  • Make sure everything on the platform is secure from oil cans, coal, wood, tools, tool boxes, bunkers, tanks, pokers, etc. You'll be surprised what will fly.
  • Make sure the smokebox and firebox doors are securely closed.
  • Make sure the water tanks are empty and secure! DOT will stop you if you have spray (believe me...they thought I had a hot brake.) You can also crack castings.

Check out these threads in the Steam Forum:

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showt...hlight=Hauling

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showt...hlight=Hauling

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showt...hlight=Hauling

Personally, I prefer our Kenworth with the folding gooseneck double drop lowboy as shown here with my 24 hp Port Huron and then my niece's 20-75 Nichols & Shepard. Both engines are overwidth as you can see by the flags.



The last is our tilt bed single drop lowboy with the 16 Reeves with water wagon and the Polaris.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:55:53 PM
thefrendlyghost thefrendlyghost is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

Thanks, Beth.

As for an update: I'm now a Class A CDL holder; I'm currently employed by Schneider in their Van Truckload division. I may switch to Flatbed work at some point, but I'm leaning more towards doing Teams with a cousin.

As for the Chevy; I don't think it's likely to happen. I spoke with Dad, and he said he never did the title transfer on it, so it's still titled in the name of the previous owner in PA. (Said title was destroyed in our house fire in 2005.) I don't know if it's even possible to find the previous owner, or if he's still alive.

Schneider has a lot of Class A trucks for sale, so I might just buy one of them instead of trying to mess around with the Chevy.

If I can ever remember to do it all, I'll take pictures of the Chevy, and of the 45hp Case, then post the pictures here.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:31:41 PM
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

I will be honest,I am glad to see a person take the time to ask questions about something they want to learn about so accidents are less prone to happen. It would be a shame to go out to try this without asking and risk damage.I refrain from essentially calling someone dumb for asking on something like this. better safe than sorry.
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:38:27 AM
thefrendlyghost thefrendlyghost is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

Another update:

I'm now driving flatbed, so I'm getting used to strapping things down. Also, I finally remembered to take some pictures of both the Chevy truck and the steamer. It was after dark when I took pictures of the CASE, so please pardon the low quality.
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:41:49 AM
thefrendlyghost thefrendlyghost is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

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Old 04-20-2019, 11:07:31 AM
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Tom Stockton Tom Stockton is offline
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Default Re: What trailer(s) can haul a 1911 45hp CASE steam engine? What trailer is best?

If you do buy or borrow a used trailer, be sure the tires are rated to handle your gross load (engine + trailer), &
that the tires are newish, not elderly. These issues are behind some of the hauling troubles I've seen over the years.
I had a once had a problem of my tires throwing treads. After some research, I discovered that tires lose about 10%
capacity every year. I now buy new trailer tires on a schedule, rather than based on tread wear.
No more tread separation.
You can see when they were manufactured by looking for the date code.
(It's usually on the inboard side...in order to maximize the inconvenience)
Here's a guide....
https://www.tirebuyer.com/education/...-of-your-tires
More things which help tire capacity...
Slower speed
Proper inflation
Don't scrub sidewalls on curbs.

Btw, tread separation is exciting.
It rips apart fenders & anything else sticking out on the side of the trailer.
At night, I could see a shower of sparks from the steel belts.
During the day, I left a nasty trail of billowing smoke.
A friend had it happen to his motor home, & it ripped all that flimsy structure to shreds.
What fun, eh.
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