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Trucks, Trailers and Hauling for Shows

What trailer do I need to haul my engines?


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  #1  
Old 05-26-2011, 03:49:09 PM
Karl T Schwab Karl T Schwab is offline
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Default What trailer do I need to haul my engines?

Gentlemen; My friend Leo wants to purchase a new open trailer that would be dedicated to hauling all four of his McCormick-Deering "M" engines. They are, a 10, 6, 3 and 2hp models. These engines would be bolted to this trailer and taken to local engine shows and run. As of this writting, the total weight of these engines is unknown but I guess it to be about 7,000 lbs. What should Leo be looking for in his trailer purchase that would safely carry this heavy load? Leo lives in the Port Huron, MI area. Leo, would appreciate all suggestions. Karl T.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:31:57 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: What trailer do I need to haul my engines?

The smallest M is a 11/2 HP, weighs in at about 325 pounds. The 3 HP goes for about 560, the 6 about 800 and the 10, about 1100. You are talking about 2805 pounds, without accessories (oil, gas, Kero[if you use it], and tools), if my guestimates are close. My 3500# capacity single axel trailer weighs in at about 1400 pounds, dry. It is made of 2" angle iron, 3" channell iron and has a 2x8 deck, laid flat. It has 15" tires, trailer rated 8 ply, high speed. It has a 12 x 8'6" deck, with a tilt body, although I usually use a 10' set of ramps and a permanantly mounted electric winch for loading.

My guess is that you will need at least a cless 3 hitch, twin axels (3500 pound rating each) and a heavy frame (not the cheap home despot thinwall stuff either, if you want it to last). Full brakes on all 4 tires as well, either hydraulic or electric, and perhaps a load levelling system as well to help carry the load. An 8'6"x14' heavy duty trailer probably would be the size you need. The 10 and 6 HP in front, the 11/2 behind the 10, and the 3 behind the 6 to help distribute the load. the engines need to be balanced on the trailer, in a way that they do not exceed the tongue weight limit on both the trailer and the hitch assembly. Otherwise you risk leaving the trailer behind or under the tow vehicle, if something breaks loose!

What is he going to tow with? You need a vehicle that will weigh at least 3 times the loaded trailer weight, if you want to maintain control over the load. You are not going to tow this load with a light weight truck or a small SUV. A 1500 series truck is pushing it, a 2500 (3/4 ton) or larger would be better for handling the weight. You will also need the biggest engine available. to avoid driveline strain. As an example, a friend tried to tow an oil field engine with a Chevy S-10 SUV. He bought the truck new. In 7 months, he blew 5 transmissions (one didn't last 20 miles, towing the engine). That poor truck also blew an engine, broke the rear springs twice, and totally burned out its brakes twice as well (one time actually melted the front rotors when the trailer brakes failed on a hill). He also had 4 accidents in wet weather, when the weight of the trailer pushed the truck out of its way when roads were wet. Needless to say, it finally got traded in for a Chevy W-20 Suburban 4 WD, with a 454 engine! End of problems!

Do not skimp and get a light weight trailer. Besides being unsafe with that heavy a load, you may end up breaking it on the road (stress fractures in the light weight tubular frame), dropping your engines in the street!
Andrew
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:58:50 PM
Don Selmer Don Selmer is offline
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Default Re: What trailer do I need to haul my engines?

Remember one important thing. You can haul a small load on a Big trailer, but NEVER a heavy load on a small trailer without asking for trouble. Go bigger than you think the estimated weight is of all the engines plus the trailer. Remember that one small problem hauling on the road IS NOT WORTH IT !!!!!
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:47:13 PM
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Junkologist Junkologist is offline
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Default Re: What trailer do I need to haul my engines?

I would get a nice tandem axle 16' 7000lb gvw trailer with brakes on one axle. Don't even look at the cheap trailers with the angle iron railings on the sides. They are flimsy and only good for hauling atvs. I had one of those trailers and by the time I got done strapping down all my engines the trailer was so distorted I couldn't latch the ramp gate!
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:59:21 PM
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ListerDiesel ListerDiesel is offline
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Default Re: What trailer do I need to haul my engines?

I'd go for brakes on two axles, in fact we can't have braked and unbraked axles on the trailer in the UK.

Because the US regulations are so different to the UK, and the vehicles also, it's difficult to make any firm recommendations, but certainly always buy larger than today's needs, you'll soon find things to fill it up.

Towing vehicle ditto. Our Discovery has a rated trailer towing weight of 3500kg which is 7700# and has the V8 engine with manual gearbox, braking is discs all round.

Parking and storage is another thing to think about, our new trailer/RV is nearly 20ft long and we have concreted over part of our frontage to park it on.

Peter
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:40:05 AM
Karl T Schwab Karl T Schwab is offline
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Default Re: What trailer do I need to haul my engines?

Thanks to all of you guys that have responded to this topic and your suggestions, are well taken! My friend Leo that I am trying to help out here, has a motorhome. It has a 454 engine (gas) and right now, I would have to guess on its length, perhpaps about 20 to 24' range. I asked Leo to read his owners manual on this motorhome or contact the manufacture for further towing recommendations. Thanks again guys and have a great engine summer! Karl T.
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