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Old 03-05-2006, 01:26 PM
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Default Loading your tractor onto your trailer.

After reading about a guy getting killed while loading his tractor onto his trailer, I thought I'd share a story of a near disaster I had while loading one of my tractors a few years back. Maybe most people realize this, but I didn't, but did you know that it doesn't take a very heavy tractor to raise the rear wheels of your tow vehicle enough to get everything rolling downhill as you are loading your tractor? It happened a while back, but here is what happened. Maybe someone can possibly be spared injury or worse from my bonehead experience.

I'd had tractors before, but never had a trailer. I had a bumper pull 7000 pound trailer and a JD 870 tractor. My trailer had 4' long, pretty heavy, steel ramps. I put the ramps on the trailer and jumped on my tractor (not bothering to use the seat belt - I was only going 20', right?) and began up the ramps.

Apparently the truck and trailer were on a bit of an incline up my driveway. As the tractor mashed the end of the trailer to the ground while I drove up onto it, the trailer picked the rear tires of my pickup off of the ground. That sent everything in motion. The truck, trailer, tractor with me on it, began rolling down the driveway rather quickly. Not only was everything picking up speed, but going sideways off of the driveway towards a ditch.

What do I do? Backup and let the pickup tires drop back to the ground and hope it stops, or go forward as fast as I can and try to put weight on the trailer tongue and get the pickup tires back on the ground?! In the split second, I mashed the foot throttle to the floor and moved as quickly as I could on up the trailer. I drove all the way to the front of the trailer and the pickup tires came back down with plenty of tongue weight, but I was already off of the driveway and in grass. I kept sliding, albeit slower. I was helpless to do anything else.

The trailer went into the ditch and jambed into the far side. My tractor, with me still on it, slid all the way to the end of the trailer and my back tires hit the far side incline of the ditch. The front tires of the tractor raised up about two feet before dropping back down. Holy crap did that scare me!!! I had to get another guy with a large tractor to get everything out of the ditch. I gladly listened to his lecture about putting jack stands or something under the rear of a trailer when loading a tractor.

I still see guys loading their tractor, or car for that matter, on a trailer and have the trailer lift the rear tires of their pickup off of the ground. It is only those rear tires that are keeping everything from rolling. If your ramps are not designed to keep the rear of your trailer from going down when you load your tractor, please carry some jackstands or some wood blocks to brace under the trailer when you load. Trust me, it's no fun when everything takes off and you can't do anything about it. I was very lucky.
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Loading your tractor onto your trailer.

Good info Dargo. I for one had not thought of that. What a wild ride that would have been. Glad you came out of it in one piece!

If you had tried to back down off of the trailer, you might have been run over if the truck had any momentum at all.
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: Loading your tractor onto your trailer.

Dargo, Good to hear you didn't get hurt. I also have a high trailer (18" 20") with independant ramps. While loading my L3710 Kubota with FEL & BH, a fairly heavy combo, I didn't like the way it was raising the back of my truck. It never occured to me that the wheels could leave the ground, luckily that never happened. I still wanted a remedy so I took my trailer to a friend who is a professional welder and very savy. What he did was weld two 8" peices of 2" pipe to the back of the trailer inside are two peices of smaller pipe that slide up and down. He welded pads on the bottom of the inside pipes to keep them from digging into soft ground and drilled 3 holes thru both pipes so I can put a tow receiver pin thru at different heights to adjust distance from the ground. It's very simple but works very well.
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