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Thread: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

  1. #1
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    Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Saw this this morning.


    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.2360664

    One dead, one in the hospital. Hitch was supposedly "modified". Who knows if this was simply a case of not hooking up properly, or a case of someone doing something they shouldn't have. Sad no matter what the reason that someone had to die and another get seriously injured on something that could probably have been prevented.
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    I don't see any safety chains in the photo. Tragic.

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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    People and trailers always amaze me!
    My brother-n-law tows his boat with out trailer brakes! Says the 1/2-ton 1970s low rider pickup has enough brakes for both!
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Looks like the trailer tongue was cut short. That's probably where the chains went.
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Quote Originally Posted by CEP View Post
    People and trailers always amaze me!
    My brother-n-law tows his boat with out trailer brakes! Says the 1/2-ton 1970s low rider pickup has enough brakes for both!
    Those trucks barely had enough brakes for themselves...
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    So right on no chains. Also pintle/ball hitch-not bad, but you gots to know what you're doing..

    The loading winch for the boat was in poor shape too.

    The driver had better be hit with plenty of tickets! And the family of the younger woman should sue him!
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldendum View Post
    Looks like the trailer tongue was cut short. That's probably where the chains went.
    Good eye. Likely so he could fit it in his parking spot.

    Crazy thing... it appears they are hooking it back up to the same vehicle it escaped from. I'm surprised they didn't have a wrecker impound it.

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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Quote Originally Posted by Gravel View Post
    Those trucks barely had enough brakes for themselves...
    Yeah no kidding!
    He just tore the automatic transmission out of his truck, so heíll be off the road for awhile.
    I told him you get in a wreck without brakes, and kill someone theyíll throw you under the jail!
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Quote Originally Posted by forhire View Post
    Good eye. Likely so he could fit it in his parking spot.

    Crazy thing... it appears they are hooking it back up to the same vehicle it escaped from. I'm surprised they didn't have a wrecker impound it.
    They are probably trying to determine how it failed. The housing or locking plate that secures to the ball could have stretched or the nut that adjusted the clamping force may have been lose or out of adjustment
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    That's what I was guessing as well. They are looking to determine how everything was originally hooked up in that pict.

    Winch I assume was damaged in the accident. Might have hit a tree or pole bringing the trailer to a stop. I'd noticed the lack of chains, but was thinking maybe they had pulled loose from the trailer tongue as one possibility.
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Quote Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
    The driver had better be hit with plenty of tickets! And the family of the younger woman should sue him!
    He'll probably get hit with vehicular manslaughter and they'll let it go at that. If he was a commercial driver, he'd be getting nailed as well for an unsecured load at a minimum and then they'd hit him with every vehicular and trailer defect they could ticket him for and then keep loading it on. The average Joe will get a walk on all those other issues.
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    True story, I saw a clown here in GA towing a trailer, had a bungee cord wrapped around the hitch and over the top of the tongue.. I look all over for a cop, I really wanted to bust the guy. I never follow a Tommy trailer puller...
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Quote Originally Posted by CEP View Post
    People and trailers always amaze me!
    My brother-n-law tows his boat with out trailer brakes! Says the 1/2-ton 1970s low rider pickup has enough brakes for both!
    My dad and later the brother had a 1979 half ton (heavy half/big ten) chevy. Supposedly took an extra 500 pounds over the regular half ton. It had tiny brake drums on the rear and never stopped very well. Maybe, at the time, it was comparable to V8 cars. My brother was still driving it into the mid 1990s until the transmission gave out. No way would I want to tow much with it, even if the trailer had electric brakes. About the only thing it towed was an occasional cement mixer or jack hammer air compressor.

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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    A 22' Trophy should have had trailer brakes originally. The trailer is also made by the same mfr. as mine, "Escort Trailers". That coupler is NOT a braking coupler. The braking style couplers have larger bodies with an enclosed master cylinder. The one in the photo is only a coupler, and much smaller. They sometimes bolt up through the same hole patterns as brake actuators, or it can be re-drilled of course.

    It does not explain anything, but my estimation is that the trailer ran without brakes.
    (Oh, and safety chains normally attach by the same bolts as the coupler, in this instance.
    ~~
    One last thing, the braking coupler is always equipped with a break-away cable, to engage the brakes in case of the coupler releasing.)
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Quote Originally Posted by deafman View Post
    My dad and later the brother had a 1979 half ton (heavy half/big ten) chevy. Supposedly took an extra 500 pounds over the regular half ton. It had tiny brake drums on the rear and never stopped very well. Maybe, at the time, it was comparable to V8 cars. My brother was still driving it into the mid 1990s until the transmission gave out. No way would I want to tow much with it, even if the trailer had electric brakes. About the only thing it towed was an occasional cement mixer or jack hammer air compressor.
    I had a 2004 F-550, now that truck had a set of brakes on it! I now have a 2007 Dodge Ram 1-ton dual wheel truck. When I brought the Dodge home from the dealer, I almost missed my turn, brakes on this new truck suck!
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    I have seen three goofy trailer accidents happen here in Alabama in my lifetime. The last one was a 16 ft. trailer loaded the several oak and pine logs. The driver was pulling it with a 1//2 ton pickup and holding the tongue with a bolt straight through the bumper and cuff on the tongue of the trailer. Rubber strap holding bolt in bumper . Bolt jumped out trailer came loose and load of logs were kinda balanced when it passed the tow vehicle and was headed straight on into on coming traffic . Just as I thought it was going to kill the folks it was meeting the driver pulling the logs swerved to the left bumper his load of logs they turned off the road then traveled up a bank into a field and then the trailer cart wheeled and logs went everywhere. Scared the death out of me as I was following the log pulling driver.

    The fellow pulling the load of logs on the homemade trailer said he should have used two rubber straps. Freaked me out at the mentality.

    However about a year or so ago a lady was arrested for hauling a large cardboard box on the top of her car Down highway 431 because it was to large to go inside her car. Rest of the story she had her young daughter riding on top holding the box down to the top of car by laying on the box. Yea I know Alabama I really wanted to see her tag she must have been from out of state.

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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    My Dad had trophy and it was around 21' long IIRC. The boat was definitely heavy enough to require brakes about >3K w/o the trailer. The trailer had surge brakes and had a humped up part right behind the coupler for the surge mechanism. The cuppler itself had a big hexagonal knob on the top to tighten down on the ball, not a coupler with the the latch. The coupler was galvanized like the rest of the trailer not black, and of course it had safety chains. I would say that that has been worked on by a hack and I believe that the chains were thru bolted in the surge coupler to trailer connection. The worst part about this is that is such a preventable accident.
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    The problem with not having brakes on the trailer is not the braking power of the truck. It is that if a large dump truck taking debris from a job site goes over a hill, and dumps a mess of tree stumps in the road. You have a trailer and come over the hill, when you apply the brakes and swerve for the debris, the truck rear swings out like a fishtail when you are under power, and you jackknife. The trailer supplies the power.

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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    An update (end of September). Good video of trailers coming loose:

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2015/09/2...ord-from-nypd/
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    good idea about crossing the chains. i don't pull a trailer but go fishing with my brother in law in florida. he pulls his small boat and i will be e-mailing him that clip right now.
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    Re: Boat trailer comes loose, kills one

    Actually there is a website dedicated to reporting and improving trailer safety. http://www.dangeroustrailers.org
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