A safety warning for loading trailers

From: GOTAM35 (gotam35@sc.rr.com)
Date: Wed Feb 26 2003 - 08:57:39 PST

I'm home sick today and thought I would share an experience I had the other
day. The point to this story is if your using a trailer to haul your MV, be
careful loading it.

I parked my F-350 truck, 5 ton trailer attached, on a slight, very slight
decline (down hill). I had unloaded the mini-excavator a few lots down the
street on level ground. It was the end of the day and most folks had left
the area and I dropped my ramps, checked the park brake and started to
SLOWLY pull the excavator on the trailer. I always load it slowly to give
the trailer and truck a break.

As I started up the ramps the truck and trailer moved slightly forward.
This allowed the ramps to kick up and let the back of the trailer move down.
This allowed the front of the trailer to move up, taking the rear axle of
the truck with it. Did I mention the park brakes are on the rear axle?

Much to my surprise I found myself and the equipment moving down the road.
That's ok when I am driving, unacceptable at this point. I quickly swung
the boom of the excavator around and slammed it into the ground. Everything
stopped. I them chocked the truck and trailer wheels with a couple of
bricks and finished loading. It didn't shake me too bad, but the dude
walking by the trailer was a little excited.

After talking to my Father and brother, it turns out they had did the same
thing years ago loading tractors. They had not shared this information with
me earlier. That's why I am sharing it with everyone on the list. I would
hate for anyone to ruin a perfectly good MV acquisition by taking an
unexpected trip into the back of another vehicle when you pick it up.

Joe Trapp

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