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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I left saturday morning for a weekend of four-wheeling in upper Michigan. Truck is in sig, trailer was an aluminum 2-place side-loader, 7x8, loaded with 2 Polaris Sportsmans. I was tired from staying up too late packing the night before, and was having trouble staying awake about 2 hours into the trip. I decided on the "scenic route", as it looked shorter distance-wise, and it would keep me awake. This took us on MN210 through Jay Cook State Park. (SE of Duluth, MN) It is a beautiful drive on a winding road next to a whitewater river.

However, it seems our (impotent) legislature has spent too much money on their choo-choo-toy to fix the outstate highways. Lemme tell you- this road was ROUGH.

We had traveled 12-15 miles on this road when I felt something funny. Looked in the rear-view, and the trailer looked upset. I thought "It's come uncoupled!" then I instantly went through the hook-up in my head and reassured myself the the safety cables were properly attached. Now to get this thing safely on the shoulder- gently... easy... check the driver's side-view...
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif
There goes my trailer- crossing the road, sans-toungue. I promptly shouldered the truck, while watching the trailer in my sideview. The trailer dropped down on the front of the bed and slid straight into the opposite ditch. The front of the trailer dug in to the soft ground and the tires came off the ground. (Cartoon bubble in my head of tumbling trailer and disintegrating ATVs) Well, rather than tumbling to oblivion, it simply stood up on its nose, teetered, and set back down on the tires.

We got out to find the toungue still attached to the ball, and two ATVs perched on a now-uselss trailer. The Mrs. and I made it to the back of the truck at the same time, looked at the toungue, then at each other and she comes out with "Man, we don't even have a camera!" followed by "Good thing you tie those down like you do!" (Her brother teases me for being a bit anal when it comes to tie-downs.)

The solution involved loading the wheelers into the truck and shuttling them to the ranger station one-at-a-time, then back to the trailer, which was loaded upside-down on the truck and hauled 2hours back to town. Got dinner and a friends trailer, headed back out, loaded the machines and had a delightful weekend. Didn't get to the cabin in the U.P. until 2am, but had fun nonetheless.

I don't know what the moral of the story is, as there was no warning of this impending doom. If I hadn't driven on this abusive road, it may not have happened when it happened, but it may have instead happened on I35, going 70-something rather than the 20-or-less I was traveling at the time.
 

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Ive seen quite a few of them break at the toungue. Usually enclosed trailers. Hot air balloon trailers getting dragged through the desert every day takes a toll on the welds. These welds were probably broke a while ago, these roads just finished the job. I ALWAYS have a second set of chains that I put from the attachment where the chains meet the toungue to somewhere where the frame rails are parallel. I drill a hole and bolt it in. I also make routine checks to the welds on the trailer. Now that it has happened to you, you will see this about twice a year to someone on the side of the road.

Im glad you (and your bikes) were safe.

Rollie
 

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Yep only been passed ONCE by FULLY loaded trailer. IIRC 10K lbs. pumper pull. Hitch broke clean off underneeth. Winter and trailer is passing me on left/long slow hill. Lucky for me this was my youth and I was driving a farm type tractor. (it was a gravity box) I put the front tire of tractor infront of rear trailer tire and GENTLY slowed/stoped it. Then I unhooked the hitch of that box that was hanging on the rear hitch of the FIRST loaded box. Yep doubles.
I also often try to find a place to hook a (log) chain solid to frame/wrap around hitch/then to truck. (couple half hitches around tounge)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, it seems this was one of Newman's early 2-place sideloaders. The tongue had two holes drilled in it vertically, just in front of the bed of the trailer, about 6-8" apart. The dealer I purchased from seems to think that this tongue also had an application for a tilt-bed trailer, which is th reason for those holes. Well, it broke right across the rear hole. I tend to think that it *may* have created a weak spot... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif We'll see what Newmans comes up with for taking care of it- the trailer is about a year outside its warranty, but this is unacceptable. They'll get a fair shot at making it right before it's time to get nasty.
 

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Keep us updated about this. If possible post pics and then phone/internet address of company. I will be happy to send them a e-mail that any future trailer I look at will NOT be their brand if they don't stand behind them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the offer, but I'm gonna keep that ace in the hole for now. The company is Newmans, they make SledBed, TredBed, and some other aluminum trailers. We'll see how they respond before I call for an all-out offensive! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif I do need to get some pix, though... I'll get on it fer ya.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, the dealer called me this morning and said that Newman's is going to take care of the repairs. "Repairs" involves replacing the tongue, as best I can tell. I'm not sure I trust this trailer anymore, it may be for sale soon. I have a call in to Newmans directly, as I'm interested in some of the design parameters of this rig and whether or not I'm outside them. I shouldn't be, as its a 2200# axle, ~400# trailer, and two machines no more than 750# each, leaving me about 100# of fluff. Again, I'll update you with my findings and will post pix as soon as my brother emails them to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I spoke with a very helpful fellow at Newman's, who is interested in seeing my trailer. The drilled tongue was from a 1-place tilt-bed snowmobile trailer, and should not have been on my trailer. I told him of the previous repairs that were made to the trailer, and of the new cracks that were showing up here He told me that if I bring it to them (only a 1.5 hr trip) they will replace the tongue with one that they are are testing for a heavier 2-place trailer to deal with the 700-800cc class machines. I guess its wider and taller than the current tongue, and wont have the vertical holes in it.

My gallery has some pics of the damaged trailer.

All-in-all, kudos to Newman's for how it has been handled so far, I don't forsee any trouble getting this made right.
 
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