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Thread: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

  1. #1
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    Default You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    This morning, while running errands, I see a trailered boat in the oncoming lane with the Bimini and enclosure still up, with the windows half-zipped flapping in the wind beating the hell out of the zippers.

    Sigh. ah yes, it's that time of year, between now and Memorial Day the roads will be full of twice-a-year trailer guys limping their way to the launch ramp.

    On my return trip 15 minutes later I pull into a gas station, and there's the guy, making a feeble attempt at lashing up the Bimini with bungee cords.

    yeesh, that truck is only a 1500? that looks like a lotta boat. 25'-ish searay somethingorother. The tongue weight doesn't look excessive, though.
    So I look a little closer. The trailer is 2-3' too short (hence the light tongue), with Maine plates.
    One of the bungees goes flying, I instinctively go fetch it and toss it back up to the guy.
    Now the Lady of the Yacht returns from paying the fuel bill, mistakes me for an admirer, and remarks something to the effect of how it looks great until you have to buy gas 100 gallons at a time...

    I don't make a habit of breaking peoples' balls on a beautiful Saturday morning, but on this particular case, I blurted out "yeah.... but you were overweight BEFORE you added the fuel, weren't you?"

    Averting his gaze because he knew I was right, the guy replies "nah, the trucks good for 8000, the boat is only 7000"

    Well, maybe.
    Maybe a 2005-ish dodge 1500 is rated 8000. Maybe the boat is listed at 7.
    But 7 is the dry weight, which is always BS, and it now has a belly full of fuel, so let's say the boat is 8. Add 1200lbs of trailer and you're overweight.
    We all know these weight ratings are somewhat fudgey, but the Maine plates tell me that you didn't want to bother with CT DMV inspection, which makes me wonder about your brakes on this trailer which is undersized for the boat.
    And that yellow nylon strap is four years old and was only good for 2000lb when new.

    Now, of course I don't KNOW any of that. But I do.

    We're 15 miles from the nearest launch ramp, the first mile or so is fairly steep downhill.

    What do you do?
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    You're not fixing that set of problems. Don't get involved.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    We all have to live with the lies we tell ourself. I'm on a motorcycle, so I just keep my distance.

    regards,
    Joe
    These days, everything I do is just "puttering around"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    You can rely on the old saying that god looks after fools and drunkards then because you are not god, give him a wide berth...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    I think you drew his attention to the problem pretty clearly, just in case he wasn't aware of it. He presumably was and has decided to chance it. I don't think there's much more you can do, unless you are a good guy with a gun.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Better than the schmuck I saw today at a gas station who put 300 gallons of in to a fishing rod holder built in to the gunnel/washdeck right next to the fuel fill that he had unscrewed the cover from.

    Guy wanted to just get some cans and try to transfer. I called the cops and the fire department.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    I think you drew his attention to the problem pretty clearly, just in case he wasn't aware of it. He presumably was and has decided to chance it. I don't think there's much more you can do, unless you are a good guy with a gun.
    Which is usually my approach. Speak up if there's an opportunity, lotta leeway if not.

    I have flagged folks down to let them know of an issue. Low tire. Bearing on the verge. One time, about 20' of line dragging behind. Etc.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    I think even more so I really don’t get the guys who don’t strap the boat to the trailer,...... really?!?!?!?

    A couple of of months ago on the highway I passed a refer truck and realized one of the straps for the belly tank (for the refrigerator compressor engine) was broken and the tank was hanging by only one strap. I signaled the guys in the truck and got them to pull over. Even though they didn’t speak English they seemed appreciative.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Better than the schmuck I saw today at a gas station who put 300 gallons of in to a fishing rod holder built in to the gunnel/washdeck right next to the fuel fill that he had unscrewed the cover from.

    Guy wanted to just get some cans and try to transfer. I called the cops and the fire department.
    That takes the cake.
    -Dave

  10. #10
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    I think even more so I really don’t get the guys who don’t strap the boat to the trailer,...... really?!?!?!?

    A couple of of months ago on the highway I passed a refer truck and realized one of the straps for the belly tank (for the refrigerator compressor engine) was broken and the tank was hanging by only one strap. I signaled the guys in the truck and got them to pull over. Even though they didn’t speak English they seemed appreciative.
    they appreciated alright , that you did not call the effin cops

  11. #11
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    A couple of guys borrowed my brother's tractor (Ford 1910 - about 4000 lbs with loader & bushhog). They loaded it on my 20' double axle trailer & headed merrily down the road. Thing was, they hooked it to a small Toyota pickup (the older style - smaller than a Tacoma) that had no electric brake controller. Going downhill to the first sharp turn 3/8 mile from our driveway, they put on the brakes, and the trailer just pushed that little truck sideways, the trailer went into the ditch & rolled 90 degrees. Not only was the tractor all banged up, but it torqued my trailer so that 1 corner was about 10" higher than the others. We won't go into their asking if that was a big deal when I pointed it out - they were more concerned about the back of the pickup being torqued about the same amount.

    Then there was the contractor near me who "only had to haul the excavator a couple of miles" & never bothered to chain it down. Didn't that make a mess of the road when it flipped off on a corner!

    Many people have no appreciation of the forces involved. Trailer & load are heavier than the towing vehicle? No big deal. Chain down a load? That's for wimps. Trailer brakes? Those are for wimps too.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  12. #12
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Better than the schmuck I saw today at a gas station who put 300 gallons of in to a fishing rod holder built in to the gunnel/washdeck right next to the fuel fill that he had unscrewed the cover from.

    Guy wanted to just get some cans and try to transfer. I called the cops and the fire department.
    And you were standing close enough to see what he did! I hope you ran away before making your calls.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    You let him know. You did the right thing.

    Calling the cops? I don't know.What is obvious to you as an experienced trailer boater may not be obvious to the cop who shows up. If his registration is good and the lights work, he'd probably be sent on his way.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    I did not actually see it. I'd just pulled up to pumps at another island and heard the action. I told people to turn off EVERYTHING. Walked into the store and told the clerk to get the pumps off, and from a safe distance made my calls. Then I went back out and got the people with the boat calmed down enough to simply do nothing till the FD arrived. Happily, their truck was off. Most people are good about turning off their cars at self-serve gas stations. Not so good about not using cell phones.

    I did not hang out to see how the situation was resolved. Once the FD was present, I had nothing useful to add and they said it was safe for me to drive off.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    I still see people smoking around gas pumps. Good thing no one decided to light s cigarette.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    I remember many years ago getting a hint.

    Rented a Bobcat. When I showed up at the rental outfit with my baby Nissan... they looked at me funny, but hooked me up. It only took about 30 seconds to realize I had a tiger by the tail, and shift into 'baby steps' mode. Made it to the jobsite ok. But at the end of the day, when I was running the little beastie back up onto the trailer, I was tired. So I forgot to put the trailer jack in place.

    As I moved forward, the tongue went down with a clunk, taking the hitch hard to the pavement with it, and lifting the nose of that baby truck right up into the air. Well... after I backed up and put the jack in place - Take Two went ok. And the slow trip back to the rental joint went ok. And my knuckles eventually regained some color. And the audience for it all eventually stopped laughing.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    In the local steel suppliers and a Municipal van was picking up a big bundle of tubes. It was craned onto the van, were it crushed the roof rack onto the roof. They then, having settled the bill, drove off. The manager suggested they might tie it down, they said 'we are are only going into the town' about 3km. The manager and I looked at each other and could not believe it. It was multiples of the safe load for a rack, and not tied down??? OK, it was back in the late 90s and in Portugal, but even so , beggers belief about any safe practice.
    As an idea, If a load projected 6" outside your car or trailer, then you got fined. So these guys should have got ten yrs in the pen. But,they worked for the state, so immune.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    I like to boat midweek whenever possible. Less of everything out there.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    I like to boat midweek whenever possible. Less of everything out there.

    Except us crazy old coot retired guys who are "speeding" along in our 16' sailboats. Watch out!

    Jeff

  20. #20
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    DSCF2631.jpgDetroit hasn't got the balls to be anything but conservative about consumer truck capacity. You ought'ta know that. Now the truck pictured here is a Dodge 2500 Diesel, listed for either 12,000 lbs, or 16,000 lbs, depending on which tranny oil cooler is installed, and the trailer GVW is 4,200 lbs. The rig has enough miles logged to equal "coast to coast" several times over.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    We're 15 miles from the nearest launch ramp, the first mile or so is fairly steep downhill.

    What do you do?
    You make sure you're not the car in front of him going down that hill.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I remember many years ago getting a hint.

    Rented a Bobcat. When I showed up at the rental outfit with my baby Nissan... they looked at me funny, but hooked me up. It only took about 30 seconds to realize I had a tiger by the tail, and shift into 'baby steps' mode. Made it to the jobsite ok. But at the end of the day, when I was running the little beastie back up onto the trailer, I was tired. So I forgot to put the trailer jack in place.

    As I moved forward, the tongue went down with a clunk, taking the hitch hard to the pavement with it, and lifting the nose of that baby truck right up into the air. Well... after I backed up and put the jack in place - Take Two went ok. And the slow trip back to the rental joint went ok. And my knuckles eventually regained some color. And the audience for it all eventually stopped laughing.
    When smart and lucky are inversely proportionate.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    Detroit hasn't got the balls to be anything but conservative about consumer truck capacity. You ought'ta know that...
    Yes.
    If he were merely overweight but doing everything else right I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

    The fueling was the thing that really rubbed me the wrong way.
    Overweight, unnecessary windage, bad balance on a questionable trailer, and you’re ADDING FLAMMABLE WEIGHT just to save $10?
    I used to fuel ashore instead of at the dock to save money too, but I did it 1/8 mile from the ramp. Why beat up the boat?

    We eyeballed each other for a minute, I noticed the newly-applied name on the boat (“unusual suspects”) and concluded that he was a cop so calling them wouldn’t do anything.
    I urged him to be really REALLY careful, and left. From the look on HER face, he wasn’t going to be leadfooting.

    Later, I rather wished I had made the call anyway.
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    When smart and lucky are inversely proportionate.
    Boy Howdy
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  25. #25
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    Default Re: You see an overweight trailer.... What do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Better than the schmuck I saw today at a gas station who put 300 gallons of in to a fishing rod holder built in to the gunnel/washdeck right next to the fuel fill that he had unscrewed the cover from.

    Guy wanted to just get some cans and try to transfer. I called the cops and the fire department.
    Stand back and video the fun. From a safe distance of course, like from another gas station across the street ‘cause I sure and s**t wouldn’t have stayed at that one!
    Last edited by Reynard38; 05-07-2018 at 06:58 AM.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

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