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  #1  
Old 07-12-2013, 11:31 PM
rjkfsm rjkfsm is offline
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Default A frightening experience

So, I was traveling from Charleston, SC to St Robert, MO. I had about 500lbs in the bed of my truck (07 1500 Hemi) and I was pulling a 4,000lb trailer with a tongue weight of ~600lbs.

I was climbing the 7% grade just west of Ashville, NC on I-40 in the rain. As I was climbing, the grade slowed me down more and more and I pushed on the gas pedal more and more. I had taken the truck out of overdrive before even starting up the grade and as I slowed below 45mph, the truck downshifted. Suddenly, both back tires broke traction and the whole truck fishtailed. I found myself looking out the passenger window as I went down the highway. I steered into it, let off the gas, and tapped the brakes to help stop the spinning tires. This was a trick I learned from driving high horsepower Mustangs in the rainy Cascade Mountains just East of Seattle in my youth. The truck quickly straightened out but the trailer then fishtailed the other way due to the rapid correction, bringing the back of the truck around with it. I kept the front wheels pointed in the direction I wanted to go while the trailer and back end did two more swings.

I continued climbing at 30-35mph with no further traction losses. However, I passed two trailer pulling pickup trucks that had troubles as well. One was a dually Ford pulling two Harleys that went into a tree totaling all three vehicles. The other was an unknown make that put itself and a travel trailer on their sides in the breakdown lane.

I have never experienced anything like this before while towing. Has anyone else?

Russ
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:51 AM
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That sounded like a Disneyland 'E' ticket ride. Glad you're ok and just had to put on a new pair of shorts. The fact that 3 trucks did the same thing sounds fishy to me, specially with such light loads. What were the weather conditions? Could the road, perhaps, had a light mist on it bringing some oil to the surface?
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:38 AM
rjkfsm rjkfsm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerRamJet View Post
That sounded like a Disneyland 'E' ticket ride. Glad you're ok and just had to put on a new pair of shorts. The fact that 3 trucks did the same thing sounds fishy to me, specially with such light loads. What were the weather conditions? Could the road, perhaps, had a light mist on it bringing some oil to the surface?
It was a heavy pounding rain that had gone on for a while, so I think the oil had long since been washed off. The road was covered in a sheet of water flowing downhill and a lot of people were hydroplaning and swerving from hitting the grade at excessive speed. It was just towing vehicles that I saw wrecked.

Russ
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:45 AM
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I know exactly where you were when that happened and all I gotta say is sometimes you just have to slow down!

I don't know what gear ratio you have but my truck tries to do the same thing on that particular stretch of road as well. Reason why I ask what gear ratio is because my truck is able to hold gears for a very long time even under load thanks to my 3.92s. Just gotta slow down and take it easy.

I was pulling this car and a jeep on a different occasions...always seems to rain when I travel.

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Old 07-13-2013, 09:02 AM
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I also have a 3.92. I guess I was being too aggressive with the gias pedal trying to maintain some momentum.

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Old 07-13-2013, 09:51 AM
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That happened to me when I was pulling a Skid steer up a massive hill. I couldn't make it over, every time I'd get close to peak I'd start burning out. I had to unload the tractor and drive it over, then I was able to continue on.

For future reference, in your situation, I'd increase the tongue weight or even air down the tires 10psi for that stretch. Sounds weird, but it will work.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjkfsm View Post
So, I was traveling from Charleston, SC to St Robert, MO. I had about 500lbs in the bed of my truck (07 1500 Hemi) and I was pulling a 4,000lb trailer with a tongue weight of ~600lbs.

I was climbing the 7% grade just west of Ashville, NC on I-40 in the rain. As I was climbing, the grade slowed me down more and more and I pushed on the gas pedal more and more. I had taken the truck out of overdrive before even starting up the grade and as I slowed below 45mph, the truck downshifted. Suddenly, both back tires broke traction and the whole truck fishtailed. I found myself looking out the passenger window as I went down the highway. I steered into it, let off the gas, and tapped the brakes to help stop the spinning tires. This was a trick I learned from driving high horsepower Mustangs in the rainy Cascade Mountains just East of Seattle in my youth. The truck quickly straightened out but the trailer then fishtailed the other way due to the rapid correction, bringing the back of the truck around with it. I kept the front wheels pointed in the direction I wanted to go while the trailer and back end did two more swings.

I continued climbing at 30-35mph with no further traction losses. However, I passed two trailer pulling pickup trucks that had troubles as well. One was a dually Ford pulling two Harleys that went into a tree totaling all three vehicles. The other was an unknown make that put itself and a travel trailer on their sides in the breakdown lane.

I have never experienced anything like this before while towing. Has anyone else?

Russ
You were going up the east side of black mountain,on I-40,extremely dangerous hill,not long,but very steep. I towed horses over black mountain and always dreaded a rainy day.Many unwary haulers have had this problem,the hill is on you so fast reaction time is very short.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:10 PM
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that stretch of road you were on is it normally a polished surface or is it well worn and kind of pebbly? i think i know where this happened to you. i was out there by asheville 2 weeks ago down in laurinburg nc. it kinda sounds to me like it's partly a tire issue. i say partly because other vehicles had the same issue and i'm sure it's also partly the road surface, and also the fact it's on a bit of a steep hill as well. (several factors involved) but i'm also a bit fussy when it comes to tires and tread pattern. my condolences for the state of your shorts after that wild ride. i'm glad to hear you are a good driver and have enough experience and brains to know how to drive it out. i do have a suggestion though it will help you on hills as well. if your truck is 4wd put it in 4wd at the bottom of the hill and you will find it will help you maintain better control and help pull better up the hills. it made a huge difference pulling my buddies race trailer in my power wagon. it's a 45 ft trailer with tools and his drag car and any parts he throws in it. usually about 12,000lbs total weight.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:11 PM
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Don't know about that particular road, but here, in a hard brief rain, it brings alot of the tar oils and trash to the surface on new(er) and seal coated roads. can make the roads darn near slick for a little while.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:52 PM
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Going uphill you simply had more weight pulling on the back than you had traction. Thats why gooseneck trailers are so popular. To combat this put as much weight on the tow vehicle as possible, for instance you could pull the vehicle on the trailer more forward to put more weight on the tow vehicle if possible. Also it goes without saying slow down in adverse weather conditions.
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