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  #1  
Old 08-21-2013, 01:01 PM
teryxrider teryxrider is offline
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Default Newbie question .. how to load a trailer

Greetings all,

I'm sure someone can help me out with my query.

I have got myself a UTV and a trailer. I have no experience in how to load the UTV onto my trailer and hook it onto my Ram.

It sounds obvious enough, but my attempts so far have failed.

The trailer is a single axle trailer and looks a bit like the picture at the end of this post.


I have hooked the connector arm to my tow hitch. The snap lock doesn't seem to close, perhaps because the tow ball is too large. To compensate, i've wrapped a steel chain around the connector arm and the tow bar.

When its standing empty, the trailer sits horizontally, attached to the tow hitch. The issue i'm facing is that when i try and drive the UTV onto the trailer, the front of the trailer flips upwards as the weight is added to the back of the trailer where the UTV is being loaded. The trailer arm went into the back of my Ram I suffered a deep gouge to the back tailgate result :-(

I've tried leaving the trailer disconnected from the Ram and sitting on the jockey wheel, but i get the same result; when i try and drive the UTV onto it, the front of the trailer flips up.

There must be a technique to this. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-21-2013, 01:11 PM
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First, you really need to get the right size hitch ball. There's a 1 7/8" ball, a 2" ball, and a 2 5/16" ball. You most likely have a 1 7/8" or 2" ball. Make sure it's securely hooked to the truck, then drive on the trailer.

As far as lessening the front of the trailer raising up, you can put blocks under the rear of the trailer frame. But, for just a UTV, just having the trailer securely hooked to the truck should be ok.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:35 PM
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^^^^^^^^^^ What he said ^^^^^^^^^^^ get the right ball and hook up your trailer properly, make sure you hook up your trailer chains, cross them once to each side of the hook up, make sure parking brake is on the truck and slowly ride your UTV onto the trailer, by no means should you drive your truck with a full trailer and the wrong side ball.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:44 PM
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Yup, fully agree with the two guys above. Once you have the right ball size your trailer will lock on to it and you will be able to drive the UTV on no problem.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:20 PM
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Posts like this scare the crap out of me. Makes me think back when I was younger and didn't know they correct way to tow stuff. First off, I agree, get the correct size ball. It should be labeled on both the ball and the tongue where you hook it up. There are an amazing amount of accidents because people have the wrong sized ball.

Second, make sure the saftey chains are hooked up correctly. Like someone else said, hook them up diaganol so they cross under the trailer tongue that way if the ball does come loose, the chains catch the front of the trailer and keep it from digging in.

Third. Make sure your trailer lights are hooked up and working. I can't count the number of times I see someone and the trailer lights don't work.


Fourth. Tie down your load. This is the one that people neglect the most. They are only going a short way so why bother to tie down the load right? Always tie your load down. That includes a tie down at each corner, 4 total. And I'm not talking about some yellow rope that hangs loose and has a load rating of a 100 lbs. I'm talking at the least some of the big heavy ratchiting straps, one for each corner. Chains and binders are better but probably over kill for what you are hauling. And don't get those cheap chinch binders that go for $15 for a pack of 4 at Wal-mart. Those are good for holding down a bicycle and thats it.

Good luck and be safe.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodge man View Post
Posts like this scare the crap out of me. Makes me think back when I was younger and didn't know they correct way to tow stuff. First off, I agree, get the correct size ball. It should be labeled on both the ball and the tongue where you hook it up. There are an amazing amount of accidents because people have the wrong sized ball.

Second, make sure the saftey chains are hooked up correctly. Like someone else said, hook them up diaganol so they cross under the trailer tongue that way if the ball does come loose, the chains catch the front of the trailer and keep it from digging in.

Third. Make sure your trailer lights are hooked up and working. I can't count the number of times I see someone and the trailer lights don't work.


Fourth. Tie down your load. This is the one that people neglect the most. They are only going a short way so why bother to tie down the load right? Always tie your load down. That includes a tie down at each corner, 4 total. And I'm not talking about some yellow rope that hangs loose and has a load rating of a 100 lbs. I'm talking at the least some of the big heavy ratchiting straps, one for each corner. Chains and binders are better but probably over kill for what you are hauling. And don't get those cheap chinch binders that go for $15 for a pack of 4 at Wal-mart. Those are good for holding down a bicycle and thats it.

Good luck and be safe.
Great post! As harsh as some of it may be it's 100% true. People really need to learn to research their equipment and learn how to set it up properly. If you're not confident in what you're doing, you probably shouldn't be doing it.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:35 PM
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I once with three friends towed a vehicle, a 67 Corner RT, to the Mopar Nats with a 1988 Chevy truck, 305 V8. The trailer had no brakes and I"m sure we didn't have it tied down the best. We also had about 1500lbs of car parts in the bed. I'm sure that truck was overloaded big time and wouldn't have stopped well in an emergency.

To show what you can get away with, we had a 4 wheeler for work and a trailer a little smaller than you have. I could load that 4 wheeler on the trailer without it hooked up. Sometimes I'd use a floor jack under the back of the trailer. Sometimes I would drive it on and let the nose of the trailer go way up in the air. As you have discovered, it can go up quick. I got good enough that I could drive on slowly, let the hitch go up in the air, the keep going slowly and let it come back down very gently. Of course sometimes it would slam back down.

I didn't mean my previous post to sound harsh, but it probably did. I've just learned over the years the correct way to tow stuff. I'm lucky enough to have enough truck and the correct trailer to tow anything I need these days. Just the fact that you made the post shows me that you are willing to learn and thats good.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:10 PM
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Chaps,

Many thanks for your help. I see now my catalogue of school boy errors :-)

First of all, I have no issues with the tone of your messages, I'm glad you've shared your extensive experience on this matter.

I see now that if i had the safety chains attached properly, i would have saved the Ram from the damage is has now suffered. On the bright side, i can claim it from my insurance. A painful lesson learnt for future attempts.

On the matter of the tow hitch and trailer arm, i've checked and indeed the sizes are embossed on each. The tow ball is 2", and the trailer arm says 3" tongue and 2"' ball. However i can't seem to connect the two together. The ball fits into the cavity of the connector, but i can't push down what looks like the securing mechanism. The coupler i have looks like the picture below. Is there an adjustment i need to make on it?

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Old 08-21-2013, 04:16 PM
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K, just to clarify. You did pull up on the lever when lowering the trailer onto the ball right? Then when you have it sitting on the ball fully the lever still won't go down? Spraying some lube up in the hitch and working the lever up and down a bit to loosen it all up. Then if it still won't go down properly try kicking it down. Sometimes they just get stuck for some reason.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teryxrider View Post
Chaps,

Many thanks for your help. I see now my catalogue of school boy errors :-)

First of all, I have no issues with the tone of your messages, I'm glad you've shared your extensive experience on this matter.

I see now that if i had the safety chains attached properly, i would have saved the Ram from the damage is has now suffered. On the bright side, i can claim it from my insurance. A painful lesson learnt for future attempts.

On the matter of the tow hitch and trailer arm, i've checked and indeed the sizes are embossed on each. The tow ball is 2", and the trailer arm says 3" tongue and 2"' ball. However i can't seem to connect the two together. The ball fits into the cavity of the connector, but i can't push down what looks like the securing mechanism. The coupler i have looks like the picture below. Is there an adjustment i need to make on it?

Sometimes the locking mechnizem can get locked in place, or as brandon indicated it might be rusted up and needs to be shot with some penetrating oil to loosen it you, it could also be a defective Tongue and will need replacing, see if you can find someone who knows this stuff around your area that can have a look at it if you don't find anything seized or bent.
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