I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby Grummy » Wed May 01, 2019 9:21 am

Even if it ends up being with myself!

You know, there really is not much written about why - specifically -, trailer mfg's are using a 3500 lb axle and springs on trailers they establish a 2990 lb limit on. Is it "engineered security"? Is it the lack of a 3000lb axle availability?

There is the occasional blurp out there about it being because some states require brakes if over 3000 lb, but which states specifically ? If you start researching state rules and laws on towing, you really just end up finding more confusion, more unreliable information and plenty of stories about it all being up to what a particular officer of the law DECIDES to conclude what his areas laws are and whether or not he is going to enforce it. That's IF you get pulled over or get into an accident.

That said, it seems the entire cargo trailer mfg industry is dumping 800 to 1500 lb single axle enclosed trailers on to retail sellers lots with their 2990 limit, making trailers as large as 7x14 single axles only capable of really hauling a load of marshmallows.

When have ANY of us seen a single axle enclosed sitting on a lot WITH brakes and rated for 3500 lbs ? Seems that is always a custom build. So, dealers and mfg's appear to be dumping all these 2990's out there specifically to flood the market without brakes to keep the prices as low as possible.

Where I live, we've built trailers all our lives, never had to register them, test them, or prove them to anyone but our conscientious selves. I've towed all my life. I've under-loaded, overloaded, over-extended, over-tongued, under-tongued and modified to accommodate whatever the load was, all while being safe. Now I got this "Sticker" on my little cargo.... and it gets really close to the limit if you "convert" a single axle enclosed no matter how you try.

I'm sure no mfg will tell you that if you put brakes on your 3500lb axle, you can run at 3500lbs. I'd bet none of them would want to tell you whether or not their entire structure is or is not fully capable of 3500lb's even if it really was just because of todays litigated world. And, that is a shame because only via lawsuit can you find out the truth or their supposed truth.

So, for HERE, and for this discussion, regardless of various laws or insurance "details", I do not think anyone should tell someone else that they can automatically assume they can do what I am going to do, given that there really are so many shoddy built enclosed trailers out there.

Myself, I have luckily ended up with a surprisingly well built Aluminum trailer. The center tube of the triple tongue is an internally reinforced tube and all 3 tubes integrated are well into the frame, not under it. I'll be adding a brake kit no matter what. And then if I bump into and above my 2990lb limit, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. Anyone doing the same should be well aware of their trailers construction and capabilities along with their personal towing skills and knowledge.
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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby tony.latham » Wed May 01, 2019 10:50 am

If you start researching state rules and laws on towing, you really just end up finding more confusion, more unreliable information and plenty of stories about it all being up to what a particular officer of the law DECIDES to conclude what his areas laws are and whether or not he is going to enforce it.


I'm a retired officer although traffic didn't fall under my umbrella unless it was an immediate safety issue.

Officers don't normally enforce their state vehicle equipment laws on vehicles registered out of state. As an example, there are 19 states that don't require a front license plate and it isn't considered reasonable suspicion (by case law) to stop a non-res vehicle without a front plate in a state that does. I'm sure some folks will tell the story of a cousin of theirs that had a buddy and he said...

Now, if you get in a wreck in your home state and don't have brakes when the law says you should have had brakes, that's where the rubber meets the road.

:frightened:

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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby Florida Native » Wed May 01, 2019 12:03 pm

In Virginia, brakes are required on all trailers with a GVWR of 3000 pounds or more. Every trailer I've ever seen with a 2990 pound rating has a 3500 pound rated axle. The 2990 number is 100% there to avoid the requirement to have brakes.

I wouldn't be surprised (and actually expect it) if the exact same trailer wasn't rated for a higher GVWR in a state that didn't have a similar brake requirement.

-Mike

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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby Padilen » Wed May 01, 2019 7:07 pm

Technically mines not on a lot it's in my drive.
I have that 3500 lbs with brakes.
Wouldn't have bought one without brakes.
I pulled the old brakes and hubs on my utility trailer build. So I could run 5 on 4.5 15" rims. I'm now wanting brakes on it.

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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby Grummy » Thu May 02, 2019 10:03 am

tony.latham wrote:
...if you get in a wreck in your home state and don't have brakes when the law says you should have had brakes, that's where the rubber meets the road.


Thanks Tony. That is the common sense answer. Hopefully down the road, I won't have a stickler who will only look at that 2990 tag !
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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby Grummy » Thu May 02, 2019 10:06 am

Florida Native wrote: I wouldn't be surprised (and actually expect it) if the exact same trailer wasn't rated for a higher GVWR in a state that didn't have a similar brake requirement.


Interesting point, but not something I have seen when I was searching. I'm curious if one custom orders a basic 6 x 12 trailer from the factory by simply asking for a 3500lb axle with brakes, what would the tag say ? In my area, there are absolutely no single axle trailers on any lot WITH brakes.
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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby Grummy » Thu May 02, 2019 10:11 am

Padilen wrote:... (I) Wouldn't have bought one without brakes.


It's a concept I agree with, however, waiting 6 or more weeks for a "custom order" trailer just for that one simple item didn't fit into my schedule, nor I bet in anyone else who suddenly has the need for a trailer.

That's why it's such an odd situation. Trailer dealers seem to simply NEVER order trailers for stock with brakes. And as such, the roads are crawling with potentially overloaded, according to the tags and laws anyhow. It's almost like they create the problem.
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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby ZColorado » Thu May 02, 2019 12:35 pm

It's a dark and scary place out there if you start looking at how most people tow trailers. I cant tell you how many times I have talked to people who are towing 8-10k lbs with no brake controller and electric brakes. Those trailer manufacturers get calls all day long for "I need a trailer this size, how much" people dont care about weight specs. It's kinda scary.
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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby Padilen » Thu May 02, 2019 7:32 pm

Grummy wrote:
Padilen wrote:... (I) Wouldn't have bought one without brakes.


It's a concept I agree with, however, waiting 6 or more weeks for a "custom order" trailer just for that one simple item didn't fit into my schedule, nor I bet in anyone else who suddenly has the need for a trailer.

That's why it's such an odd situation. Trailer dealers seem to simply NEVER order trailers for stock with brakes. And as such, the roads are crawling with potentially overloaded, according to the tags and laws anyhow. It's almost like they create the problem.
Mine was bought from dealers stock.

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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby Grummy » Mon May 06, 2019 7:28 am

ZColorado wrote:It's a dark and scary place out there if you start looking at how most people tow trailers.


And I am fully aware !

We can see that the mfg's have also selected to automatically put axles just that little bit farther back than may be ideal for a conversion, just to help the dumb and scary from getting in trouble when they have zero clue about proper tongue weight.

I happened onto a local Police Officer and had the whole tag verses scaled weight, and he said too, it will precisely come down to whether you have brakes if your stopped or inspected and are running over 3000 lbs.... He said no one will care about the "sticker" unless the operator has blatantly/visibly abused the framework or axle of the trailer.

He added that short of a crash investigation or a visible hint an operator is being an idiot, in my state, you wouldn't get a second look even if you were over with no brakes. He stated that they just really have not had any orders from up the chain that trailer towing in the state had become a "focus problem", though also how that could change quickly if there just happened to be a bad accident or two that would make politicians and law makers feel they needed to take some sort of action.

That reminded me of some stories that came out of Ohio some years ago, where the lawn and garden guys were not securing their equipment between stops. After a few big zero turn mowers ended up on the street causing death and injury, there was no perceived issue. Suddenly the DOT was demanding automatic equipment wheel locks and adequate straps or large fines.
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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby working on it » Mon May 06, 2019 8:16 am

Grummy wrote:
ZColorado wrote:It's a dark and scary place out there if you start looking at how most people tow trailers.

....short of a crash investigation or a visible hint an operator is being an idiot, in my state, you wouldn't get a second look even if you were over with no brakes....
That reminded me of some stories that came out of Ohio some years ago, where the lawn and garden guys were not securing their equipment between stops. After a few big zero turn mowers ended up on the street causing death and injury, there was no perceived issue. Suddenly the DOT was demanding automatic equipment wheel locks and adequate straps or large fines.

* Here in N.Texas, I see dozens of fly-by-night lawn & garden/landscaper's trailers in poor condition, without license plates, safety chains, hitch pins (once or twice), and with little or no load straps of any consequence. Even "pros" without any. Once, I was behind a heavy equipment rental company's trailer at a stoplight, when the light changed and the Bobcat front loader on-board came rolling off, and bounced towards my truck. I avoided it, and pulled over to observe it roll into a ditch. There were no straps or load chains holding it on the trailer, and obviously the brakes failed. After that, I avoided following those trailers.

* It's apparent to me that unless some major infraction/accident occurs, the owner/operators of the aforementioned trailers get a pass from LEO's around here. Any tickets that might be given out are probably disregarded, and/or the receivers of those tickets might not even care, and might flee the jurisdiction to you-know-where at anytime, so what's the authorities response...no active enforcement for sub-standard trailers of that type. They only ticket the RV's and higher-end guys, because they'll pay-up.
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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby tony.latham » Mon May 06, 2019 8:51 am

if your stopped or inspected and are running over 3000 lbs...


How is an officer going to know you are running 3500 lbs?

Me? I wouldn't own a trailer that heavy without brakes. Forget the legal issues. It's common sense.

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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby Grummy » Mon May 06, 2019 11:38 am

tony.latham wrote:How is an officer going to know you are running 3500 lbs?


Visual suspicions I suppose for those not under constant DOT scrutiny.

Those who are under DOT scrutiny ? .... Well, DOT agents around here carry portable scales, and if they decide to issue citations based on the portable readouts, they will force the operator to drive to the nearest permanent scale to obtain their court worthy documentation of the infraction.
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Re: I'm going to have that 2990 Lb GVRW Discussion

Postby tony.latham » Mon May 06, 2019 12:36 pm

Grummy wrote:
tony.latham wrote:How is an officer going to know you are running 3500 lbs?


Visual suspicions I suppose for those not under constant DOT scrutiny.

Those who are under DOT scrutiny ? .... Well, DOT agents around here carry portable scales, and if they decide to issue citations based on the portable readouts, they will force the operator to drive to the nearest permanent scale to obtain their court worthy documentation of the infraction.


Most of my adult life I worked next to deputies and troopers and none of those guys and gals would have taken an enforcement action like that. They looked for speeders, drugs, DUIs and wanted souls. One trooper I worked with was gifted in detecting expired plates approaching him at 120 MPH. All of them would pull an operator over for in-operable tail lights on trailers and 95% of those stops resulted in a verbal ––"get it fixed."

The weigh station guys here don't do stops. In fact, they can't pursue someone that run's their station and a guy pulling a cargo trailer doesn't need to stop.

But I live in Idaho and I know the rest of the world is different.

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