Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ? - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

I recently trailered my 16G four wheel tractor to cut a friend's yard . When I arrived at my destination ( both ways ) the straps had worked their way loose . I had one strap connected to the hitch and the other through the front axle hole for the PTO shaft . The only difference I can see is , the 2 machines I'm used to hauling have suspensions . A SXS and a motorcycle . The tractor doesn't have a suspension . How do you guys keep them from coming loose when hauling ? Oh , this is an enclosed cargo trailer . So I can't block it against a headboard like I can on a utility trailer .
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post #2 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 03:55 AM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

I use 5/16" or 3/8" chains and binders.

GTs are heavier than motorcycles and do have suspension systems. The tires are air filled at low relative pressures and you want to pull the chains tight enough to make them squat a bit, just like pulling the bike's suspension down with the straps. Because the connecting points are much lower on the tractor than the bike, it takes considerably more pull on the chains to make the tires squat than it does on straps to collapse the suspension on a bike.

What size straps are you using?

Bob

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post #3 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 07:02 AM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

When hauling tractors I find that after about 2-3 miles the straps almost always have come loose. Retighten and then it is good until unloading.

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post #4 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 07:08 AM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

I tow a utility trailer so I can put the front tires into the head rail. Sometimes I actually do that, other times, not.

I use ratchet straps from the front that get anchored to the trailer behind the rear of the tractor, and from the rear of the tractor and anchored ahead of the front. The strains play against each other but still can loosen. Because of that I stop within 10 miles of wherever I start and check the straps for tightness. That allows things to sort of settle in. When I do that the straps are always tight when I get where I'm going.

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post #5 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 07:39 AM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

Guys-that sounds 'right' about re-checking your bindings...

When I was working F/T and had a CDL, for many years--I moved heavy equipment off/on for the company I retired from. If I remember--with DOT rules--you stop after ten miles(safetly) and re-check the bindings..then every hundred miles there after. Also--after each stop--when you are away from the vehicle. I've had 'stuff' loosen up before--usually rubber-tired equipment that wants to walk over or 'squirm' as we used to say.

To the O/P--much harder to anchor something in an enclosed trailer also. You want to have your straps or chains pulling out and down at about 45 degrees.
Back wards and frontwards--so they are actually pulling against each other. When using any kind of strap-protect it with a cloth of something to keep from rubbing on sharp objects/edges.
Good luck to you on your moves.

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post #6 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 08:30 AM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

Best practice is to load by backing onto the trailer. This keeps the majority of the weight, ie the transaxle, forward of the trailer axle to prevent fishtailing. I then chock the rear wheels, make sure it is in gear and set the brake. Then secure the transaxle with two sets of rachet straps going in opposite directions to the D rings in the corners. Secure the front of the machine via one rachet strap around the front axle. Retighten after a few miles.

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post #7 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 08:42 AM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

This is the reason why when our trailer was enclosed I had more D rings installed. There are now 8 of them. Front axle gets tied to second set of rings while rear axle gets tied to front set of rings. That is with a tractor loaded front end first. Always cross the straps if possible for best securement.

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post #8 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

Thanks guys ! I believe the part I missed was the stop and retighten . I have the hollow stud with I-bolt running through the floor of the trailer in 4 locations . Although I did notice the tractor kinda moved itself to better line up with the anchor points of the straps . Must of walked when hitting bumps in the road ? I'll have to install the D-Rings and reinforce them under the trailer deck for a better hold for the tractor application . My straps are the 10,000 lbs. variety . That's why I couldn't understand how they worked loose . Ok , better anchors , more pressure and recheck after 10 miles . Got it ! Thanks !

Last edited by 4x4Dad; 05-17-2017 at 10:39 AM.
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post #9 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 10:54 AM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

I like the idea of getting some wheel straps for the rear wheels, borrowing from some of the hauling accessories available for cars, ATVs and motorcycles. With two sets of D rings in the deck, you could really anchor the rear end.

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post #10 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 02:47 PM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

I've never had one come loose...I use four straps, pulling four opposite directions. I like straps over chain, the straps can be stretched tight like a rubber band...

Maybe the straps don't have enough tension to start?

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post #11 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 02:53 PM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

2 - wheelers have actually given me more trouble in transport than 4-wheelers.

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post #12 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 03:36 PM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steved View Post
I've never had one come loose...I use four straps, pulling four opposite directions. I like straps over chain, the straps can be stretched tight like a rubber band...

Maybe the straps don't have enough tension to start?

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Did you never notice that rubber bands stretch until they break?

Chains will also stretch until they break, but it takes a lot more effort than for the equivalent size of strap. Look at the length of the strap ratchet tightener compared to the length of handle on a chain binder and tell me which is going to apply more tension for a given amount of effort.

I use straps for lumber that I don't want damaged from the tension. Chains are for machinery that I don't want to move during transit.

Bob

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post #13 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 03:47 PM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

When I haul my tractors to shows I use ratchet straps on my 165 and 212 but I use a combination on ratchet straps and chains on the 332. And all chains on the Farmall.

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post #14 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 03:54 PM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

I also use the "straps pulling against each other" concept pretty successfully, even on rubber tired equipment. It seems like you remove the play from the system that you would have otherwise. I'm also a fan of the drive a few miles and retighten concept. 9 times out of 10, everything is still tight and away I go. But you do catch that 1 time before damage occurs.
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post #15 of 37 Old 05-17-2017, 05:40 PM
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Re: Trailering tractors and loose ratchet straps ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TUDOR View Post
Did you never notice that rubber bands stretch until they break?

Chains will also stretch until they break, but it takes a lot more effort than for the equivalent size of strap. Look at the length of the strap ratchet tightener compared to the length of handle on a chain binder and tell me which is going to apply more tension for a given amount of effort.

I use straps for lumber that I don't want damaged from the tension. Chains are for machinery that I don't want to move during transit.
I've had more issues with chains popping loose over my few years of trailering stuff than I ever had straps come loose or break. Chains have a purpose, but they are inferior to a strap in most instances.

I'll stick with my straps thank you...haven't had a tractor come loose yet, nor anything I've hauled.

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