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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm new to the forum and I have a question regarding my utility trailer. I have been towing quads and materials for many years and recently upgraded to a heavier 6'x 10' 2990 lbs, single axle.
My question is, can I safely carry a load of 14' boards on the trailer with the 4' gate open horizontally (which would extend the bed of the trailer to the length of the gate) a total of 14', if the gate was properly secured with chain? The majority of the weight would be on the trailer and over the single axle. Yes the load would be properly secured.

I've never loaded like this and wanted to get some opinions and constructive advice. Please be kind.
Thx
 

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without knowing / seeing the configuration of the gate, it's mounting, etc - it's next to impossible to say if it's OK..
generally speaking hanging the gate 4' horizontally, will take quite a bit of tension on a chain - especially if the chain is shallow angle.

Why not remove the gate completely (normally you can slide the gate off the hinges, or pull the hinge pins), and let the boards overhang?.... 4' overhang, and 10' on trailer is not a problem. tie the ovehanging ends of the boards together with a ratchet-strap into a solid block of wood, and ensure you tie down the front and all around securely with ratchet straps - and you should be good to go.
just dont forget a hazard-flag on the end of the board bundle....
 

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I would say that along as you used a couple straps to go around the tailgate and load as to keep the tailgate tight against the load it should work. But with the length of the trailer being 4' longer what does that do about being able to see your trailer lights ok from behind. If you was to locate some lights at the rear i'd think it would be safer unless you had a short distance to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would say that along as you used a couple straps to go around the tailgate and load as to keep the tailgate tight against the load it should work. But with the length of the trailer being 4' longer what does that do about being able to see your trailer lights ok from behind. If you was to locate some lights at the rear i'd think it would be safer unless you had a short distance to go.
I’ve added 14’ 2x8 planks to give me the extra 4 feet and strapped the load tight. This works and with a flag, meets the road requirements. I’m just curious if anyone has chained or bracketed the gate to create the above. I think the road bounce would create the added stress on the gate and could potentially back load the trailer.
I assume a short ride may be plausible, but a long highway drive may be questionable.
thx
 

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My question is, can I safely carry a load of 14' boards on the trailer with the 4' gate open horizontally
What do you consider a load, and where is the center of gravity of these boards? Assuming not much else in the trailer, the cog will be 7' back from the front inside edge of your trailer. My guess is the axle is located 4' back from the front edge, so your effective load will be 3' behind the axle. Depending on the weight, you might have an unloaded tongue, leading to an unstable trailer. You should have a positive weight on the hitch. I've read that should be approx 1/3 of the weight of the load, tho it is often somewhat less, but not zero or a negative load.
 

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Modeere318
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I think with the way the load will be centered you will be taking too much weight off the tongue resulting in trailer whip.You could get by with low speeds but at highway speeds I can foresee a wreck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think with the way the load will be centered you will be taking too much weight off the tongue resulting in trailer whip.You could get by with low speeds but at highway speeds I can foresee a wreck.
I agree with the trailer whip with too much load behind the axel. I think the additional weight of the extended gate tips the weight of the trailer away from the tongue and towards the rear. It’s probably safer to remove the gate (excess weight) and extend the planks off the back of the trailer, bundled and flagged.
Appreciate the suggestions and discussion.
I just needed to think this one through and get your thoughts.
Thx Again!
 

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Is a contractor if I tried it and got caught the fine would suck up more than a weeks profit. Flags do not cut it at four feet and loads at four feet no way. If you can split the difference 2 feet over the front, 2 feet back and don't forget the flag.
I am amazed at what the general public gets away with when leaving big box stores.
 

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Yep.
Right now down here they are blitzing unsecured loads in the back of pick ups & flat beds.
Yet a clot can leave a big box with 10 sheets of 8 x 4 plaster board on roof racks without any support on the front so every 1/2 mile another sheet breaks off at the roof rack & goes flying down the expressway right past a cop.
But the driver who put his muddy boots into the tray cops a $ 195 fine for having an unsecured load.
 

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I could understand years ago when contractor were not purchasing enough plate to carry a load. Temporary scales would poop up on main routes and not always in the same places The license people are starting to check vehicle weights and refusing plates of lesser weights here. But some of what has been seen is ridicule's. Would be real interesting the line that would be created in a big box parking lot if the DOT stuck a check point with scales out at the road. They can not do it on private property but sure can do it on public roadways. I have even seen a few detained till portable scales got there if there was any doubt.
 

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there is such a thing as "reasonableness"... my lumber yard is 5miles away all along country roads that have slow moving tractors on them every day.... no cop would ever pull me over while I was going 30mph in a 50mph zone, with my hazards flashing.

at the same time, as the prior example noted with the drywall guy, and chunks flying on the freeway - yea - throw the book at him.

So I guess - to the OP... how far are you moving the load?.... and what is the load?.... qty 4, 2x6's?..... or are we talking about full load of materials to build a complete 400sq-ft deck?
 

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I will say 60% of the load in front of the axle, 40% behind the axle as a minimum. More weight behind the axle than is in front, interesting ride below 45 MPH. Above 45 MPH, well that is not an option, the trailer will be doing the driving.


Not sure if that link will work or not.

Well guess it did.
 

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I agree with the trailer whip with too much load behind the axel.
I wonder if you can push the lumber forward those 4' so you can close the tailgate. I have at least that much of a tongue on my cheap Tractor Supply garden trailer. That would take care of the center of the load too.
 

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An excellent video!
However, 10 % tongue weight is good rule of thumb up to 2000 lbs trailer weight. 200 lbs tongue weight should not be exceeded even if the trailer is heavier.
 

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Here is my 5 by 10 with 22 foot boards. drove 3 miles to home. Too much weight on the rear so it wanted to sway a lot - had to keep it under 35 MPH but made it. Yes it was strapped down tight and had red flag on rear.
2484468
 

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I disagree with the 200 pound tongue weight being enough for a trailer over 2000 pounds.
When I load a 10,000 pound skid steer on a 3000 pound trailer, I have at least 1200 to 1500 pounds on the tongue weight.
If I have to go up or down steep hills I will add a bit more than that.

As for the comment about flags for over length loads.
DOT regulations say anything sticking out more than 4 feet over the rear of a vehicle shall have lights on it (brake, turn and marker), day or night. I guess that is still the requirements, been many years ago when I took that test.
 

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An excellent video!
However, 10 % tongue weight is good rule of thumb up to 2000 lbs trailer weight. 200 lbs tongue weight should not be exceeded even if the trailer is heavier.
That depends on other factors. Vehicle, hitch, receiver is an equalizer in use. My 12000 lb. hitch has a 600 lb tongue weight.
But back to the posters original question. Never has is been stated is this a dozen boards or a bunk. How far will the load be transported and at what speeds. Will this be done in rush hour traffic.
If few boards, at low speeds and a short distance like under 5 miles. Just sit them on top the gate, strap them down, definitely attach a flag or two and go. If building a large deck just have the boards delivered. Way cheaper than a fine or damage to equipment and property.
 

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I must admit, that my statement about the tongue weight is valid for average cars. Vans and trucks may allow higher tongue weight.
 

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My trailer is open across the front at the bottom of my sides, if I haul something longer then the trailer deck i'll pull them down the center of the trailer to over the tongue and stop where they won't hit the back of the truck when turning.
 
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