I'm not real proud of this but ok I guess I can hide this story in this thread.
It all started when I bought my trailer. An 18â€™ flat bed Carson, dual axle, brakes on all fours and all the rest.
When I bought the trailer I had a very nice adjustable hitch with a 2 5/16â€ ball used for other trailers. I asked the fella that was getting the trailer ready what size ball the trailer needed. He said 2â€, so I went in to the show room and purchased a 2â€ ball and a drop, which was installed on the spot. I took the trailer home and didnâ€™t give it a second thought.
A couple of days later Natalie my sonâ€™s ex-girl friend called and told me her truck had broken down. I offered to trailer her truck to a shop near her home, this took place without incident
A few weeks later I was heading to Lewisville, AR and since I knew we were moving I loaded two of the Cubs on the trailer and took them to Genoa, AR where I left them with my mother in law. Again, without incident
I returned home with an empty trailer. (what a waste)
When the time came to load 49-1 and the rest of my stuff (treasures and junk) all went smoothly. We took off for Texas with three vehicles and a trailer pulled by a new Pensky truck. Everything was going smooth until we arrived at the check point at Hoover Dam. Here they asked to see the contents of the truck. The security guys couldnâ€™t see to the front of the truck so they denied passage. My wife and my son were allowed to continue.
After some debate we decided that Merry and Keith would cross the dam and I would go around and we would meet in Williams, AZ the next day. After a grueling drive, (up hill all the way and at one point a top speed of 25 mph was maintained for about 20 minutes) I arrived in Kingman, AZ around 3:00am. With Merry and Keith still about 1 Â½ hrs ahead I left about 7:00. I filled up with fuel and coffee and was heading up the on ramp of I-40 when all heck broke loose, well not really, just the trailer. I got pulled over to find that the trailer came unhitched and had ground the jack to a mushroom end. I walked back to town and thankfully right near the on ramp was a tire shop. The fella was kind enough to lend me a floor jack. Those floor jacks roll good on concrete but not too good on asphalt. Not to mention that it was about 95 degrees at 8:00 am and up hill back to the truck and trailer. I managed to jack the trailer up and re-couple it to the truck when I noticed on the tongue of the trailer were the stamped words â€œUSE 2 5/16 BALL ONLYâ€.
I had a real sinking feeling come over me. My first thought was to replace the ball on the truck, this proved impossible as the ball was welded to the truck and a welded cover placed around the nut. My solution was to take a ratchet tie down and strap the tongue down on the ball as well as possible. I took the floor jack back to the tire shop and gave the fella $20.00 for letting me use it.
I got back underway soon after, and wouldnâ€™t dare go any faster than 50mph. After a few hours my confidence and speed increased and I wasnâ€™t feeling so worried. That changed about 13 miles east of Gallup, NM.
I was making about 60 mph when I crossed an overpass and all of a sudden that sinking feeling returned. Once I got the truck stopped on the side of the interstate and stopped shaking I looked at the damage. To my surprise everything was fine except the trailer jack was flush with the bottom of the tongue. One of the safety chains had been ground off the trailer but was still hooked to the truck. Luckily the upper part of the jack got caught between the rear bumpers of the rental truck. That kept the trailer from going itâ€™s own way down the interstate. Now what do I do
This time no floor jack and the front of the trailer was so low I couldnâ€™t get a jack under it anyway. I used another ratchet tie down and hoisted the trailer back on the truck. At about the time I was rigging the tie down a fella stopped to help. He was a Navajo Indian and very helpful. He told me he travels that road every day and that I wouldnâ€™t believe all the things he picks up at that overpass. I was just glad he wasnâ€™t picking me or my treasures up off the road!
This time I used a chain and binder to keep the trailer down on the ball. I took the back roads and never went faster than 45. I drove into Albuquerque and parked at a Hotel. My nerves were shot, I mean really shot. It was the worst drive Iâ€™ve ever done, worried the whole time if the trailer would come off again and maybe kill someone. I thought many times during the drive that I should just pull over and leave it all!
I got to thinking about all the miles I pulled that trailer (loaded and unloaded) and how there was never a problem. I thought about how stupid I was to continue, but I was really stuck.
The next morning I left the trailer in the Hotel parking lot and continued on to Oakwood, where I was reunited with my family.
I learned 3 things during this ordeal:
1. Never take for granted what someone tells you when you buy a trailer. Check it out yourself
2. That, only by the grace of God nothing was damaged and no one was hurt
3. Itâ€™s up hill to Texas