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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm purchasing a new gooseneck flatdeck through my company and I'm looking for some recommendations and insight from from you fine people.

The trailer is primarily going to be used for hauling parts and attachments for heavy construction equipment and will be hauling the odd piece of compact equipment (skid steers and mini hoes). It will be spending lots of time in the city therefore I'm not looking for anything too long. It does however have to have a dovetail and ramps. I'm really having a hard time deciding between a tandem dually and a tri-single. Either will be sufficient for the amount of weight that we need to haul. The dually will be easier on tires and give us more capacity. However when it comes time to replace tires I'll have to replace 8 on the dually and only 6 on the tri. We won't be putting a lot of miles on the trailer. I know that the dually generally goes down the highway better and I do like the ease of maintenance of the oil bath axles. But not sure if the difference in cost is justifiable for our use. We aren't trying to be a hot shot service here. Just simply trying to get away from paying delivery companies to do the work that we can do on our own with these trailers. We are often paying other companies to drop off and pick up parts and attachments at our customers, vendors, and sub-contractors. I've come to realize that you can't rely on anybody anymore so if you want the job done right you have to go out and do it yourself. We'll be hauling with anything from a 2500 SRW to a 5500 DRW.

So far I've been looking at PJ, Load Trail, and Big Tex. I've heard good and bad about all three. I can't recall ever hauling a Big Tex but any PJ or Load Trail that I've hauled has always been a good solid trailer that seemed to tow very nicely. Most seem to have the Dexter EZ Lube Axles but I like that the Load Trail has self-adjusting brakes. Big Tex has a 1 year warranty. Load Trail has 2 Year B2B, 3 Year Structural, and 2 Year Roadside. PJ has a 3 Year Structural/1 Year Limited Warranty. I'm not necessarily restricting myself to these 3 brands. This is just what I've looked at so far. There's a lot of crap out there that I won't waste my time looking at.

So What brand do you guys recommend? Keep in mind that it needs to be something that is available in Canada. And do you guys recommend tandem dually's or tri-singles? There's a fairly good jump in price for the dually's so that has to be justifiable to me.
 

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Get the dually's for the city. We have a triple gooseneck dump and the city is brutal on the tires. The tighter turns make tires scrub much more than rural hauling-front set especially.
 

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Tandem Dual. They turn tighter without as much drag. Triples will result in the replacement of tires more often.
 

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No probs with triples here, they ride nicer when empty. Fully loaded, tight backing turns are stressed, takes some more room, so you do a bit more in pull-ups. But forward driving turns aren't an issue.

That's when fully loaded. Will you ever get towards that much weight?
And remember, only 1/3 of your miles are spent loaded, with the other 2/3 running empty, going/coming from the fetch.

And you only buy 6 instead of 8 tires, and you only have flats on 6 instead of 8. Thinking of upgrading my next backing plates with the Auto-Adjust brakes instead. humpin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No probs with triples here, they ride nicer when empty. Fully loaded, tight backing turns are stressed, takes some more room, so you do a bit more in pull-ups. But forward driving turns aren't an issue.

That's when fully loaded. Will you ever get towards that much weight?
And remember, only 1/3 of your miles are spent loaded, with the other 2/3 running empty, going/coming from the fetch.

And you only buy 6 instead of 8 tires, and you only have flats on 6 instead of 8. Thinking of upgrading my next backing plates with the Auto-Adjust brakes instead. humpin:
That's the kind of feedback that I was looking for. It won't be a rarity to have a lot of weight on the trailer. But for the most part we'll be running it around 50% or less capacity. But again, we won't be putting serious miles on it either. I can't stand when you have an empty trailer bouncing around behind you. The only thing that worries me about the tri is the tight turning when we spend a lot of time in the city. But again, I don't know if that downside justifies the extra cost for the dually.

What are you running for a trailer Hook'em?
 

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Another vote for the self adjusting brakes they are great. I just changed the brakes on my 34' trailer this past Sat. Did the self adjusters and new drums. I'm getting ready for my annual trip to Mt and Id with it
 

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No tighter turning than with any other GN or 5er, just swing wide and cut back. City driving is limited by length, not trailer axle configuration. This includes the truck's wheelbase too.

Where you have a problem is the tight turn that can occur when backing with it loaded heavy, which is remedied by pulling forward 8-9" to unload the sidewalls, then continue back on your cut again 'till the sidewalls (front/rear axles) load up too much, pull forward to unload and repeat.

I asked about your intended weights to haul, 14-15k lbs of cargo is a good limit point to still have decent maneuverability in backing cuts, like at job sites and such. Dock to Dock runs, bump it up to 18k lbs cargo.

This is a 28' low-boy triple, custom made by a small family owned trailer mfr up in North Texas (see KTS & #). Deck height @ 28" plus extra long extended ramps, negates the need for a dovetail, leaving good culvert/driveway rear clearance without dragging.





Another vote for the self adjusting brakes they are great. I just changed the brakes on my 34' trailer this past Sat. Did the self adjusters and new drums. I'm getting ready for my annual trip to Mt and Id with it
These are what I'm looking at. Were your drums just worn out? Or was it something with the auto adjust?

http://www.southwestwheel.com/store/p-5218-12-auto-adjust-electric-brake-assemblies.aspx
 

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Hookem.....it's got more to do with the small radius turns in the city. Even when empty our tri-axle gooseneck dump is 3.5 tons. I don't care about maneuvering around (i've towed all my life) it's got to do with tire wear. Our tandem sees twice as much loaded miles and it has original tires on it (about 4 years) Our tri-axles go about 24 months.
And for backing up in Montreal...you only get one shot at it before 100 cars start piling up at your work site. If we are digging a sewer or water line the permit to close the street is $3,500/day. If we delay the job dicking around getting stuff to the site-well you know how it goes.
 

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Consider also; the more weight you put on the tire, the bigger the contact footprint is, which increases tread wear. With triples, 6 tires are carrying the weight that 8 tires on the tandem duals are.

Even with a 2x tandem axle utility trailer, you're still going to see drag wear on the tires and they'll still load up the sidewalls tight in a sharp turn.

All just theorizing, but perhaps the lesser tread wear seen is attributable to 8 tires squatted less and with a smaller footprint carrying the same load as 6 with a larger footprint/greater contact area are on the other trailer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I know that my Tri-Axle 5er is definitely brutal on tires. I try to turn as wide as possible whenever I can. But sometimes it's not in the cards. I always thought that the tight turns with a tri-axle is really hard on the axles. You can see the added stress just by looking in your mirrors. But I can't say that it's any more stressful than a tandem. I know that once you get a tandem loaded up it looks just as ugly when you're making tight turns.

Hook'Em that's a nice rig you've got there. For my application I definitely need a deck over. So that is why the doves and ramps will be needed when loading lower profile equipment.
 

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I own a tri now but the next one will be dual. As said the tri will skid tires, as far as ride I would say the dual will ride better empty than a tri with torsion axels as they tend to kick, also something to consider is the tandem will probably have better resale.
If you are looking at a beaver tail, the PJ Monster ramps would be the option to have. They are full width ramps so you an load narrow or wide things and give you a full length deck without a pop up to deal with.
Titan is another very well built trailer with this option.
 

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Hook-em, I changed the drums out because other wise it was turn drums, both the brake surface and magnet surface, new bearings and seals. I just decided that instead of all that I'd spend a few bucks more and have all new as the drums came ready to install. Each trip I take west is 4,500-5,500 mi usually done in 10-14 days time and I don't care to be broke down in the middle of nowhere in Wy. or Mt. I bought this trailer used in late Nov. of 12 and since then have pulled it close to 20,000 mi.
 

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Yeah, by the time you pay double in price for turning (shoe surface and magnet surface), new bearings, seal, and lug nuts, it's cheaper to buy the new drum hub with all the parts included.

I was just wondering if there was something different with the self adjusting that required the drum swap. SW Wheel has a good price on the complete set of self adjusting backing plates and drums, bearings and all the goodies, for $535 (6 wheels). I might go ahead and buy new drums with the set this time around, they're all still the originals @ 8 years.
 

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It was more than double. They wanted $18 for the brake surface and $25 for the magnet surface. The drums were $92 apiece but as I said they came ready to use and I got the job done that day instead of having to wait until Mon to get the drums turned and then install new bearings and seals.
You might want to check this place for price. http://www.easternmarine.com/Electric-Trailer-Brake-Assemblies/
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
^^^^
Those seem to be pretty good prices. I know what I'm doing now when it comes time to do brakes on my 5er. Thanks for sharing.
 

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My brother in law has a Becker that I've used. It has duallies and it pulls super nice once it's loaded. Thing is pretty damn heavy duty and seems to be really good quality. Sits outside year round and thing still looks brand new besides the wood deck. With some stain or varnish on the deck, it would look brand new again. I don't know for sure how many miles he has on it, but it's like 5 years old he hasn't replaced any tires on it yet. It doesn't have the two wide monster ramps (don't think they were available at the time) but it has 3 heavy duty spring assisted flip down ramps for loading just about any equipment.
 

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It was more than double. They wanted $18 for the brake surface and $25 for the magnet surface.
Yeah, only found one place to turn both and IIRC, it was like $22 extra for the magnet surface. :rolleyes:

I too, declined. A new drum/hub with new studs/nuts, inner/outer bearings, seal, and dust cap was only $53/ea. :cool:
^^^^
Those seem to be pretty good prices. I know what I'm doing now when it comes time to do brakes on my 5er. Thanks for sharing.
Southwest Wheel in Dallas, they ship CA also.
Electric Trailer Brake Assemblies

But if you're goin' all out for a complete brake replace, their full kits save even more.
Self-Adjusting Electric Brake Kits
 

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In MT and now NE the rural roads eat tires so triple vs. dual is kind of no issue as far as tires. Where we see the diff. is hauling hay/equipment in the field the triple axles get bent pretty frequently. Though admittedly this is prob. due as much to operator inattention as anything. The tandem dual setup seems to be pretty bulletproof as evidenced by the preponderance of them in the oil fields and the ranching communities. I haven't personally pulled a triple so I can't speak to it but I think it was Hookem who said they tow better unloaded, that makes some sense. Personally, since you're wanting to keep the overall length shorter I'd go with the duals anyway as it gives you a little more fudge room to turn and miss stuff. Had good luck with Titan, PJ, and Circle D. All pulled pretty much the same, Titan seemed to have some nice added features. These were all 30' or above.
 
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