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Jerry Dork
9/7/13 7:05 a.m.

Two, where there used to be four.

First time towing anything ever, but I thought I was ready. I had a strap across the top, and a strap around the back side to the hooks up front. (Not through the center like here but I will from now on.)

Cruising along at 0-dark-thirty and I see a siloutte of something bouncing behind me. berkeley! I pulled over (slowly) and sure enough, two tires bailed out on me. I secured the remaining like you see, and went up to the next exit and back. I didn't see them, being bright berkeleying orange I had a little hope. But nothing.

Came home since I knew it would be a dust bowl & two low profile street tires would not cut it. When I got home, the top strap was loose! berkeleying Harbor Freight cargo straps.

Lesson learned - go to Home Depot and buy some name-brand berkeleying cargo straps this time. Also run the strap THROUGH the wheels, which should help even if they loosened up a bit. (I even stopped just before the highway to double check everything, and planned to stop at a rest area soon to check again. Because I'm paranoid.)

So if you see two orange wheels with gravel tires on 675 somewhere near Fairborn, send me a message.

Jerry Dork
9/7/13 7:07 a.m.

Maybe I'll cut the grass today.

Feedyurhed Dork
9/7/13 7:25 a.m.

Wow, sorry to hear that. I really have nothing to add to make you feel better except that we have all done things like that and you live and learn. You won't make that mistake again.

Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/7/13 7:40 a.m.

Ouch, sorry to hear about that.

Those little straps will stretch when they are new. I use 2" straps for everything. Hit Northern Tool if there is one local to you. Their yellow, 2" straps, are perfect for that kind of stuff. There is no such thing as too many straps. Use a lot of them and pull them as tight as you can. Then shake the trailer as hard as you can. If anything moves, it isn't tight enough. Also, keep in mind, for every strap you have pulling forward, you need one pulling back. That little trailer probably bounces pretty good over bumps. Things are going to have to be super tight. I would even consider taking a leaf out of the springs, to calm it down some.

I check loads at the 30 minute and one hour mark religiously. Even the enclosed trailer, I usually check, even though the 1600 pound car is held in with four 3" straps and has never moved.

Curmudgeon MegaDork
9/7/13 7:56 a.m.

Man. Sorry to hear that. I'd suggest running a safety chain through the wheel centers with a padlock, security and safety at the same time.

I managed to leave the ramp retainer loose on my trailer once, luckily I 'check six' constantly when towing. I saw the damn thing sliding down I-95 and slowly spinning at the same time. Old coot behind me had good reflexes and swerved, the ramp slid 'downhill' off the road crown onto the breakdown lane, hit the grass and jumped about six feet.

nicksta43 SuperDork
9/7/13 8:07 a.m.


You gonna go back in the daylight and try to find them?

aussiesmg MegaDork
9/7/13 8:11 a.m.
Curmudgeon wrote: Man. Sorry to hear that. I'd suggest running a safety chain through the wheel centers with a padlock, security and safety at the same time.

Or a cable, this only needs to be firm, still use straps to tighten but keep the center cable/chain to ensure no runaways again.

That sucks man, you were confident of having a good show today

stan GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/7/13 8:24 a.m.

I go that way twice a day and will keep an eye out for them. North or south of Fairborn?

DeadSkunk SuperDork
9/7/13 8:30 a.m.

On my full size trailer I anchored the tires with a pipe that passed through two steel supports and the wheels and locked in place.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
9/7/13 8:57 a.m.

Ouch. I hope some poor bastard didn't find them with their oil pan.

I'd modify that rig to take a fence post or stretch of aircraft cable up the center asap.

oldopelguy Dork
9/7/13 9:39 a.m.

+1 on a pipe through the center. Drill a hole in each end of the pipe for a screw closed chain link and attach your straps to that on each side. It will keep the pipe from being able to slide out so even if the straps let go entirely all 4 tires will stay together.

I had both tires on one side of the trailer fall off and roll into the ditch to be lost one time in the middle of IA coming back from NY with a fire truck on my 35' trailer. We all have stories and hopefully you'll find your tires and this won't be so bad to look back on.

irish44j UberDork
9/7/13 9:44 a.m.

I have the same trailer setup as you (more or less) and what appear to be the same ratchet straps (though I bought them at Home Depot). I drove all the way to the track and as I entered the bumpy rallycross paddock...POP both ratchets popped and the tires kind of "laid down" - I have some raised rails that kind of keep them from totally coming off.

Now I use a single big heavy-duty ratchet over the top, and a smaller cargo strap through the spokes (just in case). Haven't had an issue since.

JohnRW1621 PowerDork
9/7/13 10:14 a.m.

So sorry.
This link should take you to a number of samples and various strapping methods.

Personally, my set-up was similar to this.
I also like the hinge of the box to be such that the headwind is not trying to open the box.

Jerry Dork
9/7/13 10:32 a.m.

Thanks guys. Me and SWMBO had some breakfast and went tire hunting. I found one in the middle median of 675, of course laying with the bright orange side down (she spotted it pretty quick). Took a brisk jaunt down the median hoping the helpful highway patrol would stay busy with speeding vehicles.

It took a nasty bounce and is slightly oval. I think the tire is salvageable, but won't know till I try to mount it. The tread looks questionable but they were free handmedowns so they already were kinda iffy.

@Stan, if you remember to look I was heading north on 675 and saw the bouncing tire just after the Yellow Springs exit (I pulled over just after it's on-ramp). Went up to Fairborn and turned around to try to find them. I'm guessing (?) they came off the same time, but after seeing it's condition I decided not to get ourselves killed going up and down the highway trying to find the other. That center median was full of metal crap just waiting to cut her tires, and THAT would have made the day worse.

I like the pole idea, I think that was the first trailer I ever saw at my first event & got the idea for a trailer. I think I might try some modifications, definitely getting better tie-downs, and might even throw some simple 1/4" nylon rope in there as a backup.

curtis73 GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/7/13 11:07 a.m.

I had one pop on my motorcycle. Fortunately it was a dirt bike that had seen far worse falls before. Pulling into Gorman I hit a big bump, the bike forks compressed, and when they popped back up it just bent the ratchet tang and let the spool loose.

I always use tie downs that have an actual gear now, not just a stamped steel tab.

octavious Reader
9/7/13 11:34 a.m.

Man that sucks. Look at it as an excuse to get new wheels...

And thread jack but what black box are you guys running on those trailers? And where do I get one? Those look just about right for what I need.

irish44j UberDork
9/7/13 11:50 a.m.

I have a Contico Pro Tuff Bin on mine. I think I bought it at Home Depot or Lowe's. It's awesome, stiff, weatherproof, and easy to bolt down securely. And about as secure as a non-metal box can get. Much more stout and stiff than many others I've used/tried/looked at. Looks like JohnRW has the same one.


 photo DSCF5508.jpg

codrus GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/7/13 12:38 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: I also like the hinge of the box to be such that the headwind is not trying to open the box.

The problem with putting the tires on the front is that when you take them off at the event, the weight of the tools/etc in the box wants to make the trailer flip backwards. Also, if you have lightweight wheels/tires you may not have enough tongue weight with them on the front.

This was my HF trailer -- I always ran the tiedown straps through the wheels, never over/around them. I usually had three. I started out using chains, but after getting some newer wheels I switched to the straps to avoid scratching them up. As for the box lid wanting to open with the wind, a couple of padlocks pretty much solve that.

And yeah, the Contico box has been the tire trailer box of choice for years. I shot that photo in 2002, back when the race track in Sonoma still called itself Sears Point. :)

Jerry Dork
9/7/13 12:57 p.m.

Definitely going through the wheels from now on, two or three straps. Going to Home Depot here shortly for better/wider/stronger/faster/younger versions too. I didn't think about the trailer flipping up with the box/wheels reversed. Thought about doing that, think I won't.

And the box faces with the hinge forward. Just using a spring clip to hold it. If someone was going to steal my E36 M3, they would have done so when I pretty much dumped everything out of the frunk/trunk/seats onto garbage bags on the grass in the paddock.

amg_rx7 Dork
9/7/13 1:10 p.m.

Ratcheting tow straps are tricky. Mine kept coming loose on my trailer. Couldn't figure out why. Eventually stumbled upon Mac's Custom Tie Downs and their FAQ videos and learned that in order for ratchet straps to not loosen, you need 2 full rounds of strap through the ratcheting part in order for them not to come loose.


JohnRW1621 PowerDork
9/7/13 1:36 p.m.
codrus wrote: The problem with putting the tires on the front is that when you take them off at the event, the weight of the tools/etc in the box wants to make the trailer flip backwards.

I solved this issue by bringing one more jackstand which was placed at the rear of the trailer.

Yes, Contico is the box to get. Be leery of other black, plastic boxes. One good day on the hot blacktop and direct sun can cause some of these cheaply made boxes to permanently distort.

Iusedtobefast New Reader
9/7/13 2:19 p.m.

We have small trailers at work that we put a square leg down on in the back to keep from flipping the trailer back. Our guys have a tendency too put bags of cement mix in back and, of course, there's no weight in the front. Square tube slides through another piece of square tube with a bolt running through for securing.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/7/13 3:11 p.m.

yes, straps loosen and loads settle. Even my 3200 pound boat needed it's 3" straps tightened after a hundred miles

Jerry Dork
9/7/13 3:23 p.m.

Just returned from Home Depot with 2" heavier duty ratcheting straps, hoping they work better. And they will be put through the wheels, not over them.

I also bought 5' of 1/4" chain to make longer safety chains. The hitch butts up against a plate so the place for the safety chain is blocked. I am going to try to make a new one to go to the tow hooks on either side of the car instead.

oldopelguy Dork
9/7/13 3:23 p.m.

Find someone throwing away a pop up camper and grab the flip down legs off the corners. They lock up or down, weigh next to nothing, and make great tongue stands or rear braces.

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