EricGT

Anyone drive with their surge brakes locked out?

43 posts in this topic

Love that absurd video, always makes me smile. Lucky for the driver, it ended with a relatively minor mishap. The video demonstrates or simulates the weakness of surge brakes. They do not function going in reverse down the boat ramp. Something to keep in mind while on steep and wet ramps.

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7 hours ago, soldier4402 said:

Ny says anything over 1000 unladen and 3000 loaded.  But only states good operating condition and nothing about all four.  In this instance if you are from NY and towing through PA and don't have all four nothing your going to get into trouble for.  Usually states(I say usually not going to say for everything) that require something else can not force that upon somebody from a different state that is just passing through or staying temporarily.  Some exceptions would be commercial rigs.  Not all state laws are enforceable to non residents.

 

What it really comes down to is common sense.  Im not towing across country without a proper set up, down the block to my normal launch I would.  Are LEOs going to pull you over just for fun to check, probably not, have they before yes.  Could you possibly open yourself up to liability in a crash possible, but I don't buy that argument all to much. 

 

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I would check into the shoes for the loud banging sound. The sound is made when the front shoe slides into place. If it is real loud, something has more than likely come apart. Can you feel the trailer shake when it does it?

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Are they drums or disc?  If drums, it sound like the brakes may just need to be adjusted out.  If the shoes are not adjusted correctly, there will be too much free travel in the actuator.  This reveals itself in sloppy beating and banging, when you come to a stop, and then take off again.  

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Eric, just a thought ... I don't know how much and what you have towed before, not trying to guess or judge ... just an observation from my experience.

My current rig of F-150 and 10,000 trailer with surge brakes clunks, sometime seems very violent. My previous rig of old light truck 4Runner (now Tacoma) and empty 2,000 trailer with surge brakes clunked terribly. Today, I was towing with F-150 a very light one axle utility trailer with no breaks (less than 1,000 gross) and it clunked as well. Not with a strong force since the trailer was very light but nevertheless very familiar clunk and a bit of surge and tug ... and that made me thinking about your situation.

In all cases I have traced the clunking to the hitch clunking in the receiver. Just putting it out for your consideration.

 

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11 hours ago, soldier4402 said:

Could you possibly open yourself up to liability in a crash possible, but I don't buy that argument all to much. 

One who is negligent will and that's a legal fact. Nothing might come out of it or one might lose a farm.

It's one's judgement and personal decision based on tolerance of risk, how much one has and is willing to lose, and how much time one has to start over and rebuild their assets, net worth, etc. Having an umbrella insurance or assets protected by LLC or some other trust can help but does not make one immune to forfeiting their assets as a restoration payment to the damaged party.

Case in point ... our neighbor, a hard working farmer, was coming back on his tractor from the fields at night without the tail lights as they were broken. A car hit the tractor from behind and the car passenger was seriously injured. He was sued for everything he owned. Luckily, his farm house and surrounding field was in joint ownership with his immediate family, but he lost all other fields he bought over the last thirty years and was the sole owner. He is a much poorer farmer now, and the land which was his retirement asset is gone. Really sad story ... it did not help that the car driver was a lawyer and the injured passenger was his wife. On the other hand, this happened in Canada where the liability laws are milder, the health care costs are much lower therefore the judgements are more reasonable, and people are not as trigger happy when it comes to suing.

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8 hours ago, Richard W said:

One who is negligent will and that's a legal fact. Nothing might come out of it or one might lose a farm.

 

I would always advise people to what's right first, and second do what the law says.  So don't misconstrue what I was saying or going to say.  With that said I still don't buy this argument that you WILL get sued.  A few things have to happen 1. you have to have be wrong, 2. they have to prove it 3.  for somebody to sue you they have to get injured and usually pretty seriously.  The ambulance chasing lawyers know there's no money unless you are hurt.  4. We can talk wage garnishment etc, but they usually are only going to logically sue for what your worth, and in most cases what your insurance covers.  Actually some good articles and opinion pieces out there about carrying insurance, and some make the argument that the more insurance you carry makes you a bigger target.  Again its all about risk, and what you are willing to accept.  Me personally I would prefer to have properly working equipment, but im willing to take the risk for a short jaunt. 

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I'm thinking if my friend who is driving my truck pulling my boat (I am driving the motorhome) were to run into someone.   And they then discovered I had the surge brakes locked out via pin because they weren't working properly.

I could be open to a pretty big lawsuit.  Another reason to get them inspected prior to leaving.

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On 8/9/2017 at 6:40 AM, EricGT said:

I'm thinking if my friend who is driving my truck pulling my boat (I am driving the motorhome) were to run into someone.   And they then discovered I had the surge brakes locked out via pin because they weren't working properly.

I could be open to a pretty big lawsuit.  Another reason to get them inspected prior to leaving.

The fact that you've posted on a public forum your possible intention to knowingly tow with malfunctioning brakes kind of makes it impossible for you to claim ignorance if you have an accident. Just sayin................

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3 hours ago, CKSNAP said:

The fact that you've posted on a public forum your possible intention to knowingly tow with malfunctioning brakes kind of makes it impossible for you to claim ignorance if you have an accident. Just sayin................

lol.  I always do get a chuckle when people post about in essence illegal stuff.  Lets just say I work somewhere, where online communities and social media give us a lot information.

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I read on the Chap FB site last night that Eric found the source of his problem, a leaking brake line or fitting. I`m sure he will update us soon with the resolution details.

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6 hours ago, cyclops2 said:

Did we do a check of fluid & bleed out any air in the lines ?

 

3 hours ago, Chap243 said:

I read on the Chap FB site last night that Eric found the source of his problem, a leaking brake line or fitting. I`m sure he will update us soon with the resolution details.

Yes sir.  Fittings tightened and lines bled.  We are now good to go!

I'm glad it was an easy fix.  I wish they all were.

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 WAAHHHOOO  :D

SO we now know that low fluid & air can be that AIR PISTON slamming back & forth. 

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