OT- What if gooseneck ball has to be behind axle ?
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  1. #1
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    Thinking further about an F350 truck with flat bed, I gradually succumb to the idea of a standard cab (as opposed to super or crew cab) in order to get a full 12 foot bed and it sinks in that the remaining problem with that is one cannot put the gooseneck ball in the ideal location... at, or slightly in front of, the rear axle.

    Having said that, today I saw an F350 12 foot flat bed with gooseneck ball..but sure enough, it was positioned about a foot behind the rear axle.

    So the big question is, just how detrimental would it be to be that far back ? Would it simply be an issue of reduced capacity on the gooseneck trailer near the front, so as not to get the truck front too light ? Or would there even be tracking or fishtailing issues to consider ?

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    The info I have {from sales man I know of}it will not hurt on a one ton.If you look at the springs they should have over loads.If not I hope you know what comes next.

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    Ahh, DT, just call up Kaufman and order up a custom extra-long neck model

    They might even "work on" your existing model trailer (????) Surely a good welding shop could also take care of that, probably have to upsize the horizontal pieces in the neck and probably the triangulated "gusset" plate that holds it all together.

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    The ride will suffer depending on how much behind it is. A foot is a lot. Every time the trailer hits a bump the weight shift yanks the back of the truck up and down which then pivots on the rear axle. This jerks the front up and down. If the hitch point is directly over the axle it can't do that.

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    Yes from anything that I have ever driven, the load needs to be in front of the rear axle if loading to max. capacity, same as the load needs to be in front of the trailer axles.
    I once drive one improperly loaded from Newark, NJ to Pittsburgh. Took about 12 hours, could not go above 45 mph without going all over the place.
    A light load is OK, but you really want the load between the rear and front axle.
    Why can't it be pushed further forward?

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    There is an ideal location and an acceptable operating location parameter. Put your 5th wheel ball on a sliding plate so you can move it fore and aft depending on the loading of the trailer. If you have to run with the ball to the rear, load the trailer at the axle or behind so the effective weight of the ball is less. Put a level in the cab so you can see the pitch of the truck before and after hooking up and loading the trailer.

    A foot aft won't hurt if the effective weight load at the ball can be kept low to keep steering nominal.

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    I know of a friend who did just that. He had a 2 ton truck used to haul cattle in a large gooseneck. I thought a two ton would be ok. But loaded it was all over the road. A real PITA on long trips. You would constantly have to correct it to stay between the lines. I believe it was less than 12" behind the axle.

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    If we extent this hitch point back another 12-18" we would have a HEAVEN FORBID! bumper hitch mount. And there are lots of 1 tons pulling pintle style trailers with all sorts of loads, and they mostly stay between the ditches. Bigger trucks are using pintles with ratings of 50,000 lb tongue weight, so maybe 12" back isn't ideal, but with common sense(and I have never noticed a lack of the same from D Thomas) it can and should work.

    Dale Nelson

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    Listening to the camper guys I know talk, I picked up that they have a gooseneck hitch for their short bed trucks that MOVES back when you have to turn, but moves back ahead of the axle when they drive straight, not sure how it works.

    Bill

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    If we extent this hitch point back another 12-18" we would have a HEAVEN FORBID! bumper hitch mount
    That was my thought...that even though not ideal position, it would still be better than a bumper hitch situation.

    But then how does one explain Tims friend and his 2 ton truck and cattle trailer ? All I can figure is maybe most long goosenecks tend to have their axles near the rear of the trailer and most bumper pulls tend to have axles about in the middle. So in his situation he had too much weight on the neck and couldn't really position enough cattle behind the axle to compensate, whereas on a trailer with axles closer to the middle, you could.

    So I suspect the bottom line on how well this would work depends on your axle position on your gooseneck and how much deck real estate ya got behind the axle for weight balance possiblities.

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    So I suspect the bottom line on how well this would work depends on your axle position on your gooseneck and how much deck real estate ya got behind the axle for weight balance possiblities.
    Probably right. The only time I've seen the ball behind the axle was when the truck was disproportionately large compared to the trailer. Like a 33K GVW toterhome towing a 24K GVW enclosed gooseneck with the ball 2 feet behind the rear axle - that's fairly common. I assume the mass of the truck tows the combo like a bumper pull trailer with no difficulty. And many enclosed trailers have the axles farther forward than your Kaufmann.

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    Should not be a problem unless you plan to let 10 ton of cattle dance around in the back.

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    Confusion over the gooseneck ball location caused a former neighbor considerable trouble. He picked out a travel trailer, then shopped nationally to find one with his exact list of options. We're in WA - he found it 1700 miles away in MN. Asked the dealer what truck he needed to tow it, then went and bought a brand-new F-whatever. Drove the new truck to MN, where the dealer barfed and said "but you can't tow this trailer with an x-cab, short-bed because the hitch is too far back" and flat refused to sell him the trailer.

    He wound up buying a different trailer - from a dealer in TX - ball is still too far back, but he seems happy with the setup.

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    It was a long goosneck, probably not overloaded, but lots of weight between the ball and axles. My only concern would be if you decide to haul alot of weight would the load cause the truck to act like Evan said-

    "Every time the trailer hits a bump the weight shift yanks the back of the truck up and down which then pivots on the rear axle."

    Might be like riding a bucking bronco. Especially on some of the concrete roads with the expansion joints every 10 to 20 feet.

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    I don't know much about lathes and mills (learning though) but when it comes to goosenecks you are playing in my field.

    I installed my first one in 1975 and have owned and installed hundreds since.

    The correct position in NOT "at or ahead". It is "AHEAD"! Many of my customers have had their first hitch installed at a trailer sales in the "neutral" position. It always amazes them when they discover how much better their next truck handles a trailer with the hitch positioned 4-6" ahead of the axle.

    If you have a big flatbed gooseneck why do you need a 12' bed? Bob the tail of the truck bed off short enough to hitch the trailer and cut the corners off at 45 degrees so it will swing by.

    I put a gooseneck ball on a Kenworth road tractor a few years back for a horse trailer. It looks and handles great.

    SCOTT (fabricator - wanabee machinist)

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    Might be like riding a bucking bronco. Especially on some of the concrete roads with the expansion joints every 10 to 20 feet.
    Actually, even with ball in perfect spot a few inches ahead of axle, it can be like that now if not loaded properly. By that theory how does anyone use a typical bumper pull trailer without getting beat to death ? But the reality is even a bumper pull can be smooth as silk ride if loaded just right, even without a weight distributing hitch. No "theory" to that... years of experience on the road pulling various trailers with various loads.

    If you have a big flatbed gooseneck why do you need a 12' bed? Bob the tail of the truck bed off short enough to hitch the trailer and cut the corners off at 45 degrees so it will swing by.
    By that logic why do I need a bed at all ? Well of course there is good reason for the 12 foot bed... and that is, going to auctions (usually 300 miles away) where you don't know if you will get anything or not. Easy to drive the truck alone..easy to park, no trailer to hook up, etc so you go..maybe you get nothing, maybe you get one machine, maybe you get enough to fill up the 12 foot bed.

    But then sometimes I get too much even for the 12 foot bed..like yesterday...I'll fill every inch of a 28 foot trailer with what I bought yesterday.....hence the gooseneck. Actually a bumper pull would be ok in that case, but already got the gooseneck...

    But if I go the one ton 12 foot flatbed route, maybe I should sell the gooseneck and just get a heavy duty 'deck over' standard hitch pull trailer. After all, the gooseneck would take up space on the bed I could have some lighter weight machines tied down...so the trailer could be shorter, and a 4 wheeler instead of current 8 wheel situation.

    Bottom line= the real key to smooth trailer ride with a one ton truck as prime mover is trailer axle position and distribution of load.

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    I was really going to argue the extra tongue weight from the gn would cause the problems. Since by design you can have more tongue wt.

    But I decided to see what mine is. The reese type hitch (Ford branded) sticker says "distributed wt 15,000 lb. trailer wt and 1,500 lb. tongue wt. non distributed 6,000 lb trailer wt. 600 lb. tongue wt.)

    I'm assuming a distributed hitch would be torsion bars? Never been around any.

    That said I can only pull a 6,000 tag along trailer with a 3/4 ton truck. I pull 12,500 once a week.

    I never found the max tongue wt allowed for a gn. It may just be the gvwr of the truck minus the truck wt.

    But in the process I found this; my owners manuel states that I can pull a 12,500 lb tag trailer. But I can only pull 10,400 lb gn. No I didn't write that backwards. It's ridiculous.

    If you follwed the owners manuel you could mount the ball about anywhere. As light as these ratings are it probably wouldn't matter.

    Sorry for the rant. I was just floored by the low manufactures ratings.

    Tim

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    Tricky not knowing what you are going to buy. What's the capacity of the 1-ton rear axle by itself ~4000 lbs?

    (OK, someone's now going to tell me how they moved a 12,500 lb Sphinx-replica statue on a 1-ton truck. )

    So you have the 0-4000 category and the 4000-20,000 (?) category...

    I suppose the real question then is where can you get a crystal ball

    But I can see another conundrum...supposing you got 6000 lbs of machinery (whatever is too much for the 1-ton axle from the 4000 lb figure above), you're nearly bound to 2 round trips, small individual stuff would require 2 truck-only trips, while 1 large 6k machine would overload the axle and require an empty run home to get the gooseneck or other trailer...Ow!

    It might even make sense at today's fuel prices to drive some fuel sipping "Bug XLT" and just plan on driving back again for machine pickup if you are buying *anything*, this way you at least would know whether the gooseneck trailer was needed or not, to avoid 2 truck-trips.....

    Otherwise said, driving the Bug XLT to the auction would make more sense for the 4000-2000 category and driving the truck would make sense for the 400-4000 category.

    (Bug XLT also highly desirable for the goose-egg category )

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    It might even make sense at today's fuel prices to drive some fuel sipping "Bug XLT" and just plan on driving back again for machine pickup if you are buying *anything*,
    Yeah, I've considered that too. In fact, that's 'sort of' what I do most of the time now...drive the Honda Element. But at 24 mpg, it's not all that much more "sippin" than the truck at 19-20 mpg empty. So I sometimes drive the truck, but inevitably either get some small stuff that would be better for the Element (enclosed, out of weather and theft..plus easier to load into), or get something just barely physically too large for the pickup bed...maddening sometimes...

    Probably should just say to hell with it and buy/drive a Toyota Prius to all auctions !

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    Default My new ride

    Now I have the gooseneck 12' flatbed problem.

    But a good problem to have.

    I'll figure it out..

    Carl
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