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Marine Surveyors Are CLUELESS when it comes to Trailers!

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Marine Surveyors Are CLUELESS when it comes to Trailers!

Old 02-10-2019, 10:03 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Flatout71 View Post
Wow. Now a Maine Surveyors knowing if all the brakes are in perfect working order might be hard but on the Ameritrial trailer anyone with half a brain and a flash light would have seen those disc and calipers were crap. I would love to know the brand of those. From my experience I am guessing tie down.
The calipers were the Kodiak OEM uncoated models that come with the Tie-Down 7K axles unless you specify the Epoxy or Dacromet coated models. I replaced them with the Kodiak E-coat, stainless piston calipers loaded with ceramic metal pads and coated rotors. This combo will last 3-5 years with just rinse maintenance on normal use. I prefer the Kodiak calipers because the are variants of GM vehicle OEM parts that you can buy replacement pads with a lifetime warranty for $18 at most auto supply stores and seal kits for $6. The Kodiaks also have a larger piston that is stainless in a steel body vs the junk Tie-Downs with a smaller steel piston in an aluminum body caliper.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:20 AM
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I think its pretty simple... if someone is not qualified/experienced/certified/trained they should NOT be offering a PROFESSIONAL opinion. So a boat surveyor, unless qualified/experienced/certified/trained should NOT be offering an opinion on a boat trailer in the survey report. Maybe it would be OK to snap a few pictures for the buyer and say here is what it visually looks like but you really should get a mechanic/trailer guy to go over the trailer and give you the facts. I would never use a boat surveyor to check over a trailer. Any boat that I have bought with a trailer, I've had a trailer guy who is qualified come and look things over, tell me what needs to be overhauled, etc. In fact, a boat surveyor offering a bad professional opinion for which they are not qualified but appear to be qualified can earn them some liability should there be an accident or issue as a result.

I think its good for people to post names of surveyors who have no clue or misrepresent things. You might save someone else a headache!
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:36 AM
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Personally I'd have clipped the subject line at "clueless". The words following that are generally not necessary. If you are going to post a list of incompetent marine surveyors you'll be typing for a long time. The whole marine industry is full of overpriced charlatans. In 50+ years of messing about with boats I can count on the fingers of one hand the good marine service providers I have encountered and some of those are now dead.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:31 AM
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Did you crawl under and check every aluminum bunk support? In my experience with two new Ameratrail trailers they corrode quickly. Would love to see some pics of those.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mbowers View Post
Did you crawl under and check every aluminum bunk support? In my experience with two new Ameratrail trailers they corrode quickly. Would love to see some pics of those.
They too are JUNK!! Each one is made from 1/8" aluminum flat-bar, welded to a 2x3" channel with bolts drilled and installed from the top of the bunk. With this design, the hull is guaranteed to have eventual damage. At the least, they should have welded 4x3" radiused T-bar so there could be weight centered over the post with 3 or 4 stainless lag screws from the bottom. I always use lag screws as they easily show you by loosening or falling out way before your bunks fail from deterioration.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:06 PM
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always loved looking at that boat when I stopped in the shop, honestly kind of surprised they let the trailer be in that condition when it sold but that boat was always kept pretty damn clean.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:09 PM
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On such a high end trailer I find it amazing the old brake components are not all Kodiak ss.

Alden your probably used to that but I’d flip out if I was the buyer. I’d have been suspicious at “appears”.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:12 PM
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I believe the OP has discovered an underserved niche market. Trailer Inspection Transport Surveyor. I may have found my new retirement job. God knows, I have owned a ton of trailers and been broken down on I-95 a few times. I consider myself a TITS expert. Thanks Alden Transport.
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Last edited by sac56fire; 02-10-2019 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by sac56fire View Post
I believe the OP has discovered an underserved niche market. Trailer Inspection Transport Surveyor. I may have found my new retirement job. God knows, I have owned a ton of trailers and been broken down on I-95 a few times. I consider myself a TITS expert. Thanks Alden Transport.
your slogan could be ''Big or small we inspect 'em all''
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:58 AM
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Nice job!
As the owner of a much smaller boat- thanks for re-confirming to me the importance of good equipment.
Our boat came with a very janky single axle trailer I swapped out for a brand new tandem and the difference is night and day in every aspect.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Beak Boater View Post
Most surveyors work for the dealer anyway.....that is unless you hire one yourself that is independent of the dealer. You tell the dealer you want the boat surveyed they say sure call up their surveyor they always use and the deed is done. Kind of like a home inspection when you buy a house that the realtor uses. They wont bite the hand that feeds them unless its totally obvious.
Let me say not all home inspectors, or marine surveyors are like this. Most are Honest, reputable, and care about their work. But their are those that are not, and they get used much too often because the dealers know they wont get any problems from them.
<Most surveyors work for the dealer anyway....>
ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. I've been a surveyor for 32 years and you are WRONG. No doubt some of us are more worried about referrals from brokers but they're the minority. The solution is obvious. Don't let the broker pick your surveyor.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:10 AM
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I wouldn't really expect a marine surveyor to know much of anything about trailers....the vast majority of boats they look at are too large to have one. A surveyor is not a marine engine expert either...the surveyors main job is to spot major structural defects like hull delamination and failed hull/deck joints. They may offer opinions on engines or trailers, but when I went to survey I had a separate engine survey done by a Yanmar tech, and if the boat had a trailer I would have had someone from a trailer shop check it out.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by TopCat View Post
I wouldn't really expect a marine surveyor to know much of anything about trailers....the vast majority of boats they look at are too large to have one. A surveyor is not a marine engine expert either...the surveyors main job is to spot major structural defects like hull delamination and failed hull/deck joints. They may offer opinions on engines or trailers, but when I went to survey I had a separate engine survey done by a Yanmar tech, and if the boat had a trailer I would have had someone from a trailer shop check it out.
I can agree with your post.

Just to be transparent on expectations set by a surveyor who is very thorough with a hull and power inspection to give an opinion on a trailer, many would assume he is using the same expertise in grading such. Any rating on the trailer should then be followed by the statement of NOT having any experience or knowledge of what he is judging said trailer by or any certification of it being roadworthy at all. Had such been shared, then the potential buyer could have then followed up with a more informed buying decision and required a "Trailer Mechanic" as you suggest to look at it. All great points you shared and as I said, agree.

As the Sac56Fire suggested, maybe I should offer such a service. I Like T.I.T.S. for the new venture name! "Big Or Small, I inspect them ALL... So Call Before You HAUL!!"
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Alden Transport View Post
I can agree with your post.

Just to be transparent on expectations set by a surveyor who is very thorough with a hull and power inspection to give an opinion on a trailer, many would assume he is using the same expertise in grading such. Any rating on the trailer should then be followed by the statement of NOT having any experience or knowledge of what he is judging said trailer by or any certification of it being roadworthy at all. Had such been shared, then the potential buyer could have then followed up with a more informed buying decision and required a "Trailer Mechanic" as you suggest to look at it. All great points you shared and as I said, agree.

As the Sac56Fire suggested, maybe I should offer such a service. I Like T.I.T.S. for the new venture name! "Big Or Small, I inspect them ALL... So Call Before You HAUL!!"
we could expand further: Springs sagging? BRAkes not stopping? Inflation issues?
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by kawakx125 View Post
we could expand further: Springs sagging? BRAkes not stopping? Inflation issues?
EXACTLY... Let me POINT out a few things here. There is an immediate need to find out if the seller was using Silicon fluid in the brakes or DOT 3 or 4. Using DOT fluid gives a more natural feel to the brakes and are not so hard or abrupt.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Alden Transport View Post
Ok so it's obvious you have far more experience than I when it comes to trailering, but I too recently overhauled the brakes/hubs on my trailer, and in doing so I added a dab of grease to the studs as you have in this picture (to ease with backing the lug nut off when I eventually would need to). Boy was that a big mistake. When I checked the tightness after a bit of highway travel, all of the lugs had backed off. I tightened again, and before my next check, they had backed off again and one wheel had sheered the studs clean off sending my tire rolling off the side of the road.

I called a specialized roadside trailer support guy, and he made it abundantly clear that I should NEVER grease the trailer studs, which was now obvious at this point. So is this standard practice for you? And has it never caused any problems?
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by krocks View Post
Ok so it's obvious you have far more experience than I when it comes to trailering, but I too recently overhauled the brakes/hubs on my trailer, and in doing so I added a dab of grease to the studs as you have in this picture (to ease with backing the lug nut off when I eventually would need to). Boy was that a big mistake. When I checked the tightness after a bit of highway travel, all of the lugs had backed off. I tightened again, and before my next check, they had backed off again and one wheel had sheered the studs clean off sending my tire rolling off the side of the road.

I called a specialized roadside trailer support guy, and he made it abundantly clear that I should NEVER grease the trailer studs, which was now obvious at this point. So is this standard practice for you? And has it never caused any problems?

I try and use neverseize when I work on our trailers. Not boat trailer but i would have done the same if i hadn't read this. I wonder if it has anything to do with spring vs torsion axles. I'd like to hear his experience.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ole_blue View Post
I try and use neverseize when I work on our trailers. Not boat trailer but i would have done the same if i hadn't read this. I wonder if it has anything to do with spring vs torsion axles. I'd like to hear his experience.
When I searched online it seemed pretty split between "I always do this and have never had a problem" and "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD YOU GREASE THE STUDS."

Main reasons for not greasing were:

1) How easy it is to over-torque the stud
2) How easy it is for the lug nut to back off

Based off of my experience, you could probably guess which stance I'll be taking moving forward.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CC driver View Post
When shopping for used boats that come with trailers, would it be fair to say that the condition of the trailer can be used as a barometer for the condition of the boat? In other words, if trailer maintenance has been neglected what are odds that boat maintenance has also been neglected?
That depends one of the boats in my family goes 1/3 of a mile to the ramp in the spring 1/3 or a mile back in the fall. We jack it up take the tires off cover the boat and leave it on the trailer all winter boat gets cleaned and maintained all summer, trailer is rickety pos.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:20 AM
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Aluminum wheels react to torquing differently than steel wheels. And I've never had a greased lug fail. Shearing off the studs indicates the studs may have been overtorqued, stretched to their yield point, and failed. Or, they were Chinese.
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