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Bent I beam on trailer

Old 06-12-2019, 09:16 PM
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Default Bent I beam on trailer


I trailerd my boat down to the keys (600 mile round trip) a few weeks ago and when I was on my way home I noticed that the passenger side I beam was bowed. I got out to look at it and can see where the axle, I bolts and break lines all smacked the beam and bent. Now all of the axle geometry is out of whack. I never hit anything and would think an impact like that would have some effect on the tires. At least leave a mark. I am waiting to see what the manufacturer says, but was wondering if you guys have ever dealt with this. I bought the boat and trailer brand new in August. 2018 black Jack 224. Trailer is rated to carry 4400 and with my rough calculations boat, motor, 4 batteries, 70 gallons of fuel, trolling motor and 6 gallons of fresh water puts me somewhere in the 3600lb range. Still have to add all the rigging, electronics, trolling motor and so forth. I know it's close to capacity but should still be under.

Last edited by the82bronco; 06-12-2019 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Added pic
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:36 PM
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wow. was the hard crease/bend in the horizontal part of lower I-beam (in 2nd picture) caused by the axle u-bolt making contact with it? if so, that might be where the damage started.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:00 AM
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Dip in the road or big pothole. Ran out of suspension. Looks like it is totaled, will never get it to track straight.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:19 AM
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I was coming up through southern S Carolina on I-95 pulling a stacker trailer with a car, motorcycle and a trike and other stuff a few weeks ago. I hit a series of pot holes that would swallow a Volkswagen. It destroyed the coupler, ball, ball mount, front axle (of 3 axles) and pulled the vertical rails for the 4,000 pound lift from the wall. My motorcycle came out of the chock and it had 6 straps on it.

Any chance you came up I-95 the end of May.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:25 AM
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Based on your calculations your trailer is marginal. Most knowledgable people suggest a 25%-40% capacity buffer for trouble free trailering.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:35 AM
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Did someone run into the trailer while the boat was off of it?
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:47 AM
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Is the back end of the trailer bent downward (and outward?). I agree it looks like a large bounce with the suspension bottom'ing out and the trailer having to bend to absorb the shock. When I spec the trailer for my boats I always ask them to use the next size up I-beam than they intend plus a few other upgrades. (EX: 21 Seahunt with 15in wheels where 14's are planned, larger beams, brakes on both axles. Another triple axle with 16in wheels vs 15's, brakes on all 3 axles, 8.5 in I beams, etc.)
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by vawrckdvr View Post
wow. was the hard crease/bend in the horizontal part of lower I-beam (in 2nd picture) caused by the axle u-bolt making contact with it? if so, that might be where the damage started.
That is what I stated in my original post. The crease is from the ubolt smashing the brake line into the I beam.

Last edited by the82bronco; 06-13-2019 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Marco_boater View Post
I was coming up through southern S Carolina on I-95 pulling a stacker trailer with a car, motorcycle and a trike and other stuff a few weeks ago. I hit a series of pot holes that would swallow a Volkswagen. It destroyed the coupler, ball, ball mount, front axle (of 3 axles) and pulled the vertical rails for the 4,000 pound lift from the wall. My motorcycle came out of the chock and it had 6 straps on it.

Any chance you came up I-95 the end of May.
No, this was straight down the turnpike
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by t500hps View Post
Is the back end of the trailer bent downward (and outward?). I agree it looks like a large bounce with the suspension bottom'ing out and the trailer having to bend to absorb the shock. When I spec the trailer for my boats I always ask them to use the next size up I-beam than they intend plus a few other upgrades. (EX: 21 Seahunt with 15in wheels where 14's are planned, larger beams, brakes on both axles. Another triple axle with 16in wheels vs 15's, brakes on all 3 axles, 8.5 in I beams, etc.)
I questioned it when I picked the boat up. When I bought the boat it was on a stand. My fault for not doing my due diligence before I signed the paperwork. I tried to upgrade the trailer and basically was told I would have to buy a new one and sale the one under the boat because they had already sent off the registration paperwork. At the time it was going to cost another $7500 to do so. I was assured that there was enough trailer under the boat and I figured I would let it ride.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:30 AM
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If the manufacturer replaces the I beam, should I swap out to torsion axles to keep this from happening again?
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:38 AM
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Marginally rated trailer for the load coupled with a stress event (dip in road, pothole, even the crest of a ramp) caused frame failure. Down side of a sprung trailer is most of the sprung load is carried by the I beam frame. Add in leverage and stuff bends. May need a call to the insurance company.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by the82bronco View Post
If the manufacturer replaces the I beam, should I swap out to torsion axles to keep this from happening again?
torsion does alleviate stress to the frame.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
Marginally rated trailer for the load coupled with a stress event (dip in road, pothole, even the crest of a ramp) caused frame failure. Down side of a sprung trailer is most of the sprung load is carried by the I beam frame. Add in leverage and stuff bends. May need a call to the insurance company.
figured it would end up a insurance claim.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:19 AM
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Just to verify that the trailer is rated to carry 4,400 and not 4,400 GVWR. GVWR has to also include the weight of the trailer itself along with the weight of the boat.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jhackl View Post
Just to verify that the trailer is rated to carry 4,400 and not 4,400 GVWR. GVWR has to also include the weight of the trailer itself along with the weight of the boat.
it has a 4400lb carrying capacity. I dont remember the gvrw off the top of my head.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:14 PM
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That sucks OP ! Hate to see that happen. I bought a Sea Hunt from a dealer and added a trailer and it ended up being a box aluminum frame trailer that was definitely not what I thought I was buying . I am having one built for a boat now and they are not cheap for a quality trailer but well worth it !
Looks like new trailer in your future, probably claim on insurance? I would also suggest a larger trailer .

Plenty 7000lb trailers available for decent prices new and used , I even saw some brand new ones selling for used prices ! Check around.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Pro69SS View Post
That sucks OP ! Hate to see that happen. I bought a Sea Hunt from a dealer and added a trailer and it ended up being a box aluminum frame trailer that was definitely not what I thought I was buying . I am having one built for a boat now and they are not cheap for a quality trailer but well worth it !
Looks like new trailer in your future, probably claim on insurance? I would also suggest a larger trailer .

Plenty 7000lb trailers available for decent prices new and used , I even saw some brand new ones selling for used prices ! Check around.
I will see what they say. Cant wait to see the value the insurance company puts on the trailer.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:25 PM
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Hi would also check the cross members for bends or cracks. If so then you should consider a new trailer.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by BAFA View Post
Hi would also check the cross members for bends or cracks. If so then you should consider a new trailer.
I did and short of an xray it seems all of the damage is contained to the I beam. It's been a week and still no word from the dealer. I will have to start pushing next week to get the ball rolling. I dont want to be with out my boat all summer.
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