Notices

Tow with caution!

Old 10-26-2020, 10:58 AM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 38
Received 14 Likes on 8 Posts
Exclamation Tow with caution!

I just purchased a new-to-me Contender 24S from a dealer about 6 hour drive from my home. While working the deal, they informed me they had to do some work on the brakes of the trailer that was more extensive then they had planned. The brake system received a complete overhaul and the axels were put back together. The dealer and I talked at length about the trailer and it being prepared to tow the 6 hours home. I have some trust issues (over trusting) and I failed to check the torque on the lug nuts. This is not my first experience working with trailers and their axels. I am used to checking 400 miles or so on new hubs and then every 1000 miles or so after that. Before long trips is a great point to check your lugs... and I missed that check

Needless to say, there is a wheel and rim floating out there and God is the only one who knows it's location. Thankfully, the remaining wheel made a loud noise when I exited the interstate. When I got out to look I noticed the lugs completely sheered off the front axel and only one lug remaining on the rear axel on the starboard of the boat. I am not going to name the marina I bought the boat from because they are going to pay for everything.

The only way to get the boat and trailer on the flat bed was to back it up using my truck! It took me and my wife almost an hour to find someone willing to tow the boat and trailer. I guess the overall height of the boat on the rig is right at or slightly above state law for total legal height.

Take this as a friendly reminder to check your trailer often. And if anyone finds a trailer tire in the area if Interstate 10, Interstate 75 or the FL Turnpike please let me know.




This was the only lug nut holding up the right side of the trailer.

Old 10-26-2020, 11:07 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Holland, Michigan
Posts: 1,646
Received 305 Likes on 182 Posts
Default

Yike! I am a fanatic about lug torque, always run a vehicle around the block and check torque again. This summer I was at my bud's boat shop leaning on a boat, nice mahogany runabout, and noticed a lugnut sticking out more than the others. Reached down and spun it off with my fingers and gave it to my bud. Not his trailer, but dang.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:10 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western WA
Posts: 2,631
Received 824 Likes on 514 Posts
Default

Yikers. That could have ended much worse
Old 10-26-2020, 11:27 AM
  #4  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Fuquay-Varina / Salvo, NC
Posts: 1,076
Received 132 Likes on 89 Posts
Default

Been there. Glad you caught it before the other one went.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:38 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 590
Received 305 Likes on 171 Posts
Default

THAT was the result of the installer either using the WRONG torque specs.... OR... he used an impact-wrench to install the wheels... and over-torqued the lugs. (At some shops, an impact wrench is used to “soft-install” and then a torque-wrench used to finish the installation. That procedure has the potential error of the impact wrench being over-torqued...which when the torque-wrench is used... shows an already-torqued wheel. ... A torque wrench may not detect an overtorqued condition.

Also, I’ve noticed at a popular tire store that they always use a torque-wrench to finish the install.....BUT...the “tehcnician” simply FORCEFULLY applies the torque-wrench to the job... guaranteeing that the wrench-setting is met.... but unfortunately actually exceeding that setting. In order to properly use a torque-wrench the torque must be S L O W L Y applied so as to meet the proper torque gradually...not overly so. I’ve pointed this out to my local tire store mgr and he took the proper action ... he actually stopped all workers for about 5 minutes and made them watch a demonstration of how to use the torque wrench. Good on him!
Likes:
Buddha66, cattskinner, crispy, navynukeme, Neuner, On the Half Shell, quakah, Thalasso and 3 others liked this post. (Show less...)
Old 10-26-2020, 11:39 AM
  #6  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,170
Likes: 0
Received 539 Likes on 255 Posts
Default

Dumb question, but what causes the lugs shear off?
Old 10-26-2020, 11:40 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Suffolk, Va.
Posts: 17,648
Likes: 0
Received 2,099 Likes on 1,068 Posts
Default

What caused them to break off. If they were loose wouldn't they just fall off one at a time?

My buddy had a tire come off and we knew where it came off and still never found the tire.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:40 AM
  #8  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 38
Received 14 Likes on 8 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by GreatBigTuna View Post
Been there. Glad you caught it before the other one went.
one bolt away from towing an axel on the ground at 70 mph.
Likes:
Old 10-26-2020, 11:43 AM
  #9  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mt Laurel NJ
Posts: 1,089
Received 230 Likes on 131 Posts
Default

Glad nothing bad happened that you know of.

Id delete this thread lol
Old 10-26-2020, 11:44 AM
  #10  
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,921
Received 2,442 Likes on 1,338 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Fishinado View Post
THAT was the result of the installer either using the WRONG torque specs.... OR... he used an impact-wrench to install the wheels... and over-torqued the lugs. (At some shops, an impact wrench is used to “soft-install” and then a torque-wrench used to finish the installation. That procedure has the potential error of the impact wrench being over-torqued...which when the torque-wrench is used... shows an already-torqued wheel. ... A torque wrench may not detect an overtorqued condition.

Also, I’ve noticed at a popular tire store that they always use a torque-wrench to finish the install.....BUT...the “tehcnician” simply FORCEFULLY applies the torque-wrench to the job... guaranteeing that the wrench-setting is met.... but unfortunately actually exceeding that setting. In order to properly use a torque-wrench the torque must be S L O W L Y applied so as to meet the proper torque gradually...not overly so. I’ve pointed this out to my local tire store mgr and he took the proper action ... he actually stopped all workers for about 5 minutes and made them watch a demonstration of how to use the torque wrench. Good on him!
Originally Posted by WalkingTheDocks View Post
Dumb question, but what causes the lugs shear off?
Every one I have seen shear lug nuts have been too loose, If they over tighten them they will just snap off.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:46 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bradenton FL
Posts: 2,280
Received 812 Likes on 365 Posts
Default

I don't understand how an over-torqued lug can cause your bolts to shear off?
Also - What in the world would cause all 5 bolts to shear like that? Never seen anything like this. Was the brake locked and tire dragging until it all broke off? I would think the tire would blow first. Crazy.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:48 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Republic of Texas
Posts: 289
Received 47 Likes on 40 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by WalkingTheDocks View Post
Dumb question, but what causes the lugs shear off?
What Fishinado said, over-torqued creating over-spec'd tension on the bolts. They then shear off at the point of perpendicular force.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:49 AM
  #13  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 10,469
Likes: 0
Received 2,412 Likes on 1,087 Posts
Default

Glad you are ok. That could have been life changing. Thank god it was not.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:53 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 590
Received 305 Likes on 171 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Vantaredoc View Post
Every one I have seen shear lug nuts have been too loose, If they over tighten them they will just snap off.
That is not so. When a fastener is “torqued” it actually stretches the fastener. It is unmeasurable to the eye....but it does indeed place a “stretch” on the fastener. This is actually what properly secures the fastener, and the amount of torque to be applied is determined by several factors: Size of fastener, Length of fastener, Alloy of fastener, and Service (application) of fastener.

An overtorqued fastener may not fail when overtorqued but the integrity of the fastener has been compromised. Cycles of use will eventually lead to failure.

In the case of this example, I believe they were overtorqued, and the vibration of the wheel/tire combination eventually cause the failure of one of the lug-bolts, which then resulted in increased loads of the remaining lugs... as each lug failed in-turn the excess loads were transferred to the remaining lugs until they ALL failed.

When an UNDER-torqued wheel fails, it is because the vibration loosens the nuts until the wheel runs on the threaded portions of the fastener and thoroughly damages the fastener’s threads leaving various-length lugs on the wheel if/when they break. They do not break cleanly as in the depicted photographs.... but at varying lengths and display extensive threaded-portion damage.
ALSO, the one wheel remaining in-service, held by only ONE lug... is till tightly torqued... NOT LOOSE as it would be in an undertorque condition. That wheel is still riding upon it’s center...not upon the fastener.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:57 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Denver, CO / Hobe Sound, FL
Posts: 1,032
Received 260 Likes on 137 Posts
Default

I had my own wheel pass me on the road once. I was 22 years old with a Suburban full of buddies headed to the ramp. We still laugh about it today but it could've been much worse: not for my boat/trailer but the wheel bouncing down the roadway towards oncoming traffic was a near miss. Glad it all ended well for you.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:57 AM
  #16  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,170
Likes: 0
Received 539 Likes on 255 Posts
Default

Thanks for the detailed explanations guys.
Old 10-26-2020, 12:00 PM
  #17  
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,921
Received 2,442 Likes on 1,338 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by lazyboi1212 View Post
I don't understand how an over-torqued lug can cause your bolts to shear off?
Also - What in the world would cause all 5 bolts to shear like that? Never seen anything like this. Was the brake locked and tire dragging until it all broke off? I would think the tire would blow first. Crazy.
The weight bouncing up and down will shear them smooth. I have had it while moving trailers for others as well as get plenty of them in the shop. You can almost always check the remaining wheels and the lugs will be loose. I was hauling a 46' Black Thunder and I saw aft drivers side wheel come off and started coming up the side of the trailer! I actually accelerated to keep it off the boat! It went off the road into a ditch and as I was pulling off the side, it popped up out of the ditch and stopped when it kissed one of the props! All 8 lugs sheared! We were on HW 70 between Okeechobee and Archbold! Nothing out there. I grabbed lug wrench and floor jack to pull the remaining 5 wheels and rob a stud from each wheel. The other two wheels on the drivers side were all loose! I was able to get 5 studs from the other axles and we limped in. It was hot and it sucked. Found out they packed the bearings on the trailer the night before. Two different people did it to get it done quickly.
Old 10-26-2020, 12:05 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bradenton FL
Posts: 2,280
Received 812 Likes on 365 Posts
Default

Wow - I learned a lot today. Thanks guys!
Likes:
Old 10-26-2020, 12:06 PM
  #19  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,587
Received 1,184 Likes on 641 Posts
Default

FYI check the spare on the trailer and see if there is an extra hub with lugs on it or if it is just a spare.

Had the front left tire come off at 60mph last year with less then 1000 miles on a new truck. Sheared all the lugs off clean, most of them broke at the same time and we picked them up off the highway. First time I had sheared all the lugs off like that, and never really got a clear answer as to why.

Last edited by Jeepman; 10-26-2020 at 12:11 PM.
Old 10-26-2020, 12:07 PM
  #20  
Admirals Club
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,921
Received 2,442 Likes on 1,338 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Fishinado View Post
That is not so. When a fastener is “torqued” it actually stretches the fastener. It is unmeasurable to the eye....but it does indeed place a “stretch” on the fastener. This is actually what properly secures the fastener, and the amount of torque to be applied is determined by several factors: Size of fastener, Length of fastener, Alloy of fastener, and Service (application) of fastener.

An overtorqued fastener may not fail when overtorqued but the integrity of the fastener has been compromised. Cycles of use will eventually lead to failure.

In the case of this example, I believe they were overtorqued, and the vibration of the wheel/tire combination eventually cause the failure of one of the lug-bolts, which then resulted in increased loads of the remaining lugs... as each lug failed in-turn the excess loads were transferred to the remaining lugs until they ALL failed.

When an UNDER-torqued wheel fails, it is because the vibration loosens the nuts until the wheel runs on the threaded portions of the fastener and thoroughly damages the fastener’s threads leaving various-length lugs on the wheel if/when they break. They do not break cleanly as in the depicted photographs.... but at varying lengths and display extensive threaded-portion damage.
ALSO, the one wheel remaining in-service, held by only ONE lug... is till tightly torqued... NOT LOOSE as it would be in an undertorque condition. That wheel is still riding upon it’s center...not upon the fastener.
Yeah that all sounds right but I do this for a living and I'm telling you for fact that loose lug nuts will shear off very smooth with the hub face. The remaining wheel is not "on it's center" as the rim is lug centered and not hub centered and its impossible for it to be on center with only one lug in place. It just looks that way in the picture because the hole in the rim is not much larger in diameter than the hub. Ask Cajflynn if he's seen this happen more with over torqued or under torqued lug nuts. If you go back to the 1980's and back. NO ONE used torque wrenches at tire shops! 90 percent or more were impacted on!

Last edited by Vantaredoc; 10-26-2020 at 12:24 PM.
Likes:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.