I just got home with a new 7' x 16' x 7' enclosed trailer for hauling my touring cars.
I'm planning on installing some guide rails and chocks on the floor but I'm not sure about where to tie down a Model T for hauling. If I install one set of D rings forward of the car's front axle and install another set behind the rear axle - does that put undue stress on the Model T's center suspension pivots? My concern is that I would be pulling opposite directions on the car's suspension.
How do you tie down your T for hauling?
All Ts have to be tied down when not driven, or they will ugly away in the night.
You can tie it down just as you described - that is how we tie ours down on our open trailer - but just make sure that you get the straps tight, but not overtight - you can bend stuff pretty easy with a big ratchet strap.
Rear axle housings are easily bent. The strongest point on your Model T is the springs. That is why I run my tie down straps around the spring, not the axles.
The front wishbone socket is not too strong, you can distort the pan or pull the wishbone out of the socket if you were to get the straps very tight. Again, better to use the front spring to attach your straps or chains to.
Wheel chocks mounted on the floor make sure you STOP at the same place every time and don't miss the sweet spot. Be sure to get the type that are removable.
Does attaching tie-downs to the springs present a problem with the car bouncing and jerking on the straps?
When you cross the straps, what keeps them from sliding to the center and becoming loose?
Where to buy wheel chocks?
I'll probably fabricate my own but could use some ideas.
Always cross tie a vehicle at both ends when on a trailer.
That is left front of vehicle to right front of the trailer –
Right front of vehicle to the left front of the trailer-
Same in the rear -
Then I add a single strap straight forward for extra safety.
I prefer to tie the straps to the axles because the body might bounce, loosen the straps and jerk things when the straps retighten. Also with the straps on the axels the springs have a chance to dampen any jolting from the road that the body would see, but I'm careful to not pull it too tight.
Some prefer to strap to the body and compress the springs to keep things tight. I think it is easier on the vehicle to do the axels but I’m sure we can have an interesting discussion about which is best.
Bottom line either works – just cross tie
I ordered mine
You can't build em at this price.
Tieing the vehicle down at the springs eliminates the vehicle bouncing completely.
And Robbie, you asked, "when you cross the straps, what keeps the straps from sliding to the center and becoming loose"?
By crossing the straps, they will initially be as close to the center as they can ever get and can't slide any nearer to the center or nearer to each other. That's why they're crossed and why this method braces the car from moving side-to-side as well as fore and aft.
The keyword search function came up with this old thread:
I use 8 straps! Maybe overkill, but it rides just fine, and does not shift on the open trailer. I don't cross tie, but I tie the front to the axle right where the spring is attached to the corner of the trailer on the same side, then a strap from that same location to the d ring behind the front wheel. I use another strap from the rear axle right where the spring and radius rod are attached to the same center d ring as the front axle. The 4th strap goes from same place on rear axle to the corner same side of the trailer.
I put the center d rings closer to the front axle than to the rear axle and all straps are located so they pull diagonally toward the side of the trailer. By having one strap going each way from each axle equalizes the pull so it doesn't put excessive pressure on the ball joints. I have taken it on several long trips that way and it doesn't even loosen up. I check it every time I stop to eat or rest stop.
Note: if you have an early T with the wishbone above the axle in front, this system might not be the best. It could possibly change your castor.
All d rings have at least one bolt into the metal frame of the trailer.
You want to crosstie to the springs or frame from the rear with LARGE heavy duty straps. Crosstie from the front frame forward to the floor.
If you hit the brakes in a panic stop the forces generated will try to throw the T forward big time. A rear ender or harder impact will try to tear the tiedown rings out of the trailer floor.
Acceleration will be slow so there are not large forces trying to move the T backwards. The same goes for climbing grades, so the front straps can be slightly lighter.
The last thing you want to face while towing is the load coming in through your back window, so tie down accordingly.
My tiedown philosophy is to secure the T so it won't move if the trailer is suspended vertically from its rear end.
I used to tie axles down... I ended up breaking a drive shaft tube once. Now I do it this way. This is how I recommend for the least stress to the car. If you get four over the tire straps you won't need to buy a bunch of axle straps and ratchet straps. As with any other tie down system use only hooks with safety keepers on them and get the heaviest straps you can find.
Royce, I meant to mention that by tying the top of the springs like you showed the straps will loosen and then snap tight at every bounce. If you cinch it down tight you put a large load on the springs and perches as well as the axles. I disagree with you that that method is particularly good.
By cinching down the four wheels like I do only the wooden wheels are stressed... and not much more than in driving the car. You can put a safety strap running forward and rearward, but it isn't needed at all. Look at the professional towers... they just use the wheel tie downs. They aren't very expensive to buy and the commercial ones fit modern cars as well as a T. In my photo above this was the first time I used these on a T. Since I have used them four or five times now I now set them all so they ride more like the ones at the front of the T, not like at the rear. I find that a T will rock and bounce on the springs just like it does while driving down the road... the car is made to tolerate that kind of movement.
No matter what type of straps you choose always make sure the wheels are fastened down and the springs and body are fully free to move. If you have a restored car and tie off onto the springs you will be risking cracking paint and damaging the body as the car tries to bounce around.
Again IMHO, TH
Terry, where did you get those wheel straps and e-track?
If you're strapping down the axles, get the straps as near the wheels as possible so you won't bend an axle or housing by putting pressure on the center.
Terry, I like the way you've got your T tied down. I would like to use that method but I straddle my E channels and I'm afraid it would put side stress on the wheels. It looks very secure without putting stretch and unnecessary force on the chassis. I use 4 straps on the rear axle 2 pulling forward and 2 pulling back. I fasten to the outer ends of the axle housing. then I pull straight down on the front axle.
I got the track and D rings at Bakersfield swap meet some years ago. The tie downs at Turlock swap meet. They are available through trailer suppliers and some auto parts stores. I found that the price decreases on the last day of a swap meet just before closing... if the vendor has any left!
There are lots of them on e-Bay and you can find them on the net by using a search engine.
I seem to remember that these straps came in under $40 each and include a ratchet. Be careful in choosing your straps. If you get the ones like mine with hooks you need an E clip attachment to go into the track. You can get straps with integral E clips if you want. Some straps come without ratchets so then you will need those.
I have bolts going all the way through the deck and E track... probably 20 on each track. Where there is a cross member on the trailer I put a metal plate and drilled it, so there the bolts go through the track and deck and then down through the metal plate on each side of the cross member. There is no way these tracks can ever pull up.
The only problem I have had with them is that the trailer lives outside and over the years the wooden deck has swollen up a little under the tracks. That makes it hard to place the D rings. I keep a short (12") 4 lb. sledge (hammer) in the trailer box. If necessary I can lovingly tap that bracket into the E track. I haven't needed to lovingly tap to remove the D rings when done towing.
Looks good to me. It does put more strain on the axles, axle tubes, and wheel bearings unnecessisarily.
I do have a little problem with your straps, however. They are a bit light and I don't trust your hooks. First the hooks are open and if you somehow had a strap slack a bit they can open and come off. (I had a friend loose a car out of a triler on a freeway because of this.)I suggest stronger straps with stronger hooks. The ones you are using are great to get your trash cans to the dump.
Look closely at your hooks. They are bent steel rods dipped in plastic covering. I suggest some stout plate steel hooks with spring operated closers as a minimum.
Just IMHO, TH
Oops, I meant John, not Steve!
Terry, I agree. That's already been taken care of. those were just some I grabbed at NAPA the day I brought it home. I just cropped an old picture to give an idea of how I tie it down.
I wonder if the greatest trailor brains in the country know anything. I bought a U haul auto transporter. A mechanic there told me that only one wheel tie down using a strap basket is all that is necessary. I had to get new tie down straps because of the 30 inch tires. there is a chain tie down on the real spring. Very simple easy to load and unload and according to UHAUL AND their insurance it is good to go.
I've towed my Model T's from coast to coast - literally, this year - and not had any loosening of the straps.
There are three interesting schools of thought going on here:
1.) Attach straps to the axles being careful not to bend anything. Body floats on the springs.
2,) Attach straps to the wheels. Body floats on the springs.
3.) Attach straps to the springs thereby compressing the springs enough to keep everything tight.
So what are we doing here guys? Avoiding pulling on weak suspension components or leaving the body loose to "float"?
I can't answer your question but the two times that I hauled my speedster on an open, double-axle utility trailer of about the same dimensions as your enclosed one, I backed the car onto the trailer and parked it with the rear wheels touching the front rail.
I then tied the rear of the car down much like Royce shows - compressing the rear spring somewhat.
I set the parking brake (big drum rear end).
I also "just in case" connected straps from the front rail of the trailer to the front axle of the car.
The engine was south of the two trailer axles. Tongue weight wasn't excessive by the look of my shortbed full-sized truck once underway.
It worked great, though I hated every minute of it because I'm not at all in love with pulling things around with trailers...
Take a look at the way any new car is tied down when it is being transported by truck, train or ship. They are always tied down so the car's suspension cannot move, never by the wheels or axles.
When a car tied down by the unsprung portion, the rest of the car flops around wildly on bumps, causing the contents of the car to be thrown around and the straps to be loosened.
Follow someone on the freeway and watch what the car does when it is tied down this way. Then you see why the professionals don't do that.
this just proves there is no right or wrong way, it just show how many opinions there is, and each will work, just strap it down how your comfortable with.
Yeah, but here's the deal: I don't have a car (yet). I have one to pick up with my new trailer and I need to get the straps and d-rings (etc.) set up ahead of time.
It is kind of hard to engineer the tie downs for a car I have never seen.
I've tried it by strapping to the frame, the springs, and the axles. Both strapping to the frame and to the springs causes the straps to loosen up when going over bumps. It also makes the pickup ride much more roughly that way. Strapping to the axles near the wheels allows the body to float on the springs, and the truck rides very smoothly. It almost feels like a Cadillac sedan, it rides so smoothly. And with the straps near the wheels, it doesn't loosen up.
Robbie, Just a thought, Why don't you go to your trailer dealer, with your measurements, weight of vehicle etc. Explain what you want to do. Most of these guys work with this stuff all the time. I'm sure they would have some good suggestions for you. You could also talk to a professional transporter and just tell them up front you need their help and advice on how to set up a trailer. Then you can weigh all the alternatives and come up with whats right for you.
".. When a car tied down by the unsprung portion, the rest of the car flops around wildly on bumps..."
Maybe you can explain, Royce, how a T tied by its wheels on a sprung trailer makes a worse ride for the T than the T with its wheels directly on the road.
it would appear that the trailors being discussed are made for other or all purpose trailoring. go to UHAUL talk to them. more cars are moved by amatuers than eny other way. if you prefer a multipurpose trailor go that way
I sit and read all these posts and sometimes I post myself. As I watch I get the impression that you folks will argue about anything. Just because you have done something your way for a certain amount of time and nothing has happened does not make it safe or correct.
I will not sit here and tell you that my way is best, nor that your way is not. I will say that however you do it, you are responsible for it. If it comes off, it is your problem.
DOT across the US and other countries have a proper way to fasten a load to a trailer. In most cases it is left to right, right to left. Or, how Royce has shown it. Also it will be fastened the same way front and rear with equipment rated for the load you are carrying.
The idea of tying the load down is so that it stays on the trailer if something bad happens. Just because you have driven a million miles and never had something happen does not mean it will not.
If you secure the body and frame to the trailer, then the trailer and the load act as one.
Example: Load a 1000 lbs of rock on the trailer and drive. The load acts with the trailer and does not act against it. Now put a 1000 gallon tank of water on the trailer and drive. The liquid acts with the movement, against the trailer and the vehicle towing it.
Using these hand rachet tie-down, I do not think, allow you to tie down the “T” tight enough to compress the springs to the point of hurting the car. Remember, these are not plastic cars that can not stand the stress.
As some would say, This is my humble opinion and your mileage may vary.
Well my humble opinion is... Terry I want some of your straps;)
Tying the wheels down is great... the best actually. Tilt tray trucks have very good aparatus for this. (So do many other styles of tow truck for that matter) I have used them to tie don massive camper vans and 4 wheel drives and they are nonpariel.
As for professionals, I have seen truck drivers tie cars onto the top of mixed loads, by parking the car wheels in 4 old tyres, and throwing a loop of rope over the wheels to tie the car down.
Tying a Ford T at the axles close to the wheels is good, however using ratchet straps you can easily apply enough force to push wooden wheels out of shape laterally, especially if the strap is angled enough to contact the tyre.
In fact ratchet straps, chains and winches can all do damage if used ruthlessly.
What I have experienced with a number of loads is that tying down against the springs is rubbish.
If the vehicle is tied down tight enough to travel lockstep with the trailer, then the suspension is under massive continuous load that it isn't designed for.
If it's tied lightly, then the car can move under the straps as they only tend to snub the upward movement of the suspension. Not only does this make the load unstable, but it gives the straps a hard time, and can loosen them. I have seen over center (non ratchet) type ones come off completely.
Ideally you need to block the suspension, the way a motorcycle is tied down with an old oil bottle between the forks/headset/front wheel. Then the strap can be kept tight, the suspension lightly loaded and the vehicle held rigid on the trailer.
This would be hard to do with a Ford T unless you risk bending the axles in the middle?
Either way if you tie the wheels to the deck properly, the car suspension can work as intended and thus the car is under no significant load. Acceleration, cornering, braking are not identical forces, but they're not excessive either.
I think of it like this... If I were riding around in a trailer, it'd be much better to have ski boots and handles to grab, rather than being crushed against the deck by straps.
One important thing that I did not see in these postings is the POSITIONING of the car on the trailer to get proper Tongue weight. (More forward of more to the rear of the trailer}
If you have a short trailer the only choice you have is towing the car forward or backing it on the trailer.
On a longer trailer or even the one Robbie purchased, the proper amount of weight on the tongue of the trailer is IMPORTANT. To little or to much can cause tow problems. (Swaying) The position of the axle or axles under the trailer will determine where the T is placed on the trailer.
Sometime if it seems to sway, one can move the car a little more forward or backward and be amazed at the improved handling.
That is my 2 cents worth, Thank You
Good point Willie,
Oh and I forgot to add...
I knew from the title this thread was going to get some pulses up... lol