OT - Dodge a bullet on Tuesday & caught one in my teeth on Wednesday .... :-)

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: OT - Dodge a bullet on Tuesday & caught one in my teeth on Wednesday .... :-)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:35 am:

What a week !

Tuesday morning I stopped at a McDonald's for coffee early in the morning.

I always am looking over my equipment - when I studied my new trailer tongue - something did not look quite right ...


Driver Side




Passenger side






Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:40 am:

That don't look good ....

So I called my trailer dealer & emailed him the images.

Tim (trailer dealer) immediately contacted the manufacturer.

Within a few minutes Bill (trailer manufacturer rep) called me - he had lined up a repair facility to come out.

Within an hour I got a call from the parking lot outside ...






Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:43 am:

Can we say Penetration (lack of):-( Isn't this your new trailer? Hope you are able to find a good welding shop.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:47 am:

Less than a mile away from where I was ...

A family welding business started by Mr. Marvin Spaeth back in 1974 along with his wife Darlene
had grown into a large business serving several states & employing 22 welders ....

I followed Marvin to his shop - pulled my truck & trailer into a bay ...






Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:47 am:

I guess we were typing at the same time Jim you seem to be faster than I.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By paul iverson freeport ill. on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:48 am:

wow that was luckey you stopped for a cup of coffee!it sure pays to do a walk around!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:51 am:

G.R.

Exactly - the weld never penetrated fully ....

So - for the next few hours the shop worked on my new trailer ....









Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:52 am:

Holy cow Jim!

You're not gonna believe this...but when I was walking around admiring your new trailer during Homecoming with Tom Sloma, I even pointed down to the tongue area and mentioned to him how amazing it is that "all this weight" is dependent upon how good somebody welds!! Seeing this made the hair on my neck stand up. Certainly at that time it looked fine, even to the point of me commenting how good certified welders do!! Sheesh, I can't believe it!
Good luck "down the road"....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:54 am:

Jim, we're typing over each other!! LOL..but glad to see the repair. Sure hope they beef up the shit outa that thing!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Bourgeois on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 08:55 am:

HOLY SMOKES, I would had to change my shorts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 09:04 am:

Paul,

You said it !

My trailer was a few miles away from separating cleanly from my truck ....

When all was said & done - the total cost for:

Re-welding of the Bulldog 14K rated adjustable coupler

Removal of my 14K rated Curtis receiver hitch & replacing it w/ a new one I had in the trailer

Repairing the equalizer hitch spring bar ball mount which had slightly bent down but was not damaged otherwise

$260.00 ....

That's right - $260.00 ....

I told Marvin he is way too low on his $60.00 hourly labor charge.

I also told him I will DEFINITELY see him
again for any future welding needs .... :-)

Located about 40 miles from St. Louis, MO along I-64:

Spaeth Welding
321 West Missouri St.
New Baden, IL 62265
Phone: 618-588-3596






Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 09:08 am:

I'd have had them go over the trailer from one end to the other looking for other poor welds. If they couldn't weld on the centerline on the most important weld on the entire trailer -- the hitch -- you know they didn't pay much attention anywhere else either. The driver's side weld would not pass Jr. High welding class if the instructor was paying attention, let alone the inspection by the trailer company weld supervisor, which tells me they don't have an inspection by anybody, they just weld 'em up and send them down the road.

I'd be looking to get rid of that trailer as soon as I could or have the manufacturer replace it.

I wonder what DOT would have to say to them?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 09:09 am:

Paul - Tim - Steve,

Mistakes happen - its' how they are dealt with that matters ...

I will be getting my next trailer from the same manufacturer - I trust them

In all fairness - a Bulldog adjustable coupler is not a common option on a trailer to have

But - it makes adjustment easier between trailer & tow vehicle & allows a certain degree of security if you have to park your trailer - you can pull (2) bolts & render it un-towable



Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 09:16 am:

Stan,

I did exactly that - I had them do a complete visual inspection of the frame - everything else was o.k.

A much stronger design (in my opinion) would have been to weld a thick steel plate to the end of the tongue - then weld the slotted Bulldog channel to that

I suggested that to Marvin - but he was confident that sticking to the original design & strengthening it along with welding it properly was sufficient ...


Again - we all make mistakes - after all we are only human ... :-)


GOD is GOOD ....

HE was certainly watching over me & other folks on the road that day


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 09:17 am:

Jim I like the new Gusset they put in looks like quality work from here good luck and I don't need to emphasize the Importance of a walk around at every stop. Be sure to thank your guardian Angel :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 09:25 am:

Speaking of mistakes ...

I caught a bullet in my teeth yesterday ... :-)

This dumb pollock came very close to losing his right leg ...

If not for the quick thinking & selfless action of a young mother & the Grace of God - I would have lost my right leg below the knee ...

That story is ongoing - I will update it in the next couple days when I am fully out of danger ...


From my emergency room bed yesterday afternoon ...





Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Bohlen, Severn MD on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:04 am:

Jim,

Goodness!

I hate to say this but...I hope you didn't need to pay ANYTHING for this repair. It should be all on the manufacturer.

This is a good lesson for all of us towing trailers.
Even little ones.
Check them over often.

Larry


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mahlon hawker on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:07 am:

Jim, it cost YOU $260 to fix their shoddy work??? Seems to me the trailer company should fire that incompetent welder, reimburse you for lost time and profits and, of course, pick up the tab at the welding shop!

Tony


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:28 am:

Jim, when I studied for my cdl's I spent alot of time practicing the pretrip. I practiced on the firetrucks because I could do it anytime down at the station.
After a few years I was teaching others in my department the inspections and driving and folks complained about the pretrip."This is a waste of time".
Wrong, that simple glance you took at your hitch saved lives,and 10's of 1000's of dollars.
If that trailer loaded broke loose on the interstate it would have caused a multicar pile up that we would see on the nightly news.

I must admit even with my limited knowledge of welding, I have trouble trusting a butt weld with all that up and down flexing.The repair is better for sure than the original design.
2 bolts carrying all that weight? Must be higrade!wow.That scares me to.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:42 am:

Jim-- sure glad you were able to get the trailer up and running in short, affordable order.

More importantly, I'm sure glad YOU will be up and running shortly.

You're right..God is good, He is always with us!

I do my best to live by this phrase: If He leads you TO IT, He'll see you THROUGH IT. Very true for me!

God Bless you, and God Bless America!

Keep on truckin' Jim! :-)

Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Calvin Watts on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:42 am:

That 2 bolt mount scares me too. I wouldn't drive that around the block.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier Savannah Tn. on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:52 am:

Vertical welding should never be done from top to bottom, you cannot get the proper penetration even with a mig. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jeff cordes on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:56 am:

We have 2 of those 2 bolt adjustable hitches in use everyday where I work and they are wearing out fast. I will be welding new nonadjustable couplers in the near future. The fit is not perfect and the bolts wear to the point they just shear off one day going down the road.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les VonNordheim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 12:43 pm:

I had the trailer hitch on my motor home nearly fall off. The flange on the trailer hitch that bolts to the RV frame cracked allowing the hitch to sag. When the hitch manufacturer broke the flange on a press brake they did not allow enough radius in forming the angle. I was very lucky....could have lost my enclosed trailer with my car inside. The safety chains would have left the motor home with the hitch had I not discovered the failure in time.
Check your trailer and hitches for cracks....it can happen in other areas beside welds.

A friend also had this happen to his motor home hitch and caught it in time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Greg Kuhnash Southeastern Ohio on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 12:44 pm:

Shear strength of grade 8, 3/8 bolt 11,600 lbs,
for a 1/2 21,300lbs,
9/16 27,300lbs.
Dont think those two bolts will break before the metal they are holding.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 12:54 pm:

Jim - I hope your emergency room stay was short and the damage was minimal


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:01 pm:

What Stan said!! We have had our 18' Hallmark for about 16 or 17 years but if i was to haul more than two cars at once or over 26' it would be on a fifth wheel hitch!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Calvin Watts on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:05 pm:

Greg that's in a perfect world. Unfortunately it isn't. Only have to look at pictures above to see that things will and do happen.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:19 pm:

Well, ...

I am out of the Danger Zone medically as of 12:00 p.m. EST so .... :-) :-)

I stopped yesterday morning in a small town in Northwest Missouri to replace my tranny output seal.

I parked on a downgrade - did not set the emergency brake - did not block the wheels on the truck or the trailer.

I was a complete & utter @ss - no other explanation.

Started to drop the (2) piece drive line - truck started to roll forward - I tried to roll out under the driver side.

The left rear dually wheels rolled up my calf onto my thigh - somehow missing my ankle & my knee.

My leg was being crushed.

I screamed for help - people arrived - a guy took charge who was determined that jacking up the wheel was the way to get the truck off me.

I kept yelling there was no time - my leg is being crushed - someone needs to pull a vehicle around nose first to the front of my trailer & push the truck backwards off my leg.

I kept repeating this as I went into shock - I kept telling everyone I would pay for any damage to their vehicle or pay them WHATEVER they wanted to do this.

No one listened ....


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom 30 miles N of Memphis TN on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:20 pm:

I believe the two bolts pictured are grade 5 and not 8.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:27 pm:

So - here I am pinned under the truck ....

I feel people trying to push the truck backward by hand but they are trying to push 21,000 pounds up a slight grade and over my leg.

Suddenly - I see a vehicle appear at the front of the truck ...

Moments later - the truck is rolling backwards off my leg.

The police arrive - then (2) paramedic trucks.

They attend to me - I keep asking who it was that was behind the wheel of the vehicle that pushed me back.

No one really knows - by then there is a large crowd ...

Now - this part is kinda funny.

Saturday morning I bought new underwear on my way to the Homecoming - I had not bought underwear in years ....

They had to remove my pants - luckily I had clean new underwear on .... :-)


They loaded me in the ambulance & took me to the hospital.


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:27 pm:

Holy cow Jim...it's a wonder you're alive. Waiting for the rest of the story....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:29 pm:

Gary,

Good point !

Supposedly they are Grade 8 bolts that came with the Bulldog 14K hitch kit.

But I will replace them to be safe.


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:29 pm:

Jim you're faster than me!

Remember mom always saying..."Don't go out without clean underwear?"!! She knew what she was saying.

I'm glad you're getting better, and keeping a good sense of humor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ned Protexter on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:31 pm:

Glad you're ok. Lesson to be learned here though. Don't buy new underwear.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:31 pm:

I think Gary is spot on and if you went to a good bolt supply those 4 would cost 40.00 if they were grade 8!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:34 pm:

HOLY SMOKES!
I am stunned almost speechless. Awaiting further details, but already thanking whomever stepped forward for you!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil, Fullerton, CA, USA on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:37 pm:

I'm glad to hear that someone on the scene was able to think out the problem and push your truck off your leg. Not all of us are so quick thinking!

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:38 pm:

Tim,

They draw blood in the ambulance & set up a drip.

No blood - no open wound - so the concern is internal bleeding & muscle damage.

With my adrenaline pumping I feel no pain - my right leg is completely numb from the groin on down.

They are waiting at the hospital - kinda cool to see so many folks waiting to help just you.

They take me into an exam room - start looking me over - they take more blood.

The doctor explains the primary concern - the muscles in my calf might be dying off due to compression - also too the thigh.

There is a blood test for specific markers for this that tell whether the muscles are dying off.

They are waiting for the results.

So - they ask if I want any pain medication - I decline.

We wait ...


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:44 pm:

Ned,

I never made that connection ... :-)

So - waiting in the emergency room with the doctor.

My leg is now twice its' original size from swelling from the groin down.

They ice my leg to help decrease the swelling - they increase the drip to help flush toxins out thru the kidneys - they give me a tetanus shot.

The doctor explains options - if the swelling does not abate - they will have to make a series of incisions along the length of my leg to help decrease pressure.

Things are not looking good .....



Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:58 pm:

My nurse Cynthia appears to let me know there is a woman who wants to see me - she was at the scene and was worried about me.

Of course send here in !

And Rachel walks in with her two boys ...

And Rachel tells me what she saw ...


Rachel was driving away from the parking lot - she was on the street at least a hundred yards - she heard ... something.

She goes back and sees me pinned under the truck - I never saw her.

A man approaches her asking if she has a jack in her car - then asks her to help try & push the truck backwards by hand with other people.

Rachel is thinking:

" This truck needs to be off him now, there is no time to jack it up and not enough people to push it back. "

Rachel tells me she was raised on farm - taught that when things need to be done you get about doing them.

Rachel tells folks to get out of the way - pulls her mini van nose first into the front of my truck - puts it into low and pushes - she is surprised to see how easily it rolls backwards.

Rachel has just saved my lower leg below the knee .... :-)



Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 02:10 pm:

The doctor explains ...

Your muscles are encased in a sheath that provides protection of an incredible strength.

If that sheath is compromised by compaction - the muscles start to die off.

A few more minutes & my calf muscles would probably be largely destroyed.

Rachel tells me that ordinarily her (2) young boys are with her constantly - for some reason she left them home with her older step son to go to the Dollar Store.

Had they been with her - she probably would not have heard me yelling for help & even then would not have acted perhaps in the same manner - she would have been worried about them first.

I asked here if she was the woman the police
officer had told me " was dropping F Bombs. "

You see - Rachel was the one that called 911 for me ...

While sitting behind the wheel pushing the truck off me - talking to the 911 operator & asking someone to tell her if she had rolled the truck far enough off me ...

Because had she rolled it too far the front left tire would have been on my chest ...

But no one was answering her & she was frustrated ...



Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Harrison,Eatonville,Wa on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 03:51 pm:

Wow tough week, I am glad things turned out for you as well as they did.Either incident could have had a very bad outcome. Thank god and thank Rachel. Many times people are eager and willing to help but either can't think under pressure or just panic. Rachel was definitely in the right place at the right time. Get well soon.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Timothy Kelly on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 04:19 pm:

Jim:

I am sorry to learn of your woes.

If your new trailer were mine, I'd be very concerned about the other "welds." If the person who spread the bit of chicken poo in an effort to attach the hitch to the tongue was involved in joining (can't say welding because that wasn't the case) other bits, you may well have other significant issues not yet fully developed.

Good luck!

Timothy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 04:20 pm:

Sorry to read of your problems. I hope your leg heals completely. At least you didn't get your torso or head crushed. Hopefully, this will be the last of these problems and that you heal soon enough to enjoy the summer.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 04:27 pm:

Thanks everyone ...

Just turned on the t.v. at the motel.

We are under a tornado watch until 9 p.m.



Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 04:33 pm:

THANK YOU Rachel!!!!! There are still some good, smart. and decisive, people in this world. Thank whatever Deity that she was at the right place at the right time.
Jim, Just get really well. The quicker the better, but really well is important.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 04:41 pm:

Wayne,

I was so very lucky none of my vital organs were crushed.

I could have easily bled to death internally.

Everyone who tried to help at the scene was doing what they thought best - no doubt in my mind.

But THANK GOD for me Rachel heard my cries for help & acted.

I have her name & number and will be showing my gratitude in a few days.

Hopefully - no tornado tonight - the wind is picking up outside ....


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Greg Kuhnash Southeastern Ohio on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 05:03 pm:

Oh wow, Gary hit the nail on the head those are grade 5, never thought to look, took for granted no one would use grade 5 in an application like that. But still looks like a grade 5 1/2" still is rated at 17,000 shear.

Glad you are healing Jim.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 05:08 pm:

Rachel just won a bunch of fans for thinking and acting intelligently and decisively. I would like to think the local TV or newspaper would make a big deal out of her actions. It sounds like the others had good intentions but not the wits or decisiveness to do what was needed.

I certainly hope you heal up fast and that Rachel wherever she is gets recognized for her actions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 05:12 pm:

I would say check Rachels front bumper for damage and take care of it if you can,as she did a good deed for sure.

I hope someone chimes in about the grade 5 bolts that can verify what I have heard. From what I understand they will "yield" better than grade 8 that will just sheer. But I aint a expert.But still 2 bolts of about 5/8ths size ,I would be skeered!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 05:37 pm:

JIM! I kept looking at these photos of your hitch and it finally dawned on me what was trying to jump out at me shouting "HEY DUMMY".
When you ordered your trailer,and requested the Bulldog hitch, the factory or more than likely the Dealer, made a modification.

Here is some doctored photos to explain. 1 is of a new replacement hitch that is like what was on your trailer when it was born.There was a triangle shaped coupler with holes for jack mounting welded correctly to your trailer when it was built. The front of the hitch was cut off at the green marks.
The blue arrow points to where the specs for that hitch should be stamped into the metal so a dot inspector or whoever, can look at it and make sure it meets specs.
The red arrow points to the angled metal that kept bugging me when I looked at the pictures and clued me in on what was wrong.
The yellow marks stuff that was stuck up to the ends of the channel iron and remains of the hitch and "welded" on to it.
I wont go into my opinion of someone who would do this modification but please please please study this issue further.
In my opinion,when the trailer left the factory it had a safe hitch, the modification was done in the dealers back lot on a Saturday afternoon.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 05:50 pm:

As usual, Mack is the smartest, most observant guy on the forum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jeff Hood -Long Beach, California on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 06:04 pm:

Those are 5/8 grade 5 Lake Erie (brand name) bolts. A 5/8 bolt has a sheer rating of 23010 lbs, and there are two of them. That type of hitch set-up with a lunette eye instead of the ball coupler is used on equipment trailers with ratings of 20000 lbs. Anyone towing with a standard 2" receiver hitch is relying on a single 5/8 pin to keep their hitch in the socket, and although they should have at least a grade 5 rating, the pin is not marked in any way. A 2" ball with a 1" shank is usually rated at no more than 5000 lbs, with a 1-1/4" shank 7500 lbs. A 2-5/16" ball with a 1-1/4" shank is usually rated at 10000 lbs with some as high as 12000 lbs. The highest rating I have seen on a frame mounted hitch with a load distribution system like Jim's is 14000 lbs. Neither Jim's truck, his hitch, or his trailer are rated to tow anywhere near the shear strength of those bolts. As Jim knows, and demonstrated, the best safety practice is knowing your equipment and inspecting it frequently.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 06:30 pm:

Mack,

My first trailer was not a fully tube framed design - it had outriggers to the bottom wall off the main frame.

That is when I met Tim - I visited his dealership over (3) years ago - I decided then to have him build my next trailer.

The standard A frame coupler you show is used on standard trailer tongues & modified trailer tongues that are lengthened and have less of an angle.

Tim did not do anything in the way of modification - the manufacturer did everything - the manufacturing facility is less than 15 minutes from Tims' dealership.

I have visited the plant several times.

As I pointed out earlier - in my opinion - a thick steel plate should have been used to transition the tongue to the 14K Bulldog coupler.

We all learn hopefully learn from our mistakes.

Every day I express gratitude to God for the opportunities afforded to me - for the kindness of friends & strangers alike.

Tonight I rest comfortably in a motel room with a badly bruised leg and minor discomfort - I could have easily died yesterday thru my own stupid carelessness.


Regarding Rachels' vehicle - she told me she could laugh about it at the hospital but when she first pulled up to the scene - she could not believe
I kept saying over & over that I would pay for the damage to anyones' vehicle if they would push my truck off my leg ...

In that moment - she took decisive action.

I will take very good care of her to be sure ...

When I asked her about the damage to her mini van she said it dented her front grill a little but she just reached in & pulled it out.

For those who are interested - here is a link to her Facebook page:

@ https://www.facebook.com/rachael.ahlers

I will never be able to thank her enough - but I will do my best to try !


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 06:33 pm:

Jeff,

I had already purchased a new Curt 14K rated receiver hitch for my truck & had the welding shop install it when they did the repair.

As mentioned earlier - I had my new trailer inspected underneath as well by them - everything else appeared o.k.

Thanks you for your post .


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 06:59 pm:

Justin at the museum ....

I received notice that my nickname should be " Lucky Jim "

I think it should be combined with your nickname ...

" Crazy Lucky Jim " .... :-)


Freighter Jim
AKA
Crazy Lucky Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 07:15 pm:

Before I got to the bottom of this thread, I too was thinking, "Grade 8s might be too brittle for this application." Now that is just "seat-of-the-pants" engineering, so it's only worth Nada!
Mack has, I think, hit the nail on the head. That weld job not only had no penetration, half of it was on the thinner hitch metal, not the trailer frame. Still, if there had been good penetration, it might still be together. I like the gusset plates they added. Now, how good are the welds holding the bolt rail to the mounting plate??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Owens on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 07:16 pm:

Jim, We all know that Angles come in all sizes and shapes. But I see that your Angle is a real head turner. So how did you get such a pretty gal to help when the others were lost as to how to help you. You have been blessed twice. Scott


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 07:21 pm:

Scott,

Even pinned under a truck ....

In a parking lot ....

Apparently - I still " got it " .... :-)

(Or so I would like to believe)



Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 07:25 pm:

David,

That weld is good - they double checked it.

They also ran steel underneath to connect the channel to the tube frame that you can't see pictured.

Great welding job by a family owned business !


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 07:38 pm:

Jim, sounds like you're on the mend. That's great. Take it easy for a bit. Hope you have better luck with the weather than you did that hitch!! :-)

Now to check out Rachel's Facebook, I don't do F.B. so not sure how it all works, try to have wife the I.T. send her a thank you!

Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brass car guy on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:14 pm:

I suggest we all drop Rachel a well deserved thank you for our friend "lucky Jim". If we would have lost our traveling buddy think of all the neat stories we would have missed.

Soon as wifey gets home,she's the fb expert. I will start the ball rolling by sending a heart felt thank you.

just sayin'

brasscarguy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:26 pm:

Jim,
As careful as it sounds they were, I expected they checked that weld! Good idea adding the steel to the frame. Sounds like the kind of shop that really cares about what they do & knows what works.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Kramer on Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:52 pm:

I'm so glad you are OK. Just goes to show how easy a small mistake can turn into something big. Somebody was looking out for you today. Jerry K


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 01:15 am:

Pulled this off the net cause I thought it was funny, never thought I'd use it so soon. Jim, send this to that factory and tell them to show it to all their welders and tell them you failed to see the humor!

Howard DennisSanta


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 09:33 am:

Thank you for all the encouraging posts ... :-)

I am back on my feet this morning & continuing on my way ...

My right leg should heal up o.k. but will have some scars.



Freighter Jim




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 10:37 am:

Looks like the swelling has gone down a bunch, glad you're ok and back on the road. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Dufault on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 01:02 pm:

Jim,

I've been following your story and will spend some prayerful time to thank The Being above for saving you from more serious injury. Yes, your Angel Rachel helped and I can't help but believe that there was a Merciful God that put her at the right place at the right time.

At this time it is important to thank you for sharing your experience for the world to see. You could have continued with your journey and said nothing - however, you have done all of us a great service! All too often we humans get caught up in the necessity to do things fast...surely, you are experienced in what you do, and you readily admitted that -
I was a complete & utter @ss - no other explanation.

Yes, you also said that mistakes happen - of course they do - we are human - Doctors sometimes make mistakes (the operation was a success, unfortunately the patient succumbed), Seasoned pilots sometimes land at the wrong airport - or forget to extend the landing gear. Demolition experts have destroyed the wrong structure - the justice system has convicted the wrong person - all sorts of bad things happen to some of us.

It takes a great man to admit a mistake - and by admitting yours, I do believe that you have given all of us another reason to THINK before we jump into a project.

Best Wishes for a continued speedy recovery, and a profound THANK YOU for sharing your lesson in life.

Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By M G Hillhouse on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 03:54 pm:

Jim I'm so glad things have turned out OK. You are in our prayers!!! It never hurts!!
Malory


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 05:23 pm:

Jim,
Good news, and we are all very pleased to hear it!
I was planning to ad some comments myself, but Dave Dufault did such a fine job of saying what I wanted to say that I will just ad my thanks to you for being the stand-up guy that you are.
Thank you, Jim, be well and be safe!
And thank you Dave D!
Wayne Sheldon


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 07:03 pm:

Dave,

I debated whether to share the events of this week because they demonstrate that I am flawed ...

When the dual rear wheels ran up on my leg - I felt completely helpless - I don't think I have ever put myself in that situation before.

I belong to a lot of forums - this is the only one I shared this on.

Particularly because of my experience at the Homecoming last weekend - I feel I am among Family.

Before I left town - I stopped & got Rachel a musical card that keeps repeating " Thank You " over & over when opened - I put a gift card in it.

Then I called her - she was at her Mom's farm in Springfield, MO with her two young boys for the weekend.

Rachel was just telling her Mom what happened - her Mom was telling her she had saved my leg - Rachel had a hard time believing her.

We had a good talk - I told her I would be doing more for here over time - that I was forever in her debt.

I told Rachel I had to talk with her Mom & told her what a great job she did raising her.

Turns out Rachels' husband goes by " Jim " but is actually named " James " like me.

Rachel is a high school P.E. teacher.

My two older sisters (who have both passed away) were teachers.

Apparently God is not done with me yet .... :-)



Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 07:06 pm:

Mark - MG - Wayne & Everyone Else

Thank you for making this forum a place where a person can share experiences ....



Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 07:47 pm:

Jim-

Haven't had a chance to follow up more until now. Glad to see you're on the road! Wow the pics of that leg makes mine hurt in sympathy!

This whole thing shows, "God is good"!! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tim moore, "Island City" MI on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 08:10 pm:

Jim,

Sorry you got hurt but glad it wasn't worse. You got really lucky that the 1% of the population was there to not take charge (like the other guy) but to take action. This is really rare and you did have an "angel" there for you. You were surrounded by the dumb while one stood out and everyone else was dumb and drooling on themselves in a stupor not knowing what to do.

As far as the trailer welds...I have some great concerns as yours is probably not the only one. Yours was minutes, hours or a day from possibly killing people in a traffic accident. How many others are on the road that were built by the same "welder"? I know you have contacted the manufacture but maybe the DOT, State Attorney General, Weigh Master...should also be shown the photo's. A recall and inspection is in order for all trailers that this welder put the hitch on. Yours may not be the only one.

Tim Moore


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Friday, June 12, 2015 - 10:12 pm:

I agree with Tim on the weld issue.
Jim, any man that cant admit he makes mistakes there is something wrong with him.
My dad was trying to help me figure out a problem on a 1976 f100 and somehow it got out of park.I came out of the basement door to see my truck rolling off into a ditch.
My dad was sitting there on the ground with a strange look on his face. I ask what happened and he let me know right quick that #*&$@ truck about ran over him.
15 years later the chinese made floor shifter somebody had put in my 66 f100 jammed between 2 gears. I crawled under it and as soon as i got it unjammed it took off down the hill. so even though I didn't get crushed, I am familiar with the situation. For whatever reason, it just did not dawn on me to set a brake or whatever.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Shirley on Saturday, June 13, 2015 - 05:13 am:

Thanks for the Post, should make us all think safety, before being under anything. God's speed with His blessing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Saturday, June 13, 2015 - 06:08 am:

Tim,

My issue arose because I did not go with a standard A frame coupler.

I sent images to the trailer dealer - he forwarded them to the manufacturer - the manufacturer had a welder lined up within an hour to make repairs & paid for the repairs directly.

You cannot get better customer service than that.

Bill at the manufacturing facility did tell me they had a meeting w/ all welders to discuss my trailer.

As I pointed out earlier - I will buy from the same dealer again & have the same manufacturer build my next trailer.


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Saturday, June 13, 2015 - 06:56 am:

Jim...as they say, "There's a reason for everything"...God needed to send a message perhaps to the trailer mfg. if not all of us, and this was His way of handling it through you. You can bet your bippy I'll be taking a closer look at mine every time I "hook up" from now on.

It'll all work out, and no doubt better for the greater good!

the "other" Tim :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Saturday, June 13, 2015 - 10:07 am:

Jim - I've followed this thread carefully and as so many have said, we're glad your injuries were not any worse than they were and that you seem to be well on the road to recovery.

I have to repeat what others have said about what a great lesson you've taught us all by sharing this horrible experience on the forum. You'll never know how much good you've done by writing this all up which gives us all something to think about in the area of safety. I know that for me, your experience will come to mind every time I have occasion to crawl under any vehicle for any reason. This ranks right up there with the warning I've written up on this forum several times about my friend who was killed when one of the cinder blocks he'd been using to shore up a truck he was working on crumbled without warning which caused his agonizing death from being crushed. NEVER EVER USE CINDER BLOCKS for anything but their intended used as building material!

Safe travels Jim,....and thanks again,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Saturday, June 13, 2015 - 10:34 am:

With so many good post there is much to learn!! The post by Keith A Barrier at 6/11/10.52 am tells what every welder should know about vertical up's!! I think up's are 4 times as strong as downs! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


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