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Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive > Archive through July 08, 2003

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Old    leggester            07-02-2003, 3:31 PM Reply   
Found this in the local news today. Please, double check your trailers.

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- Two teenagers were killed and a Douglas County commissioner was hospitalized following a one-vehicle crash in Utah.

Commissioner Jim Sullivan suffered a shattered right kneecap and torn tendons in his left leg in the accident.

His grandson, Cass Gelroth, 18, and Gelroth's friend, Collin Weston, 19, died in the same accident.


The three were returning from a five-day vacation at Lake Powell, Utah.

Investigators said that Gelroth was driving a pickup that was pulling Sullivan's boat when a tire on the boat trailer blew out.

The pickup flipped four times on a country road near Green River, Utah. It was unclear when the wreck happened.

Sullivan was taken to a Grand Junction, Colo., hospital where he is recovering.

Gelroth had recently graduated from high school in Crested Butte, Colo.
Old    samills            07-02-2003, 10:25 PM Reply   
Sounds like a pretty good case for tandem axle trailers.
Old    xtigeman            07-02-2003, 11:57 PM Reply   
No doubt about tandem. That is scarey stuff that seems like it could happen more often than your hear about.
Old    rbb            07-03-2003, 6:15 AM Reply   
Any more details on this, Matt? As a veteran of several blowouts and one snapped axle (on a single-axle boat trailer), I don't see how it caused a wreck of that magnitude. I've only pulled small (19-22 ft) boats tho'. Maybe this was a larger boat?

Randall
Old    damnation            07-03-2003, 6:45 AM Reply   
I agree that tandem axle trailers are safer. Without knowing any details, I would have to assume that they were towing with a small vehicle (too small for the boat). I know that if I had a blowout with a single axle trailer pulling my old boat that it would never cause my F250 to flip. This is why I always tell people not to tow their 3500+ lb boat with a Jeep Wrangler.

Old    leggester            07-03-2003, 8:06 AM Reply   
Not much more info. I've had blow outs on my single axle. No big deal, just had to slow down cautiously and get to the side of the road. I'd imagine maybe the 18 yeard old didn't know how to handle it properly and maybe panicked.

I have some friends that work and Douglas County and will be trying to find out more.

No doubt tandems are much safer!
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       07-03-2003, 8:29 AM Reply   
speed was also likely a factor. I always cringe when I see or read about someone towing 70+ mph.
Old    David D (wakeguru)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-03-2003, 9:17 AM Reply   
That's sad.
He obviously came off the pavement too soon at a high rate of speed. I don't see this happening any other way. Two hands on the wheel when pulling heavy loads.
Just my .02 cents.
Old    Chris Quam (noquams)      Join Date: Apr 2002       07-03-2003, 9:23 AM Reply   
Dave.. I do not agree with your logic. If someone is towing a boat and lets assume that the weight of a 20ft ski boat is at least 2,500 pounds. If the trailer goes off in a wild direction (regardless of the cause) it will without a doubt pull and create a nightmare for the pull vehicle.
I find it hard to believe that if someone were driving a f250 a jolt in one direction would be spared because it weighs more. A minimum of a ton pulling in a single direction would create a problem for virtualy anything.
I do agree that having a tandem axel trailer and driving safe are key to avoiding an accident.
Old    tommyadrian5            07-03-2003, 9:31 AM Reply   
What is the max speed that you all tow at on the highway. I have a 1999 MC X-5 w/single axle being towed by a 2002 Tahoe, I'm driving up to CT to Candlewood lake next wednesday from DC.

Also, if i recall correctly my dealer told me that the trailer that came with the boat does not need the bearings greased yearly, but it has an oil reservoir that constantly lubes the bearings. Is this true, if so where is the reservoir, do i refill it or do i have to change the oil in it. Thanks

(Message edited by tommyadrian5 on July 03, 2003)
Old    Levi Cress (levi)      Join Date: Feb 2001       07-03-2003, 9:33 AM Reply   
This same thing happened to a buddy of mine back when he was a kid. They were pulling w/ a full size Ford Bronco. I think wheel base plays a big part also. The longer the towing vehicle, the less a jerk at the back will affect its direction. His entire family was lucky enough to walk away. My condolences to the family in UT.
Old    rbb            07-03-2003, 9:58 AM Reply   
Tom,

I limit myself to 70 (or less) when pulling just the boat. When pulling everything (see my prof) I hold it to 65. I've heard about the reservoir system for wheel bearings, but sorry, haven't got any experience with it.

Levi,

I think you may be onto something with the wheelbase idea. I'll bet the overhang (dist from rear axle to hitch) figures into it too. All the problems I mentioned earlier (blowouts, snapped axle) happened behind my F250 diesel (super cab, longbed). Might have turned out differently if I'd had a shorter/lighter tow vehicle. However, it did convince me to get a tandem this time around.

Randall
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       07-03-2003, 10:05 AM Reply   
Tom,

I don't ever tow over 65 with my rig.

Also, sounds like you have the bearing buddys on your trailer. Look at the owner's manual that came with your boat to service it, it is pretty easy. Take off the black protective sleeve, if the blue part sticks out 1/4" you are good to go. if not, pop off the silver cap, and hit it with a couple pumps from a grease gun (I use marine grease)

t
Old    leggester            07-03-2003, 10:27 AM Reply   
I believe he has the reservoirs Tim. Much like Semis.

Haven't had any experience with them yet, but they are a proven system on other vehicles.
Old    6more            07-03-2003, 1:00 PM Reply   
I have to agree. There had to be some other issues that contributed to the accident. Maybe they slammed on the brakes when the tire blew, or the rig got one set of wheels off the road and they tried to get back on the road without slowing down, etc. Without more details it is hard to say, but I think that a blowout isn't normally going to cause that type of crash without some other contributing factors.

I'm not saying it was the drivers fault or that he caused the accident, but there just had to be other issues too. I would also like to know whether or not they were wearing seat belts (the crash sound severe enough that they may have been and still sustained those injuries).

I too wish to express condolences to the family. This is certainly not something you expect, and I'm sure they are having a hard time dealing with it.

(Message edited by 6more on July 03, 2003)
Old    damnation            07-03-2003, 1:48 PM Reply   
Chris, I'm pretty sure the tounge would snap off of the ball before it flipped my diesel F250 with 33x12.50 tires. Trust me, nothing is flipping that truck.

Why, what do you tow with?
Old    jschilling            07-03-2003, 2:33 PM Reply   
I bet he had Carlisle tires.
Old    Chris Quam (noquams)      Join Date: Apr 2002       07-03-2003, 6:33 PM Reply   
Dave, I checked out the weight of the f250 and yes it is 8800 pounds. That is impressive.My point is not to critisize any truck just that all trucks are on 4 wheels. If a one ton force is applied to the tounge it's going to move the truck. I sure hope the tounge would not snap.
I drive a tundra

I would also like to give my condolences to the family.

Old    xtigeman            07-03-2003, 9:23 PM Reply   
70 mph, . . . I hit some speeds recently towing with the Cayene I won't say. It was very late at night and no-one was around me when cruising triple digits, but it was constantly in the back of my mind that I could be toast if something snapped. Could always kick the rear end and knock you sideways. I towed with a Cherokee once upon a time and that thing was an accident waiting to happen when pulling a 21 foot boat. Would not take much to knock a Jeep out of balance.
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       07-03-2003, 9:50 PM Reply   
doug do us all a favor and slow down dude. not cool.
Old    Bill Bierbower (monstertower)      Join Date: Mar 2003       07-03-2003, 10:05 PM Reply   
My wife's Uncle was towing a pretty big camper (28' ???) through I-40 in Knoxville, TN (very ugly piece of road) at about 60 mph with thier Suburban and the wind force of a 18' wheeler threw them out of balance. He is an older guy with many years and miles of pulling trailers and he said in nearly a split second everything was totally out of control and nothing he tried was helping. When all four lanes of traffic stopped, both Suburban and camper were upside down across all four lanes, and I would expect a few underwear changes were in order.

Luckily everyone was fine but this guy's been pulling trailers for like 40 years and he still get's shaken talking about it.

I've slowed way down when pulling now and chalk the days of "pedal to the metal" pulling up to luck that I never had a bad one. Age seem to have a way of making the extra few minutes less important.

There is plenty of Darwin award winners out there.

Bill
Old    CBrown (powdrhound)      Join Date: Nov 2002       07-03-2003, 10:09 PM Reply   
You shouldn't really be towing any wakeboard boat with a short wheelbase vehicle (such as a jeep wrangler). I thought this was common knowledge. Mid wheelbase ok, longwheel base better.
The main reason for this is that If you have an emergency braking situation, you run the risk of the boat pushing into the tow vehicle causing the vehicle to be pushed from a going in a straight line to being on an angle.....then you'll flip. Thats most like what happened here
Old    Tom (laptom)      Join Date: Apr 2002       07-04-2003, 5:48 AM Reply   
I had a long long time ago a pretty nasty accident when towing a tandem trailer (no boat on it).. Only driving a speed of 55-60mph my left rear wheel came of my Mercedes 4x4... It pulled the right front wheel up.. I had no control anymore over the car and the car flipped a couple of times before it came in a rest, upsidedown in a small river besides the highway...
I almost drown if it wasn't to the friendly Belgiums guys droving behind me...

The morall: I wasn't speeding. The car was pretty new (20.000 miles) and it was 5-6 times heavier then the trailer I was towing. But somtimes you cannot do anything...

O Dave.. The tounge didn't came of the ball... The trailer snapped at some point, so don't count on it!!!
Old    mbsteve            07-06-2003, 11:15 AM Reply   
seat belts?
Old    Bob (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       07-06-2003, 11:15 PM Reply   
isnt it funny how everyone thinks they know how it happened or what they were doing wrong or what kind of tires they had even though the article said nothing about these things, people please dont point fingers till you know what happened. As far as vehicle size i realy would appreciate those who are well enough off to stop saying everyone with a wakeboard boat or one about that size needs a 1 ton vehicle, maybe some of us cant afford and arent going to buy a monster truck to tow a boat since our manufacturers have stated what our vehicles are safe to tow, thank you- the guy towing a 20' boat with a ford explorer.
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       07-06-2003, 11:19 PM Reply   
bob the thing is we SHARE THE ROAD with people doing this unsafe stuff. we say these things because we are selfish and want our safety preserved.
Old    Bob (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       07-07-2003, 12:01 AM Reply   
But Tim you dont know they were doing these things and yet everyone is speculating and blaming things they have no clue about (carlisle tires?-sounds like maybe a slander suit-not that im all into the sue thing), oh and im also just sick of hearing about people with their $40k trucks and how you shouldnt tow a boat that weighs more then the truck, who the shmell do these people think they are, they think they know more then the ford engineers who listed my towing capacity at 6800 lbs (i wouldnt tow that much myself though).

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