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Old     (p_e_ski)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-20-2006, 4:18 PM Reply   
Troubles began last sunday. Bent the rudder shaft when we hit something submerged in 12 feet of water. Ordered new complete rudder setup. Today was all new. Went to our regular ramp, which ended up being closed while the DNR did body recovery search for a guy who drowned yesterday. Decided to go up river to the next ramp which ended up being a big mistake. Haven't been to this ramp in 5 years and it appears a portion of the ramp has dropped off. Backed the trailer down and just as the boat started sliding into the water, the whole trailer dropped off the end of the ramp. Boat came off fine, but the trailer frame just in front of the tires was resting on the edge of the ramp. Two foot drop off from end of ramp to the ground. Can't get the trailer to roll up over the edge without brute force and even then it smashed in the fenders. Here is a pic of the worst part of the damage. The hitch bar tore in 2 pieces at the weld. Had to leave the family to go ride for an hour while I went to buy a replacement hitch bar and ball. Also ripped up my wiring harness and brake emergency cable. Got off kinda lucky. Could have been a whole axle or something. Then to top it all off, had to figure how to get the boat back onto the trailer with less than half of the bunks in the water. lots of extra speed during approach and a little power loading while cranking on the winch. Not the best option, but happened to be the only one. Hope we get all this outta our system and get the biorhythms back in sync. Upload
Old     (awf_axis)      Join Date: Aug 2002       07-20-2006, 4:47 PM Reply   
Long time ago, I had a similar situation where the boat ramp dropped off (during a low water season).

After a bit of puzzlement as to how to not damage my trailer, we hooked the boat back up, and I put the transom straps back on, then cranked/pulled the rear of the trailer up, using the boat's floatation. Good thing they don't weigh much.

Got me out of a pinch....

Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       07-20-2006, 5:25 PM Reply   

The new McGyver is in the house!
Old     (schackdaddy)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-21-2006, 6:28 AM Reply   
Thats sucks Pat. One thing you may want to think about is an aluminum hitch. They are rated for 13,000 pounds compaired to the 5,000-6,000 SS and regular steel ones. And they are forged in a single piece.
Old     (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       07-21-2006, 9:10 AM Reply   

You should be thanking your guardian angle for saving your life instead of griping about an hour of lost riding time!

Consider what might have happened if that draw bar had broken while you were towing down the freeway at 60 MPH. Perhaps you had just hit a big dip, or had to make a sudden evasive action which put the extra strain on the hitch.

I can't think of a better sceanario for having the hitch break: Early in the day (stores are open), boats off the trailer, 0 MPH.
Old     (skibum69)      Join Date: Aug 2004       07-21-2006, 10:19 AM Reply   
I had a similar problem over 10 years ago when it was the beginning of the season and a new pot hole was in the ramp that wasn't there before. When the trailer hit it, the axel broke. I got the boat off, but it had to leave it tied up at someones house by the ramp while I waited two weeks for a new axel(Shoremaster sent a new one for free, even though the old was over 10 years old). Glad you were able to get parts that day!
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       07-21-2006, 10:57 AM Reply   
Hard to see in the picture, but it looks like the welds broke. That would mean they were too cold as it should break anywhere but the welds, if they were burned in properly. In fact the ball should break long before the receiver. Call the company that manufactured it and they should send you a brand new one. Also make sure you post what brand it was so we know not to buy one.
Old     (p_e_ski)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-21-2006, 1:36 PM Reply   
Rod, please don't misunderstand, I DO realize how lucky this was to happen where it did. Could have been way worse.

Peter. I will check into that. When I get home tomorrow, I will try to post a bigger pic and let you know what brand. It did break on the welds, but you will be able to see a bit of rust that appears to have creeped towards the middle of the metal. Bigger pic will help.
Old     (wakeboarder3922)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-22-2006, 6:46 PM Reply   
here is a bigger pic dad.....Upload
Old    bocephus            07-22-2006, 7:39 PM Reply   
what happened to all the chrome on your ball hitch?
Old     (wakeboarder3922)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-22-2006, 8:08 PM Reply   
it is greased.
Old     (lukeduke95)      Join Date: May 2002       07-23-2006, 2:02 AM Reply   
By Bocephus (bocephus) on Saturday, July 22, 2006 - 7:39 pm: what happened to all the chrome on your ball hitch?

By Wakeboarder3922 (wakeboarder3922) on Saturday, July 22, 2006 - 8:08 pm: it is greased.

Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       07-23-2006, 6:36 AM Reply   
Those welds had no penetration. No wonder it broke. Single pass weld also. When in a somewhat shear like that I prefer to lay a straight quick bead down then tie it together with a second pass, the heat gets turned up to melt everything together.

Not all hitch balls are chromed. Valley who makes a decent hitch balls does not come chromed.
Old     (schackdaddy)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-23-2006, 12:01 PM Reply   
thats more of a tensile failure than shear.
Old     (wakemaniac69)      Join Date: Nov 2004       07-27-2006, 11:41 AM Reply   
Interesting fracture. It looks like the plate corroded from the inside where there is no paint. Also, it looks like there is corrosion under the footprint of the HSS Tube. Did the fracture occur directly in the fillet weld, or was it a tearout of the weld off of the plate? Also, it looks like you were using the hitch inverted to step up the height of you ball. That would also create an added moment force (lever arm effect) on the weld. I think that hitch is supposed to be used in a drop down setup. Is it possible to get some close up shots of the fracture and weld? I would be interested to see if there is any corrosion into the weld itself. Or, if the failure is simply a laminate tear out.

I know this for sure, I will inpsect mine tonight when I get home from work. Thanks for the heads up on the corrosion issues.
Old     (regalado1)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-27-2006, 12:08 PM Reply   
Why would it matter if he used it to step up versus step down. The difference in force would have to be very minimal wouldn't it? Looks more like a corrosion issue, meaning it would have failed either way it used.
Old     (poser007)      Join Date: Nov 2004       07-27-2006, 1:15 PM Reply   
Exact same thing happend to me a few weeks ago and ruined my prop the ramp fell off about 18 inches i was so pissed
Old     (wakeboarder3922)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-27-2006, 1:56 PM Reply   
how would your prop get ruined? the prop guard should have protected it.
Old     (p_e_ski)      Join Date: Jul 2004       07-27-2006, 4:29 PM Reply   
was at the welding shop for something else and brought this topic up to him. He said not to buy a hitch bar that is made in Mexico or china. He wasn't sure of brands but he said the quality of the work has really dropped off and these things are started to happen. Try to find one made in USA. he also said that the one piece forged aluminums that shackdaddy posted are really good.
Old     (poser007)      Join Date: Nov 2004       07-27-2006, 5:23 PM Reply   
My prop got whacked pulling the boat onto the trialor there was a rock sticking out and bent every blade of the prop like a u shape. I will not go to that lake anymore.
Old     (duffy)      Join Date: Feb 2006       07-27-2006, 7:12 PM Reply   
Sorry but I use to weld and that weld has no penatration.Plus there should be 3 passes to tie those two together. There is not enough rust or corrosion there for it to break like that. You need to find out who made that.
Old    vessel_assist            07-28-2006, 10:23 PM Reply   
Could have been worse...
Old     (tyboarder03)      Join Date: Nov 2003       07-28-2006, 10:33 PM Reply   
Haha Phillip, youre a good addition to wakeworld hah you'll be our picture relief, so now that you know, its your job to make us all feel better when we do something dumb or something bad happens.
Old     (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       08-18-2006, 6:10 AM Reply   
I had my single axle trailer fall off the end of a ramp. I pulled hard with the truck then decided to attempt and lift the trailer by hand. I thought it was going to a wasted effort. I don't know if it was more the air in the tires, boyancy of trailer in water, or both but I could have lifted the trailer with one hand. Too bad I had already damaged one of the fenders. Finesse versus power all the way.
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-20-2006, 9:05 AM Reply   
Patt ,i'm curious in this situation if you could have used the boat eyes on the back to raise the trailer just enough to pull it forward and drop it on the ramp then turn around and load as you mentioned?? This is somethingi'm sure we will encounter more as the ramps degrade, and to me it seems the trailerable boat size grows.
Old     (boss210)      Join Date: Jun 2006       08-20-2006, 3:55 PM Reply   
Phillip your pictures are awsome. I just hope none of my stuff gets in them. Thanks for sharing,
Old     (ridininmd)      Join Date: Jun 2006       08-20-2006, 6:48 PM Reply   
Patt, man I wish I would have seen you guys up there, we were on dam5 that night too for the same reason as you. Normally we're down on 4 (I hate putting my tower down to get through that tunnel). I had the same problem with the ramp, although not as bad as you, and I have a spare hitch sitting in my truck.
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-21-2006, 7:26 AM Reply   
My question for the pics just above is why use the air bags, the diver was there just hook the tow cable to the frame and have the tow truck pull out real slow, with the doors cracked??
Old     (02wakesettervlx)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-21-2006, 8:34 AM Reply   
What was the rating on that hitch? I think that is a 5000lbs hitch, maybe 7000? I flat won't tow with a hitch like that. I use a pintle/ball combo that is rated to 10 tons. I know it's overkill, but better safe than sorry. I also use a solid stock hitch for my cargo trailer, which has a GVW of 7000, so I use a drop hitch rated at 10K. The solid stock pieces are more expensive, but worth it.


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