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Old 01-21-2006, 19:01   #1 (permalink)
Nehmo
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? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway

"Pull-behind" trailers are trailers that connect to the tow vehicle by
a ball (or other attaching arrangement) on the back of tow vehicle and
a trailer hitch on the tongue attached to the front of the frame of the
trailer. If the trailer is improperly-loaded into a tail-heavy
condition (in other words, the center of gravity is to the rear of the
center of the axles) arrangement, it will sway from side to side. But
why? Why would tail-heavy conditions cause such behavior? The weight on
the tongue would be negative, but I still can't understand the swaying
mechanism.
--
(||) Nehmo (||)

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Old 01-21-2006, 19:01   #2 (permalink)
William Boyd
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Re: ? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway

Nehmo wrote:

> "Pull-behind" trailers are trailers that connect to the tow vehicle by
> a ball (or other attaching arrangement) on the back of tow vehicle and
> a trailer hitch on the tongue attached to the front of the frame of the
> trailer. If the trailer is improperly-loaded into a tail-heavy
> condition (in other words, the center of gravity is to the rear of the
> center of the axles) arrangement, it will sway from side to side. But
> why? Why would tail-heavy conditions cause such behavior? The weight on
> the tongue would be negative, but I still can't understand the swaying
> mechanism.

My thoughts are that the CG is behind the tires, they become the
steering mechanism rather than the tung. The trailer axles do not have
caster / camber and tow in alignment to hold it steady. The increased
sway can be caused by wallowing of the tire, the more the wallow the
more the sway, and the more the sway the more the wallow.
One thing I do know, if you want to spread gravel just load it in the
back of the trailer and get it up to speed, but watch it, the sway will
be soon swaying the tow vehicle from bar ditch to bar ditch, do not try
this with any one around so the can see you. They might think it is a
stupid trick and it is. ;-)

--

BILL P.

2004, 2500 SLT Quad Cab, Dodge Ram,
SLT, SWB, 2WD,
5.9 HO Turbo Diesel, 48RE Auto Trans,
Anti-Spin 3.73 Dif.Rhino Liner,
Husky 16K. Voyager Controller
2005, 27RL Wildcat, DT/PC Wi-Fi.
Dual EU2000i Hondas
Just Me and Dog
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Old 01-21-2006, 19:01   #3 (permalink)
pkurtz2
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Re: ? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway


"Nehmo" <nehmo54@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1137895163.229965.28440@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> "Pull-behind" trailers are trailers that connect to the tow vehicle by
> a ball (or other attaching arrangement) on the back of tow vehicle and
> a trailer hitch on the tongue attached to the front of the frame of the
> trailer. If the trailer is improperly-loaded into a tail-heavy
> condition (in other words, the center of gravity is to the rear of the
> center of the axles) arrangement, it will sway from side to side. But
> why? Why would tail-heavy conditions cause such behavior? The weight on
> the tongue would be negative, but I still can't understand the swaying
> mechanism.
> --
> (||) Nehmo (||)
>

Nehmo, the reason this happens is due to the wind being able to catch the
underside of the trailer creating lift. It also happens because it can lift
the back of the truck up off the springs, even if it is a slight amount, it
will cause this problem. And then because the trailer is attached to the
very rear of the truck, it causes the rear axle to act like a pendulum and
causes the front of the truck to sway side to side. If the driver is
experienced in pulling a trailer, he can stop the sway action. You just have
to hold the steering wheel very straight, and not side to side to try to
counter the sway. And yes, balancing the load on a trailer is extremely
important, you dont want there to be any lift on the hitching device. This
can cause an improperly hitched trailer to come loose, and possibly come
completely free of the vehicle. Always use tow chains, criss-crossed under
the hitch (so as to look like they are going to catch the tongue if it comes
undone), and with enough slack that you can take hard corners without
stretching or getting the chains tight.
Happy towing,
Pk


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Old 01-21-2006, 20:01   #4 (permalink)
Jon Porter
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Re: ? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway


"Nehmo" <nehmo54@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1137895163.229965.28440@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> "Pull-behind" trailers are trailers that connect to the tow vehicle by
> a ball (or other attaching arrangement) on the back of tow vehicle and
> a trailer hitch on the tongue attached to the front of the frame of the
> trailer. If the trailer is improperly-loaded into a tail-heavy
> condition (in other words, the center of gravity is to the rear of the
> center of the axles) arrangement, it will sway from side to side. But
> why? Why would tail-heavy conditions cause such behavior? The weight on
> the tongue would be negative, but I still can't understand the swaying
> mechanism.


If the trailer is grossly unbalanced forth to aft, it can cause sway.
--
Jon
JPinOH



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Old 01-21-2006, 20:01   #5 (permalink)
Michelle
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Re: ? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway

Nehmo wrote:
> "Pull-behind" trailers are trailers that connect to the tow vehicle by
> a ball (or other attaching arrangement) on the back of tow vehicle and
> a trailer hitch on the tongue attached to the front of the frame of the
> trailer. If the trailer is improperly-loaded into a tail-heavy
> condition (in other words, the center of gravity is to the rear of the
> center of the axles) arrangement, it will sway from side to side. But
> why? Why would tail-heavy conditions cause such behavior? The weight on
> the tongue would be negative, but I still can't understand the swaying
> mechanism.


If the CG is behind the pivot point 9 (axles) the trailer will try to
switch ends. This is the swaying. Much like an conventional gear
airplane. Most of the weight is behind the main wheels. They have a
tendency to try to switch ends.

Michelle
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:01   #6 (permalink)
ninebal310@aol.com
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Re: ? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway

Michelle writes:
If the CG is behind the pivot point 9 (axles) the trailer will try to
switch ends. This is the swaying. Much like an conventional gear
airplane. Most of the weight is behind the main wheels. They have a
tendency to try to switch ends.

Michelle

HUH?

Are you talking about the fact a dart flies straight because its weight
is forward and the tail feathers cause a little drag to keep it
straight? And, If you throw a dart backwards, it will automatically
switch ends and the heavy end will lead the way?

Hank <~~~don't know anything about airplanes

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Old 01-22-2006, 07:01   #7 (permalink)
Bob V
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Re: ? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway


"Nehmo" <nehmo54@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1137895163.229965.28440@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
: "Pull-behind" trailers are trailers that connect to the tow vehicle by
: a ball (or other attaching arrangement) on the back of tow vehicle and
: a trailer hitch on the tongue attached to the front of the frame of the
: trailer. If the trailer is improperly-loaded into a tail-heavy
: condition (in other words, the center of gravity is to the rear of the
: center of the axles) arrangement, it will sway from side to side. But
: why? Why would tail-heavy conditions cause such behavior? The weight on
: the tongue would be negative, but I still can't understand the swaying
: mechanism.


Because the majority of the weight is behind the center of gravity and it's
attempting to get to the front because it's smart enough to know that's
where it belongs :-)


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Old 01-22-2006, 08:01   #8 (permalink)
Michelle
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Re: ? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway

Bob V wrote:
> "Nehmo" <nehmo54@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1137895163.229965.28440@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> : "Pull-behind" trailers are trailers that connect to the tow vehicle by
> : a ball (or other attaching arrangement) on the back of tow vehicle and
> : a trailer hitch on the tongue attached to the front of the frame of the
> : trailer. If the trailer is improperly-loaded into a tail-heavy
> : condition (in other words, the center of gravity is to the rear of the
> : center of the axles) arrangement, it will sway from side to side. But
> : why? Why would tail-heavy conditions cause such behavior? The weight on
> : the tongue would be negative, but I still can't understand the swaying
> : mechanism.
>
>
> Because the majority of the weight is behind the center of gravity and it's
> attempting to get to the front because it's smart enough to know that's
> where it belongs :-)
>
>

thats what I was trying to say.....
Michelle
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:01   #9 (permalink)
Rich256
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Re: ? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway


"Nehmo" <nehmo54@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1137895163.229965.28440@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> "Pull-behind" trailers are trailers that connect to the tow vehicle by
> a ball (or other attaching arrangement) on the back of tow vehicle and
> a trailer hitch on the tongue attached to the front of the frame of the
> trailer. If the trailer is improperly-loaded into a tail-heavy
> condition (in other words, the center of gravity is to the rear of the
> center of the axles) arrangement, it will sway from side to side. But
> why? Why would tail-heavy conditions cause such behavior? The weight on
> the tongue would be negative, but I still can't understand the swaying
> mechanism.
> --
> (||) Nehmo (||)


Just having the weight behind the wheels in itself doesn't produce the sway.
It allows amplification.

Many things can get the sway started (wind, bumps in the road, passing
vehicles) and once going the weight unbalance makes it more difficult to
control.

The trailer is like a pendelum hanging out behind the tow vehicle. The
closer the weight is to the vehicle the easier it is to control. Try
holding a board with a weight on it out in the wind. It's a lot easier to
control if the weight is close in.

The weight and length of the tow vehicle also comes into play. When a tail
heavy pendelum starts to swing it will start controlling the tow vehicle.

The flex of the tires adds more amplificaton.


No matter what you do there is always possibility of sway. The amount of
weight you put on the hitch is a compromise.
Only total solution is to put all the weight on the tow vehicle and elimiate
the trailer.




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Old 01-22-2006, 15:01   #10 (permalink)
351CJ
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Re: ? Tail-Heavy Trailer Sway


"Michelle" <thecatsandiSPAMMEIFYOUDARE@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:_8NAf.11292$ZA2.666@newsread1.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> Bob V wrote:
>> "Nehmo" <nehmo54@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:1137895163.229965.28440@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>> : "Pull-behind" trailers are trailers that connect to the tow vehicle by
>> : a ball (or other attaching arrangement) on the back of tow vehicle and
>> : a trailer hitch on the tongue attached to the front of the frame of the
>> : trailer. If the trailer is improperly-loaded into a tail-heavy
>> : condition (in other words, the center of gravity is to the rear of the
>> : center of the axles) arrangement, it will sway from side to side. But
>> : why? Why would tail-heavy conditions cause such behavior? The weight on
>> : the tongue would be negative, but I still can't understand the swaying
>> : mechanism.
>>
>>
>> Because the majority of the weight is behind the center of gravity and
>> it's attempting to get to the front because it's smart enough to know
>> that's where it belongs :-)

> thats what I was trying to say.....
> Michelle


Smart weight??? Where would one acquire such weight? I am sure I would
prefer it to dumb weight.


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