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Old 04-02-2015, 06:55 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
To back up all these legal claims can anyone site actual case law where a judge has found that if a privately owned travel trailer owner overloaded said travel trailer or tow vehicle and was involved in an accident or had a warrenty claim and was found quilty or at fault of any crimes or that warrenty was voided?

Quoting Internet discussions or commercial vehicle statues does not count.
Unless the judge is the trier of fact, a jury is typically who would issue a verdict regarding disputed facts -- i.e. whether the overloading caused the accident or injuries. Since I have access to Westlaw (guess my profession), I thought I'd do a favor and post some exemplar California case law.

Attached as a PDF is a 2008 court of appeal opinion in California which indicates that a jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant Michelin North America. The plaintiff claimed that the tire delaminated while he was driving, causing him to lose control and sustain a head trauma. Don't be distracted by the issues about a mistress -- the facts are there to show that one can lose a lawsuit if the payload rating is exceeded.

An engineer reconstructed the accident and determined that the payload for a failed tire exceeded the rating by 560 pounds. The engineer could not say that the weight, or any particular weight, caused the tire to fail. A tire expert opined that the tire failed because the vehicle was overloaded.

After two days of jury deliberations, the jury agreed and issued a verdict that there was no manufacturing or design defect in the failed tire. Obviously, the jury accepted the argument that the tire was overloaded and the plaintiff was himself negligent and/or caused the tire failure.

Hope this helps to settle the debate.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Winfred D v Michelin North America Inc.pdf (182.1 KB, 14 views)
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:49 AM   #58
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Smile Overloaded TT etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebee View Post
Unless the judge is the trier of fact, a jury is typically who would issue a verdict regarding disputed facts -- i.e. whether the overloading caused the accident or injuries. Since I have access to Westlaw (guess my profession), I thought I'd do a favor and post some exemplar California case law.

Attached as a PDF is a 2008 court of appeal opinion in California which indicates that a jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant Michelin North America. The plaintiff claimed that the tire delaminated while he was driving, causing him to lose control and sustain a head trauma. Don't be distracted by the issues about a mistress -- the facts are there to show that one can lose a lawsuit if the payload rating is exceeded.

An engineer reconstructed the accident and determined that the payload for a failed tire exceeded the rating by 560 pounds. The engineer could not say that the weight, or any particular weight, caused the tire to fail. A tire expert opined that the tire failed because the vehicle was overloaded.

After two days of jury deliberations, the jury agreed and issued a verdict that there was no manufacturing or design defect in the failed tire. Obviously, the jury accepted the argument that the tire was overloaded and the plaintiff was himself negligent and/or caused the tire failure.

Hope this helps to settle the debate.
Thank you for the review and analysis. It fits my sense of logic regarding situations wherein a products design limits have been exceeded and an accident is involved. I would hope and I believe most folk would not and do not purposefully use their "possessions" to perform tasks outside the capability of the item as described by the product manufacturer. Why would one?


I can see someone not being aware of the "overloaded" TT tires for example...I admit to not checking myself but I also recognize that I am guilty if something were to happen. In Europe where we loved for 20 plus years I know for certain infractions such as these are prosecuted. Overload a trailer and cause an accident and you pay stiff penalties.


We try to buy and use "stuff" well within the expressed parameters established by the manufacturer. Overkill I admit as a means to protect ourselves from inadvertent misuse. Our way.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:44 AM   #59
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Typical

Thanks Mike for posting this. A good read for sure. Coming from a family of many lawyers, it never ceases to amaze me the level of stupidity that some folks drag into a court room. Glad to see the defendant won in this case. I feel bad that they had to spend thousands of dollars proving that, had the plaintiff followed the instructions on the tires usage, there would have been NO ACCIDENT. There are absolutely no limits to stupidity.
Sea ya down the road,
Gavin
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:15 AM   #60
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Getting a 600 lb bike up and down a steep ramp on tailgate without it tipping over. Expecially if alone. My guess it would be too heavy to push so (1) ride it up or (2) stand next to it while slipping the clutch and walking it up. Both options scare me.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:54 AM   #61
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We try to buy and use "stuff" well within the expressed parameters established by the manufacturer. Overkill I admit as a means to protect ourselves from inadvertent misuse. Our way.
That has always been my philosophy also.

Ever since I have been on this forum I have read much debate about selection of tow vehicles.

Despite being a retired engineer, I have no real insight into how well a vehicle not rated by the manufacturer can be successfully "modified" to tow heavier trailers. Many factors involved.

It does seem from what I have read here though that people who do use smaller vehicles seem completely happy with their choice and with the performance results.

For my part though, there are several basic reasons I would not go that route:

(1) My feeling is that the better choice for longevity and reliability of any piece of mechanical equipment is to use it at some lower percentage level than the manufacturer has determined to be its maximum rating.

(2) Seems to me a heavy, long wheel-based vehicle with large brakes has to be a safer arrangement for towing. I have towed with lighter vehicles than we now own - though still adequately rated - and find that the present experience involves fewer white knuckle situation, and that feeling that the tail is close to being ready to wag the dog! I also use a Hensley hitch now as well so Im sure that helps a lot.

(3) Having no legal background, I don't really know the potential impact on my liability, but my sense is that I would be in a bad position if ever involved in an accident and the facts surfaced that I was towing a heavy trailer with a vehicle not having the appropriate capacity rating.

Even if this were never to become an issue, I am such a worry wart and would always have the concern in the back of my mind and that would always detract from my enjoyment of the RV lifestyle!

That's my take on the debate!

As for carrying motorcycles, I would love to take my bike on our RV trips, but it weighs around 900 pounds and I only weigh 145! I think that for me to try to get it up onto the truck bed on ramps would be a disaster waiting to happen, especially since the TV id a 4x4 and the bed is quite high.

I did consider it when we bought the truck but conclude that the only way I would do it would be with one of those self loading rigs designed for the purpose.

But the fact that we make so much use out of our truck bed with a cap to keep clutter out of the trailer precludes that, so I have to be satisfied with taking bicycles instead!

Brian.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:08 AM   #62
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Wingeezer, thanks for that post. it summarizes my take on this as well. i certainly could have kept my half ton Tundra but it was right at the limit with the boat and trailer and then along came the AS. i was uncomfortable hauling the boat and finally decided that towing with a rig that was already at its advertised limit was foolish.

we only have 2,000+ miles of tow with the AS and F350, but i can tell you there is no white knuckle driving involved. even my wife has expressed how relaxed she is with this setup. that is good to hear for me because this has always been an issue in the past with tow vehicles.

it is helpful as well that we get good fuel economy with this truck, way better than the 1/2 ton. the suspension does not have us bouncing down the road and there was no need to add air bags to the rear. straight out of the box, this truck was meant to tow.

i would be totally uncomfortable with any SUV as a tow vehicle for this AS but i guess folks get by with what they use. its just not for us.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:16 PM   #63
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Thank you Michael. I can't count how many times I've read here that if you are over limits and have an accident the lawyers will take all your money, lovk you up, and throw away the key. How about some factual documentation?

John

P.S. No, I'm not over limits with my rig. Just tired of unsubstantiated claims on the internet. Saying it doesn't make it true, no matter how many times it's said.
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:49 PM   #64
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The driver is ultimately responsible for the rig he is driving. Drag an overloaded rig down the road and get in an accident you will lose your tail. Their is no manufacture of equipment that will assume responsibility if misused or operated out of spec. Most lawsuits are settled out of court and the records sealed. I ain't taking no chances and I pray that others don't either. With lawsuits where McDonalds get sued for too hot of coffee I would think a fella with an overloaded rig would be chopped liver if involved in a crash. We owe it to ourselves, family and fellow travelers to tow within the limits.


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Old 04-04-2015, 03:32 PM   #65
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I completely agree that we have a serious responsibility towing these trailers. We are responsible not only for ourselves and our passengers but for others on the road. That's a given.

There's another form of responsibility also - not to spread information with no basis. I'm not trying to pick on anyone here, I guess I'm just tired of the rampant mis-information in our culture, facilitated greatly by the internet. Politicians say the same lies over and over and over until they become a kind of "truth" with the faithful.

This is real:
It's stupid, dangerous and irresponsible to exceed manufacturers limits when towing.

This is not:
If you do you will be sued for everything you have.

Cheers,
John
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:35 PM   #66
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Having just done all this research for myself and my 30' AS, I'd like to add that the Ram Dodge 2500 with the 6.7L Cumins diesel engine is the most comfortable of all the larger trucks I (reluctantly) tried. I tried the F150 and F250. The F150 wasn't 'big enough'. The F250 felt like I was bumping around with nothing to hold on to.
That's all personal.
But the technical details, such as how much the truck can tow safely while on the road and wind and other vehicles (18 wheelers) blowing past you should not be taken lightly.

You've asked in the right place. There's so much knowledge around here!
Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:32 PM   #67
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Don't exceed the tire/wheel/axle limits. As to "ratings" there are thousands of commercial operators using trucks quite legally loaded past a VM "rating".

And many of us used cars to tow trailers heavier than "ratings" (once those had been invented) in the 1960s and forward.

If one cannot be trusted to think and use tools, then by all means retreat to whatever corner looks safest. Be sure to show us the wheel by wheel weight scale readings with WD applied.

At least be consistent.
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