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Old 09-25-2011, 07:28 PM   #71
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Gene...in ref to your question of why 'square' is better than 'round' relating to the frame mounted hitches...

Without any real knowledge of the stiffness of a square tube VS a round tube, mathematics will tell us that, for example, a 3" round tube has a circumference of about 9.42" (C=pi x d)...

A 3" sq tube would have a circumference of about 12"...

Assuming both types of tubing are welded completely around their circumference, to their frame mounting plates, we're looking at about a 27% greater welded length with the sq tube VS the round...

Also, the areas where the square hitch receiver 'socket' is welded to the crossmember in the center comes into question. A question remains in my mind as to the effectiveness of this connection when the sq 'socket' is welded to the round crossmember - additional reinforcement may be required that again may not have the same amount of welded 'length' when comparing the two types...

I'm not an engineer, but in my 20+ years as a parts man at a Kenworth truck dealer, I never saw anything but square (or rectangular) crossmembers in HD applications...

'Square' to 'round' to 'square' members just doesn't make a lot of sense to me in HD frame applications - especially in the hitch area where they are subjected to the many strains of twisting, turning, and frame flexing during typical towing usage...IMHO

As Huey Lewis says - 'It's hip to be square"...
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:45 PM   #72
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After reviewing the accident pics again, the thought occurred to me that the 'round' crossmember is used in this application so the 'tube' could be easily bent in a shape to allow clearance for the under mounted spare tire...

Also, the greater amount the tube is bent 'backward', the more leverage is exerted on its attaching points...but that didn't appear to matter in this instance, as the tube remained welded to the frame attaching plates...

Using square tubing would have required a different approach, and additional expense, no doubt...

I hate to bring it up, but I believe this tubular type hitch construction was developed to be less expensive to manufacture...

Testing done on the hitch may have shown it was strong enough to perform normally for the weight ratings of the vehicle - but as we've seen here, not strong enough to survive the stress of a 'rolling' trailer...

I guess you really can't fault the vehicle/hitch mfg. for the hitch failure under extreme circumstances - However, if there is a hitch available that's of heavier construction to handle higher loads, it may be a good idea to investigate what's available...IMHO
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:51 PM   #73
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Gene,

Here's a visual on mexray's mathman explanation.

This is off my 06 3/4 Burb, notice how the arms and receiver box are mounted/designed and welded, , all GM HD receiver's are the same, 'cept 08 and up Burbs. (as of 09, when I retired)

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Old 09-25-2011, 07:51 PM   #74
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In that immediate area of Texas Hwy 16 the road is actually a three lane (turning lane) with very wide shoulders I would estimate to be 10' wide on each side. The trailer covered one shoulder, the Southeast bound lane, and the center lane, leaving the Northwest bound lane open for traffic to go around. So that tells you how wide the road is right there.

We got to the scene just before the wrecker was hooking up to the Nissan to turn it back on it's wheels in preperation for loading on the flat bed for removal. The pictures show both vehicles as they came to rest. I wanted to get more detailed pictures of the hitch and attachments, but the Department of Public Safety officer decided we should leave.

The one picture shows the Hensley hitch disconnected from the ball hitch, and hanging from one of the WD bars. Don't know what Hensley calls them, but the rods that go from the hitch head back to the A frame of the trailer were both torn loose from their attachments.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:56 PM   #75
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Gene,

Here's a visual on mexray's mathman explanation.

This is off my 06 3/4 Burb, all GM HD receiver's are the same, 'cept 08 and up Burbs.

Bob
Robert,

I know I've said this before on this forum, but what you don't and cannot show in your pictures of your GM receiver hitch is the cross member that is in the bottom of the bumper the hitch is also bolted to. This means the hitch is supported by two cross members, which will add considerable load capacity and strength to the hitch, and means the pictures don't represent an accurate visual representation of the strenth of the hitch.
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Old 09-25-2011, 07:58 PM   #76
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Post #37 says the rig was westbound and ended up over and on the eastbound shoulder/guardrail. Just to clarify that the accident didn't start in the same lane it ended in.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:15 PM   #77
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Robert,

I know I've said this before on this forum, but what you don't and cannot show in your pictures of your GM receiver hitch is the cross member that is in the bottom of the bumper the hitch is also bolted to. This means the hitch is supported by two cross members, which will add considerable load capacity and strength to the hitch, and means the pictures don't represent an accurate visual representation of the strenth of the hitch.

Steve,

It doesn't add much strength when the welds fail below the bolts.
you see the mounts in the pic's of my 06 above, and how their bolted here.

I guess we differ on what we consider good design and execution.
I can only comment on what I have experienced personally. We replaced at least two a year, one year six, for cracks around the round tube and box mount and weld failure.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:25 PM   #78
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Robert,

I'm not saying that GM did not have a problem with their hitches, and that none of them have failed.

What I'm saying is your two pictures, one of the GM hitch off the vehicle, compared to the other aftermarket hitch which does not utilise the bumper cross member, is not a fair and accurate visual comparison, IMHO.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:31 PM   #79
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Now that I'm home, on the big 'puter, and off Wi-Fi, here are the rest of the pictures I have.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:35 PM   #80
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Steve,

Point well taken...

The Tow Beast does not have/require the bumper support mounts.

there are no photo's to visualize in this post.


Bob
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:50 PM   #81
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Steve,

Point well taken...

The Tow Beast does not have/require the bumper support mounts.

there are no photo's to visualize in this post.


Bob
If you want a hitch that is square, heavy duty, and has the 'bumper support' mounts, try a Hidden Hitch Kolussus V. Less than $200 when I bought it.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:58 PM   #82
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Steve, your last photo showing the under side of the trailer has me looking at something else. Saw it too in your first photo also, raveling asphalt. In California this is a huge problem with open grade asphalt mix designs. It appears to be only in the east bound lane and center turning lane but the raveling asphalt spreads out. In simple terms, it would be like leaving small marbles out on the road that can cause loss of traction ether in braking or turning maneuvers. Could be a chip seal placement too, but the aggregate size tells me asphalt. You may want to have someone go back to the scene to take further pictures before the local agency sends a sweeper.
My 2 cents, Jeff
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:02 PM   #83
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Steve,

It doesn't add much strength when the welds fail below the bolts.
you see the mounts in the pic's of my 06 above, and how their bolted here.

I guess we differ on what we consider good design and execution.
I can only comment on what I have experienced personally. We replaced at least two a year, one year six, for cracks around the round tube and box mount and weld failure.

Bob
Bob,

What are you using as a replacement. I just purchased a new Silverado. The Durango we replaced had square tube that was both bolted and welded. I found a Curt Class V doing a quick search that is a direct bolt in replacement?

Thanks...
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:55 AM   #84
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First, I want to echo the others, we are glad to hear no one was seriously injured. That is incredible by itself.

The photos are a testament to the integrity of the propane bottles. It is amazing to realize the abuse that was inflicted to them in the seconds all of this took place, particularly when all came to a stop against the guardrail. This could have been so much worse had they failed!
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