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Old 09-28-2011, 06:22 AM   #113
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:50 AM   #114
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Something that was mentioned above about where the brake controller is mounted made me think about where we put them in a fresh install. I always ask the customer if they are left -or-right-handed, and place the controller on that side, if at all possible. A left-handed person would be more likely, unless heavily trained against it, to use their left hand in an emergency. That extra quarter second when your brain is trying to make your wrong hand do something could make all the difference.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:34 AM   #115
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Friday, thanks for a good post. The speculation is interesting, but at this point, we've gone about as far as we can without more information. Tire marks may tell a lot. I think the interest is because we all worry about whether it will happen to us and what should we do to prevent it, or acting smart if it does. I was going to mention the Tundra hitch assembly acts as the last cross member on the frame rails, but thought it would complicate my post.

Terry, as a left handed person, I think mounting on the left is unnecessary. Lefties get used to using our right hands almost as much as our left and some of us are ambidextrous. I can train my right hand to do almost anything my left can do, although I don't bother most of the time. I can use a hammer and eat right handed—it's kind of clumsy, but if I kept at it, I could do it better. Sometimes a nail has to be hammered in a tight space and using my right hand is easier. If I cut my index finger, it can be painful to hold a fork in my left hand, so I use my right hand and try not to stick the fork in my nose. So I know I can do it. This is the result of living in a right handed world. So I don't have any trouble having the controller on the right side.

I very much do appreciate your concern about we lefties—we don't get a lot of that. When the pen is tied to the right side of something I have to sign instead in the middle, that is insensitivity. And we both drive. Barb is unfortunate enough to be right handed and she would have far more trouble using the controller with her left hand. Righties are one handed, lefties are two handed. So I would ask a left handed person whether they use their right hand a lot and whether there is another driver who is right handed.

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Old 09-28-2011, 09:02 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I very much do appreciate your concern about we lefties
Gene
My dad who passed away a few years ago was born in England at a time when it was considered wrong to be left handed and this bad habit had to be corrected!

He was naturally left handed but was forced in school to write with his right hand.

As a result he grew up being able to write equally well with either hand.

He could even write simultaneously and equally well with both hands!

The only thing he couldn't do was to write different things with each hand at the same time! I suppose that would take some real mental agility!

I guess I'm deviating a bit from the topic of this thread - sorry!

Brian.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:30 AM   #117
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I guess I'm deviating a bit from the topic of this thread - sorry!

Brian.
I'm not. We downtrodden minorities need all the sympathy we can get. When I learned to write in the 1940's, they did not force us in NYC to write right handed, although they didn't help us much either. I couldn't remember which way to hold the paper and my hand smeared the ink when we got pens. I have friends who were forced to write right handed and were insulted for having trouble with that. I think it is harder to write left handed and no one but me can understand what I write, even me sometimes.

But the original point is important—controls should be placed where they are most easily used by each individual. No one asked me where I wanted the brake controller and even though it works for me on the right side, not every leftie can use their right hand as well as their left. I can't write well right handed—bad printing is the best I can do—but I don't do well left handed either. I would get an F in calligraphy. I love keyboards—they are neutral and the most used letters are mostly on the left side.

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Old 09-28-2011, 09:53 AM   #118
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"I guess I'm deviating a bit from the topic of this thread - sorry!"

Where are the Mod's....

Deviate both handed behavior should not be allowed on this site.
Just what ELSE are you using both hands for?

Bob
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:01 AM   #119
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Deviate both handed behavior should not be allowed on this site.
Just what ELSE are you using both hands for?

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Use your imagination.

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Old 09-28-2011, 10:04 AM   #120
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Hi, I don't know if this is what jmtandem meant, but sometimes I get the feeling that those with this type of hitch, big trucks, tire pressure monitors, and disc brakes Etc. feel too comfortable when towing.

We have no idea what really caused this accident. But we can probably rule out several things, for example, a motorcycle probably does not have much bow wave to buffet the Titan and Airstream, or that it was not raining/ no ice, etc. Also, we have no idea how many thousands of miles this driver has towed his Airstream. What we do know is that it ended up in an accident this time.

As to my comments about being assured that nothing can go wrong because we believe the salesman that the truck is more than enough to tow the trailer, the hitch manufacture that states that sway is controlled (not mitigated) and virtually impossible with the hitch and that Airstreams are the best towing trailers out there. Pretty impressive credentials for the owner to mate together for a safe trip. What is not said is that the truck manufacturer's tow ratings are for max trailers under ideal circumstances. Add firewood, barbecues, bicycles, chairs, tools, etc and the tow ratings go down. A trailer that old might have had uneven braking or perhaps was even loaded too much aft, and the hitch that works perfectly might not have been maintained or adjusted recently. As Andy said everything is a big guess. Sometimes the HA bump is sufficeint to get the drivers attention and even attempt to move around the rear of the truck. Some have speculated that could be part of the cause. We may never know as the driver might not recall everything, perhaps did not grab a handful of trailer brakes when sway started and did the automatic response of hitting the service brakes on the TV perhaps amplifing the problems.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:24 AM   #121
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[QUOTE= but what most aircraft accident investigators will tell you is that it is usually not just one thing that caused the plane to crash, but rather a series of three things including pilot decisions, equipment failure, and environmental conditions. So perhaps we should be looking at that fact that it wasn't one thing but several that caused this accident.


Rion[/QUOTE].


The driver was not flying an airplane. What happened here probably happened very fast and the driver had little time to react. I do agree that there likely was a chain of events that took place in perhaps a few seconds and the driver either could not or did not react and compensate quickly enough. How often do we go out and practice for an hour or so what we will do in case of sway, in case we have a mechanical hitch malfunction or if we blow a tire on the TV or TT. The answer is probably never as we deal with things as they come along. Unfortuantely the automatic response to most anything driving is to hit the TV's service brakes, perhaps the totally wrong thing to do in a sway condition. Watch professional pilots on the job, they don't panic, they think through their actions before doing something, they plan and stay mentally ahead of the plane and they practice for the unexpected.


We will likely never know what happened. Even the driver may never know what really happened but it is probably a safe bet that it caught him by surprise.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:56 AM   #122
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I am wondering where this thread is going and why it is going there.
I understand the left handed part, as I am a member of that rare and exalted part of our society.

However the rest of it seems to be thrashing away at the same stuff repeatedly. Albeit from slight different directions. Kind of like trying to kill a venomous snake with a stick.

Let's face it, if any vehicle is involved in an accident there is undoubtedly something the driver could have done to prevent it, even if we have to go so far as to not get in the car that day. As I drive, I am continually amazed at the either lack of understanding or else total disregard of traffic laws and common sense constantly on display. One can only assume that this carries forward to the understanding of basic principles of safe driving. There is no reason whatsoever to expect that those who tow trailers are any different percentage wise from the general population.

So you are not going to solve the other drivers problems. You can only work on solving yours before they occur. There are a lot of good suggestions brought forth here about this one particular situation. However the solution needs to go far deeper than that. First a driver needs to stop taking driving and/or towing for granted and decide he/she is going to learn to do it correctly. This needs to start right from the basics of understanding how the vehicle operates and how and why it is constructed like it is. Reading these forums it a good way to accomplish some of that once one knows enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Since you can't force feed knowledge and care to all the drivers and those that tow trailers on the road, that brings up the most important detail of all. Assume that everyone else on the road with you has no clue whatsoever what they are doing, let alone how to do it. I estimate that you won't be far from 90% correct. Make all your driving decisions based on that.

Like so many other things in life, towing a trailer safely requires a lot of time and work both beforehand and during.

That concludes my morning sermon.

Ken
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:58 AM   #123
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Check everything on your hitch

This thread provides some great perspective on towing in general. As a newbie to towing, I now realize that I have had an unrealistic sense of security. It seems sooo easy. I now realize the importance of all the "preflight" precautions. I would really appreciate someone reviewing the emergency procedures for what to do when you suspect you are going into a sway situation.
Thanks again to all the contributors for all the great advice
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:00 PM   #124
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This thread provides some great perspective on towing in general. As a newbie to towing, I now realize that I have had an unrealistic sense of security. It seems sooo easy. I now realize the importance of all the "preflight" precautions. I would really appreciate someone reviewing the emergency procedures for what to do when you suspect you are going into a sway situation.
Thanks again to all the contributors for all the great advice
Joe Gerardi
Keep in mind what is really going on. The trailer is trying to pass the truck. As sounds logical, the worst thing to do is to slow the truck before or more than the trailer.

Do not let up on the accelerator. in fact a slight increase can help.
As soon as you possibly can (instantaneously?) apply the trailer brakes only. This is done with the manual lever on the brake controller. That is why it is important that it be located within easy reach.

(There is a school of thought, to which I belong, that says it should also be in ready reach of the front seat passenger. That is assuming that they know what to do if you are occupied with both hands attempting to steer.)

Applying the trailer brakes firmly should get the sway under control. Then gently brake normally and pull to the side of the road. Check your drawers and then examine the truck, trailer and hitch to see if it was an equipment problem or just something you induced.

This is assuming that you are not on ice, snow or other slick surfaces. In that case, even though you follow the above advice, you are probably going to crash. Just hope you survive to benefit from the lesson you just learned.

How to avoid sway in the first place is probably even better knowledge to possess, as there are many ways to induce it. That is important enough to be a good subject for a thread of its own.

Ken
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:01 PM   #125
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The rule with the old Kelsey-Hayes brake controllers as we learned in the 1960's was: slam the accelerator down, and slam the brake control to full lock if the trailer decides to pull out and pass.

This .pdf scan of the 1966 manual shows it mounted to the underside of the steering wheel column (something no longer possible after collapsible steering columns were introduced). We always mounted the controller to the left of the steering column then and later. The right hand may be called upon to steer and/or change gears. (ABS brakes no longer permitted this superior controller; and K-H was carved up by the vultures. That .pdf is a good read for it's thoroughness of how things used to be).

The left hand is for the trailer brake. Manipulating the transmission should always be an option . . but swapping hands can prevent it. Hasn't been a left-hand transmission since the Chrysler push button operated trans was last seen in 1963 (we all got stuck with the inferior GM column shifter).
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:42 PM   #126
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Thanks Rednax,

That Kelsey-Hayes pdf is priceless. I especially like the car and trailer illustrations.

It as still great information to have on file. Other than the newer technology we have now, towing principals are the same then as they are today.
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