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Old 09-11-2009, 08:27 PM   #1
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Weights from scale read-outs

OK, just got back from a 22 day excursion during which I went to the scales 4 times and still have no idea what I am at! The first time I went up (This was my first time weighing anything), I reached up, hit the button and asked to get all 4 axles weighed. I thought they would know I wanted each axle's weight individually by saying that. Wrong! Went in and got a read out of drive axle 7040 lbs and trailer axle 6600 lbs. I explained what I was after and she stated that next time ask for split axle weights. Sounded good. Did not have time then to do it so on we went to the next camp site. This also had a weigh station close so I went there without the trailer first and asked for a split axle weight. That worked good and got the weights of front axle 3100 lbs and rear axle 3140 lbs. Hmmm, that means I have a weight distribution of 800 lbs. on the SUV! or 1200 lbs. total tongue weight? Both times the load in the TV was the same with fuel being topped off and everything else inside the same. The trailer does not have that much in it, especially towards the front. I try to load all heavy stuff either on the axles or more towards the back.
OK, now for the real mess up. I went back with the trailer to the same
place that weighed just the TV. Asked for the split axle weights. Got inside and got a read out of steer axle 7140 lbs, drive axle of 3100 lbs! What the *@!* I then preceded to explain what I was after and was told to go back on and they would do what I wanted. OK back up I went. Different voice, oh no, I explained what I was doing again and he said no problem we got it! Great! back in I go. Here is what I got: steer axle 3380 lbs / 3020 lbs, drive axle 3520 lbs, trailer axle 6700 lbs. LOL That's it, no more. I still have no idea what is what other than some how I am at 800 lbs. tongue weight on the TV.
If anyone is able to decipher the last read out, maybe each axle weight is there and I'm not seeing it? And is it possible to have 1200 lbs tongue weight?
Thanks for letting me ramble, Bob
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:40 PM   #2
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When you scale, you need to put each axle on a separate part of the scale. Did you notice the scale has multiple sections? It is the driver's responsibility to make sure the axles are on separate sections. The scale master inside just hits a button & the computer takes the weight from the scale. They can't split it up for you.Get out & look where your axles are before hitting the call button. Bring a helper to guide you forward or reverse as needed to put each axle on it's own scale. If you need to make adjustments or find out toungue weight separatly, You can reweigh for just $1 each time. When the scale master asks if it's a 1st weigh on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc time, Tell them no. They will then ask for the ticket # this will be in the upper left corner of your 1st ticket. The # doesn't change for future reweighs on that same day.

Ricky
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:55 PM   #3
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I did just that. I did see the individual pads and I made sure each wheel was on a different pad.


Bob
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:26 PM   #4
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OK. I just reread your 1st post. I don't understand how you can have 2 different weights for the steer axle. If you show 4 diferent weights, you should have 4 axles. It's possible to have 1200# tongue weight, although not very safe. To get an accurate toungue wieght you need to disconnect the trailer so the front jack is on it's own scale pad. you can leave the TV on the scale, don't drive off & have only the TT on scale. Can you scan in the scale ticket & send it to me? Maybe this ex-trucker try to figure it out?

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Old 09-12-2009, 07:34 PM   #5
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Weight set up

Here is a previous post about how I set mine up.

Weight Distribution Hitch
funkill
Here is a post I did about setting up my dual cam Reese.

Setup

Disable any auto ride, auto leveling etc system on your vehicle and deflate any air shocks to minimum pressure. This is the only way you can set it up and let it do its job properly.
The best way to set up the Airstream is with scales.
You need to go to a CAT Scale and expect to spend some time.
First you must adjust the ball height (up or down) to make the weight on both axles of the trailer the same (yes weigh each axle separately). Make a reference mark on the tongue (Take a piece of masking tape, stick it on the tongue if you don’t want to mark on the tongue with the magic marker and put a line on it parallel with the ground. When the weight on both axles are the same plus or minus 100lbs measure the distance from this line you made to the ground while on the scales). Pull off the scales and find a flat hard surface to park.

This is what your tongue height must always be when you are on a flat level surface.


Next adjust the spring bars/trunion bars until the weight on the front axle and rear axle of the tow vehicle is the same with the tongue height noted before.
Then tweak the number of links under tension, angle of the ball mount and ball mount position on the drawbar until the weight on all four axles is within 100 pounds of each other AND the line on the masking tape is at the distance from the ground is the same as the tongue height as measured above.
The change in overall handeling is dramatic.


If you have the dual cam straight line setup:

Lastly pull straight for at least 50 yards.
Loosen the u bolts on the arms (two u bolts per side, they will usually self adjust with a bang). Re tighten the nuts on the ubolts.

Your ready to go.


Remember:
1. Equal weight on the two trailer axles is the first and most important consideration reguardless of appearance. There is no equalizer link between the front and rear axle so the ball height is what determines the load on each axle. It must be the reference height determined above when finished no matter how many times you have readjust the angle of the ball mount/position of the ball mount on the shank.
2. Equal weight on all four axles is the best setup for braking and stability. This may not be attainable so get as close as possible.
Put your heavist toys in front of the rear axle of the pickup truck (between the front and rear axle).
3. The truck and trailer might be a little off level when the weights are right. This is caused by the different ACTUAL load capacity of the old axles on your trailer (after several years they get tired, mine are).
4. Use the lightest spring bars you can get away with. There should be 1 to 2 inches deflection from rest (on the spring bars) to be best to attain the reference mark height and equal weight on all axles. My tongue weight is 850 lbs and I use 750 lb bars. These spring bars provide a flexable link between the truck and the trailer. I learned years ago that unless you provide a flex point between the trailer and the truck, if not, the trailer or the truck will find one on its own and I guarantee you will not like it.



Beginner


You are half way there as you have very close to equal weights on the trailer axles. Now adjust the number of chain links under tension to even out the Tow Vehicle axle weights shild keeping the toung height at the same point it is now.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
You are half way there as you have very close to equal weights on the trailer axles. Now adjust the number of chain links under tension to even out the Tow Vehicle axle weights shild keeping the toung height at the same point it is now.
Beginner
From what you are saying, are you able to tell what my axle trailer weights are? I can not. Nor do I have any idea what my suv axle weights are hitched up.
I'll post the last 2 tickets I got from the CAT Scale. I asked for each axle weight both times.
Bob
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beginner View Post
Here is a previous post about how I set mine up.

Weight Distribution Hitch
funkill
Here is a post I did about setting up my dual cam Reese.

Setup
Disable any auto ride, auto leveling etc system on your vehicle and deflate any air shocks to minimum pressure. This is the only way you can set it up and let it do its job properly.
The best way to set up the Airstream is with scales.
You need to go to a CAT Scale and expect to spend some time.
First you must adjust the ball height (up or down) to make the weight on both axles of the trailer the same (yes weigh each axle separately).
What is that "must be" equal weight based on?

I never heard that before.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:19 AM   #8
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If the steer axle is on one pad, the drive axle on the next pad and the trailer axle[s] on the third you'll have an accurate picture of weight-distribution if, first, you have:

TV weight, solo (divided by steer and drive); loaded as if for camping (full fuel and passenger load)

TT weight, solo, if tongue and axles are weighed on separate pads (trailer level).

The operator (scalemaster) is trained personnel. They (usually a she) cannot alter or customize readings, noting only that the scale is self-reporting as without problems.

It is important to crawl onto the scale, and to gently use brakes to completely stop . . the scale is sensitive to forward and back movement, not simply up-down.

Once solo and hitched weights are recorded then proper load-equalization can begin. One must have both sets of numbers (the "solo" numbers are only needed once).

The weight of your rig as shown (gross) was not far off of my own. And, yes, from empty to loaded the TW varied from around 800 to nearly 1,000-lbs.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:45 AM   #9
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Set up

I assume the must "be weight " is the phrase you changed to red.
If so, it is this, the Airstream suspension is four wheel fully independant. The only way to prevent having one axle from carrying more weight is by raising or lowering the tongue. Trailers with straight axles and leaf springs have an equalising link that both the front and rear axle spring is bolted to (the triangle piece between the axles) that allow "equalization" of the weight between the two axles.
His weight was within 100 or lbs of each other so the axles were carrying a near enough equal load.
He needs to measure the tongue height because that tongue height will give him the "equal load" on each axle. Now he needs to determine the axle loading on the tow vehicle (appearntly I'm not explaining it right but REDNAX is having a go at saying the same thing I'm saying). That is the tickleish part, adjusting the ball height and links under tension to give you the proper tongue height (equal load on the trailer axles) and equal load on the tow vehicle axles.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:27 AM   #10
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Point of interest...

....Have never weighed trailer axle's separately. (on separate pads.)

If the trailer is level while towing the the weights will be equal enough.

I was always a little sceptical, of the tongue weights I got at the scales..this little unit confirmed my suspicion. To me it was well worth the 100 bucks.
Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scales

Check out the towing guide on there site also, lots of good tips.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:39 AM   #11
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To get a tongue weight you must disconnect from TV, the rig(TT) must be level. and the ball coupler/jack must be on its own weight pad, seperate from the axles. At APG (Fords desert proving ground) we did hundreds of thousands of miles of trailer tows on public highways. The trailers were all torsion axle trailers, We always towed at max GVW. We had single, double, and triple axle trailers. We had our own scale house, we never weighed individual axles. We weighed all axles on one pad, the ball coupler on a special stand on the next pad. The tongue was required to be 10 -12 % of total tongue weight. Only after the trailer was properly loaded and the tongue weight ajusted to 10-12% with the trailer sitting level did we begin to hitch to the TV and ajust the TV axle weights with the weight bars. Adios, John
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:17 AM   #12
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To get the tongue weight you could try
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:45 PM   #13
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Trailer Weights

To Robert Cross
The rubber in the axles, inspite of mans best efforts are not exactly identical. They will sag at different rates, they have on my trailer (1984 31 FT Excella). My trailer is not level however the axles are equallu loaded and I still have 800 lbs of tongue weight. It tows and stops great.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Point of interest...

....Have never weighed trailer axle's separately. (on separate pads.)

If the trailer is level while towing the the weights will be equal enough.

I was always a little sceptical, of the tongue weights I got at the scales..this little unit confirmed my suspicion. To me it was well worth the 100 bucks.
Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scales

Check out the towing guide on there site also, lots of good tips.

Thanks for the link to the Sherline Tongue Scale! I just ordered the 2,000 lbs. one. I will be making some kind of drive on ramps to get each weight of the wheels. Both Airstream and TV. No more CAT Scales!!!

Bob
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