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Old 04-13-2012, 10:34 PM   #221
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As we have this discussion (again) we should try to keep in mind that there's a big difference between what one can get cited or ticketed for and what one could get sued for if one causes an accident.

While Can Am's success rate is remarkable, I'm not confident that would be more persuasive to a jury than the manufacturer's published max towing weights.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:24 PM   #222
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Oh well, I tried.

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Old 04-14-2012, 06:44 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by phbarnhart View Post
As we have this discussion (again) we should try to keep in mind that there's a big difference between what one can get cited or ticketed for and what one could get sued for if one causes an accident.

While Can Am's success rate is remarkable, I'm not confident that would be more persuasive to a jury than the manufacturer's published max towing weights.

Then why isn't U-HAUL out of business?

.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:13 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
...For those who do not wish to pay an extraordinary amount for a TV -- up front and mile-by-mile -- and who want one that has better handling, braking, economy and the rest, then there are alternatives to what the industry points us at. With a long and well understood way of doing just that.

TV recommendation comes down to use. Full time is different than a vacationer is different than a family is different than a couple. A big variety of uses, and of users.

.
Hey, I resemble that remark!
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:23 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by REDNAX

Then why isn't U-HAUL out of business?

.
My guess is that they have great insurance and that they require that the person actually driving the vehicle assumes responsibility in the case of any accident.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:01 AM   #226
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Then why isn't U-HAUL out of business?

.
They are not out of business because they will not let you use one of their vehicles for towing more than is intended. This is why they ask; what do you or are you going to haul? they are not suppose to rent anything towable to you if you are hauling something that is over the recomended weight of the tow vehicle. Also if you look in the fine print it also says that you have been told of the towing/cargo weights and if you exceed that you are responsible. This includes all of the rental vehilcle companies.
Might want to read your contract.

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:04 AM   #227
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You know this thread has been gone over again and again and it comes down to its up to the owner of how much risk he/she wishes to place thier family and others in when towing with a underated vehicle, and that is all there is too it.
What I would like to know is what the insurance companies say about someone who is towing with an underated vehicle? or do you not tell the insurance companies?

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Old 04-16-2012, 09:29 AM   #228
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It very much depends on how you define "under rated tow vehicle".

If you mean that the tire, axle and gross vehicle weight ratings are exceeded then yes, an under rated tow vehicle will not be safe.

If you mean that the weight of the towed vehicle exceeds that which is recommended by the manufacturer then that tow vehicle may not be under rated at all; it will depend on how the manufacturer has arrived at his recommendation.

If the manufacturer can show you, definitively, that his recommendation was built on the vehicle's actual specification and show you that to exceed it will break something, then fine. But most tow ratings, as we've said many times before, are decided by the marketing department, what the customer wants and what the competition is doing. I've already put the Truck Trend article up, the one that quotes named industry sources, that confirms this is indeed the case.

So, if the tow rating doesn't actually refer to the capabilities of the vehicle, how can one claim that there is some undefined risk of towing in excess of the manufacturer's recommendation? The risk is as undefined as the tow rating itself.

If we're talking about risk, though, how do we, and our insurance companies, treat folk who tell us that they regularly tow at speeds way in excess of the trailer's tire speed rating? That they regularly tow in excess of the posted speed limit? That they don't bother with extended mirrors? How about not employing any sway control? Or weight distribution? I'd suggest that these things are far more risky, and more quantifiable, than exceeding the manufacturer's poorly established tow rating, and yet they seem to be exempt from censure.

This debate can, and will, go on; debate is good and it behooves us all to see what others are saying and experiencing. Personally I don't mind what trailer people tow behind what vehicle. I will assume that they have done their homework and made sure that tire, axle and gross vehicle weight ratings have not been exceeded. I'd love to think that they'll also be keeping within some of the other, better defined, towing parameters like speed limits, but then that's the risk that some people take, I guess.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:19 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by SARGE/AF View Post
You know this thread has been gone over again and again and it comes down to its up to the owner of how much risk he/she wishes to place thier family and others in when towing with a underated vehicle, and that is all there is too it.
What I would like to know is what the insurance companies say about someone who is towing with an underated vehicle? or do you not tell the insurance companies?

Sarge
Sarge, you have an opinion, but can't define the words used to express it. Based on ignorance (the kinder choice in interpretation), and from which you might well choose to educate yourself from any of a variety of angles.

I've spent I don't know how many thousands of miles driving a one-ton pickup with a trailer behind that, combined, was at least 10,000-lbs past "rated GCWR". From truck weigh stations to LEO's doing Level 1, 2 or 3 roadside inspections there isn't a problem. If the tires are up to the load and if the axle rating has been respected the law doesn't address it.

The insurance companies are happy to write $1-million dollar liability policies against it, and the oil & gas companies continue their patronage of the service. As one of thousands of others doing the very same thing, day in and out. In conditions in which you would never leave the house. From the Arctic to the tropics.

You flat don't know what you're talking about.

Do you honestly think GM or Dodge denies warranty work on those same pickups used in the same manner to every farmer, rancher, trucker, contractor and small businessman in the country? They do not. They actively seek these users of light duty pickups as they are the largest group of buyers of the heavier light-duty trucks.

And since you aren't old enough to remember what was done in the 1960s and 1970's to properly set up and tow a travel trailer with family cars -- with less power, worse brakes, etc -- you might sit up and pay attention to the details of how it is done. The information is out there, learn to use it. You might could wind up with a decent rig.

.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:53 PM   #230
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They do not tell the ins co. in my opinion or it would be questioned. My opionion. jim
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:49 PM   #231
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They do not tell the ins co. in my opinion or it would be questioned. My opionion. jim
"They" do not tell? The insurance companies are well aware of the risk level, the loss & prevention specialists from those companies cut their teeth on this kind of operation (oilfield hotshot). There is nothing secret about it. The level of documentation is broad and deep. The company I ran under has over 2,000 trucks with over 6000 loads run weekly.

Not all are these little boy trucks, plenty of big and some plain weird. Off onto roads that aren't roads, where bulldozers chain up to your rig and drag you the last 100-feet. Mud deep enough you crawl in and out the window until unloaded and the dozer drags you back to the road. Really ugly, in other words.

And the trucks keep on doing it for about 5-years or 300k miles. (Well, the Fords don't and no one buys GM's. But that may change.).

.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:09 PM   #232
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If the tires are up to the load and if the axle rating has been respected the law doesn't address it.

.
Rednax

So is what you are saying is that from a liability standpoint, we must not exceed the tire ratings and the axle ratings? What about the GVWR for the TV?

I am really bothered that folks tend to only look at the max towable rating for the TV. My Tundra has a max trailer rating of about 10,500 lbs. The only way you can tow this kind of a trailer load is if you are a 98 lb weakling, traveling by yourself with nothing in the truck bed. When I load up my truck with all my gear and hitch up my 4,500 lb Tradewind I am only about 300 lbs below the rear axle rating.

Thanks for all your knowledge and practical commercial towing experiance.

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Old 04-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #233
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post

Not all are these little boy trucks, plenty of big and some plain weird. Off onto roads that aren't roads, where bulldozers chain up to your rig and drag you the last 100-feet. Mud deep enough you crawl in and out the window.
And the trucks keep on doing it for about 5-years or 300k miles. (Well, the Fords don't and no one buys GM's. But that may change.).

.
Now your talking my kind of world my TV runs in every day.. Great come back Rednax.. Heck when I drop the AS onto the ball hitch,, its a vacation FOR MY PU to just pull it around on pavement!

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Old 04-16-2012, 06:54 PM   #234
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Exceeding a one ton trucks capabilities is a lot less dangerous than exceeding the abilities of a passenger car. jim
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:36 PM   #235
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Hi,
Just here in Australia, we can't get the big Americantrucks, we can ... but they costs a few hundreds of thousands of $. So I am looking at Landrover Defender 90, what does the forum think about that? The capacity is OK, the allowed tow capacity is OK, upgraded suspension, brilliant diesel engine .... and affordable. Our roads here in Australia are not so good as US, smaller, ruff, and the caravan parks are VERY tiny .... so that's why I thought a small defender 90 (if affordable) and easier to get the trailer parked (most people put a tow bar at the front for easy parking) .... maybe I'm wrong ....
Cheers.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:27 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by ewaegeman View Post
Hi,
Just here in Australia, we can't get the big Americantrucks, we can ... but they costs a few hundreds of thousands of $. So I am looking at Landrover Defender 90, what does the forum think about that? The capacity is OK, the allowed tow capacity is OK, upgraded suspension, brilliant diesel engine .... and affordable. Our roads here in Australia are not so good as US, smaller, ruff, and the caravan parks are VERY tiny .... so that's why I thought a small defender 90 (if affordable) and easier to get the trailer parked (most people put a tow bar at the front for easy parking) .... maybe I'm wrong ....
Cheers.
Erik
Too empirical.....

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Old 04-17-2012, 09:14 AM   #237
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There are treatises on liability, negligence, contracts, warranty and all the legal questions regarding who is at fault. To determine the answer to these questions takes a lot of explanation and comparison to the facts of each situation. If you have a reasonably valid claim, then you have to deal with arbitration clauses and limits on liability in contracts as well. To make statements about these questions in a general way is pointless unless they are only (uninformed?) generalities and understood as such. A person or company is generally responsible for their actions, but proving it is another issue.

A discussion of what is safe and what tow vehicle can do what can be useful. Most posts are anecdotal and should be taken as such. In the end, you have to assess whether the person posting knows what they are talking about and then make your own decision. Facts are elusive.

For example, I think our Tundra has handled towing without problems. But I haven't taken the engine, transmission and other components apart to see what wear is on them—and if I did, I wouldn't know what I was looking at (I might not be able to put it together again either).

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Old 04-17-2012, 09:27 AM   #238
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So why do we waste so very, very much time on legal crap when the op specifically asks what to tow with, not how much trouble with the law will I be in if I tow with a . . . ?

(And I don't really want anybody to answer this, it's just a statement.)

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Old 04-17-2012, 10:03 AM   #239
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This is just my opinion, and should be taken as such, but I believe if you are reasonably within the manufacturer's stated capacities of your tow vehicle, you will have no problems, even if you are involved in an accident.

However, if you do some of the things that I have read discribed here as "goofy", like tow a 34' Airstream with a compact sedan, you are leaving yourself open for lots of exposure, especially in the even of an accident, God forbid a loss of life accident.

YMMV
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:37 AM   #240
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Question Life is a matter of choices

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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
So why do we waste so very, very much time on legal crap when the op specifically asks what to tow with, not how much trouble with the law will I be in if I tow with a . . . ?

(And I don't really want anybody to answer this, it's just a statement.)

doug k
Doug,

You are not supposed to end a statement with a question mark.

In any case this is not an answer to your question directly, it is a series of observations and opinions. Since they are my personal opinions that I have lived with for a long time, I hold them quite dear.

What takes these subjects off subject, is the fact that we all have varying opinions on what is desirable or acceptable.

Personally, I feel death or serious injury is a greater concern than being sued.


You have to think positively about this apparently touchy subject that seems to arouse sensitive feelings.

If you tow using your equipment over its ratings, there is a distinct chance you will end up killing yourself. In that case the possibility of you being personally involved in litigation is greatly reduced. Every cloud has a silver lining.

That brings up the following feeling options.

1. Tow within ratings and feel safe.

2. Tow outside the ratings and plan that, if something happens, it will be terminal. Thus no worries about litigation.

3. Tow outside ratings and plan that you will only be injured, and worry then about litigation.

4. Tow outside the ratings and plan for nothing to happen, but worry about if you are right.

To me the choice is simple. However we each have different priorities and judgment skills. That is why I always drive as though everyone else on the highway is likely to do something crazy at any moment.

All of this aside, when someone comes to the forums with a question, my personal feeling is that it is incumbent on all of us to give them an answer that can be backed up with documentation (in this case, published specs). Once again my feelings only: It is doing the originator a disservice to provide advice that can only be documented with anecdotes (Also known as experiences).

I did not read this entire thread in detail in order to not cloud my opinions with facts. However I think you and I feel similarly about this subject.


Ken




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