cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Veteran Contributor

Re: Adding goose neck ball

Just remember you'll have to have some sort of brakes on your trailer because you will attract attention from a whole nother lawman.  At least around here you do.

0 Kudos
Senior Contributor

Re: Adding goose neck ball

The guy told me to wire my brakes into my brake light wire?  That way he said I'll have brakes, but I'm not sure if that would pass inspection or not...

 

It be better I think to have it wire separately 

 

 

0 Kudos
Veteran Contributor

Re: First time semi buyer

Almost without exception everyone who buys a truck and goes with a short trailer will regret that decision and will eventually end up with a 42 or 43 ft trailer. Do it right off the bat and save the problems of trading up. If you buy a Freightliner go with an FLD 120 not a Columbia. Our 95 120 is still a nicer truck than our 02 Columbia. I'd probably try to get a Kenworth or Peterbilt because the cabs are more well built than the Freightliners. Our 95 has a M11 Cummins and the 02 has a 12.7 Detroit. Both have been good.

0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Adding goose neck ball

I've seen it done here plenty of times.  One thing you need to be sure of, is that your trailer itself is rated to carry the load.  When pulling with a pickup, even a dually, there comes a point where you say it is 'full enough'.  With a semi doing the towing, often you instead hear, 'one more will fit, why not load it'.  Well, if your trailer has 5K axles, each with 6K of weight on them, with tires rated for only 2200# apeice (and only 2 per axle) and don't have high enough tonnage on the trailer registration, you will be visiting the courthouse whether you have brakes or not.   Never happened to me, but I have heard of a couple guys that it happened to.  They basically said they never thought much about it, because the semi tractor handled the load so easily, they didn't think they could be overloaded.

As for brakes, that is very simple to do.  You would get an all-electronic brake controller, and use it for the trailer.

It taps into your fusebox, and uses your brakelight indicator to actuate it.  There is a control on the unit, where you can adjust the level of braking on the trailer itself.  This is important on an all-electric unit, so it doesn't skid when empty.  They are fairly straightforward to install, you will have to wire in an automatic-resetting circuit braker for the main power going into the controller, and then all you do is hook the power going into the unit to the breaker, then one wire goes back to the trailer plug, and the other goes to your brakelight switch, or taps to a wire that is hot only when you depress the brake pedal.

Prices for the controller will run from about $60 for a basic one, to about $120 for a fully adjustable one, with a digital display.

0 Kudos
Veteran Contributor

Re: Adding goose neck ball

I would avoid brake controllers that are manually adjusted, those things are so fickel it can be dangerous. We have brake contollers in all our pickups and f-700 that automatically sense how hard you are pressing the brake, how fast you are going and how the load is pushing you. It works like a charm. It still comes with a manual squeeze lever so if it does fail you can squeeze the trigger and get slowed down. It installs the same way as what was mentioned before. 

 

Also if you are looking at pulling gooseneck trailers, try to stay away from full spring ride semi's. Its hard to get enough weight on them with a gooseneck to soften the ride and ive seen them crack the frames on the gooseneck. Or look into an air ride hitch for your trailer. It slides up in the tube replaceing the old hitch. Redneck trailer supplies has them online if you want to look them up. 

0 Kudos
Veteran Advisor

Re: Adding goose neck ball

We have had good luck with the ones with the digital diplay.  Set it on '3' for an empty trailer, and '8' for loaded.  We used to have one with a knob you'd turn, and that one wasn't nearly as precise, but it did work OK if you made an index mark to be sure you got the dial set right.

0 Kudos
Frequent Contributor

Re: Adding goose neck ball

If you pull a gooseneck trailer with a semi I think you'll have to have it DOT inspected.

0 Kudos
Veteran Contributor

Re: Adding goose neck ball

I had a plate and removable ball on my first semi tractor, and it worked ok. I think there are rules about requiring safety chains and breakaway switches when towing with a ball hitch, whereas a kingpin doesn't require them. The safety chains are a good idea, without a doubt, but they are cumbersome on a semi. Currently I am using a removable stem for the bulldog style hitch that has a kingpin on it. It latches in securely, and wasn't too difficult to make. You still have the ability to tow with a regular fifth wheel ball  as needed too by switching the stems. You will need to rewire the trailer to match the tractor lights, or add a plug to match your trailer. The way a semi trailer has brake lights and turn lights on separate bulbs, rewiring or a converter is required.

With an electric brake controller it works good like this:

Senior Contributor

Re: First time semi buyer

Lots of good points already, I'll try not to be too repetitive. I've drove several trucks over the past decade, bothon farm and over the road, here's my advice.
As far as buying a truck- do you have any friends or neighbors who may let you drive one around for a couple hours sometime? It seems like we find something we like, but spend some time in the seat and it may be a different perspective. I'd suggest buying a truck and trailer is like building a shop- always go bigger than what you "need". The small trucks and engines kept light for weight don't hold up as well as the big trucks. I'm assuming you are looking mid 90's up to mid 2000's? I'd start with a t800 kenworth, a 377 peterbilt, a vnl or even a wia Volvo, a 9000 series IH, or a 613 Mack if you like them. Go with the big engines. It's better to have a big horse and not "need" it than lug a little one all day long. 350-400 horse minimum. I would start with a 3406 CAT then an N14 cummins. I'd prefer an old N14 over an isx cummins too. They went down in quality. If you are gonna go with a little engine, get a c12 cat or an ism cummins. The ism is better quality than the previous m11. And a c12 is much better than it's c13 replacement. Some guys love a 12.7 Detroit, but my experience is they are better on an interstate than they are tooling around the countryside. More top end but not as torquey as a cat or cummins.
Trannies and gears- as long as you get a low gear to come out if the field, you'll be fine. 4.33 or 4.10's will work with any tranny. I'd look for an 8ll as my first choice. Same as a 9 speed, but you get an underdrive on all low range gears. A 13 has the top gears split.
Condition- age is worse than miles for farm use. I'd take a 2002 with 800k over a 1992 with 400k anyday. Plus chances are anything you find over 650-700k has probably been rebuilt already and will never need it again as long as you own it. Everyone gets scared of brakes, but they don't cost much if you do it yourself. $300 and a whole day of labor will do it. Hire it done obviously costs alot more because it is work to pull the tires. Service records would be a plus too. Get air ride now or you'll regret it later. A bag is much cheaper than a pair of leaf springs to replace. And alot less labor.
Keep the accessories to a minimum. Big dual stacks are cool until a grain cart auger dings one. Same as a big drop bumper, fancy fenders, chicken lights, and cab fairings- all look cool until they get bent or torn off.
I'd keep the same strategy for trailers also, go bigger than you need and see if someone will let you rake theirs around some corners first. If weight is not a big issue, get a 34' or even a 36' steel hopper. That'll hold about 1000 bushel if you pile it on good. I have a 36' with sloped ends, which is nice for aerodynamics and also more importantly clean out angle. It is maybe 32' on the top rail, and i can get about 1050 in it. Grosses 87,500 with a daycab big hood and a 3406 engine hooked to it. We get 10% over in Indiana out of the field so it is perfect. If you need light weight, aluminum where you can get it helps. Trailer, wheels, tanks, etc. Some tricks such as kw and peterbilt will even use aluminum cabs and frame hardware to drop weight.
0 Kudos
Veteran Contributor

Re: First time semi buyer

Another thought I had was if you can swing it buy a new trailer.  First trailer I bought was used and did nothing but work on it tires, brakes, wiring, tarp, and welding cracks.  Bought a new trailer in 2008, and I'm hoping to not have to work on it till around 2020. 

0 Kudos