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Towing Accident

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by PhilJohnson, May 10, 2010.

  1. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Like I said I looked over all the tires and replaced one. The other ones didn't look bad, not to mention the car had been towed on a dolly from SD on the rear tires with nary a problem.

    I never tried passing the buck. In fact I said it was a lesson learned and will never try something like this again. I seen a guy with a tow bar that was ratchet strapped to the front of his car going down the highway. I tried being as safe as I could with what I had but in the end the proper thing to do was to get the right truck and trailer.

    Your damn right I regret it. I am lucky that no one was injured and I know full well of what may have happened in different circumstances. You make it sound like I am like meh, so what. Well I'll tell you what I wouldn't be able to live with myself if someone got killed over this incident no matter why the tire blew. Am I contemptable asshole, I would like to think not but I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. I really tried to be safe but I am under no illusion of the seriousness of the whole event. Maybe things would have turned out differently if the car was on four brand new tires and I was driving a heavier truck, or maybe not but no matter what I'll be using a car trailer the next time with trailer brakes. Hopefully other people can learn something from this as well so more accidents will be averted.
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  2. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,964

    from Minnesota

    Phil i feel for you, bad deal & scary shit, had a 54 Buick get wild on a tow dolly coming down a ramp in Jamestown North Dakota
    on to east bound I - 94
    just about the same thing happened, the Semi went by at 70 mph felt the wind man that gets your attention
    pulled over on the shoulder found out that the panhard bar work hardened where there was a crease & snapped
    letting those coil springs go nuts glad i was only going about 20 mph

    what i do is bring extra tires & a jack & jack stands and a wheel block & tools
    if i don't have wheels that fit, go to a gas station & get some take off tires that hold air that's mainly to get the car rolling and on the trailer

    after the tow dolly scare it's trailer only good tires, brakes & a weight distribution hitch & lots of 3M reflective tape & lights

    Glad no one got seriously hurt, take care man
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,516


    He was and we are discussing flat towing with a "tow" bar. A totally different thing than towing with a rope or chain. I'd rather tow with a chain and my daughter in the towed vehicle than use a couple of trailers that I have used in the past. But I will agree that if you tow with a chain even for a short distance the person in the towed vehicle is the one who has to take charge and be in command.

    I think there are two keys to the accident with the 57. One= obviously a suspect tire. It may have looked good at the start but who knows how old it was or how long it had been sitting exposed to the elements. Two= My running buddy who's tow bar I have at my house and use quite often taught me a long time ago to tie the steering wheel off with a bungie cord or tarp strap. That keeps the towed vehicles wheels from wanting to jerk around if something happens such as a blown or flat tire or hitting a pot hole. They will turn and follow the tow rig just fine but won't try to take off on their own.

    Several people did hit it right when they said that the tow vehicle has to be up to the job. Not only in power to tow but it has to be big and heavy enough to handle the towed vehicle what ever it is and it has to have brakes that are up to the task.
    Sometimes just because you think it will work doesn't mean it should be done.
  4. torchmann
    Joined: Feb 26, 2009
    Posts: 787

    from Omaha, Ne

    I've been on that San Matteo bridge with the semi!!! yup she's a doozy
    I used to drop inserts from Quebecor at the SF post office. They took half the day to unload me. I liked going down to the park just north of there next to the wharf nightclub and the postal drop lot. It was basically a Jeddy built of earthquake rubble but there are a lot of birds come to there to feed on mussles and grammas with piercings tats and purple and orange hair :) out speedwalking and it's really peacefull.

    When I got to the area early or had to layover, there's no truckstops there so I would camp out in the truck on the north side of the bay near the water treatment plant with the hobo's and hippies. I didn't see any gangs and no-one ever gave me a hard time.
    San Francisco is a unique place all it's own...

    The very first semi trip I took after rolling the trailer, a dodge dually passed me all shakey with a 30' gooseneck with a load of pallets and a 5,000# or more forklift on the tail. He got sideways in front of me while changing lanes and almost lost it and I pooped my new pants all over again.
  5. claymore
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 896


    You have been lucky.....It's illegal to tow an unregistered MV in Wisconsin UNLESS the towing vehicle is a "transporter" and that person is registered as a transporter.

    from the statutes:

    reg.JPG click to make bigger

  6. I've never towed one in Wisconsin...
  7. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,863


    I'm sorta on the side of the guy who did the flat towing.It is how many of us got a race car to the drag strip back in the good old days.I've towed cars with chains many times,and sometimes over 20 miles.I towed cars with ropes,electrical wire,and pushed them with a tire wired to the bumper.I would flat tow again with a good towbar,but not on the Interstate,at slower speeds on back roads with a "driver" in the towed car.
    Was I endangering lives? I didn't think so.Is a 400 hp car with 9 inch drum brakes dangerous? Only if you go too fast.:D
  8. RacerRick
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,753


    I tow with a dolly all the time, but I also tow with a 5000lb truck and the heaviest thing I have towed was about 3500lbs. I haven't had any sketchy moments (yet - knock on wood) and I have towed some pretty sketchy cars

    I personally would like to get another flatbed car hauler. That was by far the best way to move a car in my experience.
  9. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,128


    My first bracket car, a 56 Chevrolet 150 Business Coupe, got flat towed all over the place, and usually by my 74 Chevrolet Nova. BUT, I ALWAYS used towing hubs, the tires were more or less NEW, the tow bar was a heavy duty piece I built myself, I used a safety chain, and towing lights. It was safer than the trailer for my FED, with the dragster loaded it had TOO MUCH of its weight BEHIND the trailer axle (makes them "whip"!). My rear motored dragster was transported in a dual axle, with brakes, 28 foot box. And now, I'm back to flat towing, with the same tow bar and towing hubs I've had for years. Tow rig is an 82 Chevrolet 3/4 ton P.U. truck. No worries, yet. Butch/56sedandelivery.

    There are two more important things to add with flat towing, NEVER put an automatic trans car in neutral to tow, at least the older ones. IF it has a rear pump, it will engage at around 20-25 MPH, and you can feel it, and it will make the towed vehicle wander. Drop the driveline, but a better way is, ALWAYS use free wheeling towing hubs. Tires, well that goes without saying.

    When I sold the previously mentioned 56' Chevrolet bracket car, it was sold without engine, and the Powerglide trans was in the trunk. I delivered it some 30 miles on I-5, still flat towing it with my 74' Nova. The whole dynamics of the car changed without the engine weight in it, but it still tracked straight and smooth. It was almost too light, and as such, the front tires scuffed on tight corners in the guys neighborhood. Still, no real problems. A trailer would be nicer, less work changing to towing hubs/tires, but until that happens, I'll flat tow whenever I need to.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  10. claymore
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 896


    The accident and towing in this thread happened in Wisconsin
  11. BiltFordTuff
    Joined: Jul 2, 2010
    Posts: 2

    from Kentucky

    man that mustve sucked good thing the Chev is still intact how bad's the truck?
  12. Hate to say it but a lot of it was your fault.:eek: You didnt use good common sense. Your Pk was too light to tow anything even on a trailer and should of had weight in the back. You should have been shure you had good tires on the steer wheels of the 57. Any you where driving too fast for conditions. Because if you werent going to fast you wouldnt have lost control! Even if you are pulling a trailer with too light a tow vehicle you can have problems. That 1/2 ton ford is too light for towing or pulling a trailer. Not enough brakes srpings or weight. I have been flat towing for 40 years sometimes towing two and never had any problems like your wreck. And I have had tires blow out on the towed vehicles . I reciently drove my 65 C10 to dallas and flat towed it back behind a 1 ton ford van made a detour to Chandler Oklahoma and cut the quarter panels from a 50 chev I had bought on ebay. 600 miles of flat towing But the van was much bigger than the load. OldWolf
  13. Here is a picture

    Attached Files:

  14. Joe T Creep
    Joined: Jan 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,145

    Joe T Creep
    Member Emeritus

    Man...That could have been much worse. Sorry to hear it happened, but glad youre ok.
  15. Licensed to kill
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 214

    Licensed to kill
    from Alberta

    Uh, shouldn't you have made sure that you had good tires on the towed vehicle??:p
  16. Your correct but back years ago we didnt have money for new tires. and the tires where mostly bias with tubes. but I was going slow enough and had a heavy enough tow vehicle that it didnt matter. It was just merely a flat not some harrowing near death experience. Nowadays I have good tires to put on the front of what I tow. Some are trying to place all the blame on flat towing. It can be done and can be safe. You have know what your limitations are to adjust for conditions. by the way even new tires can blow out I reciently had a yokahama front steer tire blow out on the peterbuilt i drive. going 65 and it started to shake I began slowing down and it blew at 40 MPH fairly new tire. $565.oo later had a new kelly on the front. OldWolf
  17. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,945

    from CO & WA

    Sorry to read about your accident, I guess we can all learn something from it and I am pleased you came out of it OK.

    Remember, always hire a stuntman, never perform you own stunts it is way too dangerous.
  18. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,518


    This is 2 photos: taken at the same moment and Photoshoped together. The year is 1952 in the pits at Culver City Speedway in California. Most of the jalopies were towed to the track with this method.

    Attached Files:

  19. rosco gordy
    Joined: Jun 8, 2010
    Posts: 648

    rosco gordy

    NOW 50 bucks is a pretty good deal, man what were you thinking your self or someone else , I,m very happy you are all right most important, but flat towing....geez how old school do we need to get come on I suppose neither was insured? if not your lucky it was a truck
  20. Stangblue
    Joined: Jul 6, 2010
    Posts: 6


    Glad your safe!.....I bought an enclosed trailer ( my dream tow vehicle) The first day it was delivered to my house, the neighbor across the street backed out of her driveway and T-Boned it with me inside it! Didnt now what the hell happened on my ass laying on the opposite wall.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  21. customizer2024
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 269

    from niles, mi.

    Believe it or not I flat towed my 36 Ford coupe from Corpus Christi, Tex. To South Bend, Ind. when I got out of the service in 1972 with out a problem. I had a 69 Ford pu with a 6cyl in it, loaded with everything me and my wife owned and the 36 was loaded with all the car stuff and parts I had. Needless to say 50 mph was about all she'd do on level ground. It was along 3day trip but we made it.
  22. MIKE-3137
    Joined: Feb 19, 2003
    Posts: 1,578


    With the possible exception of the 4" angle grinder with a thin cutting disk, towing is about the most dangerous thing about this hobby, even with a trailer. Just learn from it, thank God you didn't kill yourself or anyone else and move on. If you're gonna fool with old cars, you have to have a suitable tow vehicle first, good tires and brakes on everything, lights, safety chains, and the car loaded on the trailer properly, and well tied down.
    Then all you have to worry about is some drunk running you off the road or running a stop sign. I have a few friends who did everything right and still got wiped out by the other guy.
  23. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Truck is junk. The car is fine aside from a dent in the hood. I am glad no one got hurt, the truck was a 250 dollar beater I bought 7 years ago so it wasn't a big loss.

    I am insured, right now the insurance company is reviewing the other folks claim. I would never tow anything without having insurance.

    I had one other 57 Chevy to tow home after I one I had bought (they were sold as a pair). This time I used an F-250 diesel, nearly new car trailer, and had trailer brakes. I went 173 miles without any problem. As far as I am concerned the only thing I'll flat tow is something on the gravel roads around here at 30 mph.
  24. UnsettledParadox
    Joined: Apr 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    sorry to hear about your bad luck man, i hope you learned a lesson or two. like others have said, ill have to agree...a car trailer will pay for itself!

    you just cant beat the safe feeling you have towing like this...

  25. coolbreeze1340
    Joined: Aug 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,342

    from Indiana

    I have installed 100's hitches, 5th wheels, tow dollies, and tow-bars and towed everything from pop-ups to 40' bunkhouse trailers and it does not matter what method you use if it is done right. Heavy enuff tow vechicle with large enuff brakes is the biggest part. Flat towing requires the tow vechicle to be heavier than the towed and the tow bar must be attached to the frame of the towed. No mattter what happens to the car being towed you can keep it under control if your tow rig is large enuff and set up properly. Car trailers are just as deadly if the tow vechicle isn't up to the task.
    As for Johnny1920 or whatever..... slow down dude, you're being a little harsh. If you got in a wreck with your rod, would it be fair for someone to say you were being irresponsible because you choose to drive a car without anti-lock brakes, airbags, "crush" zones etc................. be careful on how quick you judge others!
  26. junk
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 200


    Glad your OK and nothing was worse than it was.

    I'm all about the tow vehicle. I rarely will pull anything with a 1/2 ton full size truck. My typical pull rig (once I get it back on the road) is a 1-ton diesel. Pulls great and trailers don't control you. You control the trailer.
  27. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    Glad to hear your alright ,Id invest in a 4 wheel trailer ,I did and its the best investment I did ,2 wheeled trailers can have a blow out ,If you have 1 flat with 4 its noticeable but doesnt jerk you right or left ,Glad the 57 is ok ,
  28. sgtlethargic
    Joined: Oct 8, 2005
    Posts: 5,587


    Just clarifying- California has a 55 mph speed limit for trucks and vehicles when towing. It's difficult keep driving that slow on a long trip with almost everybody passing you.

    Yep, speed is one of the many variables to be considered when towing.
  29. ems customer service
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,556

    ems customer service

    i used to to tow with a 96 ford 150 it seemed ok unitl i got a gmc 1ton long wheelbase van. now i know how bad the f150 was. i consider the f150 to be suicide ride with a trailer,
  30. My next tow project is a Willys Jeepster wagon behind my G30 van. I figure it will tow like it's not even there after pulling a full size Suburban with the same van.

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