Join Date: May 2009
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
Thanked 207 Times in 151 Posts
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I'm sure i'm not the only one that has come around a corner with a load on to be surprised & then resulting on standing on the pedal & puckering up !!
To use this experience as one of general applicability: I had to ask myself, with a top-heavy loading of a flatbed trailer with a giant -- scary -- 43,000lb single steel coil, do I have X-Ray Vision? Can I see around corners or over hills? Not just in town but on the Interstate?
This puts the problem into perspective: too fast for conditions even if I am traveling at 4-mph under the limit in otherwise excellent weather and low traffic. If that school bus full of junior high kids is sideways to the road after an earlier accident what'll happen if ol' X-Ray here rounds the bend at 66-mph with no where to go?
Believe me that no one will call it accidental. Let's make it more "fun": instead of some crazy steel let's make it a HAZ-MAT load placarded Explosive. Your little niece was on that bus. I know you'll call and tell me it was okay that I puckered up, anyone woulda' been surprised. You won't, and I wasn't.
The differences between that and a CTD towing is only one of degree. Not principle.
You've three problems as have been pointed out -- as does anyone in the situation -- the first is one of skill: knowing when to slow down 'cause the speed limit don't mean squat. Towing about doubles the risk of an accident for every mile traveled. A CTD at or above the speed limit solo is dumb, it's a pickup truck. Above it, and towing . . . ?
Second is that the trailer brakes stop the trailer. Put some discs on it and the best controller. Then test it on pavement, gravel, in the rain, etc, so that you know how to set the gain and adapt your driving. Trailers are always looking to travel faster than you . . and they will. Cheap electric drums are barely worth having. Same for hitch rigging. Too dumb for words are those who think less than state-of-the-art is adequate. Best trailer brakes, controller and rigging will stop the rig faster than a heavily loaded truck by itself. (To a point).
Third is, finally, the truck brakes. Crappy they are not. Have you checked the year model magazine reviews for stopping distances and compared yours? Brake feel is subjective. Ford used to always put too-small brakes on cars and soften the front suspension (talking 1950's/'60's here) and there were those who thought them the greatest, "Man, I nailed the Skyliner brakes and she was scraping her nose those brakes are so good." Dodge put bigger than competition drums and discs on their cars, called that approach Extra Care In Engineering. But they felt different. Anyone getting less than 70k out of these brakes isn't doing their part. I'm not the only one who gets more than 100k (with no exhaust brake).
And where are the even semi-objective tests of aftermarket parts AFTER one has tested the truck against itself and the record when new? Testing counts. Numbers have meaning. Unless the aftermarket brake part is proven, stick with the the people who had to prove their brakes would do what they said they would: Dodge. Otherwise one is going to have to spend really big bucks on BREMBO or other custom 6-piston calipers, giant rotors, new wheels, etc. No guarantee they'll stand up to a 1T worked heavy, either.
The "you" in this, ALL of this, was for anyone reading it. I apologize for my folks not giving me the middle name of Diplomat (and I just made a short 220-mile run where I was being passed on a two-laner by the usual CTD's and their 5'ers swaying as they did so. I'm not feeling generous on this subject today).
2004.0 DODGE Ram QC/LB 2500 2WD/NV-5600 305/555 ISB. 7,940-lb. Stock. 192,000 miles/4,900-hrs @ 39-mph average. 35' 9k GVWR TT. 14.6-cpm solo & 25-cpm towing; 21-mpg average past 41k-miles
Last edited by slowmover; 03-06-2011 at 08:18 PM.