Check your trailer balls!

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by Marsha Cassada, Jul 9, 2015.

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  1. Jul 9, 2015 #1

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    My sister was heading home with her trailer and went over a bump in the street. She was going slowly as she knew the bump was there. The trailer popped off the ball! The safety chains were hooked. Tongue fell and skidded on the pavement, broke the jack, trailer swiveled sideways and the receiver poked a hole in the trailer aluminum. The gas station guy who came to help said her ball was worn out. It's the original on her 2002 pickup.

    Just thought I'd pass on that head's up in case anyone is using an older ball.
     
  2. Jul 10, 2015 #2

    Minimor

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    Yes--I have been told that balls should be replaced regularly--they get old and are subject to failure. Most people do not bother--even some (many ) of the shops do not seem to be aware of this. I mentioned it to one fellow recently and he looked at me like I was a nut. They shop guys will surely argue when I tell them to replace mine.

    It is also important to adjust the chains so that the hitch does not reach the ground should the tongue come off the ball. Having the tongue drive Into the road surface at a higher rate of speed would be disastrous.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2015
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  3. Jul 10, 2015 #3

    Debby - LB

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    OMG I bet that scared the crap out of her! I hope she is OK. Was the trailer empty? Thanks for posting this, we probably need to check ours.
     
  4. Jul 10, 2015 #4

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    If the horses had been in the trailer it may not have popped off, due to the tongue weight. But she was lucky she was close to home when it happened.

    My husband put a new ball on my pickup recently, because the shiny chrome is easier to see with the backup camera.
     
  5. Jul 10, 2015 #5

    Brody

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    I think I will take your advise. Getting close to making the move from PA to DE and my current receiver is old and a bit rusty. Probably purchase a new one, and double check all my gear. Having a circumstance like that is something I am paranoid about. Glad the trailer was empty, though, and there were no resulting injuries.
     
  6. Jul 10, 2015 #6

    chandab

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    Sorry, I know this is an important issues, but I still couldn't help snickering at "check your trailer balls".

    My previous pick-up had a receiver hitch, I stored the removable portion with the ball under the seat of the pick-up, kept it out of the weather, and saved my shins (every time it was in the receiver, I'd run my shins into it).
     
  7. Jul 12, 2015 #7

    Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson

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    Glad everyone was ok, thanks for posting this , ill be checking mine when the Antarctic vortex disappears.
     
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  8. Jul 15, 2015 #8

    wildoak

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    Always a good idea to check them.. the ball on my trailer nearly came off last year. The nut on the underside had worked loose and I was in a hurry and didn't check it before leaving. I drove 200 miles with 2 horses up I 35, had just exited and pulled up to a light when a very nice guy next to me rolled his window down and let me know. Got into a garage pretty quickly and had them tighten it... it was a pretty close call and a good reminder!

    Jan
     
  9. Jul 16, 2015 #9

    AngC

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    It sounds like nobody was hurt... that's good. I take everything literally, so the topic said to Check Your Trailer Ball. ...but check it for what? I researched some on the internet, boy do I feel dumber. I'm still dubious regarding what one should check.

    chandab said: "My previous pick-up had a receiver hitch, I stored the removable portion with the ball under the seat of the pick-up, kept it out of the weather, and saved my shins (every time it was in the receiver, I'd run my shins into it)."

    I've brought tears to my eyes smacking a leg on a hitch. But, we keep them on, out there in the weather, rusting, chrome wearing off, etc. My husband calls hitches "can openers." In the last 5 years, we've had silly people run into the back of our trucks three times. To date we've had no damage.
     
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  10. Jul 16, 2015 #10

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    We call the thing that attaches to the vehicle the Stinger. The stinger attaches to the vehicle with a pin. It can be removed, or even turned up the other way for a different level of trailer. Balls come in different sizes for different trailers. Be sure the ball used is the correct size for the trailer.

    Balls can be worn down from continuous use over time so they do not fit snugly into the trailer cup. That is what happened to my sister.

    We always use the safety brake cable on the horse trailer, in addition to the safety chains.

    Wow, Jan, that was a scary situation, with the nut coming loose.
     
  11. Jul 16, 2015 #11

    Rocklone Miniature Horses

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    Jeeze. Not something i would ever have thought of. I use my ball a good few times a week on various trailers. Its only new though.
     
  12. Jul 16, 2015 #12

    sfmini

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    Wow, scary story for sure. Never heard of that, but it makes sense that the metal would wear down over time so replacing every few years makes sense.

    When I was very young, I'll never forget the neck of the ball of our hitch snapped and our tent trailer broke loose, held only by the chains. We were going downhill so had to keep going for a while since the trailer was chasing us. Couldn't stop until we got to the bottom of the hill and started going up the next. I'll never forget that.
     

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