26 April 2011

F 350 Super Duty Dually

I cannot say enough good about my F-350. It is a 2002 model with the 7.3 liter diesel. Its pulling capability is AWESOME!!!!!!

The other day, i took possession of a 16', 20,000 pound rated dump trailer. Mt neighbor, James, has a hook up at the caliche pit. We were able to get it for $5 per ton. The caliche pit is 25 miles from the house so i figured i wanted to haul the maximum on each load. Makes sense, right?

We get there and weigh in. 14,700 for the truck and trailer. We pull over to get loaded and i assumed, incorrectly, that the loader had a 10 yard bucket. He dumped a heaping bucket in the trailer and i signaled to dump another bucket. He did.

When we went to leave, we had to go up about a 4 degree incline. I noticed that my truck was struggling. After i make it up the incline, we head to the scales. Side note, the person working the scale house, this was her first day. As we pulled on the scale, she told us we weighed 52,500 pounds. James and I looked at each other and said no way, that isn't possible. My wife asked me why i thought it was wrong and i told her that this truck couldn't move 52,000 pounds, the trailer is rated for 20,000 pounds and the hitch is rated for 30,000 pounds.

I get the load up to 50 MPH and James said to hold her steady at that speed. As we are driving along we hear a loud BOOM. My wife about come undone. We pull over and sure enough, we blew a tire. We are about 10 miles from the house so we limp along at 25 MPH hoping to make it home. About 2 miles down the road and BOOM. There goes another tire. This trailer is tandem wheeled, tandem axles. Both tires on one axle blew.

We call the tire place and they send someone out. He pulls up and throws is 10 ton jack under the axle. It will not lift it. He gets his 20 ton jack and it will not lift it. He looks at James and i and we just divert our eyes. Finally both jacks lift the axle and he is able to change the tires.

$340 dollars later and about 1.5 hours, we are making our way home, very slowly. During this time, we are beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, that scale was right.

When i get the load home, the dump bed will not budge. We have to use the tractor to unload what we can and we have to shovel the rest. After shoveling about half the load, the dump bed is able to raise up. 5 hours after we left home, we have the trailer emptied.

Our next two trips, we had the loader only load about 3/4 of a bucket and that gave us a total weight of 32,000 pounds.

What impressed me is that i have had my truck weighed and i know it weighs 8,000 pounds. That means that i had 44,500 pounds of trailer and caliche that i managed to pull. If that doesn't impress you, nothing will.

Could you imagine what would have happened if a cop had shown up? I can't even begin to imagine how many citations i would have received.

After all was said and done, i had 5 loads of caliche in my driveway and James had two. I figure i need about 15 more loads to finish my whole driveway.

On a good note, the tractor i bought worked fine. I picked up a Ford 600 series with a loader and shredder. The loader has a 3 foot bucket but that is about all the tractor could handle anyway. I got the tractor for a steal because the hydraulic rams on the loader was leaking. My other neighbor works for a hydraulic company so as of right now, the rams are torn apart and new seals should be in today. The tractor will be operational tonight at a cost of about $40.