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Author Topic: Tying a vehical to a car hauler.  (Read 4862 times)
johns4104s
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« on: February 10, 2009, 03:04:08 PM »

Getting serious about spending time on the road, not really knowing which car I will end up with, I bought a open flat 20 ft car hauler. I have seen many ways of strapping a car on a trailer. The last time I set out I attached two straps to the front axle and two to the back, it was a pain lying under the car to reach the axle, same when we got to take the car off.
I was fueling at the Flying J and noticed a car strapped to the trailer from each wheel. They ran the strap though the wheel openings and tied them of to the eye hooks at each corner, Each wheel had its own strap. all tied down independently. Sure looked easier than getting underneath and looked safe. I did not get a chance to talk to the guy I only noticed this while he was driving off.

What do you guys think?

John
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VanTare
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2009, 03:11:00 PM »

Buy over the tire straps from u haul or camping world install flush mount anchors loops in the trailer simple cost about 300 for the set 

Check out Rjay or Summit racing their prices are a lot better than the 2 above  www.rjays.com
David
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 03:42:36 PM by VanTare » Logged
Airbag
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2009, 03:51:03 PM »

Just be careful not to put to much pull on the wheels for you might hurt the upper ball joints or bend some dust deflectors for the brakes. Once you do it a couple of times you will find a groove. FWIW
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Old4103
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2009, 04:59:40 PM »

Here's some advice from an old heavy haul driver, take it or leave it as you wish.

NEVER TIE DOWN THE VEHICLE BY THE WHEELS!

Sure, for a short run it might be OK, but the only way to actually secure your load is with straps or chains to the front and rear frame.
What happens when tieing down by the wheels is that you then have the wheels secured, but the vehicle is free to move up and down with it's suspension. If it moves up and down and fore and aft and side to side with the suspension, you are effectively moving the load around while going down the road.
If the load moves while going down the road, and you find yourself in a bad situation and need to swerve or stop suddenly, all of a sudden you can find yourself with the load being places you really don't want it... like plastered against the back of your bus, or worse, plastered upside down on top of another vehicle or person.

If you tie down using the frame holes and clevis or T or J hooks, the vehicle is held rigid and becomes part of the trailer it's loaded on.

Another tip: buy yourself some Transport grade 5/16" chains and some ratchet binders... much easier to use than ratchet straps.

Do it your way.

Dallas
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cody
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2009, 05:05:07 PM »

I guess duct tape is out then too lol.
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VanTare
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2009, 05:24:28 PM »

Sorry old4103 but I have to disagree with you about the tie to frame all manufactures recommend the wheel nets or axle straps never to the frame.My manual recommends wheel nets for Lexus     


David
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Old4103
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009, 05:45:14 PM »

I'm so sorry that you are sorry David,

However, those same Lexus's or is it Lexii? that you speak of are never tied by the wheel when transported on the (Professional new) car hauler or in the rail car. For exactly the reason I mentioned.

I've driven over 3 million miles as a professional driver, most of it hauling over sized loads, vehicles, heavy equipment and other stuff you don't want to have come loose.
I've never lost a load, and I've never had one damaged. The reason is, because I properly secured the load in the first place.

No matter what you owners manual states... when the vehicle leaves the manufacturer, it is tied down by the frame, not by the wheels.

Just for fun, put your Lexus on a flat bed trailer and tie it down with the wheel straps. Now hook it to your bus and go down the road as fast as you can, then lock up the brakes, while turning the wheel as if in a emergency swerve to miss another object.
Now, if the car is still there, try the same move with the vehicle chained down by the frame. You will find that you have as much control over the trailer as if the car were a solid part of the trailer as opposed to swinging to and fro from the G-forces acting on the suspension.

However, do it your way.

Mine is not to change your mind, it is only to observe and report.

Dallas
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gus
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2009, 06:38:19 PM »

I have to agree with Dallas. I've hauled a bunch of antique trucks and tractors many miles and never tied down by the wheels.

I suppose if you chocked the wheels very securely that would help but you still have the vehicle moving around on its suspension.

With the frame secured the vehicle will not move no matter what but the binders need to be tight.
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johns4104s
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2009, 07:06:23 PM »

Thank you for the input. I have a lot of straps I will check on the racing site for axle straps.

John
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VanTare
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2009, 07:13:13 PM »

Gus you are not hauling trucks, tractors and equipment this a auto without a frame take a good look at the commercial car haulers tie downs check out the railroads tie downs and if the chance ever comes look at shipping co tie downs these outfits don't even know what a chain and binder looks like  


David
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Old4103
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2009, 07:24:43 PM »

I beg to differ, commercial car haulers DO use chains, either with T-hooks or J-hooks, depending on the application, I've driven many a 11 car transit unit.
Whether the car has a frame or is a unibody construction has nothing to do with how it is tied down. If you will look under the front end of your Lexus, you will see a hole in each of the frame horns where the hooks are attached. (We aren't talking about the standard chain hook here, but a specialized hook built to be easily attached and removed, and to cause no damage.
You will also find a set of holes in the rear to do the same thing.

Railroads, and Shipping companies, IIRC use chains or straps hooked into a ratchet which is attached to the vehicle the same way as the Auto transport does.

The only time I've ever sen a commercial transport using a set of wheel straps is a recovery unit or a wrecker that is only moving a short distance.

Again, do as you please. It's your car and your life, and you are the only one who can say that you feel comfortable with that set up.

Dallas
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2009, 07:46:18 PM »

My pennies worth for whatever it buys is that I've hauled many cars from Model A's to muscle cars to my Lincoln Navigator on a flatbed though not commercially and I've used wheel straps, frame straps and also chained the frame. If I'm driving or if it's my car on the trailer I will only chain\strap my frame to the trailer as has been described for the same reasons. I once towed a car on a U-haul trailer using their wheel straps and after having to swerve around another car I swore I'd never do it that way again. I thought I would be ok with wheel straps for a little 50 mile jaunt bringing a new car home but...
Chain it or strap it to the frame and it won't flop around on you. I just like having it down solid against the deck, seems to just handle better all around.
I also learned to strap the back of even my little flat bottom boat every time too.....another story.

Of course, everyone has a preference and that's fine too, just not on my car or my trailer.
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2009, 07:46:30 PM »

If I were going to repeatedly place the same vehicle on a trailer, I might look at adding something to the vehicle to make the tie down process easier.  My F150 has sturdy loops welded to the front frame.  I could easily envision tie down hooks welded to a tow hitch in the back.
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Old4103
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2009, 08:01:34 PM »

Here's a link to the recommended Lexus RX400 tie down method for transport:

http://partner.aaa.biz/portal/binary/com.epicentric.contentmanagement.servlet.ContentDeliveryServlet/AAABiz/auto/files/rx400h_guide.pdf

The GS 300 and GS 430, See pages 6 and 7
http://partner.aaa.biz/portal/binary/com.epicentric.contentmanagement.servlet.ContentDeliveryServlet/AAABiz/auto/files/lexusgs_guide.pdf





And a few photos of different hooks used to tie down vehicles for transport:

« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 08:15:27 PM by Old4103 » Logged
NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2009, 08:39:58 PM »

 I vote with Dallas on this one,  the wheelnets I've seen/used are on tow dollies and not trailers.  The one i used was a solid axle with no suspension so the car suspension was active to the road

just my two sentse Wink
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VanTare
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2009, 08:56:51 PM »

fellows I really don't care the info I got from Lexus tells me to use wheel nets or axle straps and what I paid for this RX400 if they told me use super glue that would happen.I noticed there was no mention of disconnecting the 288 volt battery system. Not a problem for me anyway I tow a Jeep 4 down   


David
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Jriddle
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2009, 09:41:11 PM »

I like the frame idea best. You need to have enough tension to keep the car from bouncing. You can do damage to frame. If only holding wheels the springs are free let the car bounce. I would think this may not be very good if one were to hit very rough spot in the road. I'm not an expert but have hauled many cars on a flat bed. I try to stay away from the axle.

My 2 Cents
John
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2009, 03:45:09 AM »

Here's some advice from an old heavy haul driver, take it or leave it as you wish.

NEVER TIE DOWN THE VEHICLE BY THE WHEELS!

Sure, for a short run it might be OK, but the only way to actually secure your load is with straps or chains to the front and rear frame.
What happens when tieing down by the wheels is that you then have the wheels secured, but the vehicle is free to move up and down with it's suspension. If it moves up and down and fore and aft and side to side with the suspension, you are effectively moving the load around while going down the road.
If the load moves while going down the road, and you find yourself in a bad situation and need to swerve or stop suddenly, all of a sudden you can find yourself with the load being places you really don't want it... like plastered against the back of your bus, or worse, plastered upside down on top of another vehicle or person.

If you tie down using the frame holes and clevis or T or J hooks, the vehicle is held rigid and becomes part of the trailer it's loaded on.

Another tip: buy yourself some Transport grade 5/16" chains and some ratchet binders... much easier to use than ratchet straps.

Do it your way.

Dallas

Amen!

Just ask any race car hauler using trailer...they will tell you horror stories unless they never tie down only the wheels or axles. I am one of them that will tell you my experience. Back in the “Ultra Super Stock Alter” (front move 10” & rear 15” forward)(1965) drag racing days, we build a tandem trailer to haul a Dodge 426 Alum head hemi/automatic. We did anchor all axles and test run to 45 mph, when all of sudden it was going side to side knocking off trailer’s hub caps,,,flying down the road & ditches. I was sitting between the driver & a friend and seen the rear end of race car thorough the left driver window. That happen while we were trying to slow down to a stop but we had to keep driving but slower a little at a time until it calm down to stop.

We try (thought) every thing. We just had to drive under 45 mph to get to our “3 of 5 match” drag race event. Until one time coming home from the event, I was following behind the race car & trailer and saw what it was doing. The race body was waving or rocking side ways while trailer was going the opposite direction. So I pull over our truck driver to retie down via frame only. Wow, what a dream it made to relax…to be able to go at any speed and not even know that your pulling a trailer with a car on it.

Bottom-line…is ALWAYS tie down via vehicle’s frame…NEVER via axle or wheel.

The ONLY exception is when vehicle has at least 2 wheels on road…while it not totally on a trailer to cause double compound reaction via trailer frame/wheel/tires with another suspension equips vehicle.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald

BTW…it should be a law that no vehicle that is equips with suspension to haul on road unless the frame are ridged to hauler’s frame. It may already has a law.
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2009, 04:47:37 AM »

Dallas.

Those J hooks look like they would save me time and from having to get underneath the car. Where do I get them?
Thx

John
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2009, 04:55:34 AM »

 We hauled many auto's on the railroad. Big trucks, tiny econo box's. All strapped down by the frame. I was not on the buckling down end just observed the operation.  IIRC there was not a large collection of tie downs on the railcars. The strapping down of releasing of cars was a quick and efficient operation. Over the years I am sure I observed over a million cars shipped and only one time did I see one come loose. This includes derailments with rail cars scattered around the countryside!!
 It seems that all the manufactures must use a universal mount to ship cars. The hole in this theory is that each individual auto maker owns the railcars there autos are shipped on, which I doubt.
 If I wanted to strap down an auto, me thinks I would look at a train or auto carrier and see where they were putting the hooks and what they were using. Then simply copy and modify their system to suit my needs.
 One thing I have learned over the years from the gentlemen on this board is just because a big, well credentialed, impressive, brand name organization tells you to do something does not mean they know what they are talking about  Shocked
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2009, 05:47:30 AM »

     
    They make small metal hooks that are designed to hook into the holes in the frame of vehicles near each corner.  Ask a roll-off wrecker driver to show you how he ties down a vehicle.  Jack
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cody
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2009, 07:55:52 AM »

My mother had a lexus that my brother has now that she is in a nursing home, no idea what model or year, my guess would be about a 2004, it has loops on the back and front of the frame, the book calls those tow loops and says to use them for towing or securing for transport, no mention of the tire straps, only the tow loops.  This is according to my brother, I called and asked him to see what the book says, didn't think to ask what model or year but here is a link to the towing manual for a lexus, it specifies the towing loops,,, http://partner.aaa.biz/portal/binary/com.epicentric.contentmanagement.servlet.ContentDeliveryServlet/AAABiz/auto/files/rx400h_guide.pdf
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 08:04:00 AM by cody » Logged
cody
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2009, 08:04:24 AM »

http://partner.aaa.biz/portal/binary/com.epicentric.contentmanagement.servlet.ContentDeliveryServlet/AAABiz/auto/files/rx400h_guide.pdf
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kyle4501
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2009, 09:48:02 AM »

Interesting comments here.
I have observed many vehicles being towed.
I have seen cars that were simply driven on the trailer & put in park. No park brake, no chains, nothing except the transmission in park!  Shocked
I have seen lots of loose chains that were initially attached to the frame. I've seen lots of damaged frames from loose chains too.
I have seen those little factory tow hooks ripped off.
However, I have never seen an axle or wheel ripped out from under a car because of how it was tied to a trailer. But, I'm sure it could be done . . . .

If the trailer has no suspension, then tying down the car by the wheels will allow the car's suspension to help. (this assumes the car's suspension is in good condition & the shocks are working.)
If the trailer has a good suspension, then tie the car down by the frame is ok provided you take enough travel out of the suspension so that the chains don't EVER go slack due to bouncing of the load.

I go a little overboard when I tie one down. I use at least 2 chains or straps in the front to make sure it doesn't roll off the back of the trailer. I use at least 2 chains in the back to make sure it can't hit me in the back of the head if traffic gets exciting.
I usually tie the front frame down (nearly to the suspension travel stops) & only the rear axle. This minimizes the bounce of the car on the trailer but allows the rear to give a little which reduces the stress on the attachment points.  Cool


Another note, when towing a trailer, the higher center of mass shouldn't be taken lightly either. So driving with extra caution is part of the process.


FWIW, the hauler I use to take my derelict relics for rides always chains the wheels to the Landoll deck & allows the bus to follow its wheels. He's never lost a load, but then again, he's a specialized hauler that has had his own business for 25 years, so he probably doesn't know much yet. . .  Wink


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cody
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2009, 09:55:36 AM »

Whats up with this all, am I the only one with a decent roll of duct tape? lol
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2009, 09:57:48 AM »

It is easier for me to reuse the chains.  Grin

Takes too long to roll the duct tape back up.  Sad
I'm too cheap to buy more
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cody
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2009, 10:14:24 AM »

oh ok
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2009, 12:28:56 PM »

I think Dallas has it correct!

Many years ago when I moved from Arizona to North Carolina I used a car hauler trailer and strapped the wheels down. Very Big Mistake! With all the bouncing up and down it ruined the front wheel drive axles. Of course this was probably due to the fact it was pretty worn anyway, I would never do it again that way.

Suck the frame down and you're good to go!

I hadn't thought of Duct Tape though! Grin

HTH John and Good Luck!

Paul
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Old4103
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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2009, 01:16:56 PM »

http://www.awdirect.com/hooks/

Dallas.

Those J hooks look like they would save me time and from having to get underneath the car. Where do I get them?
Thx

John
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2009, 07:35:27 PM »

David,

It doesn't matter if a vehicle has a separate frame or a unibody, the point is to tie down the mass mounted on the suspension so it doesn't bounce.

A unibody has a built in frame, it just isn't separate.
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« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2009, 11:34:28 AM »

I'm with Dallas, try it if you wish but try both methods and actually try it, move from lane to lane or what ever. You'll want to suck that vehicle down by the frame so it won't bounce or move from side to side.
You should take the chain or strap from the passenger side of the vehicle and secure it to the drivers side of the trailer and vise versa for the other chains/ straps, making a X shape with your chains / straps.

Grant
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