Ball weight

 
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lou.cas



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:16 pm    Post subject: Ball weight Reply with quote

I found an interesting article in Allan Whiting's 'Outback Travel Australia' November News Letter, see link below.

http://www.outbacktravelaustralia.com.au/driving-towing-towing/towball-weight-and-trailer-stability

Lou.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry,
Don't like it.....

Did not take into affect the Tandem and Load Sharing. Please be advised we still recommend 10%, having towed in the hundreds, no thousands to weigh bridge and what not.. Both on trips, and thousands of miles to Shows.. In 20 years we have towed more than most and still will recommend the 10% ball weight and about 50mm down in the front, for best stability.

Regards, Director, Bushtracker

[/b]
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Col & Diane Douglas



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Lou for an interesting article, on a controversial subject. I think it has been stated elsewhere on this forum that it is safer to have too much ball weight rather than too little.

No doubt true, but it is difficult enough to keep a Landcruiser within its legal GVM without adding more weight to the tow ball than is necessary. Each setup is different and Steve's 10% rule is maybe a safer rule of thumb for general use. However I've always used 7% when setting up our rig, and have never had a hint of a sway in over 100,000Km travelled. So that works for me.

Col
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3ways



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone used the Reich electronic scales referred to in the article to measure their van and towball weight? Wondering if they are accurate/reliable?

Thanks Frank
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Louie100



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a Haymen Reese ball weight scale I bought from Autobarn for $60.00 and find it to be effective, I originally thought that the accuracy would be a bit ordinary because of its simple design but I had occasion to put it up against a super electronic set recently when I was getting the rig checked by a Haymen Reese outlet because of some extra ordinary wear that occurred around my WDH bars and they measured exactly the same.
For those who are interested, 2013 model 20' with tare weight of 3500kg the ball weight is 318kg in the configuration that I tow, obviously this can be varied a small amount by moving things around in the van.

Sorry, Admin here, "tare" is the unloaded weight from new. The "ATM" is the maximum loaded weight allowable for that van, like GVM in a tow vehicle. You must mean the fully loaded weight...

I stand corrected Steve, I did mean fully loaded, the tare is somewhere around 2750 I think from memory 🙄
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Last edited by Louie100 on Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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GUNDY



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Bushtracker"]Sorry,
Don't like it.....

Did not take into affect the Tandem and Load Sharing. Please be advised we still recommend 10%, having towed in the hundreds, no thousands to weigh bridge and what not.. Both on trips, and thousands of miles to Shows.. In 20 years we have towed more than most and still will recommend the 10% ball weight and about 50mm down in the front, for best stability.

Regards, Director, Bushtracker

2012,19 ft Bushtracker,Tare 2700kgs,+2013 ,200 series Landcruiser
If bushtracker is down 700mm at front [measured at checker plate]and ball weight is 10%[ WDHs removed.]Therefore the ball weight would be insufficient when WDHs reinstalled . Would it not? How do you suggest to adjust same. Regards Gundy
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Gundy,
But you are a little bit off the track on this one... Here, let me try and help:

First, fully loaded you want to be down about that 70 mm at the hitch, for most stability at highway speeds. IF you were to use just the checkerplate to measure from, call it about 50mm for ease.

Now, the WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch) is supplementary to this. The major value of it is to put more downward pressure on the steering. Since the hitch is hanging out past the rear suspension, it is a bit of a cantilever, and 350 kg does take a little weight off the steering, so less bite on a severe correction after a traffic hazard avoidance move at high speed. The WDH also lifts the rear suspension a little to level out the tow vehicle.

Now I can tell you that it definitely works on both accounts. It is not so critical on larger tow vehicles, but essential on a mid-sized tow vehicle like a Landcruiser.. From towing the thousand with Landcruiser (I have always had one and still do), and all of our Staff towing to Shows and such, the 70mm down in the front of the van gives more stability, as does the 10% ball weight, AND the WDH. All combined add up to a great margin of safety..

Since I started getting up on my soapbox preaching these things, the accidents and rollovers or vans put on their sides, has steadily decreased.. Now down to nearly nil.. Don't overthink it, it works... Laughing Laughing

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director
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GUNDY



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:57 am    Post subject: THANKS STEVE Reply with quote

Bushtracker wrote:
Sorry Gundy,
But you are a little bit off the track on this one... Here, let me try and help:

First, fully loaded you want to be down about that 70 mm at the hitch, for most stability at highway speeds. IF you were to use just the checkerplate to measure from, call it about 50mm for ease.

Now, the WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch) is supplementary to this. The major value of it is to put more downward pressure on the steering. Since the hitch is hanging out past the rear suspension, it is a bit of a cantilever, and 350 kg does take a little weight off the steering, so less bite on a severe correction after a traffic hazard avoidance move at high speed. The WDH also lifts the rear suspension a little to level out the tow vehicle.

Now I can tell you that it definitely works on both accounts. It is not so critical on larger tow vehicles, but essential on a mid-sized tow vehicle like a Landcruiser.. From towing the thousand with Landcruiser (I have always had one and still do), and all of our Staff towing to Shows and such, the 70mm down in the front of the van gives more stability, as does the 10% ball weight, AND the WDH. All combined add up to a great margin of safety..

Since I started getting up on my soapbox preaching these things, the accidents and rollovers or vans put on their sides, has steadily decreased.. Now down to nearly nil.. Don't overthink it, it works... Laughing Laughing

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director
Idea Idea
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Woz



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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3ways wrote:
Has anyone used the Reich electronic scales referred to in the article to measure their van and towball weight? Wondering if they are accurate/reliable?

Thanks Frank


Great question Frank, I also would like to know, whether they are any good with the duel axel and simplicity suspension
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Sal and John



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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(a) question for Steve - does BT specify a maximum ball load for any of the vans ? I can find no indication for my 2004 22ft unit.

Concern is a case of balancing two competing considerations - stability and structural (especially fatigue) loading on the rear tug structure. Having done plenty of fatigue testing in a previous life, if the overload on any critical structural bits is significant, fatigue damage can accumulate very rapidly.

(b) re the Reich scales, the brochure accuracy claimed is pretty average. For the typical vanner, I would just use a good set of bathroom scales for the ball weight (which is the greater need) .. and these you probably already have. A quick calibration can be had with known weights or, indeed, you can run a high end cal on the weighbridge. Scales generally are best employed up near their maximum load capability in any case.

Caveat - in general, scales need to be on a solid, level surface for the calibrations to be OK .. after all, that's how the formal cals are done in the lab. I would be suspicious of any scale reading taken with the scales sitting on a flexible dirt surface at the roadside's edge. For example, I have a very accurate set of aircraft platform scales .. accurate to the kilo up to about 1500 kg .. but put them on other than a solid surface and they aren't worth tuppence.

Total weight values are more easily addressed by several runs over the local weighbridge to get a good feel for the empty van weight.

It is then just a matter of good housekeeping to keep track of what you put into the van as payload.

Again, a few runs over the weighbridge with the van loaded as you would have it normally and you will have a good feel for the usual range of GTM for your particular van.

Unless you want to invest in high end scales .. and there is no real need to do so for this case .. I wouldn't go with the Reich units or similar.

I also would like to know, whether they are any good with the duel axel and simplicity suspension

So long as you keep the rig reasonably level, it matters little whether you weigh individual wheels and then add the total or do the lot at one go on a weighbridge.
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Last edited by Sal and John on Sun May 20, 2018 10:17 am; edited 2 times in total
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tweedledee and tweedledum



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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi I read in Caravan magazine that ball weight of unladen 20 foot Bushtracker Caravan was 125kg, & if it’s tare 2550kg then the unladen ball weight is approximately 5%. For your information, cheers
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tweedledee and tweedledum wrote:
Hi I read in Caravan magazine that ball weight of unladen 20 foot Bushtracker Caravan was 125kg, & if it’s tare 2550kg then the unladen ball weight is approximately 5%. For your information, cheers


See, you have to watch out what a load carp (fish) you are going to read about in some magazines...
Laughing Laughing We recommend 10% on the ball, and most 20' would run about 200 kg from new when they were empty, allowing you to load it up more.

If you were leaving here with a new van, without your goods on board, you adjust the ball weight with water in the tanks accordingly. You want to be about 10% when fully loaded, on the ball, for best stability at high speed in your travels...

Regards, Admin
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Sal and John



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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We recommend 10% on the ball,

.. but is there a BT (structural) limit, per se, in addition to the 10% recommendation ? ie how far over 10% before the OEM gets concerned ?
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would vary van to van over the years. Some have heavier a-frames and girders under, and limitations on what hitch they were using...

Just as a general rule we would recommend 7-10% ball weight for best stability. Not over 10%, and stay within the limitations on the tow vehicle.

If for some reason someone wanted to exceed that, it may be possible but we would have to see the van. Some were ordered and Custom Built for heavier cargo and heavier hitches are available.

Kind regards, Admin...
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Sal and John



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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Steve. In due course I'll get the van up to BT for some upgrades so that can be looked at then. regards, John
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