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Old 07-30-2012, 08:10 AM   #1
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My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

Hi. I need some suggestions and information. I have a 18.5 fish and ski bass boat from very well known bass boat manufacturer. I bought the boat and trailer brand new in 2005. The trailer has one axle.

Yesterday afternoon I was driving on westbound freeway 580 towards Livermore California in the far right lane traveling about 55 to 60 mph. I was coming down the Alta Mont Pass, about 2 miles from the Greenville Road exit, when my wife said something did not seem right. About a 1/2 second later I felt a thump and felt something dragging. I looked in my driver's side rear view mirror and saw my boat and trailer skidding sideways in the next lane over to my left. I had one of those oh sh@&^t moments. The trailer swung back around behind me and I pulled over to the side of the road.

I got out of my E250 van and expected to see a flat tire. Instead I saw the axle and the two wheels about 100 yards behind me in the shoulder of the road. The wheels were still attached to the axle. the van is fine btw.

There were alot of cars nearby and thank God no one got hurt from the trailer or the axle. As far as i know, no cars were hit by the axle.

I am not mechanically inclined so bear with me. I looked at the axle and tires. One tire had a gash in it where the sidewall meets the tire and it also had a hole in it. The hole and gash were on the in side of the tire (the side that faces the axle not the street). I believe the tires are load range C and I think is Tow Maxx brand?

Before leaving on my camping trip, I made sure the tires were inflated to 50 psi cold -per the instructions on the tires and on the trailer's VIN plate. The welds that attach the axle to the trailer frame were sheared off.

The boat appeared to be okay and the 150 Optimax engine appeared to be okay (from a quick inspection). The boat, trailer and detached axle are sitting at a tow yard in Livermore. My boat trailer warranty expired four years ago which sucks.

I called my insurance company to make a claim. I should hear form them.

Thanks for reading.

Will
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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Re: My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

Man that sucks Will. I've lost a tire and drove on the rim for several mile w/o knowing but never lost an axle. Doesn't the trailer have shackle springs that hold the axle? My Ranger does. Hey at least it didn't hurt anyone and the skeg or lower unit wasn't damaged. Hopefully the trailer didn't get nailed. Any Pics? Good luck on the repair.

dave

BTW did you have a good day fishing?
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:20 AM   #3
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Re: My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

Ouch. Skilled welders in the trailer-building industry are almost an oxymoron. I've looked at plenty of RV trailers where the welds looked like they were done by a 13-year old using sticks and a couple car batteries.

I thought my Weekend warrior was built better than most, but I found a cracked weld on the trailer A-frame. I was not able to get warranty work done in NC, so I decided to take it back to the dealer in Corvallis. Guess what happened on the way home:

http://people.oregonstate.edu/~carringb/I-29/1.jpg

PS - same van, but the damage caused the trailer broad-siding it gave me the perfect excuse to make it a better color.

Likewise, I was able to keep it it my lane, and the truck alongside it manage to escape. And, insurance picked up the tab since it resulted in a collision. About 1-month later, Weekend Warrior announced a recall on all of its trailers, to have the A-frames re-built. About 1-month after that they filed for bankruptcy leaving most owners high-and-dry.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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Re: My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

I am not sure how to post pictures but I have alot of them if someone wants to post them for me.

Dave I went to Don Pedro and fished for about 10 minutes. I spent the rest of the weekend tubing. My boat and trailer are made by Ranger. They said the warranty expired and they had no interest in what happened.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:23 AM   #5
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Re: My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

That's a very short-sighted view by the manufacturer. Warranty, and design flaws (if that's what it is) are not related. If the design is inadequate, they're lucky they don't have a lawsuit on their hands if someone had been hurt. If it were my company, I'd want pictures and possibly even send a rep to investigate.


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Old 07-30-2012, 10:29 AM   #6
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Re: My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

The person I spoke to on the phone did not seem interested to hear what happened. I told her I was driving on the freeway and the axle came off. She didnt ask for clarification or anything like that. I asked her how much for some replacement parts (like a new axle and fenders) and she told me. I will send them an email and pictures once I get a better idea of what happened.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:26 AM   #7
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Re: My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

Hi Will,

So did the axle come off the springs where the u bolts hold it on? Some of those light duty trailers only have one u bolt per side. Or did the springs come off too. I assume it has leaf springs? Does it have brakes, if so that connection (hose or wires) will have to fixed as well. If its just a bolt together problem some times it was not assembled or torqued correctly. When trailers are new and come to the selling dealers they usually need to be assembled.

All trailers need to have thier fasteners checked for torque anually (at least) when the wheel bearings are repacked. Bolts on the coupler, the u bolts, the shackle bolts on the springs, any frame and or bunk/roller bolts all need to be checked.

Regards....
...Jamie


PS how did the tent thing work out?
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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Re: My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

The trailer had a torsion axle. The two welds that attach the axle to the trailer frame failed and they broke.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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Re: My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
I thought my Weekend warrior was built better than most, but I found a cracked weld on the trailer A-frame. I was not able to get warranty work done in NC, so I decided to take it back to the dealer in Corvallis. About 1-month later, Weekend Warrior announced a recall on all of its trailers, to have the A-frames re-built. About 1-month after that they filed for bankruptcy leaving most owners high-and-dry.
I agree totally about the RV trailer manufacturing! I re-did (Boxed the frame rails, etc.) most of my Weekend Warrior my self.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:23 PM   #10
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Re: My boat trailer axle broke off while driving!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wl1193
I am not sure how to post pictures but I have alot of them if someone wants to post them for me.

Dave I went to Don Pedro and fished for about 10 minutes. I spent the rest of the weekend tubing. My boat and trailer are made by Ranger. They said the warranty expired and they had no interest in what happened.
That's our companies lake. Still they won't give the employees a free pass unless we're working up there

Ranger does a good job on their trailers...I'm surprised.


I just posted this for another member maybe it will help:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=647
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