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Old 09-23-2013, 06:18 AM   #1
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Axle or Wheel Tie Down Straps

Been doing some reading about the different ways to secure a vehicle to a trailer.

I will be purchasing a 20 foot aluminum trailer like the one in this photo

I am carrying a GMC Yukon XL (AWD)

Is there a preferred method of securing the vehicle to the trailer?

Thanks,

Curt
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:52 PM   #2
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If it were me, I would use the ratchet straps designed to wrap around the top of the tire. Couple thing first, and I am sure you've done this already, make sure the trailer can handle the weight of your Yukon. Then that there are well anchored points to connect the tie down straps to.

I'm sure others will respond that have more experience in towing vehicles on a trailer.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:42 PM   #3
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I have tried the tire bonnets with ratchet straps, harder to work with in my opinion than a normal ratchet strap you put through the wheel (I put a rag under the strap to keep from scratching chrome wheels). The bonnets get very dirty and you must be careful not to catch any of the electronics/brake lines ect on inside of the wheel. The other advantage of good heavy duty ratchet straps is regardless of the vehicle you put on trailer you can use same straps, with bonnets they may not fit as they are rated based on tire size.

Whatever you do, don't strap from hitch receiver ect. As you lose air in air ride in rear all of your straps will loosen. Plus I believe vehicle rides much better on its own suspension. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:08 PM   #4
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We used to trailer off road trucks etc. on a regular basis. What I found easiest and most secure was to attach a chain to the trailer at the front. The chain should be just long enough to connect the chain to the vehicle on the trailer then back the vehicle up a couple of inches to make the chain tight. Then, at the rear of 'the vehicle use heavy ratchet straps in an "X" pattern. Always attach to the vehicle at an unsprung point....not the body of the vehicle.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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So should I be anchoring to the axles or can I attach to the frame as well?
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
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So should I be anchoring to the axles or can I attach to the frame as well?
AXLES
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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If you only attach to the axles there is a chance that if you are in an accident your axles will remain attached to your trailer while the rest of your vehicle is laying in the ditch ripped off of its suspension.
You do have to be careful with attaching to the frame. You have to pull 90% of the bounce out of the suspension or the straps can break.
I have hauled a crap ton of cars. The way I choose depends on the car. Some don't have a frame. Or much of one anyway. Most of the time I hook two straps to the frame in the rear. One on each corner. Then one up under the engine over the suspension.
Right or wrong that's how I do it. Ask 20 people how to do it you will get 20 different answers.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:47 PM   #8
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If you only attach to the axles there is a chance that if you are in an accident your axles will remain attached to your trailer while the rest of your vehicle is laying in the ditch ripped off of its suspension.
................................
Really??
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:03 AM   #9
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tire bonnets, hands down. Yes, they get dirty, but they don't move and four will simply immobilize the vehicle.

The real reason to tie down the body is to minimize the amount of shock wear you get. The shocks on a trailered vehicle get as much of a workout as they do when you are driving. So after you tie the wheels down with bonnets, run a strap front and rear to the factory tie downs and load them up a bit.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:22 AM   #10
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Curtis,
If you've ever watched a seasoned vet tow truck operator or, a heavy equipment hauler, and they are hauling a standard car/pickup/SUV, they tie it do the frame and or, the axles. In many vehicles, there are tie points that the factory uses when shipping the cars/trucks. They are always on the frame.

And, while I'm certainly no expert on this issue, I've hauled a few vehicles and, if I'm not mistaken, a "four direction" approach should be utilized. And with that being said, I've done it such a manor that FOUR tie downs, either high capacity Ratchet straps or, chains with chain binders. And, when I say four direction I mean, the straps/chains are pulling in four OPPOSITE directions. Another words, an "X" pattern.

I've seen many times, a ratchet strap emanating from a corner of the front of the trailer, and strung through various parts of the front end and attached to the other corner of the front. Well, that to me is a serious mistake. Being that it's only one strap, if it breaks or get's chaffed, then you just lost the entire front end.

So, you've got plenty of answers here to choose from. I'm not a fan of using the tires as secure points but, lots do it.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:15 AM   #11
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just because a professional outfit does it one way doesn't make it the best. It only means it's the fastest and cheapest optimized for their operation. crossed frame tie downs can be made from virtually any location on the deck. The tow truck driver isn't going very far either, and chains don't require replacement.

Wheel tie downs require attachments at the right width and close to the right spacings lengthwise, which would be tough for tow trucks to accommodate.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIX View Post
Really??
I think it was 4-Wheel off road magazine that had a big article about towing. They showed a picture of an accident where the axles were left neatly chained to the trailer while the rest of the vehicle was about 20 yards away.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:49 AM   #13
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We still have the 20 ft equipment trailer and when we put the 4Runner on it Thom would use the wheel ones and 4 other heavy duty tie straps to tie it down. It would take no less than 3 hrs (usually more) to get the bike up front and the 4Runner on the trailer and anchor them down.

We now have a Fiat and got the base plate to tow it 4 down and will have the tow bar tonight. Also getting a lift for the back of the RV for the bike. Much faster set up ....
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PyrateSilly View Post
We still have the 20 ft equipment trailer and when we put the 4Runner on it Thom would use the wheel ones and 4 other heavy duty tie straps to tie it down. It would take no less than 3 hrs (usually more) to get the bike up front and the 4Runner on the trailer and anchor them down. We now have a Fiat and got the base plate to tow it 4 down and will have the tow bar tonight. Also getting a lift for the back of the RV for the bike. Much faster set up ....
You probably don't have 6 people to transport :-)

Curt
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