Once again I was honored to be part of the team for truck comparisons by www.PickupTrucks.com. This one called “King of Beasts,” pitted a 2013 Ford F450 against a 2013 Ram 3500 DRW. When Ram announced it’s 3500 dually for 2013 had 30,000 lb trailer capacity, truck wars were renewed, the recession is over. 30,000 lb trailer capacity of the Ram ignited another race, trailer manufactures have to catch up with bigger trailers. A few companies were making large gooseneck trailers for the “Hot Shot” haulers.
One of the reasons it’s hard to find gooseneck trailers with a GVWR over 26k is F.E.T. Federal Excise Tax for trailers 26001 GVWR and over. This IRS road tax is 12%.
Load Trail stepped up and loaned us two 2014 Low-Pro Gooseneck Hydraulic Dovetail trailers. These heavy duty goosenecks were Load Max trailers in Kubota orange, made them easy to see on the road in front or back. Trailers towed well, it was easy to keep them centered in the lane. Load Trail manufactured the trailers to our needs. We opted for 12,000 lb axles for the 32 ft. gooseneck flatbeds. Our GVWR was 28,800 lbs to match the trailer capacity of the 2013 Ram 3500 dually crew cab long bed 4×4.
Loading to almost 25k for the two trucks and later almost 29k for the Ram’s muscle test, we wanted the best brakes on the trailers to tackle the Rockies 11,000 ft passes and 7 % grades. We went with electric-over -hydraulic disc trailer brakes on the dual tandem axles. This is as powerful as it gets in a gooseneck without air brakes. Stopping power is as important as torque and horsepower when were towing over 12 tons. I-70 through Colorado has many run-away ramps, but we never want to test drive one.
The heavy duty Load Max trailers have a 10ft. hydraulic ramp, making it easy to load wheeled cargo like the 1942 WWII Half-Track M2-A1 used in our 60-0 brake test and 0-60. The hydraulic ramp makes the Load Max truly versatile as a 32 ft. flatbed and can haul a forklift or loader after loading cargo.
To complete the right trailers for the “King of Beasts” truck wars, we choose Trailer Flex air suspension. Like the tractor-trailer over-the-road rigs that have air ride on the tractor and trailer, Trailer Flex is a trailing arm air-bag suspension with shock absorbers. For the Hot Shot rigs (smaller than semi-tractor) that make a living with their trailers, air ride will get them more jobs. The smoother suspension of air ride is asked for by brokers and dispatchers that sell loads coast to coast.
Highway 191 Crossing Arizona to Utah was a road for motocross, but the Trailer Flex air suspension kept the trailers floating where the trucks wanted to bounce off the ground like a basket ball. One strapped bounced off the rock pallets closer to the gooseneck where the truck suspensions affected the ride. The trucks bounced dramatically more than the trailers.
Empty weight on the trailers was 8270 lbs. Heavy Duty Load Max trailers with a Pipe Bridge, (large pipe center frame stiffens trailer) 14 ply tires, like the big rigs, 12 inch I-beam frame is flush with trailer floor to lower trailer load height, oil bath axles lubricates bearings like the big rigs. Two 25k jacks, optional drop legs and chain rack, of course like the big rigs. Without the right trailers what would a truck shootout be?
www.LoadTrail.com located at Sumner Texas makes great trailers.
Colorado Load Trail dealer: www.JayhawkTrailers.com , Aaron Zbierski kept us on the road.