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Large trailers and Dually Trucks

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  • Large trailers and Dually Trucks

    Just wondering about other peoples' thoughts and experiences pulling larger trailers with trucks that are not dual tire. I have always pulled my four horse with living quarters with a dually (Ford F350 Super Duty), but my boyfriend wants to trade it in for a standard F350 (with only four tires!)! I don't feel comfortable with this type of tow vehicle. I have had several tire blow outs with the dually and barely felt it. How will a regular truck handle a blow out, or a sudden manuver to avoid an idiot who slams the breaks on right in front of you, or other emergency situation? I was told the tow vehicle should be as wide, if not wider than the trailer. Is this true? I would appreciate any feed back!

  • #2
    you'll feel walk

    When I got my first gooseneck (just a two horse with large tack area) I used a "straight job" truck - F350 Crew cab. It was a tough combo. The truck "walked" all over the road and I always had to steer it every second. Of course I didn't know any better until I got a new truck - F350 dually Crew cab. WOW. The thing drove itself. I could actually arrive at a show without my nerves being frayed from driving. It was like night and day I tell ya. Once you go dually, you'll never want to go back. So solid, so safe feeling.

    I have since sold my rig and now that I don't ship much anymore I personally would be fine with a straight job and a little bumper pull for short trips but to go on the road regularly again, I would do the dually/gooseneck for sure.


    • #3
      We pull a 20' gooseneck with an extended cab, long bed, 4x4, standard 4-wheel F350. Steering is no problem and we don't even notice the trailer.

      BTW, this truck did have some steering problems when my mom bought it used, but replaceing a steering arm a few other repairs fixed it so the steering is fine.



      • #4
        I don't agree at all.

        I have a 2008 F350. It is the third F350 in a row. My last one was a '99 with 357,000 miles on it when I traded for the 2008.

        Both single rear wheels.

        If you rode with me in either of them with your eyes closed, you would not know the trailer was there. My trailer is a 4 horse Sundowner, slant load.

        There are a couple of secrets.

        First, get the trailer package. Also get the camper package because it includes anti sway bars and a few other things.

        Next, be sure the tires are rated for the load and run the rears at 80 PSI.

        I will not use anything but Michelin.

        If you read Ford's own info, you will see that single rear wheel is rated to pull more than duallys because everything you add to the truck adds gross weight. Since the F350 is limited, anything added to the truck should be deducted from trailer weight.

        As for safety, yes if one rear blows the other is there but you don't have duallys on the front do you? That is the dangerous tire to blow, not the rear.

        Besides, I have not seen a tubless blow in years and years. In the old days, they used to drum into your head how to control a front tire blowout. Not any more because tubeless just slowly collapse unless you purchase a cheap tire and run it under the required pressure.

        By the way, get a digital tire gauge. The old style is just not good enough for today's tire loads and high speeds.

        If the tire is quality, properly inflated and the hitch weight is not unreasonable, duallys are a waste.

        Now if you have a $150,000 trailer with living quarters, the hitch weight will not only require duallys, but probably a F450 or F550.

        I run everything from the interstate at 70 MPH to one regular trip over a mountain that has curves that limits the speed to 25 MPH with a 9% grade and there is no difference in truck performance with or without the trailer.

        If you don't know what a 9% grade is: That is where the big trucks go down the mountain in the low gears, brakes smoking, high speed truck emergency run-outs on the side of the road, etc.

        Duallys are really intended for high rear axle loads. For instance, a wrecker.

        Someone hauling a lot of bricks, cinderblocks or with one of those walk in plumbing equipment bodies stored with lots of pipe fittings, tools, etc.

        Duallys don't park well in the shopping center and you can't rotate the tires.

        My last set of Michelens, for 20" wheels, cost $1,500 mounted and balanced.

        For a dually, the price would have been $2,250. That $2,250 won't carry me one inch further than the $1,500 will.

        My opinion. But I figure I have pulled that trailer more than 230,000 miles with F350 4 wheels.

        So I do have some experience.

        If you get a diesel, be sure you get 4 wheel drive. The diesel is so heavy on the front wheels that even dew on the grass will cause the rear wheels to slip. You could not give me a diesel 2 wheel drive.

        Oh yes. All of my experience is with F350's. Now if you are going to buy some off brand, I can't help you.


        Protect your privacy. Replace Google with IXQUICK at www.ixquick.com.

        If we do not wish to lose our freedom, we must learn to tolerate our
        neighbor's right to freedom even though he might express that freedom
        in a manner we consider to be eccentric.


        • #5
          If your primary purpose is towing the the DRW will add stability and peace of mind. If your primary purpose is moving about town the DRW will mean difficuties in tight places.

          So what do YOU (not your boyfriend, not your neighbors, not me, not any COTHer, etc) want? If you are paying the bill then buy what you want; if not then you get to compromise.

          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


          • #6
            Much more stability with the dually. You could not pay me enough to haul anything over 4 horses (and that is just 4-not 4+lq) without a DRW truck. I'll make two trips.

            The above poster is incorrect, you can certainly rotate the tires. And I buy only Toyo M55 offroad/mud/snow tires. And I have them siped. I will not compromise safety
            Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
            Sam: A job? Does it pay?
            Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
            Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.


            • #7
              Never had a dually, so I was wrong on rotating tires.

              However, I stand by everything else I posted. That is my real world on the road experience.

              Duallys are a total waste unless you are pulling something that requires a high rear axle load and a properly loaded 4 horse trailer does not have a high hitch load.



              • #8
                Quite frankly, looking at where you live, I'd go with a dually.


                • #9
                  Duallys add a great deal of stability. I would recommend one with anything over a 2 horse. Not absolutely necessary, and, like cssutton, many people do fine with 4 wheels. But I can feel the difference and that is enough for me.


                  • #10

                    Thanks for the info! My dually is a diesel 350 and 4 WD (no other way to go!) We normally drive over two hours to a show (many times more like 6-7) so we are on the road alot! Last weekend on the way back from KY Horse Park someone decided to stop in the middle of the slow lane then move quickly to the breakdown lane. Both lanes stopped suddenly, and we couldn't move to the right shoulder...I feel that if we didn't have the dually we would not have been able steer safely out of that situation. Also, the engineer from Ford that I spoke to said that the wider base will keep us safer in those situations (I think he was right). Also, he told me the 450 is the same truck, just the transmission being slightly different. (I'm not a mechanic, but I've driven a 550 with my trailer and it was a bit "faster" off the line, but otherwise drove the same). Just trying to start some discussion, I don't want to start any arguements about trucks!


                    • #11
                      I own a three horse with full living quarters 8 feet wide. We live in Ontario, Canada and experience a LOT of snow in the winter and mud! in the spring and summer. There is no way I would pull my trailer with a dually. I would almost guarantee it would slip and slide its way into the ditch in the winter and would not get me out of the muddy fields at a horse show in the summer.

                      VERY unpopular here with big trailer owners. Plus the added expense of the truck to purchase, additional tires to maintain and simply driving the thing into normal size parking spaces.

                      If I was a building contractor with loads of bricks or heavy material back there maybe....but hauling a large trailer behind no way.


                      • #12

                        I think most of us thought we were helping either a greenie or someone with little or no knowledge.

                        Now it turns out you have a dually, you know all you need to know about duallys and you really aren't going to change your mind.

                        So the long posts several of us made in an effort to help were a complete waste of time.



                        • #13
                          I have a 350 dually diesel 4WD. Won't anything but a dually for hauling. This is my 3rd Ford diesel dually. And my 1st with 4WD. Will always have 4WD on my next truck.

                          My recommendation for you is to stay with your truck. Let your boyfriend get his own single rear end truck.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cssutton View Post
                            Never had a dually, so I was wrong on rotating tires.

                            However, I stand by everything else I posted. That is my real world on the road experience.

                            Duallys are a total waste unless you are pulling something that requires a high rear axle load and a properly loaded 4 horse trailer does not have a high hitch load.

                            Ah, if you've never had one how do you know that "Duallys are a total waste unless you are pulling something that requires a high rear axle load..."? Or are you exercising the perogatives of your poetic license?

                            How did you come to the conclusion that "a properly loaded 4 horse trailer does not have a high hitch load." Have you towed every different type of horse trailer there is under every possible set of circumstances?

                            The DRW had limits in town; anybody who's ever driven one has learned this (and some of us The Hard Way). But the physics of the situation is that the DRW does improve stability by widening the towing base and better distributing the hitch load to the ground. And it does allow one to have a flat and limp to a safe area for changing (at least on a rear tire).

                            Your misreading of the OP's experience hardly makes your presentation a "waste of time" as it adds an example of "real world experience" to the mix. But lots of the rest of us have real world experience, too.

                            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                            • #15
                              You buy the vehicle that you need for the load you're towing, driving conditions, and type of driving you need to do with the vehicle.

                              When looking at vehicles - look beyond the 150-250-350 designation and really figure out how much its rated to tow. The vehicle may look like it's got a lot of muscle but under the hood it's a 98lb weakling.

                              I think dually's are fantastic but if you need to get into parking garages, drive thru's, car washes, or run around town it may not be practical. Doesn't mean it's a bad choice - only that it's a bad choice for YOU.

                              It really depends on what YOU intend to do with the vehicle, what you'll be towing, etc.

                              No matter which type of vehicle you choose - if you don't know how to tow a live load safely the number of tires is really irrelevant.
                              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                              -Rudyard Kipling


                              • #16
                                OP - Try towing someone's large trailer with a horse or two using a regular truck and see how you feel. If you're currently a dually owner...I have a feeling you'll have a strong opinion.
                                I own a Chevy 3500 dually, have a 4 horse stock and haul 3-4 horses frequently. I know this is going to sound strange...but when towing with my truck I never even think about the trailer (figuratively..not literally). There's no drag, no sway...it's like I'm not pulling anything. It's easy. Recently my truck's engine crapped out and I've been forced to borrow my FIL's truck which is not a dually. I've only used it to tow one or two horses at a time and I am aware of the trailer just about every second I drive. If one of the horses moves or worse...turns around in the stock...it's really obvious in the movement of the trailer with the lighter truck. Borrowing it was the best un-intentional endorsement for the dually.

                                FWIW - I have had a rear flat tire with my dually and was able to drive to a gas station with a loaded trailer.
                                "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by cssutton View Post
                                  Duallys are a total waste unless you are pulling something that requires a high rear axle load and a properly loaded 4 horse trailer does not have a high hitch load.

                                  It's interesting that those of us who've actually towed with both types of trucks feel otherwise.
                                  People can (and should) buy what they like, but I respectfully disagree with your statement on several levels.
                                  "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by cssutton View Post

                                    I think most of us thought we were helping either a greenie or someone with little or no knowledge.

                                    Now it turns out you have a dually, you know all you need to know about duallys and you really aren't going to change your mind.

                                    So the long posts several of us made in an effort to help were a complete waste of time.

                                    She stated in her OP that she had one and the BF wanted to get rid of it. She seemed to be looking for good arguments to use in support of keeping the dually. And she got some.


                                    • #19
                                      To sum up some of the criticisms of my posts:

                                      I spent 56 years traveling the east coast as an equipment distributor. I know when my vehicle is doing what it should.

                                      So if I know that I can't tell if my F350 is pulling the trailer unless I look in the mirrors, except of course when passing the truck is not as quick, why do I need to drive a dually to determine that it is a waste of money?

                                      Tell me first how a dually can improve on a truck that drives exactly the same pulling or not?

                                      As for those who keep saying that a single rear tire does not handle well pulling a trailer, I would tell you that you don't know how to spec a truck. And borrowing someone else's truck and then complaining about it....well what tires were on it? Did you inflate them using a digital gauge? What was the rear spring? Did it have the camper kit? The camper kit has a heavier rear spring, anti sway bars all around and is set up for top heavy loads so it is much more stable. I have spec'ed all of mine with the camper option.

                                      What rear axle?

                                      Unless you know all of the above, you can't make a reasonable comparison.

                                      Buy what you please. If you don't know how to spec a truck, you had better buy a dually.

                                      As for the hitch load comment, a 4 horse trailer, which was the object of discussion, should have a maximum hitch load of 1,000 to 1,200 lbs. Loaded properly, the hitch load should be less. That is nothing to a single tire F350.

                                      I did comment that if you have one of those really heavy living quarters trailers, with all of the options, the F350 was probably not enough and one should look at either the F450 or 550. Obviously that means dual wheels. The last Ford brochure I read said that those trucks come with duals only.

                                      I have already pulled my trailer 15,000 miles with this present truck, not measured and logged, but based on trips I make, knowing the distance and knowing how many times I have made the trips in the last 18 months.

                                      As I have put 54,000 total on the truck in that 18 months, I believe I know what it feels like empty as well as loaded.

                                      Now I have said what I have to say.

                                      I don't care who buys what. I was and am only relating my experience in the hope that it will help someone.

                                      So, end of thread for me.



                                      • #20
                                        Actually I learned a lot cssutton - thanks!

                                        This thread has been very informative. I was the first to respond and said that I prefer the dually but having said that, if I did get a straight job again and wanted to tow, I would be well armed with all that great information. Thanks!