I'm an 18 foot gooseneck trailer.
My buddy is Gus, a 1996 Ford F-350 dually with 7.3 liter Powerstroke Turbocharged Diesel Engine
Gus was purchased on Valentines Day 1997, when goodwrench knew he'd be moving to Texas. He's made 4 PA to Texas round trips so far, all with a trailer with at least one vehicle on a traler. The last two Texas to PA and back round trips were pulling me.
I put both the heaviest bumper hitch and the fold-flush gooseneck hitch on the truck within one week of buying it. I finally purchased an 18" gooseneck trailer, which I have named Tanya. The last two of my 4 PA-TX trips was with the gooseneck, and boy do they pull great.
Above picture taken July 12, 1998 at my Father's house in Telford, Pennsylvania where I grew up. Dad was a country doctor and your looking toward the entrance to his office which was attached to the house. Here I've loaded a bunch of stuff to help clean out his cellar. This trip included my 1973 Honda CB-350-F and 1974 Honda CR-125 Elsinore motocross racing bike. Also on this trailer load are two flat head Ford engines, a Chevy 283, my antique hit & miss engine, and a gasoline powered electrical generator. Fitting in the remaining open spaces are an antique wood chest, a trunk full of childhood items, and about 7 wheels and tires.
On my way back from Pennsylvania I totally lunched a wheel bearing in Tuscaloosa.
At the 4:00 am gas stop everything was riding well on the trailer and the wheels, tires, and hubs were all in good in shape. At the 6:00 am rest stop, after having walked Jake, I went back to Tanya to feel if her hubs were hot. As I approached the left front wheel, I knew without even having to touch the hub that I'd had some serious bearing trouble. The cap over the bearing was gone, and the wheel was covered with grease and ground up bearing metal. I put a few boards behind the left rear tire and backed on to them. This lifted the front tire off the ground. It was then that I realized that I'd left my sockets and ratchet in my Dad's basement... The wheel was removed with a 13/16" box wrench and a hammer. I then asked the trucker parked next to me if he had any idea where I guy might get a trailer bearing replaced on a Sunday morning. He said there was a pretty good and complete Truck Stop two exits farther west on Route 20, at the second Cottonwood exit. I'd noticed a sign on the interstate that said minimum speed was 40 mph, so I just set the cruise control to 45, put on my four way flashers, and rolled the three wheel trailer on down the road to the second Cottonwood exit. As I pulled into the Truck Stop a light rain started falling from the sky that had grown quite dark after a rather pretty sunrise.
The man at the truck stop was busy helping a woman whose wipers weren't working on her minivan. I didn't want to be pushy because I knew I was asking for a lot. When he determined that no electricity was getting to the wiper motor after he'd replace the fuse, I reached in and wiggled it. This cleaned up the contacts and sent electricity to wiper motor. The motor now just vibrated telling us that there was a linkage problem as well. Since the man had no wiper linkage parts, he sent the woman on her way. He then said that I could pull Tanya into the big drive through truck bay. Just as I got into the shop, the skies opened up. More customers arrived, so the garage me went to deal with them. Using tools from Gus's bed box and a borrowed jack and jack stand, I started removing the hub. The nut that had held the bearing was worn almost in half, and I had to get it off with a chisel. When I finally yanked the hub free of the axle, I could see that not only was the axle a bit grooved, but an inner bearing race was smeared all around and welded to the spindle. I couldn't get a chisel to make much more than a dent in the bearing race material, and a hacksaw would barely scratch it. By this time, the guys had a break from their stream of customers, and got me an air powered cut off wheel. I carefully sliced through the ring of bearing race steel. Still I couldn't pry it off even after it was cut all the way through. I made a second cut about one third of the way around and the small piece popped off. Still the remaining two/.thirds clung tenaciously to the spindle. A third cut got it to give up. There weren't enough decent pieces to even read a part number, so I checked the front wheel on the other side. It had also developed a lot of bearing slop, so I disassembled it. With the part numbers, we called a local Auto Zone that was opened on Sundays. The man said he had most of the right bearings and seals in stock, so Hugh fired up the shop truck and took me into town. Turns out Auto Zone didn't have quite enough bearings or seals to do all four wheels, so I also stopped at a NAPA on the way back to the Truck Stop. NAPA's prices were much higher for the same bearings and seals. The replacement CV joint that Hugh was asking about turned out to be cheaper at NAPA than at Auto Zone, so I don't think any conclusions can be drawn, other than to say it is good to check around before you buy parts.
Back at the Truck Stop, the seal and inner bearing went into the right side hub nicely. When I got to the outer bearing, I realized that the man at Auto Zone had given me bearings that were much too big. I couldn't ask Hugh to sneak me out in the shop truck again, so I unloaded the bed of Gus, unhitched the trailer and drove back to Auto Zone. There a counter man said that the problem was that I was trying to match trailer numbers to car numbers, and then he just walked away. I said that I was sorry but that answer just wasn't good enough for me. I told him I just wanted to match bearing numbers and that I was stranded 700 miles from home. About the time I was deciding how I might demonstrate the desperateness of my situation to the counter man, the original parts man reappeared. Applying his glasses, he said he'd take another shot at the parts book. Turns out he'd read off by one line. He said he still hadn't gotten used to his bifocals after 7 years. I also bought good wheel bearing grease, but no one could sell me a replacement hub nut. Back at the Truck Stop again, I spent the next three hours banging out races and seals and replacing 6 of the eight bearings. I sweated completely through the shirt I was wearing, as well the bib overalls. When I finally had things good enough to risk moving the trailer, I fueled up the truck and got a shower in the truck stop. When I came out to leave, Hugh and the other guy, Jim were out on a service call. I went over to the diner and got dinner for Jake and I. After eating leisurely, the guys still weren't back from their service call. I took the trailer out on the road for a little test to see how things held up. I still hadn't replaced the caps on the hubs in case I needed to adjust any of the bearings. Everything seemed all right. When I got back to the Truck Stop, the guys still hadn't returned. I was about to trust one of their co-workers to give them some cash wrapped around my business cards when they rolled up in the service truck. They were actually surprised when I tipped them. They had never logged me in the shop, so I had no bill there. These sure were great guys to let me work in their shop, use their tools and even help bang on a couple of races when I thought they'd never come out. All in all, it was a pretty neat 13 hour adventure in Tuscaloosa.
5/22/99 It looks like I should never have used Tanya to haul The Great Pumpkin, the International R-190 truck. The outer rear wheels needed to come off to even think about getting it on the trailer. I probably should have known when we bent a come-along handle just winching the truck up on the trailer. After only going about 5 miles, we heard a loud bang, like a shot gun. It was a trailer tire blowing out.
6/23/99 Got four new heavy duty tires on Tanya. Yesterday and today I used her like a real farm trailer, hauling square bales of hay to help my neighbor get it put away.