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Old 23 October 2012, 05:05   #1
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How lucky was this?

Went to help a friend (and fellow Rib.net member) yesterday carry out an emergency trailer swap at a recovery yard along the A13 motorway near Caen.

I got a call to say he had suffered a bearing failure but never expected to see this (first picture).

He was bloody lucky as he was only doing 50mph at the time on a straight section of the motorway.

The bearings are supposed to be fully waterproof units and had only been back to the French manufacturer 6 months ago for a recall.

How the wheel stayed on is incredible. The only thing stopping it falling off was the inner race was sat in the groove of the outer race...all the balls have disintegrated and fallen out.

It was'nt even his boat, it was a client's rib that he was taking back to the UK for repair.

Another reminder to check your bearings before a long voyage....(although in this case the client assured him that all was well )

Simon
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Old 23 October 2012, 08:32   #2
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As it wasn't his trailer I guess he had an excuse, I was helping a friend cover a dinghy race in Poole when mine went - was a costly lesson.
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Old 23 October 2012, 12:02   #3
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Lesson be learned
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Old 23 October 2012, 13:14   #4
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Had similar today....

having been told bearings were changed '20 miles ago' and were 'fine for the 160 miles home' I checked them this evening...horror!

Should have been 'thought about looking at them 20 miles ago, and could fall apart in 160 yards'.....

Why do people make it up? And this was from a ribnetter....

Maiden voyage delayed......
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Old 23 October 2012, 13:24   #5
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I tow a lot of trailers and I keep an infra red thermometer in the truck. After the first kilometre or so I pull over and measure the bearing cap temperatures. If one is hotter than the other(s) it will usually be the one giving me trouble. When I don't have a thermometer, I use the back of my hand. They get pretty hot before they disintegrate so the idea is to pick it up as the temperature rises.
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Old 23 October 2012, 13:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubcat
I tow a lot of trailers and I keep an infra red thermometer in the truck. After the first kilometre or so I pull over and measure the bearing cap temperatures. If one is hotter than the other(s) it will usually be the one giving me trouble. When I don't have a thermometer, I use the back of my hand. They get pretty hot before they disintegrate so the idea is to pick it up as the temperature rises.
I was going to say what's wrong with your hand

I tow a lot of different boats, often long distance bought from private sellers. You know within a mile of setting out if your going to get home or not! We take spare bearings but its difficult with so many different types.

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Old 23 October 2012, 13:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boats&Outboards

I was going to say what's wrong with your hand

I tow a lot of different boats, often long distance bought from private sellers. You know within a mile of setting out if your going to get home or not! We take spare bearings but its difficult with so many different types.

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I used to use the back of my hand but I needed an excuse for a new toy and the laser thermometer looks so impressive.

I do use my hand when no gun but my hands are not very sensitive and I often cannot pick up a 5 degree difference which later becomes a really big difference.
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Old 23 October 2012, 14:04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubcat

I used to use the back of my hand but I needed an excuse for a new toy and the laser thermometer looks so impressive.

I do use my hand when no gun but my hands are not very sensitive and I often cannot pick up a 5 degree difference which later becomes a really big difference.
I agree! Any excuse for another toy works for me

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Old 23 October 2012, 14:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubcat View Post
I used to use the back of my hand but I needed an excuse for a new toy and the laser thermometer looks so impressive.

I do use my hand when no gun but my hands are not very sensitive and I often cannot pick up a 5 degree difference which later becomes a really big difference.
Ahh you see here in France the Froggies have a more traditional way of doing things...they tend to stop after a a few miles or so.........normally on the hard shoulder of the motorway and, (usually while facing the oncoming traffic) promtly p*ss all over the hubs......

In all seriousness though, i do feel for the guys on here (like the two Peters) who regularly pick up what is in effect an unknown quantity and then promptly drive long distances to get home....

I for one wouldnt be able to sleep if i let somebody drive off with a trailer that i had doubts about........but thats just me.

Simon
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Old 23 October 2012, 15:03   #10
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Had similar @ 3 years ago when I picked a boat up from Liverpool. Started the journey home checked the hubs for heat with minimal technology (hand) & continued with the journey. Hit the outskirts of Manchester & noticed a wheel wobble on the trailer to find all four bolts gone & the wheel kept inside the metal mudguard !!! The offside had 2 bolts left. Turns out the vendor hadn't tightened them up after fittng new tyres but they were more than finger tight when I set off although I hadn't checked them myself (lesson learned).
Rang the AA who turned up & fitted one bolt on each wheel & put the boat/trailer on a flatbed wagon & returned it home for me.I counted myself very lucky.
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Old 23 October 2012, 15:16   #11
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Had similar @ 3 years ago when I picked a boat up from Liverpool.
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Hit the outskirts of Manchester & noticed a wheel wobble on the trailer to find all four bolts gone

B'strds dont even wait for you to stop before nicking the wheels these days...

Simon
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Old 23 October 2012, 17:40   #12
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Jesus, that could have ended so badly! It's an easy mistake to make though isn't it.

Towing our RIB back from Southampton we stopped to get some drinks and noticed the tyres were slightly flat. Whilst putting air in there was a huge bang and the valve popped off. Waited 4 hours for the AA to send a tyre repair bloke and when he arrived he had a fiddle with the wheels and told us that if we had driven any further like that both wheels would have come off the trailer because the bearings were totally shot. If the valve hadn't failed just by chance like that, we would have been screwed. It's scary thinking about how close we came to causing a huge pileup. We didn't make it home until 3am... We kind of took the statement 'the whole lots been serviced' to include the trailer too when we bought the boat a month earlier. Clearly not. :S
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Old 24 October 2012, 03:24   #13
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Blimey, that was a close shave. Not seen too many bearings that you can see daylight through ... must have been a bit squeaky!
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Old 24 October 2012, 05:00   #14
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I've got a boat in for Retube, the wheels on the trailer weren't turning very well, further investigation showed the Hubnut on backwards and tightened to within an inch of its life crushing the bearing race behind it, topped off nicely with no grease at all.
I'm glad I wasn't towing it!
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Old 24 October 2012, 05:40   #15
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Bearings "vapourised" and drum internals open to inspection on this one

Quote:
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Blimey, that was a close shave. Not seen too many bearings that you can see daylight through ... must have been a bit squeaky!
I've posted these before ( & not much help to those who have to tow unknown quantities.....)

At the time this happened , I was paying a third party to maintain the trailer.
If possible I have found it much better to learn all about your own gear & maintain it ( or at least ,thoroughly inspect ) yourself .
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Old 24 October 2012, 15:24   #16
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The bearings are supposed to be fully waterproof units
That's why I insist on taper rollers and bearing savers now. I sold my last trailer becuase it had Ak-Lo bearings.
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Old 25 October 2012, 14:50   #17
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I picked up a new (to me) trailer and boat last month from a broker/dealer. Drove her home thinking that all didn't sound, feel to smooth.

Dropped the wheel off and looked at the bearings - shot with rollers rolling around in the hub.

Good job it was only 55 miles home......
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Old 25 October 2012, 16:18   #18
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It's not only the bearing though, the suspension rubbers on my, then, new RIB trailer disintergrated on the way home and left the tyre welding itself to the mudguard.
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Old 26 October 2012, 01:49   #19
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Wow, just been reading back through this thread....

I vastly unerestimated how frequently this happens, what an eye opener

I suppose i'm lucky that generally, i only tow my own trailers which i have either bought new or built myself.... I will now treat any second trailer i consider buying with a hight degree of suspicion that's for sure.

Thanks all

Simon
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