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Old 23 July 2014, 14:58   #1
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Towing with the handbrake on ...

Was completely stupid on Sunday evening and towed the boat back from the slip to its storage site with the trailer handbrake left on.

About 5 miles, just within Southampton, so at about 30mph.

When I stopped to wash the boat down, noticed the wheels were hot. 3 were "warm" I.e. Warm to touch but not unbearably hot. 1 was definitely "hot" - touchable, but you wouldn't want to leave your fingers on it for very long.

Flushed the wheels with fresh water and cooled them down.

Question is - am I likely to have damaged something? My problem is that I'm towing to Scotland this Saturday. For the last few days I've been thinking it'll be ok, but now having a slight panic...

Any thoughts? Anything I can quickly check? Should say the trailer was serviced 3 weeks ago, so it was in fine order.

Gerry
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Old 23 July 2014, 15:03   #2
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Jack the wheels up, pop rims and brake drums off and have a look
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Old 23 July 2014, 15:08   #3
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Towing with the handbrake on ...

Wow I was shocked you were able to tow with the handbrake on and not realise. I couldn't move mine without dragging the locked up wheeles the few times I have hitched up and forgot to release it.


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Old 23 July 2014, 15:35   #4
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Depends on your position on adversity to risk.

If its as you say they sound fine to me .. but if a hand brake was really working they dont sound hot enough ? .... also depends on the age .... how new to you, etc

You can always slacken one cable to a drum if its pulling on more and heating up.... if theres trouble afoot although not so easy to do if the mechanism is seized

Belt and braces says pull all the drums to be sure
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Old 23 July 2014, 17:11   #5
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Hi Gerry, you've got an RM Trailer, with their steel cable set up from memory? Think that will have been your saving grace tbh. I think the cable may have stretched slightly, allowing the drag and the handbrake may not have been fully on. If it had been M10 steel rod, instead of the cable, it may have been different.

Do you want to borrow my kit to drop the drums off to make sure all's ok? I won't need it tomorrow afternoon / evening, if that helps?
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Old 23 July 2014, 20:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
When I stopped to wash the boat down, noticed the wheels were hot. 3 were "warm" I.e. Warm to touch but not unbearably hot. 1 was definitely "hot" - touchable, but you wouldn't want to leave your fingers on it for very long.
That is not hot at all. As mentioned above, I would be more concerned with why your handbrake was functioning in the first place.
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Old 24 July 2014, 09:06   #7
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Thanks for the inputs.

Yes Ben, it's the twin axle RM trailer.

I'm busy this evening, so popped to the boat at lunchtime. Jacked it up and tried to move the wheels. Pretty locked, but would just about move backwards.

Took the wheels off, whacked the drums, replaced the wheels and towed it round the storage compound a couple of times. Wheels freed up and brakes seemed to be pulling on the trailer correctly when I brought the car to a halt.

Jacked it up again and could freely move the wheels backwards, but still a bit "sticky" forwards.

Went to take the drum off and found my largest socket (32mm) isn't big enough. Measured the nut and thought it seemed to be 35mm, so went to nearest Halfords to find they only do 34mm or 36mm. Ran out of time and came back to work.

Anyone know what size socket I need - I assume the nut's are a standard size (it's not a crown style nut)? Is it an imperial size?

I assume I need to loosen the brake cable a bit. My main concern is that the heat would have melted the grease and put the bearings at risk.

The handbrake's never been great, but never bothered me. Habit from previous boats with unbraked trailers mean I always chock the wheels on the slipway.

Gerry
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Old 24 July 2014, 10:19   #8
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Are you talking about the hub nut? I just use a large pair of pliers (channel lock pliers.) Shouldn't be all that tight anyway. Just a tweak from finger tight.

jky
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Old 24 July 2014, 11:20   #9
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Are you talking about the hub nut? I just use a large pair of pliers (channel lock pliers.) Shouldn't be all that tight anyway. Just a tweak from finger tight.

jky
Thanks - a bit of web browsing this afternoon suggested just using pliers. Should have tried it since I had a pair with me. I'll have another look tomorrow lunchtime.
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Old 24 July 2014, 20:02   #10
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Hi Gerry, think you had the sealed bearings, with flange nuts, from memory? i.e. no castellated nut and split pin?..

If so, they'll likely be 32 or 36mm socket. As you've tried 32, I'm guessing the latter.

Also, if so, you won't undo them with a pair of pliers, they'll be done up to around 280Nm.

If they do have a split pin through them, then an adjustable spanner / wrench will do the job.

You may need to borrow my gear. Let me know.
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