A little OT: Towing advice

I may end up having to move a dead dually pickup from PA to Michigan
and I'm trying to figure out the best cost/safety tradeoff. One
choice is to get a transport service to move it. I've already gotten
a couple of bids; that looks to be in the $700-800 range. That's the
easiest and most expensive option. Another option is to tow it with
my own (working) dually using either a tow dolly or a trailer. The
trailer might be tough; most car trailers aren't wide enough for a
dually to sit on, so it would probably have to be a dolly. I have a
10,000 lb hitch and the truck doesn't really complain much until I'm
pulling around 4 ton, but the idea of towing a dually with a dually
kind of spooks me.
The trailer, if I can find one, will add another ton or so to the pull
weight, but it will have brakes. The tow dolly doesn't add much in
weight, but it's all dead load with no brakes back there, which could
get kind of exciting.

I thought of a tow bar, but it would tough getting it installed. The
truck isn't very accessible now and if I have to hang around for a
couple days in PA while it gets done, I might as well just call the
tow service. Then it's still a dead load anyway.
Anyone got any thoughts or advice?
Reply to
Paul Amaranth
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Trailer is the best, dolly is next, flat tow works but is not fun. Flat tow depends on the tow vehicle to horse the towed vehicle over enough to turn the steering wheel and let the tires track to follow the tow vehicle. Works if the front end alignment is good and the tow vehicle is bigger than the one being towed.
Dolly or flat tow, pull the driveshaft. Takes a few minutes, guarantees no trouble with the tranny. Depending on the tranny model is may (most likely will not!) not take the towing with the engine off. Most of the trannys (including the manual trannys!) have an oil pump or lubrication dirven off the input shaft. If it is not turning, no lube. Figure 50 to 100 miles and POOFF!
Around here you can get a 16' flatbed trailer on dual axles with electic brakes for less than $2000. Do the tow and sell it or use it as an exuse to get the trailer you always seem to need.
A one way u-haul rental isn't too bad for $$$, pull the outer rear tires to get it to fit on the trailer.
Dolly or flat tow, get a set of magnetic tow lights. About $60
Paul Amaranth wrote:
Reply to
Roy J
How come you can't use one of those car-hauling trailers that just the front wheels go up on? The dually back wheels just ride on the ground .. U-Haul has those, among others. - GWE
Paul Amaranth wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Modern day tow dollies are narrower than they were a few years ago. I wasn't able to find one that was even close to wide enough for a '64 Chevy PU. Maybe different in your area. Anyway you need to look into that before deciding on a dolly, you better check trailers as well for width and weight capacity. In a bit of a bind, I have towed a fully loaded welding rig (about 10,500 lbs.) with a rental, clamp on the bumper type tow bar but I drove slow, and stopped and snugged it up and generally checked things out every so often. If you have the time, inclination and tools, you can pull the bumper and build a simple, stout tow bar pretty easily.
JTMcC.
Reply to
JTMcC
Just a couple of thoughts on the economics of towing yourself.
Do you have to take off work to do the run? If so count lost wages. Will the tow be one way or round trip? Figure the fuel costs, meal costs and motel costs. I'm not even going to worry about true cost/miles, just fuel. $700 starts looking attractive.
As an aside, a couple of friends built a car to compete in the Grass roots Motorsports 2003 challenge. They had to build a car that would compete in a drag race, autocross and concours. The total budget was $2003. Their car is featured in this months magazine. They resurected a 69 Datsun 510 from under an avocado tree. Full paint job and an engine swap to a Buick 215 V8. They built the car under budget. They had to trailer the car from Southern California to Florida for the competition and then return. The receipts for gas food and lodging for that trip was more than what they spent on the whole car!
Erich
Reply to
Kathy and Erich Coiner
I can tell you from experience that it won't fit on any rental equipment that you can get for one-way towing. My half ton has been on U-Haul's trailers before, but it takes opening the fenders to get it on and off. When properly placed on it, the rear tires just barely are on the trailer. The only way to get on one of their dollies, is to completely remove the dolly fenders....and then it's still just a maybe...
Best bet is to call a freight consolidator and have it go LTL, space available with wide time restrictions. I got my 1000# bandsaw on a load from Ohio to Texas this way and it was only 300$ Only requirement we gave them was it had to hit the delivery location between 7 am and 1 pm on a business day so we could trans-load it.
Also, with the winter weather up there, unless you tow that sized loads regularly in those conditions, it isn't worth the headaches and extra grey hairs it will give you. ....BTDT and survived.
Craig C. snipped-for-privacy@ev1.net
Reply to
Craig
|In a bit of a bind, I have towed a fully loaded welding rig (about 10,500 |lbs.) with a rental, clamp on the bumper type tow bar but I drove slow, and |stopped and snugged it up and generally checked things out every so often. |If you have the time, inclination and tools, you can pull the bumper and |build a simple, stout tow bar pretty easily.
I have seen Mexicans heading South on (Texas) I35 with 4 or 5 vehicles lashed together somehow, little or no lighting, going about 45 miles per hour. Not recommended Rex in Fort Worth
Reply to
Rex B
|As an aside, a couple of friends built a car to compete in the Grass roots |Motorsports 2003 challenge. They had to build a car that would compete in a |drag race, autocross and concours. The total budget was $2003. Their car |is featured in this months magazine. They resurected a 69 Datsun 510 from |under an avocado tree. Full paint job and an engine swap to a Buick 215 V8. |They built the car under budget. They had to trailer the car from Southern |California to Florida for the competition and then return. |The receipts for gas food and lodging for that trip was more than what they |spent on the whole car! | |Erich
I just read that article the other day. Gorgeous work! Rex in Fort Worth
Reply to
Rex B
If you check out the rental outfits, they recommend that the towing vehicle be at least twice the weight of the one being towed. I've done it with less for about 600 miles, it wasn't fun going through the Sierra Nevada. That was using a tow dolly, too. $700 is a pretty good rate when you tally up how much renting a large enough truck to tow it will cost one way. Finding a tow dolly big enough these days will be a challenge.
Stan
Reply to
Stan Schaefer

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