Demo shows why weight distribution on a trailer is important

Originally published at:


This was sent round my rowing club a few weeks ago. We regularly have to take trailers full of boats to races, and several of us have stories of trailer accidents at previous clubs, some of them fatal.





Probably everybody’s favorite Polish word.

The disclaimer at the end of the video says the incident was filmed by chance, the tow truck’s skid was not intentional, and everybody was driving within the speed limits. However, why were they filming, and why did the guy start saying “throw him like Satan” before anything really started to happen?


You could see a little fishtailing from the very start of the video. They probably noticed what was happening, and wondered if it was going to get worse.

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I like the take in the movie ‘fools gold’ when riding a fastish motor boat if you take a stage left turn everyone makes like trees and leaves hehe

not exactly the item but the conception

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It’s an incredibly easy mistake to make; I’ve made it myself. People haul all kinds of things on trailers, and their weights and centers of gravity are easy to misjudge.

Fortunately I noticed the wobble quickly and was able to brake and drive slowly to a spot where I could rebalance my load.


Did I say a naughty word?
It’s the kind of thing I like to be aware of.

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Yes. You said Fuck.


Can this tendency be mitigated through design? For example, positioning the trailer’s axle somewhat behind the midpoint of the trailer bed, rather than in the middle (as the model appears to have it)?

Oh fudge!

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My dad almost had a death wobble once. He had to pull a chipper that was at the upper end of his truck’s towing limit. He managed to get it to stop somehow.

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#Pro Tip:

Do not let the underpaid drones at MegaMart* load your trailer for you.


* “The giant warehouse where shopping is a baffling ordeal!”


I wonder how the toy car was controlled in the demo. It seemed to drive perfectly (considering the circumstances.) What was operating the front wheels? How did it know which way it should be facing?

Neat demo.

Looks like it was tethered from the front, to me.

Used like “fuck” is used in English, but literally means “whore”, right?



Fucking is naughty? I thought it was a good thing to do. I am confused!

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I don’t see dissonance here.


Some, but not too much. Trailer design is always a compromise. Move the axle too far back, and the trailer’s tongue weight becomes excessive, causing the tow vehicle to become tail heavy, and it loses steering and braking authority.

You also have a problem when dealing with a heavy, small load on a larger trailer. The driver can overload either the tongue or the tail just by locating the load too far forward or too far back.

The ideal weight distribution is about 60/40, with the tongue somewhat heavier than the tail.

There are other things that can help. A weight distributing hitch will allow a heavier tongue, while keeping the tow vehicle stable; the downside is the difficulty in hitching. Anti-sway bars help resist pivoting at the hitch, which dampens oscillations like we saw in the video. And really heavy trailers can use a fifth wheel, which doesn’t suffer from the drawbacks of a behind-the-axle hitch.