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Weight Capacity Of Trailer Coupler On New Flat-Bed Tandem Trailer

Question:

I was putting my new tractor on my new trailer and noticed a difference that concerned me. My trailer has two 7k axles, is 18 feet long with a 2 foot dove tail 20 total feet, has a GVWR of 14k, a payload of 11400, is a regular flatbed trailer....but the tongue rating is for 7k with a 2inch ball, the bulldog type hookup. I pull with a 2008 Dodge 3500 dually. My tractor and loader weigh 8500 pounds. Tongue weight is supposed to be 10-12 percent to of my load weight? Am I fine to load the trailer to the payload weight and never exceed the 7k tongue weight? Why would my trailer have been built and not put the 2 5/16 tongue/ball for and increased weight ability of the tongue? Will one never exceed the 7k tongue weight even with stopping and pulling forces while towing? Would you have to put the entire payload so far forward on the trailer that it really isnt possible to overload my tongue? Am I okay with the tongue weight at 7k and trailer axles at 14K? Thank you

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Expert Reply:

I have attached a helpful article that explains trailer hitch balls and their capacities. As the article states, 2 inch balls are typically rated with a towing capacity between 3,500 lbs to 8,000 lbs. A 2-5/16 inch ball is normally rated to be able to handle loads between 6,000 and 30,000 lbs. I recommend returning to the dealer that sold you the trailer for a clarification.

If you can see the rating on the coupler reads it is rated for 7,000 lbs, that would be for the towing capacity and not the tongue weight of the loaded trailer.

I have also attached a link to a helpful article that explains how to determine tongue weight. Normally tongue weight is 10 to 15 percent of the weight of the fully loaded, ready to tow trailer.

The highest capacity Bulldog Collar-Lok coupler we offer is part # BD028462. This uses a 2-5/16 inch hitch ball and has a weight capacity of 12,500 lbs.

The highest capacity Bulldog Collar-Lok coupler we offer for 2 inch hitch balls is part # BD028387. This coupler has a weight capacity of 7,000 lbs.

The highest capacity A-frame coupler that uses a 2 inch trailer ball we offer, like part # BD43805W0317, has a maximum of 8,000 lbs gross trailer weight.

Our highest capacity A-frame coupler we offer that uses a 2-5/16 inch ball is the Bulldog Heavy-Duty Cast Head Coupler, part # BD44150W0317. It has a capacity of 15,000 lbs, and sounds more like the kind of coupler you need for your tandem 14,000 lb trailer.

I have attached a couple of product review videos you can take a look at.

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