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trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 8:23 am
by TomB
I need advice.

I'm building a Tahoe 23 which will live on a tandem axle trailer. I pushed the empty trailer around using the trailer tongue jack to support the front end, mostly do-able depending on the slope. Add the boat...

I'm wondering about trailer dollies as an option for moving the boat around in tight spaces. What is the collective experience with these things? Would something to carry the tongue be enough or do I need a mechanical aid too? I'm leaning toward a dolly that can be hooked to a garden tractor. https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools ... _200696987 Is 600# capacity enough?

Thanks,

Tom

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 8:52 am
by Roberta
Your tongue weight will be getting close to the capacity of that dolley. Tandem axle trailers are particularly hard to maneuver especially if you can't raise the tongue up enough to relieve some, or all, of the weight off the front wheels. My loaded Torpedo weighs about 4500 pounds on the trailer. I use an Airtug designed for trailers. It allows me to raise the tongue up to relieve the front wheels for better maneuvering. Slopes can be very dangerous without something very sturdy to hold the trailer.

Here are some pictures of my Tug.

Roberta

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:21 am
by kens
I got one of the man powered one you linked to, it aint much.
The one Roberta posted is better, and that can be had in electric, so no gas engine.
I have a old-school Jeep that I put a ball on the front bumper, that is what I use to push my boat around my back yard, and, push/pull it from back to front yard (through the gate) to get it on the truck.
And since you had mentioned garden tractor, you already got your answer,,,put a ball on the front of the garden tractor.....done!!!
........the ball on the front end makes all the difference, you drive the trailer instead of backing it
20210421_132425_resized.jpg

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:46 am
by Roberta
Back when we bought ours, they didn't offer much in electric powered ones. Ours is rated for 15000 lbs with 1500 lbs tongue weight. Doesn't have the hydraulic ball lift or the brake option. It is more maneuverable than a tractor and I can vary the ball height manually which makes getting weight off the front wheels easier by jacking up the leg. Prices came down a lot. Ours was about $3500.00. I think it's less now.

As Ken mentioned, if you can put a ball hitch on your tractor, that is a possibility.

Roberta

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:38 pm
by TomB
Roberta, I like the tug idea, price not so much.

Ken, the Jeep ideal, hitch front and back, good to go both directions.

The dolly in the previous post has a clevis between the handles for attaching to the back of a garden tractor. The 600# rating??? Wish it was a 1000#.

This is an option for the front of the garden tractor https://macs-fabrication.com/products/n ... -x380-x390 They have a disclaimer saying for light duty trailers. I asked them about a boat and trailer, 4-5,000#, waiting to hear back.

Tom

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:54 pm
by kens
Sure, if you buy it from a manufacturer they gonna add on all the disclaimers.
notice I merely got a piece of angle steel on the otherwise un-strengthened bumper.
You not gonna be dragging this through traffic, not making emergency stops, besides, when you got your tongue weight correct, there isn't much.
At the end of the day, this is no more than a personal yard machine, no big deal
And why a ball on the back?
you only need a ball on the back of the tow vehicle. ball on the back of the yard donkey is useless

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:31 pm
by hoodman
What's your tongue weight? 4-500 lbs? That's like 2 grown-ass men.

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:09 pm
by Roberta
I would find out how much tongue weight a tractor can handle. You might see the rear wheels lift off the ground with too much tongue weight. You will most likely need to balance your boat on the trailer leaving you with 500+ lbs. of tongue weight to safely tow at highway speeds. A 23 ft. Tahoe will be no light weight.

I know the price of the Airtug is a big gulp, but we use ours often during the season and very glad we took the plunge. Being able to move the trailer with the ball at 27" off the floor relieves the front wheels and axles of a lot of strain when turning. Single axle trailers are easy to maneuver. Tandems and triples are a whole different animal. Especially when backing them up. A low hitch height makes it even worse. Our Tandem axle trailer only has a 14-15" tongue height with the trailer level. I bent a wheel backing it into a tight spot with the Expedition. Multi axle trailer wheels don't differential like single axle trailers. They just scrape and scrub. Just some food for thought.

And that's all I have to say about that. :)

Roberta

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:14 pm
by kens
Geez, Roberta, quit sounding like a damn navee pilot.
I'm a A&P, heard all that before.
It's to fast, it's to slow; it's to high, it's to low; it's to hot it's to cold; it's to bright, it's to dim; it's to heavy, it's to light;

Geez, look at the link the OP gave on the hand dolly, do you see the cheezy-assed wheels that are already approved for 600lbs???
If his garden tractor has the equally cheezy wheels everything will be good in this world.
AND, he can cut grass in the meantime !!

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:19 pm
by Roberta
Sorry, but I am a pilot. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Roberta :D

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:10 am
by weller
I pull my boat in and out of my garage every time I work on it. I put a ball on my tractor and when I hooked the boat to it the front end got real light and I couldn’t move it. The next thing I tried was a front hitch for my truck. That worked good but I had to back my truck into the neighbors yard to get the boat out so anytime the yard was soft I couldn’t work on it. After seeing the one Roberta had I decided that was the way to go. Not wanting to spend the money for one I went to YouTube and seen how to make one. It’s real ugly but it pulls out my 25’ Atlantic skiff with no problem.
7D91B046-9383-4766-B08C-30C7C7DB3E24.jpeg

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:31 am
by Roberta
If it works, it's beautiful.

Roberta :D :D :D :D

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:09 am
by kens
that one you linked to for $99 might work OK, but it would need the hitch on the front end of garden tractor.
that would effectively be like an aircraft towbar, and you drive them on the front of the tug.
you cannot back up with towbar mounted on

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:54 am
by TAB
might also want to check the aviation classifieds around your area. I have seen powered tugs ( the small ones like the one Roberta posted) for less than $100. Some times free. Often then just need new plug and the carb rebuilt.

Re: trailer dolly???

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:42 am
by Roberta
Good idea. Local marinas might be looking to upgrade and sell an older one.

Roberta