I'm the FNG still...
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Slippery Boat Ramps and BIG Diesels (semi tractors)
I'm using a Volvo WIA to tow my boats (about 25,000 lbs combined boat, loaded with provisions and including trailer weight). It has the 60 series detroit diesel and an eaton fuller super 10 transmission (425 HP / 1650 ft. lbs torque).
I've already noticed a HUGE improvement over the Dodge cummins 3500 with fuel mileage, going from 8-9 mpg on highway at 60 mph to a solid 14-16 with the tractor at 65-75 mph (onboard computer averaged 68mph @ 14mpg for 300 miles). Obviously, speed and handling are much better too.
The problem I run into is when retreiving the boat, the slippery ramps can cause problems with just a rwd - even with the diff locked. I generally pull out without a problem in the 3500 in 4WD low range because of the balance, but on the tractor it slips somewhat before grabbing and yanking the boat out. I'm afraid one day I'll get this 25,000lb combo hung on a ramp that is slimy and I can't recover the boat.
Is there a way that I can improve the weight over the rear axle to increase traction? I was thinking about adding in a weight system like forklifts use, where you can add or remove solid weights on the frame in front of the hitch... I think if I even add a ton to the rear axle it would make traction far better.
I've already tried shifting the 5th wheel position and moving trailer axles to increase tounge weight.
I'd hate to have to go back to using the Dodge to tow around the boats with it's low speed on the highway and hills, not to mention the fuel costs or lack of a good compression brake. Having the sleeper is sweet too, because I can trailer sail all around the USA without buying hotel rooms or sleeping in the boat in a parking lot. Having 200 gallons of diesel on board is great for long hauls without constant stops to refuel as well. SOO, I was hoping somebody would have some ideas.
Should I consider chains on the ramp? (as dumb as that sounds, I know...) What about a certain tread type for commercial trucks that is more suited for traction than a standard OTR tire?
I reject your reality and substitute my own.
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