Instructables

Help with getting a car on a trailer (More difficult then it sounds)?

I recently purchased another car to restore, a 1962 Ford Fairlane, for $200.  Its in great shape, however, the brakes have locked up and none of the wheels turn, other then that I would drive it the 300km to my home.  However, I can't drive out there continually to work on it until it is road worthy, and because snow is coming I planned on hauling it home on a trailer.  The problem lies in getting the car on the trailer.  We tried winching it up the ramps onto the Low-boy trailer, however, because the wheels don't turn, it pulled the trailer and my friends 1 ton truck around.  So my question is;

How can I get the car onto the trailer, which are both on a level surface (The trailer is about a foot off the ground) using a winch?  It does have to be readily and cheaply available fix, but anything will do (Jacks, winches, anything!  If you can think of a way to get it on there with dog sh1t then I will use dog sh1t!)

I need a good, solid, well though out/engineered plan preferably by the end of the week!  And I thank everyone ahead of time for anything you may post, because it may not be the solution, but it may pave the road to a solution!

***I have included a very detailed sketch of the situation, done by a professional artist, and the scene is very accurate to the circumstances.  Level ground, accurate representation of the type of trailer I am using and the car I intend to put on the trailer.***

Picture of Help with getting a car on a trailer (More difficult then it sounds)?
canucksgirl3 years ago
You need to get some wheel dollies. Depending on where you live, you might be able to rent some, or you could make some with heavy duty casters and a steel frame*. Then you would need a jack to lift each wheel and place the dolly under each tire. Once the car is on the dollies you can just push the car onto the trailer. (If the ground is really bumpy, put a sheet of plywood on the ground.)

Then remove the dollies with the jack before driving off. When you get home, use the dollies to get the car off the trailer and get it where you need to be.

* Four sided frame. Wheel fits in center hole. 4 HD casters bolted underneath (casters come in varying weight capacities up to 1000's of lbs of load each).
+1, yep dollies is the only way to do it safely and with no damage to anything. Also save a lot of frustration.
caarntedd Vyger3 years ago
Probably good on flat concrete, maybe not so good in the middle of a paddock.
If he goes with wheel dollies, using plywood to flatten the path to the trailer it'll work fine. I've seen it done with a lot heavier truck being pulled out of a farm field.
So Wesley666, Did you manage to get your car on the trailer and back home or are you still struggling with this problem???
Wesley666 (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
No more struggling, it's home! I found out that there is a place that rents trailers for cheap not too far away, which doesn't really help because I have a trailer, but they have tilting flatbed trailers for rent! I rented one, and it took 5 mins to load the car on it! Came off just as easy! I am so happy I found that, was definitely the right tool for the job. The only problem I had is that the tilting bed trailers are longer and it wouldn't fit where I needed it, so I had to drop the car about 30 feet from where I wanted it and drag it. In doing so I broke the rear wheels free which makes it alot easier to move now.

Thank you for the help, as well as everyone else, I am sure some of these suggestions would have worked, and I appreciate all the input!
tbeltcher2 years ago
Use four car jacks and two beams to lift the wreck and roll the trailer under it.
NativeSs3 years ago
First for moving the car out of any weedy area you can jack up the whole car and then push it in the direction you need it to go in. For getting in onto the trailer, why not take the brake pads off? if you remove one brake shoe then the wheels should spin freely enough for a winch or come-along to move the car. If not then you could just remove the brake calipers off, hell the rotors two for fun. If nothing else get you a power winch, hook to a secure place on the car, chalk the wheels of the truck and hit the winch. get a few guys out there pushing and give it hell.
you could also just jack the front end of the car up, then block it underneath it and back the trailer up to it. sit the wheels on casters or even cheap skateboard trucks and then jack the rear up. there are a lot of ways without damaging the car. I used to move junk cars as a living... so mine didnt always stay pretty... but these methods have worked in the past. and car dollies are for the front wheels... if all four tires are locked up then that does no good
"chalk the wheels" ??

I think you mean "chock the wheels" otherwise you're just doodling on the rubber like a policeman.
altosax643 years ago
use a jack to hold up the front of the trailer so that the back is touching the ground then drive or push the car onto the trailer. Or use a metal ramp
Libahunt3 years ago
That's what popped into my mind:

I you could get a set of old tires, that are reasonably bigger than the ones of the car...
Cut one wall (i mean the side of the tire) off each tire leaving just a small edge. The cutting is probably a hassle, You decide if that's worth it.
Lift each wheel and slip them on wheels. Pour in some soapy water or vegetable oil. And the car should be easily pushable as the outer tires roll on the outside and slip on the inside.

You might get away removing just two of them for the time of the roadtrip depending on the width of the tire as they face opposite sides and one side outer tire always stops opposing wheel from slipping out of its outer tire - car can't slip sideways.
"IF you could get.." should be the second sentence.
jrh0653 years ago
Have you thought about simply tying the front of the truck to something? It may keep the car from pulling things around. Not to mention an easy fix. Regardless, you've been given a lot of good ideas. Go prepared for at least a few of them and good luck!
Wesley666 (author)  jrh0653 years ago
We had my friends 1 ton truck, and when it started pulling it around, we put it in reverse and it was still dragging it forward even with my friend flooring it in reverse, plus that was dangerous. Yes, I am preparing for many of these so that hopefully one works.
That car could haul the truck better than truck could haul the car, you need a bigger truck. 1962 Ford Fairlane is about 3200 lbs (1453 kg)
We run into this problem gathering scrap on the farms around here find a farmer with a heavy tractor with a front end loader and pick it up by the frame in the front to get the front end on the trailer and repeat for the back.
A big tractor can lift the whole car in one shot, a crane to lift can do it in two minutes but if where you are they are like they are around here it will run you about $600.oo
Joe
caarntedd3 years ago
I would anchor the trailer in position maybe sticking some posts in the ground and tying it off (since you don't seem to mind digging a little), and with the planks or trays in position for the wheels to slide on,drag the car onto the trailer using your tow vehicle.

There are some good ideas here and you seem to have some good ones yourself, so please take some pics as you go and show us how you did it.
Wesley666 (author)  caarntedd3 years ago
I definitely will, as I think this will be helpful to others, because I can't imagine I am the only person who has a car that has the wheels locked up and the need for it to be on a trailer.
Re-design3 years ago
Easiest way - Hire a flat bed tow truck. they load locked cars all the time that way. You can stand off to the side and watch.

Several of the slippery methods might work, if your winch is strong enough and you can get the car off again.

Least useful - roll the car over on it's side then move the trailer into place then roll the car back on it's wheels.  You may have to shove it around to center it on the trailer.
Wesley666 (author)  Re-design3 years ago
Easiest, not the cheapest though. I want to spend less then $200 and I checked, tow trucks will cost wayyy more then $200 for the 600km total journey. It would be easy though...*sigh*...
lemonie3 years ago
How long do you think it would take to remove the wheels and brakes?
Drum-brakes need paling with a mallet, that might do you.

Otherwise, bring some sheets of metal or tough plastic, push them up to the tyres and spray them with soapy-water. If you get a push from behind too it may be possibly to slide it on the sheets.

L
Wesley666 (author)  lemonie3 years ago
The brakes are completely rusted together,it would take a weekend to get them apart and this place is to far away for me to keep driving out to work it, and that is assuming I could get them fixed out in a farmers field with as many of my tools as I can carry in cold weather. It is an option, but I think this might work;

I am gonna dig a little notch on each side of the car for the ramps, to reduce the lip to get up on them. I would like to put a small piece of plywood at the bottom of each one to help get my plan in motion. I am going to get a few of the round barbed wire fence posts to use as rollers. As the car rolls up and they fall out the back, I put them up front again. To reduce the number of posts I need and for safety reason, once it's just over the top of the ramp, I am going to stop replacing the rollers and let the front wheels drop down onto those plastic food trays you get at fast food restaurants (this is also a high school trick for doing donuts...). This way I can use the rollers for the back wheels as well, this makes it so the car shouldn't move forward/backward uncontrollably like it could on rollers. It's fairly level, like I said, but once it's on the trailer, I don't want it rolling forward and injuring someone. After I have the back wheels up and it's in position, just anchor it a bit, jack it up to remove plastic trays or any rollers and the strap it down for transportation.
That sounds good - take photos!

L
Wesley666 (author)  lemonie3 years ago
I will! I think it could be a useful Instructable, I am sure this has happened to someone else, and they had to shell out lots of cash for a proper tow truck and such.

Anyhow, I am off to McDonalds for a hamburger and 4 plastic trays...
rickharris3 years ago
Put a couple of planks down and grease them - Slide the car up using a hand winch.

You will need to clean the wheels after but that's a minor thing.

Alternatively remove wheels and hubs and remove brakes. Now not locked on!

My Father, a steam engineer all his life, put huge trains back on the rails by jacking them up and putting wood blocks under the wheels - When high enough above the rails they were jacked / winched across over planks until over the rails when the process of jacking and removing the packing planks began.

Old fashioned, slow but tried and tested over the years.
Wesley666 (author)  rickharris3 years ago
If it works for trains, it would work for a car! It's another option, although I have a plan that might be faster and easier I am going to try first, but I will bring supplies for this and a few other methods, so that I don't have to make another trip.
frollard3 years ago
Lift the car on the widest planks you can, then back the trailer under it.
Wesley666 (author)  frollard3 years ago
Thought of that, except how to I "lift" the car? I am not superman...
give me a lever long enough...

Jack up one side of the plank, and chock it up, then jack up the other side.

...repeat.
Wesley666 (author)  frollard3 years ago
Yes, if you give me a lever long enough, and somewhere to rest it, I can move the world.

I think I have an idea that will work wonders. I am gonna dig a little notch on each side of the car for the ramps, to reduce the lip to get up on them. I would like to put a small piece of plywood at the bottom of each one to help get my plan in motion. I am going to get a few of the round barbed wire fence posts to use as rollers. As the car rolls up and they fall out the back, I put them up front again. To reduce the number of posts I need and for safety reason, once it's just over the top of the ramp, I am going to stop replacing the rollers and let the front wheels drop down onto those plastic food trays you get at fast food restaurants (this is also a high school trick for doing donuts...). This way I can use the rollers for the back wheels as well, this makes it so the car shouldn't move forward/backward uncontrollably like it could on rollers. It's fairly level, like I said, but once it's on the trailer, I don't want it rolling forward and injuring someone. After I have the back wheels up and it's in position, just anchor it a bit, jack it up to remove plastic trays or any rollers and the strap it down for transportation.
iceng3 years ago
Use four car jacks and two beams to lift the wreck and roll the trailer under it.

A
Wesley666 (author)  iceng3 years ago
First it's not a wreck, it's in very good shape so I want to make sure I don't damage anything on it. Also, this occurred to me, but the problem I have with it, is that although everything is on level ground, it is still in the middle of a farmers field, so the ground is still lumpy to some extent. I may try this, but I want to see if there is any other ways that seem safer to try first.
Lumpy ground needs something to flatten it - A few planks for example.