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Flat-Deck Trailers

Operators
Manual

CMW

Issue 2.0
Original Instruction

053-2517

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Overview - 1

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Overview
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Record VIN and date of purchase in spaces
provided. VIN tag (shown) is typically located
toward the front of the trailer frame.
Date of manufacture
Date of purchase
Trailer VIN

a32om001t.eps

Unit Components
Ramped Trailers
1

3
2

7
4

4
6

a32om002t.eps

1. Hitch/coupler

5. Tiedown

2. Jack

6. Deck

3. Battery (if equipped)

7. Ramps

4. Lights/Reflectors

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Overview - 2

Intended Use

Tilt-Bed Trailers
5

1
2

7
6

a32om003t.eps

1. Hitch/coupler

5. Lights/reflectors

2. Jack

6. Deck

3. Battery (if equipped)

7. Tiedown

4. Tilt latch pin

Intended Use
Ditch Witch trailers are intended for tying down and transporting Ditch Witch and other equipment weighing
less than the maximum load weight rating (MLWR) and with a load that can be properly distrubuted on the
trailer. They are intended to be towed with an appropriately-sized vehicle.

Equipment Modification
This equipment was designed and built in accordance with applicable standards and regulations.
Modification of equipment could mean that it will no longer meet regulations and may not function properly
or in accordance with the operating instructions. Modification of equipment should only be made by
competent personnel possessing knowledge of applicable standards, regulations, equipment design
functionality/requirements and any required specialized testing.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Foreword - 3

Reporting Safety Defects

Foreword
This manual is an important part of your equipment. It provides safety information and operation
instructions to help you use and maintain your Ditch Witch equipment.
Read this manual before using your equipment. Keep it with the equipment at all times for future reference.
If you sell your equipment, be sure to give this manual to the new owner.
If you need a replacement copy, contact your Ditch Witch dealer. If you need assistance in locating a
dealer, visit our website at www.ditchwitch.com or write to the following address:
The Charles Machine Works, Inc.
Attn: Marketing Department
PO Box 66
Perry, OK 73077-0066
USA
The descriptions and specifications in this manual are subject to change without notice. The Charles
Machine Works, Inc. reserves the right to improve equipment. Some product improvements may have
taken place after this manual was published. For the latest information on Ditch Witch equipment, see your
Ditch Witch dealer.
Thank you for buying and using Ditch Witch equipment.

Reporting Safety Defects


If you believe that your vehicle has a defect which could cause a crash or could cause injury or death, you
should immediately inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in addition to
notifying the Product Safety Engineer at The Charles Machine Works, Inc. at safety@ditchwitch.com.
If NHTSA receives similar complaints, it may open an investigation, and if it finds that a safety defect exists
in a group of vehicles, it may order a recall and remedy campaign. However, NHTSA cannot become
involved in any individual problems between you, your Ditch Witch dealer, or The Charles Machine Works,
Inc.
To contact NHTSA you may either call the Auto Safety Hotline toll-free at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800424-9153), go to http://www.safercar.gov, or write to:
Administrator
NHTSA
1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E.
Washington, DC 20590
You can also obtain other information about motor vehicle safety from http://www.safercar.gov.

CMW

Foreword - 4

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Flat-Deck Trailers
Operators Manual
Issue number 2.0/OM-6/12
Part number 053-2517
Copyright 2012
by The Charles Machine Works, Inc.

, Ditch Witch, and CMW are registered trademarks of The Charles Machine
Works, Inc.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Contents - 5

Contents
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Unit Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Intended Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Reporting Safety Defects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Safety Alert Classifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Safety Alerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Prepare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Inspect Trailer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Lay Out Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Position Load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Optional Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Operate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Hitch to Tow Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Unhitch from Tow Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Loading and Unloading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Cleanup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

CMW

Contents - 6

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Service and Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Warranty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Tire Safety Information

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Safety - 7

Safety
Chapter Contents
Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Safety Alert Classifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Safety Alerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Safety - 8

Guidelines

Guidelines
Follow these guidelines before operating any jobsite equipment:

Complete proper training and read operators manual before using equipment.

Inspect trailer before each use. See Inspect Trailer on page 12.

Use equipment carefully. Stop operation and investigate anything that does not look or feel right

Observe and follow trailer load ratings. Always tie down equipment and properly stow accessories,
even if travelling short distances.

Position equipment on trailer to provide proper weight distribution..

Incorrect procedures could result in death, injury, or property


damage. Learn to use equipment correctly.

To help avoid injury:

At least ten to fifteen percent of total trailer weight (equipment plus trailer) must be on
tongue to help prevent trailer sway.

Do not exceed tow vehicle capacities. See tow vehicle manual.

Do not exceed maximum trailer tongue load specification or hitch capabilities.

Contact your Ditch Witch dealer if you have any question about operation, maintenance, or equipment
use.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Safety - 9

Safety Alert Classifications

Safety Alert Classifications


These classifications and the icons defined on the following pages work together to alert you to situations
which could be harmful to you, jobsite bystanders or your equipment. When you see these words and
icons in the book or on the machine, carefully read and follow all instructions. YOUR SAFETY IS AT
STAKE.

Watch for the three safety alert levels: DANGER, WARNING and CAUTION. Learn what each level
means.
indicates an imminently hazardous situation that, if not avoided, will result in death or
serious injury.
indicates a potentially hazardous situation that, if not avoided, could result in death or
serious injury.
indicates a potentially hazardous situation that, if not avoided, may result in minor or
moderate injury.

Watch for two other words: NOTICE and IMPORTANT.


NOTICE can keep you from doing something that might damage the machine or someone's property.
IMPORTANT can help you do a better job or make your job easier in some way.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Safety - 10

Safety Alerts

Safety Alerts
Crushing weight could cause death or serious injury. Use
proper procedures and equipment or stay away.

Incorrect procedures could result in death, injury, or property damage.


Learn to use equipment correctly.

Battery acid may cause burns. Avoid contact.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Prepare - 11

Safety Alerts

Prepare
Chapter Contents
Inspect Trailer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Lay Out Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Position Load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Optional Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

CMW

Prepare - 12

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Inspect Trailer

Inspect Trailer

Check ramps and trailer bed for damage.

Check lights and reflectors for cleanliness and verify that lights operate.

Verify that signs, guards, and shields are in place. Replace if damaged or missing.

Check hitch for wear and cracks. Lubricate if needed.

Check torque of hitch bolts. Adjust if needed. See Check Coupler Bolts on page 22.

Check pins and retainer clips. Replace if damaged or missing.

Check battery for 12V charge (electric brakes only) or hydraulic fluid level (hydraulic brakes only).

Check tire pressure. See Check Tire Pressure on page 20.

Check lug nut torque with a torque wrench. Adjust if needed. See Check Lug Nut Torque on page 21.

Ensure trailer brakes are adjusted properly. See Service on page 20.

Ensure trailer brakes are adjusted to come on with tow vehicle brakes.

Check jack.

Check safety chain/hooks.

Check tiedowns for cracks or deformation. Replace if damaged.

Check trailer decking.

Check breakaway system, if equipped.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Prepare - 13

Lay Out Equipment

Lay Out Equipment


1. Determine what equipment, attachments, and other items will be carried on trailer.
2. Lay out equipment and attachment positions to balance load and obtain correct tongue load.

Incorrect procedures could result in death, injury, or property


damage. Learn to use equipment correctly.

To help avoid injury:

At least ten to fifteen percent of total trailer weight (equipment plus trailer) must be on
tongue to help prevent trailer sway.

Do not exceed tow vehicle capacities. See tow vehicle manual.

Do not exceed maximum trailer tongue load specification or hitch capabilities.

Consider attachment stand weights and attachment weights. See attachment operators manual.

Consider unit weight. See unit operators manual.

Consider the weight of anything else you plan to haul, such as sod or other pieces of equipment.

Ensure that load will remain balanced with and without consumables (such as sod or water)
loaded.

Position stands so that attachment can be accessed easily, usually from the side of the trailer.

Position auger and plow stands as close to centerline of trailer as possible.

Check loading on each side of trailer by weighing.

3. Install factory-approved stands or tiedowns, if needed.

CMW

Prepare - 14

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Position Load

Position Load
IMPORTANT: Access to truck scales is required for this procedure.
Position trailer load for proper tongue weight by following procedure. Proper tongue weight will enhance
towing stability and safety.
1. Select appropriate size tow vehicle based on trailer gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
2. Adjust hitch on trailer so that hitch is about 2 in (51 mm) higher than level when coupled to tow vehicle.
3. Load trailer.
4. Pull trailer onto scale. Ensure tow vehicle wheels are off scale.
5. Unhitch trailer from tow vehicle and lower jack to remove all tongue weight from vehicle.
6. Record total unhitched weight of trailer and load. This is gross trailer weight (GTW) and must not
exceed trailer GVWR or tow vehicle GTW.
7. Multiply GTW by 0.9 and record this number as 90% GTW.
8. Hitch trailer to tow vehicle. Raise and stow jack.
9. Watch scale readout while helper positions load. When scale displays 90% GTW value, the load is
positioned properly with at least 10% of GTW on hitch. Do not exceed tow vehicle capabilities. See tow
vehicle manual. Do not exceed maximum trailer tongue load specification or hitch capabilities.
10. Tie down load.
IMPORTANT: Tie down unit as indicated in unit operators manual.
11. Mark positions of all equipment that will be unloaded at jobsite to allow correct loading when work is
finished.

Optional Equipment
Ditch Witch trailers are available in a variety of sizes and towing capacities. Additionally, our trailer
selection offers several configurations and options.

Brake options: electric or hydraulic surge. Please note that surge brakes are not legal in some states
so check state laws.

Deck material: wood or steel grating.

Access: tilt bed, single ramp, or dual ramps.

Tiedowns: fixed, flexible configuration, or machine-specific.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Operate - 15

Optional Equipment

Operate
Chapter Contents
Hitch to Tow Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Unhitch from Tow Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Load and Unload . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Fixed Bed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Tilt Bed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Cleanup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

CMW

Operate - 16

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Hitch to Tow Vehicle

Hitch to Tow Vehicle


1. Back tow vehicle to trailer.
2. Put manual transmission into first or reverse gear or automatic transmission into park. Set parking
brake. Turn off ignition.
3. Connect trailer lunette or coupler to tow
vehicle hitch and lock in place with lock pin. If
needed, adjust lunette or coupler height to
level load.
4. Connect safety chains (shown) to tow
vehicle, crossing chains under trailer tongue,
as shown.
5. Connect breakaway cable, if equipped, to tow
vehicle. Do not connect to pintle hook or hitch
ball.
6. Plug trailer electrical connector into tow
vehicle connector.
7. Use jack crank to raise jack base and stow
handle.

a32om004t.eps

8. Remove wheel blocks.


9. Verify operation of trailer lights.

Unhitch from Tow Vehicle


1. Stop tow vehicle and trailer on level ground.
2. Put manual transmission into first or reverse gear or automatic transmission into park. Set parking
brake. Turn off ignition.
3. Block trailer wheels.
4. Unstow handle and lower jack base.
5. Disconnect trailer electrical connector from tow vehicle connector.
6. Disconnect breakaway cable from tow vehicle.
7. Disconnect safety chains from tow vehicle.
8. Disconnect trailer coupler from tow vehicle hitch.
9. Use jack crank to raise trailer tongue clear of tow vehicle hitch.
10. Start tow vehicle engine, release parking brake, and drive tow vehicle away.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Operate - 17

Load and Unload

Load and Unload


Fixed Bed

Connect trailer to tow vehicle before loading


or unloading equipment.

Load and stow all attachments before loading


equipment.

Load and unload unit slowly, according to


recommendations in unit operators manual.

Tie down unit only at provided tiedown points


(shown).
IMPORTANT: Do not hook tiedowns or
chains to trailer deck/bar grating.

Lock ramps into upright position before


moving trailer.

Tilt Bed
IMPORTANT: Tilt bed only when trailer is connected to tow vehicle.

Load
1. Remove pin from latch at front of bed.
2. Stand on end of bed until trailer touches
ground. Bed should remain tilted until unit is
loaded onto trailer.
3. Drive unit forward onto trailer bed.
IMPORTANT: Be prepared for trailer bed
to return to level as equipment is loaded..
4. When bed is no longer tilted, replace latch pin and tie down unit as indicated in equipment operators
manual.

CMW

Operate - 18

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Cleanup

Unload
1. Block trailer wheels.
2. Remove tiedowns.
3. Remove pin from latch at front of bed.
4. Slowly back unit off trailer as bed tilts.

Cleanup
Make sure all tools and accessories are securely loaded on trailer.
After unloading, remove all loose debris and spray water onto trailer grate to remove dirt and mud.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Service and Troubleshooting - 19

Cleanup

Service and Troubleshooting


Chapter Contents
Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Each Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

200 Mile (320 km) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

3000 Mile (5000 km) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

6000 Mile (10 000 km) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

12,000 Mile (20 000 km) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Locking Brakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Intermittent Brakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Locking Brakes or Weak Brakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

CMW

Service and Troubleshooting - 20

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Service

Service
IMPORTANT: Consult with brake, axle, and tire manufacturers for additional service information.

Each Use
Task

Notes

Check tire pressure and lug nut torque


Check lights and reflectors
Check battery charge

electric brakes only

Check hydraulic brake fluid

hydraulic brakes only


DOT 3 or DOT 4

Check actuator bolts


Check coupler bolts
Check suspension bolts
Check tiedown binders and chains

Check Tire Pressure


Check tire pressure each use where shown.
Inflate tires as indicated.
Tire

Pressure

18 X 5.70-8, C

75 psi (517 kPa)

215/75R-17.5, H16TL

125 psi (862 kPa)

ST205/75R15, C

50 psi (345 kPa)

ST225/75R15, D

65 psi (448 kPa)

ST235/80R16, E

80 psi (551.5 kPa)

ST235/85R16, E

80 psi (551.5 kPa)

ST235/85R16, F

95 psi (655 kPa)

a32om005t.eps

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Service and Troubleshooting - 21

Service
Check Lug Nut Torque
1

1
4

1
6

8
2

5
2

7
4

5
2

a32om006t.eps

Check lug nut torque each use. Tighten lug nuts in the sequence shown above as directed below.
Tire

1st Stage

2nd Stage

Final Stage

18 X 5.70-8, C

20-25 ftlb
(27-34 Nm)

50-60 ftlb
(68-81 Nm)

90-120 ftlb
(122-163 Nm)

215/75R-17.5, H16TL (on Dexter axle)

50-60 ftlb
(68-81 Nm)

90-200 ftlb
(122-271 Nm)

275-325 ftlb
(373-441 Nm)

215/75R-17.5, H16TL (on Al-Co axle)

300 ftlb (407 Nm)

ST205/75R15, C

20-25 ftlb
(27-34 Nm)

50-60 ftlb
(68-81 Nm)

90-120 ftlb
(122-163 Nm)

ST225/75R15, D

20-25 ftlb
(27-34 Nm)

50-60 ftlb
(68-81 Nm)

90-120 ftlb
(122-163 Nm)

ST235/80R16, E

20-25 ftlb
(27-34 Nm)

50-60 ftlb
(68-81 Nm)

90-120 ftlb
(122-163 Nm)

ST235/85R16, E

50-60 ftlb
(68-81Nm)

100-120 ftlb
(135.5-163 Nm)

190-210 ftlb
(258-285 Nm)

Check Lights and Reflectors


Check lights and reflectors for correct operation, cleanliness, and damage. Repair, clean, and replace as
needed.

Check Electric Brake Battery Charge


Check battery charge before each use.

CMW

Service and Troubleshooting - 22

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Service

Check Hydraulic Brake Fluid


Check fluid level (shown) in master cylinder each
use. Fill to bottom of threaded hole with DOT 3 or
DOT 4 brake fluid.

Check Actuator Bolts


Check condition of actuator bolts each use and
tighten to 450 ftlb (610 Nm).

a32om007t.eps

Check Coupler Bolts


Check condition of coupler bolts each use and
tighten as directed below.
Trailer

Torque

S1A, S2AS, S6B,


S7B, S8B

160 ftlb (217 Nm)

T7B, T9B, T9C

160 ftlb (217 Nm)

T18B

200 ftlb (271 Nm)

BT20, BT26

Coupler: 300 ftlb (407 Nm)


Hitch: 650 ftlb (881 Nm)

CMW

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Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Service and Troubleshooting - 23

Service
Check Suspension Bolts
S2AS, S6B, S7B, S8B, T7B, T9B, T9C
Check Torflex mount bolts each use and tighten to
120-155 ftlb (163-210 Nm) as needed.

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S2B, T18B, BT20, BT26


Check condition of U-bolts (1), spring eye bolts
(2), equalizer bolts (3), and slipper bolts (4) each
use and tighten as directed below.

S2B and T18B spring eye bolt, equalizer bolt, and


slipper bolt; BT20 and BT26 slipper bolts:

Non-shouldered bolts with 9/16 threads:


snug fit only. Locking nuts or cotter pins are
provided to retain nut-bolt assembly.

Shoulder type shackle bolts with 7/16


threads: 30-50 ftlb (41-81 Nm).
a32om010t.eps

Trailer/Bolt)

Torque

S2B U-bolt

50-60 ftlb (68-81 Nm))

T18B U-bolt

65-95 ftlb (88-129 Nm)

BT20 U-bolt

80-90 ftlb (108.5-122 Nm)

BT20 spring eye bolt

225-275 ftlb (305-373 Nm)

BT20 equalizer bolt

375-425 ftlb (508.4-576 Nm)

BT26 U-bolt

110-150 ftlb (149-203 Nm)

BT26 spring eye bolt

200-250 ftlb (271-339 Nm)

BT26 equalizer bolt

325-375 ftlb (441-508.4 Nm)

Check Tiedown Binders and Chains


Check tiedown binders and chains for damage each use. Replace if damaged.

CMW

Service and Troubleshooting - 24

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Service

200 Mile (320 km)


Task

Notes

Adjust electric brakes

Initial

Adjust hydraulic brakes

Initial

Adjust Electric Brakes (Initial)


Adjust electric brakes after 200 miles (320 km).
1. Place adequate jack stands under frame
rails.
2. Remove cover from adjusting slot (shown) on
bottom of backing plate.
3. Rotate adjuster starwheel with screwdriver or
brake tool to expand brake shoes. Adjust until
wheel is very difficult to turn by hand.
4. Rotate starwheel the other direction until
wheel turns with slight drag.
5. Replace adjusting slot cover.

a32om011t.eps

6. Repeat procedure for all remaining brakes.


7. Remove jack stands and lower wheels to ground.

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Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Service and Troubleshooting - 25

Service
Adjust Hydraulic Brakes (Initial)
Adjust hydraulic brakes after 200 miles (320 km).

Crushing weight could cause death or serious injury. Use proper


procedures and equipment or stay away.

1. Place adequate jack stands under frame rails.


2. Remove cover from adjusting slot on bottom of backing plate.
3. Rotate adjuster starwheel with screwdriver or brake tool to expand brake shoes. Adjust until wheel is
very difficult to turn by hand.
4. Rotate starwheel the other direction until wheel turns with slight drag.
5. Replace adjusting slot cover.
6. Repeat procedure for all remaining brakes.
7. Remove jack stands and lower wheels to ground.
8. Remove filler cap (A) by turning
counterclockwise. Make sure actuator
(master cylinder) is full of brake fluid. Use
type DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid.

9. Stroke actuator by pulling forward on


cable attached to breakaway lever (B)
until it locks in the first detent.
10. Use a suitable tool to pry the breakaway
lever farther forward and lock into the
second detent position.
11. With breakaway lever in second detent,
bleed wheel cylinders in sequence
beginning with the right rear, then the right
front, then the left rear and finally the left
front.

a08005c.eps

IMPORTANT: To prevent more air from entering braking system, close bleed screw before restroking actuator.

CMW

Service and Troubleshooting - 26

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Service

12. To bleed at each wheel:

Remove rubber dust cap. Use a 3/8


wrench to open and then close the bleed
screw.

Re-stroke the actuator and lock into


second detent position each time before
repeating the bleeding process in the
proper sequence.

Expelled air will be indicated by a hissing


sound or bubbles as bleed screw is
opened.

Repeat procedure at each wheel until a


solid stream of fluid is obtained.

Check actuator (master cylinder) fluid


level during this process.

Make sure fluid level is full after bleeding.

a08006c.eps

13. Wipe excess brake fluid from axle backing plates and other surfaces and replace dust cap on bleed
screws.

3000 Mile (5000 km)


Task

Notes

Check pivot pins

tilt-bed trailers only

Adjust electric brakes


Adjust hydraulic brakes

Check Pivot Pins


Check pivot pins (shown) for wear or damage
every 3000 miles (5000 km). Replace if damaged.

a32om012t.eps

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Service and Troubleshooting - 27

Service
Adjust Electric Brakes
Adjust brakes every 3000 miles (5000 km).
1. Place adequate jack stands under frame
rails.
2. Remove cover from adjusting slot (shown) on
bottom of backing plate.
3. Rotate adjuster starwheel with screwdriver or
brake tool to expand brake shoes. Adjust until
wheel is very difficult to turn by hand.
4. Rotate starwheel the other direction until
wheel turns with slight drag.
5. Replace adjusting slot cover.

a32om011t.eps

6. Repeat procedure for all remaining brakes.


7. Remove jack stands and lower wheels to ground.

CMW

Service and Troubleshooting - 28

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Service

Adjust Hydraulic Brakes


Adjust hydraulic brakes every 3000 miles (5000 km).

Crushing weight could cause death or serious injury. Use proper


procedures and equipment or stay away.

1. Place adequate jack stands under frame rails.


2. Remove cover from adjusting slot on bottom of backing plate.
3. Rotate adjuster starwheel with screwdriver or brake tool to expand brake shoes. Adjust until wheel is
very difficult to turn by hand.
4. Rotate starwheel the other direction until wheel turns with slight drag.
5. Replace adjusting slot cover.
6. Repeat procedure for all remaining brakes.
7. Remove jack stands and lower wheels to ground.
8. Remove filler cap (A) by turning
counterclockwise. Make sure actuator
(master cylinder) is full of brake fluid. Use
type DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid.

9. Stroke actuator by pulling forward on


cable attached to breakaway lever (B)
until it locks in the first detent.
10. Use a suitable tool to pry the breakaway
lever farther forward and lock into the
second detent position.
11. With breakaway lever in second detent,
bleed wheel cylinders in sequence
beginning with the right rear, then the right
front, then the left rear and finally the left
front.

a08005c.eps

IMPORTANT: To prevent more air from entering braking system, close bleed screw before restroking actuator.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Service and Troubleshooting - 29

Service
12. To bleed at each wheel:

Remove rubber dust cap. Use a 3/8


wrench to open and then close the bleed
screw.

Re-stroke the actuator and lock into


second detent position each time before
repeating the bleeding process in the
proper sequence.

Expelled air will be indicated by a hissing


sound or bubbles as bleed screw is
opened.

Repeat procedure at each wheel until a


solid stream of fluid is obtained.

Check actuator (master cylinder) fluid


level during this process.

Make sure fluid level is full after bleeding.

a08006c.eps

13. Wipe excess brake fluid from axle backing plates and other surfaces and replace dust cap on bleed
screws.

CMW

Service and Troubleshooting - 30

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Service

6000 Mile (10 000 km)


Check Brake Controller Amperage
Check brake controller amperage every 6000 miles (10 000 km).
1. Disconnect black wire from trailer connector plug.
2. Attach 0-30A ammeter in line between black wire and connector plug.
3. Start tow vehicle and connect trailer plug to tow vehicle receptacle.
4. Set brake controller to maximum gain (trailer brakes applied fully).
5. Read ammeter. Recommended readings depend on number of axles and brakes.:

Single-axle trailer with two brakes: 6A.

Tandem-axle trailer with four brakes: 12A.


IMPORTANT: Voltage readings at each brake magnet should be at least 10.5V.

If amp reading is high, check for electrical short in the following areas:

brake magnet coils

controllers

bare wires

If amp reading is low, check for the following:

blown fuses

broken wires

poor connnections and grounds

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Service and Troubleshooting - 31

Service

12,000 Mile (20 000 km)


Task

Notes

Inspect brake shoes and lining


Lubricate and adjust bearings

Inspect Brake Shoes and Lining


Inspect shoes and linings every 12 months or 12,000 miles (20 000 km) for wear. When lining is worn to 1/
16 (2 mm) or less, replace all linings. Replace shoes if linings are contaminated by oil or fluid.

Lubricate and Adjust Bearings


Inspect and lubricate bearings every 12 months
or 12,000 miles (20 000 km).
1. Place adequate jack stands under frame rails
and remove wheels.
2. Remove grease cap by prying loose with
screwdriver. Remove cotter pin from spindle
nut. Unscrew spindle nut and remove spindle
washer.
3. Slide hub off spindle. Do not drop outer
bearing cone.
4. Pry seal from hub and remove inner bearing
cone.

a32om013t.eps

5. Clean all grease from bearing cups, cones, hardware, and hub bore using suitable solvent. Dry
components with lint free cloth.
6. Inspect bearing cups and cones for pitting, spalling, corrosion, and overheating (blue color). Replace if
damaged.
7. Pack all cones using an extreme pressure, water resistant, lithium complex grease. Apply light coating
of grease to bearing cones.
8. Install inner bearing cone into its race and tap new seal into place using a wooden block and hammer.
9. Install bearings and hub on spindle. Install spindle washer and spindle nut.
10. Rotate hub while tightening spindle nut to 50 ftlb (68 Nm).
11. Loosen spindle nut without rotating hub and then tighten it by hand.
12. Back spindle nut out until first castellation lines up with cotter pin hole and insert cotter pin.
13. Grasp wheel/hub at top and bottom and check for excessive play in bearing. Adjust as needed.
14. Install grease cap using soft face mallet.

CMW

Service and Troubleshooting - 32

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting
Locking Brakes
Possible cause: electrical system

Check controller. Replace if malfunctioning.

Check for correct wiring. Contact your Ditch Witch dealer for information.

Check that breakaway switch is not tripped. Reset or replace breakaway switch.

Check for short in brake light. Trace and repair short in tow vehicle or trailer.

Possible cause: mechanical

Ensure that brake parts have not loosened. Tighten as needed.

Check for worn or loose wheel bearings. Replace bearing and examine hub.

Check drum. If out of round or scored, remachine. Replace if necessary.

Check brake lining for contamination. Replace if necessary.

Ensure brake shoes are not hanging on backing plates. Release shoes and lubricate backing plates.

Intermittent Brakes
Possible cause: electrical system

Check wiring for intermittent short. Repair if needed.

Check for broken magnetic brake coil leads. Replace if needed.

Check trailer ground. Do not ground through hitch.

Check for loose wire connection.

Possible cause: mechanical

Check drum. If out of round or scored, remachine.

Check for brake lining contamination.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Service and Troubleshooting - 33

Troubleshooting

No Brakes or Weak Brakes


Possible cause: electrical system

Check controller. Replace if malfunctioning.

Check for correct wiring. Contact your Ditch Witch dealer for information.

Possible cause: mechanical

Check for worn or defective magnets. Replace if necessary.

Check brake clearance. Adjust if necessary.

Check for worn or contaminated lining. Replace if necessary.

Check for worn drum. If oversize, replace drum. If out of round, remachine. Replace if necessary.

Ensure trailer load is not excessive. Reduce trailer load.

CMW

Service and Troubleshooting - 34

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


Troubleshooting

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 35

Troubleshooting

Specifications
Chapter Contents
S1A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
S2AS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
S2B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
S6B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
S7B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
S8B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
T7B E & H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
T9B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
T9C E & H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
T18B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
BT20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
BT26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 36

S1A

S1A

H3

L2

W2

H2

a32om014t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

127 in

3.2 m

L2

Bed length

75 in

1.9 m

Adj. coupler heights

15/17/19 in

381/432/483 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

13 in

330 mm

H3

Clearance

7.5 in

190.5 mm

Width outside fenders

70 in

1.8 m

W2

Width between fenders

54 in

1.4 mm

Loading angle

15

15

General
Axle: 1, CMW, 1.75 solid (straight) axle, 1800 lb rating
Available couplers: 3 (76-mm) lunette or 2 (51-mm) ball or 2 5/16 (59-mm) ball
Brakes: n/a
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 5/16 (7.9 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 37

S1A
Tire and Load Ratings
18 X 5.70-8, C tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

75 psi

517 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

2000 lb

907 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating)

1800 lb

816.5 kg

Tare (empty) weight

460 lb

208.5 kg

Max. tongue load

200 lb

91 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

1540 lb

698.5 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are general and subject to change without notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed
and measured. Due to selected options, delivered equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 38

S2AS

S2AS

H3

L2

W2

H2

a32om015t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

175 in

4.5 m

L2

Bed length

95 in

2.4 m

Adj. coupler heights

13/15/17 in

330/381/432 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

12 in

305 mm

H3

Clearance

6 in

152 mm

Width outside fenders

79 in

2m

W2

Width between fenders

59 in

1.5 mm

Loading angle

15

15

General
Axle: 1, Dexter, #10 Torflex, rubber torsion suspension axle, 3500 lb rating
Available couplers: 3 (76-mm) lunette or 2 (51-mm) ball or 2 5/16 (59-mm) ball
Brakes: n/a
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 5/16 (7.9 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 39

S2AS
Tire and Load Ratings
ST205/75R15, C tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

50 psi

345 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

2990 lb

1356 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating)

3500 lb

1587.5 kg

Tare (empty) weight

770 lb

349 kg

Max. tongue load

450 lb

204 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

2220 lb

998 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are general and subject to change without notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed
and measured. Due to selected options, delivered equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 40

S2B

S2B
L

W
W2

L2
W3

A
H

H3

H2

a43om001h.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

150 in

3.8 m

L2

Bed length

70 in

1.8 m

Adj. coupler heights

10.5-24.5 in

267-622 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

17.5 in

444.5 mm

H3

Clearance

13.5 in

343 mm

Width outside fenders

64.5 in

1.6 m

W2

Width between fenders

45.5 in

1.2 mm

Width between frame rails

38 in

965 mm

W3

Width of ramp (each)

10 in

254 mm

Loading angle

15

15

General
Axle: 1, Dexter, 4 drop, leaf spring axle, 3500 lb rating
Available couplers: 2 (51-mm) ball
Brakes: n/a
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 1/4 (6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 41

S2B
Tire and Load Ratings
ST205/75R15, C tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

50 psi

345 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

2990 lb

1356 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating)

3500 lb

1587.5 kg

Tare (empty) weight

689 lb

312.5 kg

Max. tongue load

450 lb

204 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

2300 lb

1043 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are general and subject to change without notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed
and measured. Due to selected options, delivered equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 42

S6B

S6B
L

H3

L2

H2

W3

W
W2

a32om016t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

216 in

5.5 m

L2

Bed length

156 in

4.0 m

Adj. coupler heights

16-22 in

406-559 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

20 in

508 mm

H3

Clearance

8 in

203 mm

Width outside fenders

82 in

2.1 m

W2

Width between fenders

62 in

1.6 mm

W3

Width of ramp (each)

30 in

762 mm

Loading angle

18

18

General
Axle: 1, Dexter, #12 Torflex, rubber torsion suspension axle, 7000 lb rating
Available couplers: 3 (76-mm) lunette or 2 5/16 (59-mm) ball
Brakes: 12 x 2 electric
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 3/8 (9.6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 43

S6B
Tire and Load Ratings
ST235/80R16 E tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

80 psi

551.5 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

7500 lb

3402 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating)

7000 lb

3175 kg

Tare (empty) weight

2100 lb

952.5 kg

Max. tongue load

975 lb

442 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

5400 lb

2449 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are called out according to SAE recommended procedures. Specifications are general and subject to change without
notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed and measured. Due to selected options, delivered
equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 44

S7B

S7B
L

H3

W
W2

L2

H2

a32om017t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

216 in

5.5 m

L2

Bed length

156 in

4.0 m

Adj. coupler heights

16-22 in

406-559 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

20 in

508 mm

H3

Clearance

8 in

203 mm

Width outside fenders

82 in

2.1 m

W2

Width between fenders

62 in

1.6 m

Loading angle

12.5

12.5

General
Axle: 1, Dexter, #12 Torflex, rubber torsion suspension axle, 7000 lb rating
Available couplers: 3 (76-mm) lunette or 2 5/16 (59-mm) ball
Brakes: 12 x 2 electric
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 3/8 (9.6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 45

S7B
Tire and Load Ratings
ST235/80R16 E tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

80 psi

551.5 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

7500 lb

3402 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating)

7000 lb

3175 kg

Tare (empty) weight

1740 lb

789 kg

Max. tongue load

975 lb

442 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

5760 lb

2613 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are called out according to SAE recommended procedures. Specifications are general and subject to change without
notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed and measured. Due to selected options, delivered
equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 46

S8B

S8B
L

H3

W
W2

L2

H2

a32om017t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

216 in

5.5 m

L2

Bed length

156 in

4.0 m

Adj. coupler heights

16-22 in

406-559 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

20 in

508 mm

H3

Clearance

8 in

203 mm

Width outside fenders

96 in

2.4 m

W2

Width between fenders

76 in

1.9 m

Loading angle

12.5

12.5

General
Axle: 1, Dexter, #12 Torflex, rubber torsion suspension axle, 7000 lb rating
Available couplers: 3 (76-mm) lunette or 2 5/16 (59-mm) ball
Brakes: 12 x 2 electric
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 3/8 (9.6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 47

S8B
Tire and Load Ratings
ST235/80R16 E tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

80 psi

551.5 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

7500 lb

3402 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating)

7000 lb

3175 kg

Tare (empty) weight

1840 lb

835 kg

Max. tongue load

975 lb

442 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

5660 lb

2567 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are called out according to SAE recommended procedures. Specifications are general and subject to change without
notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed and measured. Due to selected options, delivered
equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 48

T7B E & H

T7B E & H
W
W2
L

H3

W3
L2

H2

a32om021t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

T7BE

240 in

6.1 m

T7BH

242 in

6.15 m

L2

Bed length

150 in

3.8 m

Adj. coupler heights

16-22 in

406-559 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

18 in

457 mm

H3

Clearance

12 in

305 mm

Width outside fenders

99 in

2.5 m

W2

Width between fenders

79 in

2.0 m

W3

Width of each loading ramp

30 in

762 mm

Ramp angle

18

18

Total length

General
Axle: 2, Dexter, #10 Torflex, rubber torsion suspension axle, 3500 lb rating
Available couplers: 3 (76-mm) lunette or 2 (51-mm) ball or 2 5/16 (59-mm) ball
Brakes: 10 x 2 1/4 electric or hydraulic
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 3/8 (9.6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 49

T7B E & H
Tire and Load Ratings
ST225/75R15 D tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

65 psi

448 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

7000 lb

1020 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating per axle)

3500 lb

476 kg

Tare (empty) weight

2250 lb

3175 kg

Max. tongue load

1050 lb

476 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

4750 lb

3175 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are called out according to SAE recommended procedures. Specifications are general and subject to change without
notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed and measured. Due to selected options, delivered
equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 50

T9B

T9B

H3

W
W2
W3
L2

H2

a32om022t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

223 in

5.7 m

L2

Bed length

154 in

3.9 m

Adj. coupler heights

17-25 in

432-635 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

18 in

457 mm

H3

Clearance

10.5 in

267 mm

Width outside fenders

96 in

2.4 m

W2

Width between fenders

76 in

1.9 m

W3

Width of each loading ramp

16 in

mm

Loading angle

12.5

12.5

General
Axle: 2, Dexter, #11 Torflex, rubber torsion suspension axle, 6000 lb rating
Available couplers: 3 (76-mm) lunette or 2 5/16 (59-mm) ball
Brakes: 12 x 2 electric or hydraulic
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 3/8 (9.6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 51

T9B
Tire and Load Ratings
ST225/75R15 D tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

65 psi

448 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

10,000 lb

4536 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating per axle)

6000 lb

2721.5 kg

Tare (empty) weight

2350 lb

1066 kg

Max. tongue load

1650 lb

748.4 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

7650 lb

3470 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are called out according to SAE recommended procedures. Specifications are general and subject to change without
notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed and measured. Due to selected options, delivered
equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 52

T9C

T9C
W
W2
L

H3

W3
L2

H2

a32om021t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

T9CE

223 in

5.7 m

T9CH

229 in

5.8 m

L2

Bed length

154 in

3.9 m

Adj. coupler heights

17-25 in

432-635 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

18 in

457 mm

H3

Clearance

10.5 in

267 mm

Width outside fenders

96 in

2.4 m

W2

Width between fenders

76 in

1.9 m

W3

Width of each loading ramp

30 in

762 mm

Loading angle

18

18

Total length

General
Axle: 2, Dexter, #11 Torflex, rubber torsion suspension axle, 6000 lb rating
Available couplers: 3 (76-mm) lunette or 2 5/16 (59-mm) ball
Brakes: 12 X 2 electric or hydraulic
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 3/8 (9.6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 53

T9C
Tire and Load Ratings
ST225/75R15 D tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

65 psi

448 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

11,000 lb

4989.5 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating per axle)

6000 lb

2721.5 kg

Tare (empty) weight

2500 lb

1134 kg

Max. tongue load

1650 lb

748.5 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

8500 lb

3855.5 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are called out according to SAE recommended procedures. Specifications are general and subject to change without
notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed and measured. Due to selected options, delivered
equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 54

T18B

T18B

H3

L2

W2

H2

a32om018t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

275 in

7.0 m

L2

Bed length

185 in

4.7 m

Dove tail length

28 in

711 mm

Adj. coupler heights

17-26 in

432-635 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

24 in

610 mm

H3

Clearance

12 in

305 mm

Width outside fenders

102 in

2.6 m

W2

Width between fenders

82 in

2.1 m

Width of each loading ramp

18 in

457 mm

Loading angle (trencher ramp)

15

15

Loading angle (drill ramp)

10

10

General
Axle: 2, Dexter, slipper spring axle with equalizer, 8000 lb rating
Available couplers: square mount lunette
Brakes: 12 1/4 x 3 3/8 electric
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 3/8 (9.6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 55

T18B
Tire and Load Ratings
215/75R-17.5, H16TL tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

125 psi

862 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

18,000 lb

8165 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating per axle)

8000 lb

3629 kg

Tare (empty) weight

3875 lb

1758 kg

Max. tongue load

2700 lb

1225 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

14,125 lb

6410 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are called out according to SAE recommended procedures. Specifications are general and subject to change without
notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed and measured. Due to selected options, delivered
equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 56

BT20

BT20
W

L
L2

A
H3

H2

a32om019t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

353 in

9.0 m

L2

Bed length

214 in

5.4 m

Dove tail length

62 in

1.6 m

Adj. coupler heights

19-32 in

483-813 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

37 in

940 mm

H3

Clearance

20 in

508 mm

Width outside fenders

96 in

2.4 m

Width of each loading ramp

18 in

457 mm

Loading angle

15

15

A
General

Axle: 2, AL-KO, slipper spring axle with equalizer, 8000 lb rating


Available couplers: bolted flat-mount drawbar 3 lunette
Brakes: 12 x 3.25 electric
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 3/8 (9.6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 57

BT20
Tire and Load Ratings
215/75R-17.5, H16TL tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

125 psi

862 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

20,000 lb

9072 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating per axle)

8000 lb

3629 kg

Tare (empty) weight

4300 lb

1950.5 kg

Max. tongue load

4000 lb

1814 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

15,700 lb

7121.5 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are called out according to SAE recommended procedures. Specifications are general and subject to change without
notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed and measured. Due to selected options, delivered
equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 58

BT26

BT26
W

L
L2

A
H3

H2

a32om020t.eps

Dimensions

U.S.

Metric

Total length

354 in

9.0 m

L2

Bed length

213 in

5.4 m

Dove tail length

67 in

1.7 m

Adj. coupler heights

19-35 in

483-889 mm

H2

Bed height (at full load)

37 in

940 mm

H3

Clearance

20 in

508 mm

Width outside fenders

100 in

2.5 m

Width of each loading ramp

18 in

457 mm

Loading angle

15

15

A
General

Axle: 2, Dexter, slipper spring axle with equalizer, 10,000 lb rating


Available couplers: bolted flat-mount drawbar 3 lunette
Brakes: 12.25 x 3.38 electric
Electrical system: 12V D.C.
Safety chain size: 3/8 (9.6 mm) grade 70

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Specifications - 59

BT26
Tire and Load Ratings
ST235/80R16 E tire

U.S.

Metric

Cold inflation pressure

80 psi

551.5 kPa

GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating)

26,000 lb

11 793 kg

GAWR (gross axle weight rating per axle)

10,000 lb

4536 kg

Tare (empty) weight

5700 lb

2885.5 kg

Max. tongue load

6000 lb

2127.5 kg

Maximum cargo (MLWR, max load weight rating at max tongue load)

20,300 lb

9208 kg

Load ratings for speeds up to 65 mph (104 km/h)


Specifications are called out according to SAE recommended procedures. Specifications are general and subject to change without
notice. If exact measurements are required, equipment should be weighed and measured. Due to selected options, delivered
equipment may not necessarily match that described.

CMW

Specifications - 60

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual


BT26

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Support - 61

Procedure

Support
Procedure
Notify your dealer immediately of any malfunction or failure of Ditch Witch equipment.
Always give model, vehicle identification number, and approximate date of your equipment purchase. This
information should be recorded and placed on file by the owner at the time of purchase.
Return damaged parts to dealer for inspection and warranty consideration if in warranty time frame.
Order genuine Ditch Witch replacement or repair parts from your authorized Ditch Witch dealer. Use of
another manufacturer's parts may void warranty consideration.

Resources
Publications
Contact your Ditch Witch dealer for publications and videos covering safety, operation, service, and repair
of your equipment.

Ditch Witch Training


For information about on-site, individualized training, contact your Ditch Witch dealer.

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Warranty - 62

Warranty
Ditch Witch Equipment and Replacement Parts
Limited Warranty Policy
Subject to the limitation and exclusions herein, free replacement parts will be provided at any authorized Ditch Witch dealership for
any Ditch Witch equipment or parts manufactured by The Charles Machine Works, Inc. (CMW) that fail due to a defect in material or
workmanship within one (1) year of first commercial use (Exception: 2 years for all SK5 attachments). Free labor will be provided at
any authorized Ditch Witch dealership for installation of parts under this warranty during the first year following initial commercial
use of the serial-numbered Ditch Witch equipment on which it is installed. The customer is responsible for transporting their
equipment to an authorized Ditch Witch dealership for all warranty work.

Exclusions from Product Warranty

All incidental or consequential damages.

All defects, damages, or injuries caused by misuse, abuse, improper installation, alteration, neglect, or uses other than those for
which products were intended.

All defects, damages, or injuries caused by improper training, operation, or servicing of products in a manner inconsistent with
manufacturers recommendations.

All engines and engine accessories (these are covered by original manufacturers warranty).

Tires, belts, and other parts which may be subject to another manufacturers warranty (such warranty will be available to
purchaser).

ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES NOT EXPRESSLY STATED HEREIN, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND MERCHANTABILITY.

IF THE PRODUCTS ARE PURCHASED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES, AS DEFINED BY THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL
CODE, THEN THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES WHICH EXTEND BEYOND THE FACE HEREOF AND THERE ARE NO IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WHICH EXTEND TO A COMMERCIAL BUYER. ALL OTHER PROVISIONS OF THIS LIMITED
WARRANTY APPLY INCLUDING THE DUTIES IMPOSED.
Ditch Witch products have been tested to deliver acceptable performance in most conditions. This does not imply they will deliver
acceptable performance in all conditions. Therefore, to assure suitability, products should be operated under anticipated working
conditions prior to purchase.
Defects will be determined by an inspection within thirty (30) days of the date of failure of the product or part by CMW or its authorized
dealer. CMW will provide the location of its inspection facilities or its nearest authorized dealer upon inquiry. CMW reserves the right
to supply remanufactured replacements parts under this warranty as it deems appropriate.
Extended warranties are available upon request from your local Ditch Witch dealer or CMW.
Some states do not allow exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so above limitation of exclusion may not
apply. Further, some states do not allow exclusion of or limitation of how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above limitation may
not apply. This limited warranty gives product owner specific legal rights and the product owner may also have other rights which vary
from state to state.
For information regarding this limited warranty, contact CMWs Product Support department, P.O. Box 66, Perry, OK 73077-0066, or
contact your local Ditch Witch dealer.

First version: 1/91; Latest version: 7/05

CMW

Flat-Deck Trailers Operators Manual

Appendix - 65

Appendix
Chapter Contents
Tire Safety Information

CMW

TIRE SAFETY INFORMATION


1.1. STEPS FOR DETERMINING CORRECT LOAD LIMIT TRAILER
Determining the load limits of a trailer includes more than understanding the load limits of the tires
alone. On all trailers there is a Federal certification/VIN label that is located on the forward half of
the left (road) side of the unit. This certification/VIN label will indicate the trailers Gross Vehicle
Weight Rating (GVWR). This is the most the fully loaded trailer can weigh. It will also provide the
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). This is the most a particular axle can weigh. If there are
multiple axles, the GAWR of each axle will be provided.
If your trailer has a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, there is a vehicle placard located in the
same location as the certification label described above. This placard provides tire and loading
information. In addition, this placard will show a statement regarding maximum cargo capacity.
Cargo can be added to the trailer, up to the maximum weight specified on the placard. The
combined weight of the cargo is provided as a single number. In any case, remember: the total
weight of a fully loaded trailer can not exceed the stated GVWR.
When loading your cargo, be sure it is distributed evenly to prevent overloading front to back and
side to side. Heavy items should be placed low and as close to the axle positions as reasonable.
Too many items on one side may overload a tire. The best way to know the actual weight of the
trailer is to weigh it at a public scale. Talk to your dealer to discuss the weighing methods needed
to capture the various weights related to the trailer. This would include the weight empty or
unloaded, weights per axle, wheel, hitch or king-pin, and total weight.
Excessive loads and/or underinflation cause tire overloading and, as a result, abnormal tire
flexing occurs. This situation can generate an excessive amount of heat within the tire. Excessive
heat may lead to tire failure. It is the air pressure that enables a tire to support the load, so proper
inflation is critical. The proper air pressure may be found on the certification/VIN label and/or on
the Tire Placard. This value should never exceed the maximum cold inflation pressure stamped
on the tire.
1.1.1. TRAILERS 10,000 POUNDS GVWR OR LESS

Tire and Loading Information Placard Figure 1-1


1. Locate the statement, The weight of cargo should never exceed XXX kg or XXX lbs., on
your trailers placard. See figure 1-1.
2. This figure equals the available amount of cargo load capacity.
3. Determine the combined weight of cargo being loaded on the trailer. That weight may not
safely exceed the available cargo load capacity.

The Tire Information Placard is attached adjacent to or near the trailers VIN (Certification) label
at the left front of the trailer.
1.1.2. TRAILERS OVER 10,000 POUNDS GVWR (NOTE: These trailers are not required to have
a tire information placard on the trailer.)
1. Determine the empty weight of your trailer by weighing the trailer using a public scale or
other means. This step does not have to be repeated.
2. Locate the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of the trailer on your trailers VIN
(Certification) label.
3. Subtract the empty weight of your trailer from the GVWR stated on the VIN label. That
weight is the maximum available cargo capacity of the trailer and must not be exceeded.

1.2. STEPS FOR DETERMINING CORRECT LOAD LIMIT TOW VEHICLE


1. Locate the statement, The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never
exceed XXX lbs., on your vehicles placard.
2. Determine the combined weight of the driver and passengers who will be riding in your
vehicle.
3. Subtract the combined weight of the driver and passengers from XXX kilograms or XXX
pounds.
4. The resulting figure equals the available amount of cargo capacity. For example, if the
XXX amount equals 1400 lbs. and there will be five 150 lb. passengers in your vehicle,
the amount of available cargo and luggage capacity is 650 lbs. (1400-750 (5 x 150) = 650
lbs.).
5. Determine the combined weight of cargo being loaded on the vehicle. That weight must
not exceed the available cargo capacity calculated in Step # 4.
6. If your vehicle will be towing a trailer, load from your trailer will be transferred to your
vehicle. Consult the tow vehicles manual to determine how this weight transfer reduces
the available cargo and luggage capacity of your vehicle.

1.3. GLOSSARY OF TIRE TERMINOLOGY


Bead - the part of the tire that is made of steel wires, wrapped or reinforced by ply cords
and that is shaped to fit the rim.
Bead separation - the breakdown of the bond between components in the bead.
Bias ply tire - a pneumatic tire in which the ply cords that extend to the beads are laid at
alternate angles substantially less than 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.
Carcass - the tire structure, except tread and sidewall rubber which, when inflated, bears
the load.
Chunking - the breaking away of pieces of the tread or sidewall.
Cold inflation pressure - the pressure in the tire before you drive.
Cord - the strands forming the plies in the tire.
Cord separation - the parting of cords from adjacent rubber compounds.
Cracking - any parting within the tread, sidewall, or inner liner of the tire extending to
cord material.
Curb weight - the weight of a vehicle with standard equipment.
Groove - the space between two adjacent tread ribs.
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) - the maximum weight that any axle can support, as
published on the Certification / VIN label on the front left side of the trailer. Actual weight
determined by weighing each axle on a public scale, with the trailer attached to the
towing vehicle.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) - the maximum weight of the fully loaded trailer,
as published on the Certification / VIN label. Actual weight determined by weighing trailer
on a public scale, without being attached to the towing vehicle.
Tongue Weight - the downward force exerted on the hitch ball or lunette by the trailer
coupler.
Innerliner - the layer(s) forming the inside surface of a tubeless tire that contains the
inflating medium within the tire.

Innerliner separation - the parting of the innerliner from cord material in the carcass.
Light truck (LT) tire - a tire designated by its manufacturer as primarily intended for use
on lightweight trucks or multipurpose passenger vehicles.
Load rating - the maximum load that a tire is rated to carry for a given inflation pressure.
Maximum load rating - the load rating for a tire at the maximum permissible inflation
pressure for that tire.
Maximum permissible inflation pressure - the maximum cold inflation pressure to
which a tire may be inflated.
Maximum loaded vehicle weight - the sum of curb weight, accessory weight, vehicle
capacity weight, and production options weight.
Outer diameter - the overall diameter of an inflated new tire.
Overall width - the linear distance between the exteriors of the sidewalls of an inflated
tire, including elevations due to labeling, decorations, or protective bands or ribs.
Ply - a layer of rubber-coated parallel cords.
Ply separation - a parting of rubber compound between adjacent plies.
Pneumatic tire - a mechanical device made of rubber, chemicals, fabric and steel or
other materials, that, when mounted on an automotive wheel, provides the traction and
contains the gas or fluid that sustains the load.
Radial ply tire - a pneumatic tire in which the ply cords that extend to the beads are laid
at substantially 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.
Recommended inflation pressure - the inflation pressure provided by the vehicle
manufacturer on the Tire Information label and on the Certification / VIN tag.
Rim - a metal support for a tire or a tire and tube assembly upon which the tire beads are
seated.
Rim diameter - the nominal diameter of the bead seat.
Rim size designation - the rim diameter and width.
Rim type designation - the industry of manufacturers designation for a rim by style or
code.
Rim width - the nominal distance between rim flanges.
Sidewall - that portion of a tire between the tread and bead.
Sidewall separation - the parting of the rubber compound from the cord material in the
sidewall.
Special Trailer (ST) tire - the "ST" is an indication the tire is for trailer use only.
Tread - that portion of a tire that comes into contact with the road.
Tread rib - a tread section running circumferentially around a tire.
Tread separation - pulling away of the tread from the tire carcass.
Treadwear indicators (TWI) - the projections within the principal grooves designed to
give a visual indication of the degrees of wear of the tread.
Vehicle maximum load on the tire - the load on an individual tire that is determined by
distributing to each axle its share of the maximum loaded vehicle weight and dividing by
two.
Vehicle normal load on the tire - the load on an individual tire that is determined by
distributing to each axle its share of the curb weight and dividing by 2.

1.4. TIRE SAFETY - EVERYTHING RIDES ON IT


The National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a brochure (DOT HS 809 361)
that discusses all aspects of Tire Safety, as required by CFR 575.6. This brochure is reproduced
in part below. It can be obtained and downloaded from NHTSA, free of charge, from the following
web site: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/TireSafety/ridesonit/tires_index.html
Studies of tire safety show that maintaining proper tire pressure, observing tire and trailer load
limits (not carrying more weight in your trailer than your tires or trailer can safely handle), avoiding
road hazards, and inspecting tires for cuts, slashes, and other irregularities are the most
important things you can do to avoid tire failure, such as tread separation or blowout and flat tires.
These actions, along with other care and maintenance activities, can also:

Improve vehicle handling


Help protect you and others from avoidable breakdowns and accidents
Improve fuel economy
Increase the life of your tires.

This booklet presents a comprehensive overview of tire safety, including information on the
following topics:

Basic tire maintenance


Uniform Tire Quality Grading System
Fundamental characteristics of tires
Tire safety tips.

Use this information to make tire safety a regular part of your trailer maintenance routine.
Recognize that the time you spend is minimal compared with the inconvenience and safety
consequences of a flat tire or other tire failure.

1.5. SAFETY FIRSTBASIC TIRE MAINTENANCE


Properly maintained tires improve the steering, stopping, traction, and load-carrying capability of
your trailer. Underinflated tires and overloaded vehicles are a major cause of tire failure.
Therefore, as mentioned above, to avoid flat tires and other types of tire failure, you should
maintain proper tire pressure, observe tire and trailer load limits, avoid road hazards, and
regularly inspect your tires.
1.5.1. FINDING YOUR TRAILER'S RECOMMENDED TIRE PRESSURE AND LOAD LIMITS
Tire information placards and vehicle certification labels contain information on tires and load
limits. These labels indicate the vehicle manufacturer's information including:

Recommended tire size


Recommended tire inflation pressure
Vehicle capacity weight
Front and rear gross axle weight ratings

Both placards and certification labels are permanently attached to the trailer near the left front.

1.5.2. UNDERSTANDING TIRE PRESSURE AND LOAD LIMITS


Tire inflation pressure is the level of air in the tire that provides it with load-carrying capacity and
affects the overall performance of the trailer. The tire inflation pressure is a number that indicates
the amount of air pressure measured in pounds per square inch (psi) or kilopascals (kpa) a tire
requires to be properly inflated.
This number based on the trailer's design load limit, that is, the greatest amount of weight a trailer
can safely carry and the tire size. The proper tire pressure for your trailer is referred to as the
"recommended cold inflation pressure." (As you will read below, it is difficult to obtain the
recommended tire pressure if your tires are not cold.)
Because tires are designed to be used on more than one type of vehicle, tire manufacturers list
the "maximum permissible inflation pressure" on the tire sidewall. This number is the greatest
amount of air pressure that should ever be put in the tire under normal driving conditions.
1.5.3. CHECKING TIRE PRESSURE
It is important to check your trailer's tire pressure at least once a month for the following reasons:

Most tires may naturally lose air over time.


Tires can lose air suddenly if you drive over a pothole or other object or if you strike the
curb when parking.
With radial tires, it is usually not possible to determine underinflation by visual inspection.

For convenience, purchase a tire pressure gauge to keep with your trailer. Gauges can be
purchased at tire dealerships, auto supply stores, and other retail outlets.
The recommended tire inflation pressure that manufacturers provide reflects the proper psi when
a tire is cold. The term cold does not relate to the outside temperature. Rather, a cold tire is one
that has not been driven on for at least three hours. When you drive, your tires get warmer,
causing the air pressure within them to increase. Therefore, to get an accurate tire pressure
reading, you must measure tire pressure when the tires are cold or compensate for the extra
pressure in warm tires.
1.5.4. STEPS FOR MAINTAINING PROPER TIRE PRESSURE
Step 1: Locate the recommended tire pressure on the trailer's tire information placard,
certification label, or in the owner's manual.
Step 2: Record the tire pressure of all tires.
Step 3: If the tire pressure is too high in any of the tires, slowly release air by gently
pressing on the tire valve stem with the edge of your tire gauge until you get to the
correct pressure.
Step 4: If the tire pressure is too low, note the difference between the measured tire
pressure and the correct tire pressure. These "missing" pounds of pressure are what you
will need to add.
Step 5: Add the missing pounds of air pressure to each tire that is underinflated.
Step 6: Check all the tires to make sure they have the same air pressure (except in cases
in which the front and rear tires are supposed to have different amounts of pressure).
If you have been towing your trailer and think that a tire is underinflated, fill it to the recommended
cold inflation pressure indicated on your trailer's tire information placard or certification label.
While your tire may still be slightly underinflated due to the extra pounds of pressure in the warm
tire, it is safer to drive with air pressure that is slightly lower than the recommended cold inflation
pressure than to drive with a significantly underinflated tire. Since this is a temporary fix, don't
forget to recheck and adjust the tire's pressure when you can obtain a cold reading.

1.5.5. TIRE SIZE


To maintain tire safety, purchase new tires that are the same size as the trailer's original tires or
another size recommended by the manufacturer. Look at the tire information placard, the owner's
manual, or the sidewall of the tire you are replacing to find this information. If you have any doubt
about the correct size to choose, consult with your dealer.
1.5.6. TIRE TREAD
The tire tread provides the gripping action and traction that prevent your trailer from slipping or
sliding, especially when the road is wet or icy. In general, tires are not safe and should be
replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch. Tires have built-in treadwear indicators
that let you know when it is time to replace your tires. These indicators are raised sections
spaced intermittently in the bottom of the tread grooves. When they appear "even" with the
outside of the tread, it is time to replace your tires. Another method for checking tread depth is to
place a penny in the tread with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top
of Lincoln's head, you are ready for new tires.
1.5.7. TIRE BALANCE AND WHEEL ALIGNMENT
To avoid vibration or shaking of the trailer when a tire rotates, the tire must be properly balanced.
This balance is achieved by positioning weights on the wheel to counterbalance heavy spots on
the wheel-and-tire assembly. A wheel alignment adjusts the angles of the wheels so that they are
positioned correctly relative to the trailer's frame. This adjustment maximizes the life of your tires.
These adjustments require special equipment and should be performed by a qualified technician.
1.5.8. TIRE REPAIR
The proper repair of a punctured tire requires a plug for the hole and a patch for the area inside
the tire that surrounds the puncture hole. Punctures through the tread can be repaired if they are
not too large, but punctures to the sidewall should not be repaired. Tires must be removed from
the rim to be properly inspected before being plugged and patched.
1.5.9. TIRE FUNDAMENTALS
Federal law requires tire manufacturers to place standardized information on the sidewall of all
tires. This information identifies and describes the fundamental characteristics of the tire and also
provides a tire identification number for safety standard certification and in case of a recall.
1.5.9.1. UTQGS Information
Treadwear Number - indicates the tire's wear rate. The higher the treadwear number is, the
longer it should take for the tread to wear down. For example, a tire graded 400 should last twice
as long as a tire graded 200.
Traction Letter - indicates a tire's ability to stop on wet pavement. A higher graded tire should
allow you to stop your car on wet roads in a shorter distance than a tire with a lower grade.
Traction is graded from highest to lowest as "AA","A", "B", and "C".
Temperature Letter - indicates a tire's resistance to heat. The temperature grade is for a tire that
is inflated properly and not overloaded. Excessive speed, underinflation or excessive loading,
either separately or in combination, can cause heat build-up and possible tire failure. From
highest to lowest, a tire's resistance to heat is graded as "A", "B", or "C".

1.5.9.2. Information on Light Truck Tires


Please refer to the diagram below.

Tires for light trucks have other markings besides those found on the sidewalls of passenger tires.
LT - indicates the tire is for light trucks or trailers.
ST - indicates the tire is for trailer use only.
Max. Load Dual kg (lbs) at kPa (psi) Cold - indicates the maximum load and tire pressure when
the tire is used as a dual, that is, when four tires are put on each axle.
Max. Load Single kg (lbs) at kPa (psi) Cold - indicates the maximum load and tire pressure
when the tire is used as a single.
Load Range - identifies the tire's load-carrying capabilities and its inflation limits.

1.6. TIRE SAFETY TIPS


Preventing Tire Damage
Slow down if you have to go over a pothole or other object in the road.
Do not run over curbs or other foreign objects in the roadway, and try not to strike the
curb when parking.
Tire Safety Checklist
Check tire pressure regularly (at least once a month), including the spare (if equipped).
Inspect tires for uneven wear patterns on the tread, cracks, foreign objects, or other signs
of wear or trauma.
Remove bits of glass and foreign objects wedged in the tread.
Make sure your tire valves have valve caps.
Check tire pressure before going on a long trip.
Do not overload your trailer. Check the Tire Information and Loading Placard or Owners
Manual for the maximum recommended load for the trailer.