Towing an OVERSIZE Mobile Trailer with a Tractor and Rotator

Mobile homes are a way of life for many people. The bigger the trailer, the homelier the feel. Unfortunately, bigger trailers are also much harder to transport from one site to another. What else? The longer the trailer sits in one spot, the more prone it is to environmental factors. Over time, corrosion, rust, and sheer weight degrade the trailer’s condition making it very difficult to deem roadworthy and transport. Mobile mechanics are often called to fix the trailer in its current the spot before it can be transported.

Trailer winching done by a rotator Trailer hooked up to a tractor

The owner of this massive mobile home trailer had initially purchased it as a temporary refuge while their house was being repaired after a housefire. Here’s where the issue stems. The trailer was brought to the site before the home and farm were built. Hence, whoever brought the trailer in had no issue bringing it to the site because there was lots of open land around. Since then, the owner created a narrow unpaved driveway, and built a house and farm on either side of the trailer. Across the house was a hydro pole, providing power to all the houses in the area. With soft soil on either side of the driveway, a hydro pole right behind, and the trailer’s 80-foot length, simply using a tractor to back this out of the driveway and onto the main road was not an option.

 Tow operators discuss winching strategy

What initially seemed like a tow job has now become a mission. Tractor driver Marcus Rowan would not be able to handle this by himself. Heavy tow operator John Allen was called in to help. The plan was simple, yet risky. Marcus Rowan would use his tractor to reverse the trailer onto the main road. As he did this, John Allen would winch the tractor sideways from its axle, increasing the turning radius of the trailer as it backs up.

Winch is attached to mobile home trailer Tractor reverses onto the road and winch pulls trailer

Marcus gets in his truck and starts rolling in reverse slowly. As he moves a few feet at a time, John Allen winches the trailer’s axles so it is more angled. As Marcus backs up, John Allen keeps an eye on the edge of the road and the hydro pole – trying to winch sideways to clear both obstacles. Being an old trailer with rusted and corroded axles, John needs to be very careful while winching. Pulling too hard on the winch could damage the axles and cause the trailer to collapse. At the same time, John needed to be a bit aggressive winching due to the lack of reversing space behind the trailer.

Tractor reverses onto the road and winch pulls trailer Trailer backs up onto the edge of the road

As the trailer got closer to the hydro pole, the situation started getting dangerous. Knocking the hydro pole would cause it to fall, and damage the cables – cutting out power to hundreds of people along the rural town’s corridor. Moreover, getting the wheels too close to the edge of the road would pull Marcus’ tractor and trailer into the ditch, potentially damaging both. Fortunately, Marcus was able to back up the trailer to the point where its eavestrough was just touching the pole. Because the tractor and trailer were rolling backward due to the slope, Marcus had to lock his truck’s wheels and pull forward so John could clear the pole.

Trailer backs up to the edge of the road Trailer gets very close to the hydro pole

Once they cleared the pole, Marcus had to work on steering his truck onto the narrow road, which proved challenging because of the length of the tractor and trailer. After accomplishing this successfully, he pulled forward and parked along the side of the road. Now that the hard part was done, Marcus prepared for his 200-kilometer trip from Schomberg to Bancroft, where the new buyer of the trailer was located.

Trailer gets very close to the hydro pole

Most of our tow jobs are handled by one tow operator on site. But when things look complicated, you need the power of two trucks to take on sophisticated towing jobs. In this job, John couldn’t have towed or winched the trailer without Marcus backing it up onto the main road. And Marcus couldn’t have backed the tractor up safely without John winching it sideways. So for the most complicated jobs, our clients are happy they can call one company that can take care of every aspect of the job. So whether it’s a heavy duty tow, lift, winch, recovery or haul, Abrams Towing has the experience to get it all done.