Cap’n Dave over at Cap’s Dave’s Marina Services called about 3 p.m. on Saturday and said they had one side of our boat trailer repaired and would have the other one done by 5 p.m.
When we got there, he said “There is good news and bad news.” The good news was that they had the springs on the back axle replaced with new parts and the boat and trailer were ready to go. It was a 24 hour turn around on the trailer which had broke down on the McCown Valley ramp on Friday afternoon. The bad news was that the front axle and what I think he called was the yoke between the axles were in as bad of shape as the springs and shackles on the back axle. And.. the wheel rim was no longer reliable and probably should be replaced. He had put the tire on the wheel rim for the spare and the spare on the bad rim.
This is what we had looked like on the ramp Friday afternoon around 3 p.m. What you can’t see is the thumb sized grove that had been removed from the back of the wheel there.
Here are some pictures of the spring and shackles after they were removed.
The spring appeared to have been broken for a while.. it was rusty at the break. The shackles and bolts were all worn, the bolt holes in the shackles were all elongated and the bolts had worn to the extent that they were egg shaped rather than round in some cases. The shims were gone… worn through. Not shown was a plate welded to the axle that held the springs in the correct position had also broken away from the axle.
Cap’n Dave advised that while the springs and shackles had been replaced, the alignment needed to be checked and then there was the front axle shackles and springs… those shackles as well as the connecting yoke needed to be replaces, especially the yokes. He advised that all the shackles had been loose. I noted there were no grease fittings on any of the shackles…. iron on iron.
My trailer is 7 years old and generally you could say that it only makes the 100 mile round trip to Whitney from Burleson a couple of times a week. My guess is that all those years of rough road between Cleburne and Whitney were responsible for all the wear and tear. I really can’t even guess how long the spring had been broken. Cap’n Dave advised that I get the trailer repaired as soon as possible.
If you are down Whitney way and have issues, and I hope you don’t, Speedway Towing came right on out Friday afternoon. They were especially careful with the boat and trailer and were very cautious to avoid any damage to the boat, motor or trailer. Cap’n Dave and Cap’n Dave’s Marine Services turned the boat and trailer around in about 24 hours…. He gave me an estimate for the cost and that is what it cost. The turn around was much better than he had promised as he had been cautious about the time required to obtain the parts. All in all, while it was a tough day on the lake and a worse day on the ramp we did OK… And, I didn’t emphasize how fortunate we were…. As I removed the jammed wheel from the trailer, (it was stuck) the trailer fell off the jack. It didn’t hit me or anything else and didn’t damage anything. VERY FORTUNATE! Then, when we unhooked the trailer from the pickup, the wheels on the trailer weren’t chocked. The trailer rolled 6 inches or so toward the lake as it was sitting on the incline of the ramp… fortunately, the wheel on the trailer tongue turned sideways and the trailer stopped rolling before it could get up a head of steam and roll down into the lake…. VERY FORTUNATE!
The bill for this little incident came to nearly $600… an expensive day on the lake. At least we had a senior’s annual pass for the park day use and the admission will amount to little more than pennies. The bad news is that we still need more repairs… I need to find a spring and brake place to work on the front axle and do an alignment on both axles.
Here are some phone numbers should you ever need them… Both have 24 hour service.
Speedway Towing in Whitney, Texas: 254-694-4419
Cap’n Dave’s Marine Service in Whitney, Texas: 254-694-0808.
Cap’n Dave also operates the Rescue Boat Service on Lake Whitney. That service is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round. Of course he has a boat service shop as well. I figure the next time one of those jet ski rigs flags me down wanting a tow back to a marina… I will just give them Cap’n Dave’s phone number…. or call him for them.