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roof fairing came off


Stuart Wagner
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Been towing heavy trucks for 23 years and i was towing a newer Peterbilt day cab with a roof fairing air foil backwards for 5 miles at 35 mph and woosh, it flew off and landed in the road in a million pieces. I didn't look at it close prior to towing, but after the fact there are 2 long strut bars from the top of the fairing to above the rear window that are mounted with a 7/16 bolt in the back of the cab in a threaded insert. Well that bolt had been previously sheared off and someone tried drilling it out crooked and gave up and drilled (2) 1/8" holes in the tin to mount that strut bar, needless to say those 2 small screws couldn't hold on. Any of you guys lose a fairing towing backwards? Doing tractor swaps I always try to tow them backwards.

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Stuart … the roof spoiler and side air deflectors turn into a giant sail when towed backwards and they tend to be the least thought about when you are in a rush or loading in a dangerous location ...

I lost a roof spoiler years ago where the support brackets were rusted away but the customer blamed me for not checking and ultimately I had to pick up the tab …. fortunately it didn't hit anyone or anything 

Since then,  I have always made sure and instructed my guys to double check and strap down if necessary even if the job takes a bit longer,  ultimately the extra time goes on the job.

 

John. 

 

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Most vehicles, from four wheelers to big trucks have become accustomed to producing things on the cheap side of quality. Where steel once was used, many manufacturers now use plastic or cheap alloyed metal. Sorry that happened to you, hope nobody was hurt, and no additional property damage occurred. Be safe .

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  • 3 weeks later...

sorry to hear that happened to you. i feel we all have had things like that happen to us at some point in our careers. as a professional, you always try to look everything over good before you pull off but something like your fairing braces getting cobbed up by someone is something easily overlooked. my dad always used to say "nothings designed to go down the highway backwards"  as time has wore on, and things like that have happened to me, i finally have been agreeing with the old mans way of thinking...

PROFESSIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY IS NOT JUST A JOB.. IT IS A LIFESTYLE

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 6:21 PM, Stuart Wagner said:

Been towing heavy trucks for 23 years and i was towing a newer Peterbilt day cab with a roof fairing air foil backwards for 5 miles at 35 mph and woosh, it flew off and landed in the road in a million pieces. I didn't look at it close prior to towing, but after the fact there are 2 long strut bars from the top of the fairing to above the rear window that are mounted with a 7/16 bolt in the back of the cab in a threaded insert. Well that bolt had been previously sheared off and someone tried drilling it out crooked and gave up and drilled (2) 1/8" holes in the tin to mount that strut bar, needless to say those 2 small screws couldn't hold on. Any of you guys lose a fairing towing backwards? Doing tractor swaps I always try to tow them backwards.

Almost 20 years, hundreds of rear tows and I lost my first fairing tonight. Upper drivers side on 15 Cascadia. Tore it off. All that is left is the mounting hardware and pieces of fiberglass at each mounting point. I try to take a good look at everything before going down the road. But what looks fine. Might have damage you cannot see. i.e. stress cracks or what not. Plus at that height. Short of using a ladder to climb up and inspect them thoroughly . If it is not obvious, What can you do?

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8 hours ago, HDTowOP said:

Almost 20 years, hundreds of rear tows and I lost my first fairing tonight. Upper drivers side on 15 Cascadia. Tore it off. All that is left is the mounting hardware and pieces of fiberglass at each mounting point. I try to take a good look at everything before going down the road. But what looks fine. Might have damage you cannot see. i.e. stress cracks or what not. Plus at that height. Short of using a ladder to climb up and inspect them thoroughly . If it is not obvious, What can you do?

Thats a pretty good record in my opinion, lol. in 23 years ive lost two and damaged one. It sucks when it happens and im sorry to hear it happened to you. ive gone as far as to strap over and even tightly tarp them for long trips but then theres the possibility of scratches and chaffing from the straps and tarp. its a damned if you do, damned if you dont kinda situation. 

PROFESSIONAL TOWING & RECOVERY IS NOT JUST A JOB.. IT IS A LIFESTYLE

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  • 3 weeks later...

I hate to hear that happened to you. For the longest time we could tow from the rear with no worries. In my opinion- those days are gone. Years ago I worked as a recovery agent for a truck sales company. I would go all over the country and repossess trucks from owners who had defaulted on loans. I towed pretty much every single one of those trucks from the rear- all across the country- and never lost any parts. These days- I petty much refuse to rear tow- unless I have to.
The way trucks are made now- they are plastic and glue. Mirrors have plastic covers, fairings are plastic, skirts are plastic, etc. Hood straps that barely hold a hood down when going forward- let alone from the rear. Even the cabs/sleepers aren't built the way they used to be. Hell, these days- most trucks we have to rollover- the cab and sleepers are coming off. Many trucks need you to secure the cab to the frame to keep from damaging the cab airbags during the tow. Trucks just aren't built the way they used to be.
We all have customers that want us to rear tow and some of the guys I work with will only front tow if they have to. But at the end of the day- if I am gonna foot the bill for a damaged fairing or lost mirror cover, or anything else that might blow off because some engineer decided to glue it on or use plastic instead of metal- I am going to front tow it. Sure- I can strap the fairings- mirrors, etc- but I can drop a shaft in 5 or 6 minutes. Just my preference.

Sent from my LM-Q710(FGN) using TowForce mobile app

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