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Garbage Trucks in General?


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Topic Created on Tow411 in 2012 by Reds r53_1559570274.gif:


I see a lot of conversation of towing garbage trucks/packers etc on here and even though there alot more common in the bigger cities we still see them in the midwest, my question is I've read alot on rear towing these units but I've always wondered how that would be done as any garbage truck i've had to move has always rolled down the road on ones with rearend issues we pull axles etc the normal stuff but if there out there pictures of rear tows on the front loads and just your average everyday conventional garbage truck.   Thanks


svcmgrnow said:

Is the question 'How' or 'Why'??

..."my question is I've read alot on rear towing these units but I've always wondered how that would be done as any garbage truck i've had to move has always rolled down the road on ones with rearend issues we pull axles etc the normal stuff "........

I've towed one or two from the rear over the years, and if there isn't a critical problem (i.e. burned up wheel bearing, broken spring pack, broken axle housing, broken trunion or walking beam) it's not really worth the risk involved. It is not the same as towing an empty dump truck from the rear weight-wise, and you need a lot of truck and an experienced operator to get it done safely, and that's when they're empty. More truck and more operator required when they've got weight in them. 

Front end trucks can normally be forked on the frame or at the tag axle if equipped....................








Rear loaders are all different, usually use chain forks or end caps, aluminum angle and wood, run the chains under the hopper to a secure part of the chassis, either crossmember, frame rails, or pat of the rear suspension........










Towgodess14 said:

These trucks had a cracked rearend housing. Not my first choice to tow but it can be done.They are heavy and you have to be stretched out a lot to clear. One of the big issues is over loading the front axle of the trash truck. Heavy to begin with, load transfer makes it far worse. Height is also something to watch out for.








Unknown member said:

I prefer to remove the dot bumpers and tow bar them with end caps at the end of the frame rails. Chains ran forward to what ever you can get. Less weight on the tow truck. Be careful on expeditors rear towing you are transferring a lot of weight forward and the ends of the front frame rails are very weak. They break off just driving down the road.We get a damage waiver signed before rear towing them even thou we do all there towing.


Reds r53_1559570274.gif said:

The ones I was referring to is the type with the barrel back like the single axle and the green tandem I would like some close ups on the hook-ups.  I get the grab the frame/crossmember something solid but how the chains come around to the tow-bar I'm guessing is what's used. can a guy run the chains right on the barrel or do you need to crib it somewhere? Had one a few weeks back that grenaded the rear axle houseing and pulling axles was a ... hookin from the rear would've been quicker easier I've just never done it and don't want any problems if/when I do do it.   Thanks


lad12der said:

Yes on the rear loaders you can grab and section of frame. ( I grab from in front of the front rear)   Then up under the belly of the hopper and then up to chain forks.  Depending on whats on the back of the hopper you then can either use a piece of angle iron or atleast old mud flaps and sling the truck.   If the hopper has tippers or such on the back you can still sling them you just have to ensure none of the lines are pinched etc.   Sorry I don't have any pics on hand,  I'm sure Mr Jason most likly has em.  Next one I get I will try to photograph.


svcmgrnow said:

Is it just me, or is this the only topic on this entire forum in nano-font?? wtf?? My eyes are bad enough......lol

First, make sure the turnbuckles that hold the hopper against the rear of the body are tight and in good condition. Chain routing under the hopper is nothing special, they can usually handle the weight of being 'cradled' like that but if there are weak points 4x6's are handy. The back is where it gets tricky. At the least I usually have to remove the inner lights and grommets so my angle iron doesn't damage them and a 4x6 under the rear lip helps spread the weight out across the back. The ones with hydraulic can tippers are even trickier, some un-towable, some not. You're going to have to figure those out. It can be done, and I have pics, but no way I'm posting them on here because my sanity would be questioned...........

The fact is that regardless of the type of failure (springs, bearing, housing) or location (left or right, front or rear tandem) most can be towed from the front with some work, some chains, some wood and a tire guy. All they have to do is roll........that's what I do when they're loaded.


Couple More Three-Leggers, Bad Front Paws


Had two of these in the last week. First one had the wheel bearing fail on the front left tandem, walked the wheels/hub/axle out a foot or so. Driver stopped driving it when truck stopped moving in the middle of a busy resedential neighborhood. Apx 3/4 loaded with yard waste. No action pics, too busy dodging angry home owners that think their trash magically disappears after being placed at the curb!! Lfted the rear and blocked up rear tandem, removed wheels from front axle and slid hub/drum assy back over brake shoes as far as it would go with brakes released. Set parking brake and blocked off air line so brake shoes would hold the hub in as I came down the road. Gently towed back home.














Second unit broke down in the left turn lane into the landfill, broken spring bucket on right front tandem, and needless to say, they don't go to the landfill empty!! Lifted rear, blocked front and rear axles on right side, and hooked from front. Eased on to the scale, truck came in at 62,240lbs, then off to the top of the hill to give birth!











Front tandem.......once load was off, there was no weight on this block, was removed for tow back to customer's shop.



Up to the top of the hill.............





Truck is dilated and ready to give birth........





Ahhhh, much better now, time to go home.....................



ATR1 said:

are you just lifting from under the back door flat on the crossbar, had one the other day and would have made it easier to get the wheels off and axle blocked but didn't trust the back of the body


svcmgrnow said:

Yeah, those particular Leach bodies are stout, but definitely worth checking the turnbuckles securing the hopper to the body prior to lifting.


Eric Smith aka Just Another Hooker said:

Ahh yes, From the top of Brown station the view is great !!! On a clear day, you can see the White House.


srvmgrnow said:

Had this one last week, front end truck out on the D.C. Beltway, right side wheel bearing on rear tandem trashed, loaded with cardboard. Jacked up rear and removed wheels, lucked out w/hole in subframe for hydraulic lines and ran 2 3/8's grade 80 chains/binders, then blocked up front tandem. Could not find an oak 2x4 on my truck to save my life, had to improvise with a random pull pin to make up difference between frame stop and my handy-dandy Mack frame stop channel, limped off Beltway and back to customer's yard, apx. 8mi. @ 30mph max speed. Customer happy, but not as happy as I was to remove from the back of my truck!!

Customer: Just a little light cardboard on her...........
Me: A little light cardboard doesn't make its own gravy............especially in front of the tandems!




Old school hook up - chains under front axle, over tie rod, hooked into frame behind rear spring hanger so I could keep her as close to the ground as possible.



Sometimes you just get lucky when you need to..........



Pretty? No. Pretty effective? Oh yeah.



Concern about that pin moving? Well I know that gravity is only a theory, but I'm a firm believer!



No style points but got her from A to B.



capptow said:

nice tow. With all the time you spent under that packer i bet your glad it wasnt 100 degrees and magot soup.



ratif3 said:

Been there, Done that!!! good job!


Brinkleys said:

Looks good to me. Common sense is great tool to have in ur box. Firm believer in gravity as well.


mrbill said:

A well thought out plan congrats


Jerrys Road Service said:

Thats thinking outside the box


Just Another Hooker said:

See I told you could do it !! Now lets go see Dr Powell and his magic blocks. emoticonthumb.gif

                                                                                               Eric S.


svcmgrnow said:

Yeah, this getting old crap sucks, the mind needs jump starting every now and then, thanks for letting me bounce some ideas off you. Really, with one small oak 2x4 (now available at the local Int dealer, and coincidentally now in stock on my truck!), it would have been perfect and I could have collected "style" points!! lol Don't think the good Dr. has his blocks anymore, but I kind of prefer spreading the weight out with the oak anyway. 


Towmanjc said:

Do you tow them the same way if the are grossed out?? I had a tri-axle rear loader with the right rear with a bad wheel bearing. I got off the road until mechanic can look at it..The one I got has walking beam suspension..
Any ideas??


svdngrnow said:

Yeah, same deal. This one was probably in the 55K-57K GVW range but I've had 'em heavier. Getting that front tandem blocked up really well is the important part, that's achieved by jacking the rear axle up as high as possible when removing the wheels and chaining it up, then block up the front and let it down. Not a pleasant tow but gets the job done.


I was asked to clarify something on this tow as it affected another tow company here locally last week. My customer diagnosed this breakdown as a brake problem; it wasn't until I took a little closer look that I realized the severity of the issue (gear oil all over underside of body, brake shoes 1/2" out of drum were real obvious signs). Never take what your customer tells you as fact when it comes to wheel/brake problems, it can end up like this:




Or if your looking for real headaches, like this:





Yeah, that's Heat 'N Glo alright, misdiagnosed by both customer and tower as brake problem and I can only assume costly to both!


From what I understand, boys from Montgomery County Fire Dept. responded to this vehicle up in Gaithersburg due to right rear being "en fuego", at which point tow service was called by owner to bring back to PG. I can only assume everyone involved thought it was a brake issue because a) all the brake chambers had been pinned, no sign of air run to truck, and b) who in their right mind would tow a packed out front end truck from the front from Gaithersburg to Bladensburg on a bad rear wheel bearing?? Either way, made it to the DC Beltway @ Riggs Rd. before it required serious attention from the PG Fire Dept. From what the people at the repair shop told me (and from the marks on the packer body subframe) unit reached it's destination being towed from the rear off the Beltway?!?!? Bet that wasn't a fun tow, ICC bar still intact so tall forks and stands would've been needed, as well as a large set of balls...........unit is loaded heavy.


MTA412 said:

WOW! I don't see no way in hell the steer tires/king pins/spring shackles would hold up under the weight of a rear tow. I smell a RGN in that trucks future!!!





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