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Old 03-17-2016, 11:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaMan View Post
I think you may have gotten some bad advice. The braking system just has to be controlled from drivers seat and has to work simultaneously with the tow vehicles brakes. Surge brake systems fall into this category.



To the OP, I have an ACME and like the way it's built and features. It's going to make it's maiden voyage next Thursday hauling a Honda Civic on our way to FL.

here is the statute

Except as provided in paragraph 4.1, every
trailer or semitrailer of a gross weight of over 3,000
pounds, when operated upon a highway must be equipped
with brakes adequate to control the movement of, to stop
and to hold such vehicle, and designed so as to be
operable by the driver of the towing vehicle from its
cab. Such brakes must be so designed and connected that
in case of an accidental breakaway of a towed vehicle
over 5,000 pounds, the brakes are automatically applied.

They are describing the trailer brakes, I don't see how trailer surge brakes are able to be applied from the cab. The tow vehicle service brakes must be used for surge brakes to work. They do not define or include the tow vehicle in the description. The IETA has an article on this very issue. An independent brake controller is required in Illinois.

http://illinoistruckcops.org/?p=6581. Here is link to the article.
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Old 03-18-2016, 05:54 AM   #22
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That's pretty much common language in all states, and by pressing in the brake pedal you actuate the trailer brakes. You're reading more into than what it really means.


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Old 03-18-2016, 08:10 AM   #23
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I agreed. By stepping on the vehicle brake, the driver is controlling the trailer brake, and if the dolly should become disconnected, the safety chain auto applied the surge brakes. What happens with electric brakes if the trailer pulls away? Safe to assume they have a safety device as well?
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Old 03-18-2016, 05:53 PM   #24
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Acme tow dolly

We towed our 2015 Mini Cooper almost 5,000 miles this last winter without a hitch. Wait that sounded stupid. It was hitched to motorhome. Surge brakes worked very well, although the mini is pretty light. Non locking steering no issue. Dolly tires look like they never left the driveway. Low profile makes low slung cars easy to load without scraping and eliminating fixed ramps, less chance of damage to rocker panels. Money was not the issue, just wanted the best available for my needs. One thing I did was, and hope I can make this clear enough, was center the car exactly on the dolly and marked base on each side of the tires. Tack welded 1" diameter pipe to dolly frame. This way when you drive on you are centered every time and no chance of car sliding sideways for any reason. Because of the way the car is built, the safety chains are a real problem to attach to frame. I installed Large grade 8 eye bolts on outer side of wheels on frame and purchased 2,4000# nylon 1" wide rigging straps with loops sewn on each end in about a 16" length to run from outer eye bolts through wheels to inside where I connect safety chain to other end of strap. Worked great and no damage to wheels. Sorry for long post, but on a side note I was told that if you are legal in your home state for lighting, brakes, etc. you are pretty much good to go anywhere. Happy towing.
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:23 PM   #25
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I should also mention, the ACME is all welded with very few bolts and superior coupler and lighting.
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:53 PM   #26
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Thank you for you input... we have a 2010 VW convertible and the steering locks... I think I can start it and turn it off and leave the key in and the steering remains unlocked but am not sure it is 100% safe to do so...that is the only reason I am hesitating ordering the ACME at this time.
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Old 03-21-2016, 04:51 PM   #27
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I've owned both

ACME - The towed vehicle needs to have the steering column unlocked as some of the pivoting is done by turning the front wheels of the car. If you exceed the radius, it will skid the dolly tires, not a big deal, I wouldn't use the ACME for a lot of city towing (lot of turns), but its great for highway.

DEMCO - SWIVEL PLATE - No need to leave the keys in the ignition, in fact, I've seen rear wheel drive vehicles being towed backwards .

I like the Acme because I take the ramps off so I don't worry about them hitting anything, also I think fender clearance is much better with the Acme because of the smaller wheels.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:26 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waiter21 View Post
I've owned both

ACME - The towed vehicle needs to have the steering column unlocked as some of the pivoting is done by turning the front wheels of the car. If you exceed the radius, it will skid the dolly tires, not a big deal, I wouldn't use the ACME for a lot of city towing (lot of turns), but its great for highway.

DEMCO - SWIVEL PLATE - No need to leave the keys in the ignition, in fact, I've seen rear wheel drive vehicles being towed backwards .

I like the Acme because I take the ramps off so I don't worry about them hitting anything, also I think fender clearance is much better with the Acme because of the smaller wheels.
So I am going to tow a VW Beetle ..... is the ACME dolly a little smaller than the DEMCO? I just looked at a DEMCO and it is almost $1,000 more and seems quite large to me. Thanks
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:57 PM   #29
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The Acme is wide, I suspect the same width as the Demco
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