Trailer Hold-Down

Get help and help others restore and enjoy driving/touring in horseless carriages
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:46 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Trailer Hold-Down

Post by MochetVelo » Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:30 pm

Most vintage cars get hauled around in trailers. Aside from the type and size of trailer needed, the tie-down method it equally important. To me, logic dictates a "straight" tie-down which uses ratchet straps directly to the floor hooks. I think this is how they hold down vehicles in the military. Here is the logic: If you use a "cross-over" tie down (the left side strapped to the right side of the trailer floor), the car would seem to be firmly held in place. However, imagine the strap to the car's right side breaks or loosens. There is nothing to keep the car from moving to the right where it might hit the trailer wall. With the straps perpendicular to the axle with a loose strap, the car will tend to remain in position.

The "criss-cross" method:
Tie Down 1.jpg
Tie Down 1.jpg (71.21 KiB) Viewed 7142 times
The "straight" method:
Tie Down 2.JPG
Tie Down 2.JPG (59.04 KiB) Viewed 7142 times
Here is a nice hold-down accessory if you like the "wheel net" style hold-downs. These attach to the wheels rather than the axles. The type you often see is not large enough for the early cars, and can slip off. This type is adjustable to the wheel size:
Tie Down 3.jpg
Tie Down 3.jpg (54.95 KiB) Viewed 7142 times

Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Morristown, NJ

Re: Trailer Hold-Down

Post by oldcarfudd » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:48 pm

I use nets from Mac's Custom Tiedowns. I have some sized for 30x3 or 30x3-1/2 tires, and others for 33x4 tires. The two sets are different colors so I can't screw them up. I have airline tracks in my trailer mounted 56" apart, so I just drive my cars in on top of the tracks and tie the tires straight down to the tracks. My one wide-track (60") car doesn't seem to mind that the tie-downs exert a slight inward pressure when the tires straddle the tracks.

Another big advantage of this system comes when you're hauling two cars at once. There's not much room between the cars, and trying to fit criss-cross tie downs in between them isn't fun. With wheel nets, I can do the whole operation from the sides of the cars. Then when I get where I'm going, my tie-downs don't drop onto the trailer floor between the cars and get covered in drippings.

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder

Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:45 pm

Re: Trailer Hold-Down

Post by Jewarjone » Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:49 am

I like to pul soft material around the axles and attach the hold down straps to the axles so hat the springs still work and the shocks from high speed travel in the trailer are not transmitted directly to the car body. I tie my top bows on my touring to the rear irons with small pieces of rope so that the folded top doesn't bounce up and down every time I travel over a large bump. The leather straps work too if they are I good condition.

Post Reply