At Gateway Farm: Losing a Wheel on the Roadtrip

It wouldn't be a road trip without a little adventure. See what happen's when a wheel falls off the RuggedMade trailer on the way to the Gateway Farm.

Video Transcript

All right, everyone, RuggedMade road trip. Those are mountains you see, the Green Mountains to be more exact. We are up in Vermont. This is Mike behind the camera and that is Jared. Jared, where’re we headed today? So we're on another road trip, up to visit some new friends. Abby and Trent have this wonderful place up here in Vermont called The Gateway Farm and they do some pretty cool stuff up there. Some sweet stuff as we'll learn a little bit more about later when we get up there, but they also split a lot of firewood. They do a lot of heating and one of their secret ingredients requires a lot of firewood, so we've got a machine up in the back of our rig here that we're bringing up and they're gonna give it a try and see what they think. Should be pretty fun. They've both been on this 300+ acre farm since about 2014 and it sounds like they've just really taken this homesteading thing to a whole new level, so we're excited to spend some time with them. All right. So, we'll see you guys up there. Should be a blast and, yeah, see you at the farm.

There are treasures hidden deep in the Green Mountains of Vermont. If you're not paying attention, you can easily miss them. As we were driving along, we spotted what appeared to be a very old engine. Even though we didn't have a lot of time to spare, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to check out an antique piece of equipment, especially one that was running, so we doubled back. This engine was built in 1913, which makes it 108 years old. As you can see from the beautiful brass plate, it was built by the Stover Engine Works. The Stover is what's known as a hit and miss engine. Just listen to the cool sounds it makes. The machine belongs to a friendly local gentleman who enjoys sharing his passion for keeping these old machines running. We learned that engines like this were widely used from around the turn of the last century until the early 30s. They used belts to power stationary devices such as water pumps, saws, and generators. With a whopping five horsepower on tap, this engine isn't going to be powering any large implements and it weighs nearly 1,000 pounds. It really puts things in perspective. Think of all the jobs we perform with modern six horsepower engines that weigh a mere 35 pounds. Sadly we had to leave our new friend in his nifty machine in order to reach our destination where our other new friends were waiting to receive our nifty machine. Perhaps we'll stop here again someday.

This is where we keep the spare wheels. Yeah. I call this a walk of shame and the tire pops off the trailer two miles from the farm. So, the hub completely failed and it slid right off the spindle. So you say that's less than ideal? It's not up to spec. Yeah, I don't think duct tape and bailing wire is quite gonna take care of this. No, it doesn't look like it. And, look who it is! Trent from Gateway Farm. Hey, guys! You're here to help rescue us. How’s it going? Trent. Nice to meet you. What's up? Trent. Mike. How's it going? Nice to meet you, man. That's better, huh? Yeah. A little bit. We didn't think meeting at the farm was going to be dramatic enough so we wanted to stage something a little more interesting. Yeah. You lost your outer wheel bearing. Yeah. So, yeah, it's lighter now, you know, but when you were dragging, the suspension shot. Yeah, I had to back up about, you know, 50 feet to get back to this spot. Because I was saying torsion, we can try to jack it up and relieve the pressure right here.

That's the culprit, by the way. See that big dent in the road? Came over that. Wheel decided it’d had enough. That was imported from the Boston area where we specialize in potholes and things like that. Yeah. Good, here. Because you're between the axle bracket, that fits up there. If that slides off and, watch yourself for a second, too much stretching. Yeah, the nuts fused on enough that melted the threads and welded the thread, so you can see we're starting to chew up threads right here. Yeah.

So the knots also welded to the race right here. So this is the inner race thing for the outer bearing and it shouldn't be floating in there like that so that also means there's a spun inside this hub which might mean this hub is toast. But, there should be another inner bearing like that on the inside. Yeah. If you think this is all that's left of it after heat and lack of lubrication we've worn it down and we think that that race and this nut are all partially welded on to each other and to the axle.

So, what we're gonna do is we're gonna try to strap it again and then we're gonna change out the ball hitch on the truck with mine because mine sits 2.5” lower. So, because the back of the trailer is hanging low and we want to keep this axle up off the ground, not dragging, Trent had the idea of using more of a drop hitch compared to what we have to get the nose of the trailer down more. Right now, it's a game of inches. How do we get tension on it? I think if we can get it as tight as we possibly can, once we let the jack down, you just go to the back side there and try to pull that chain as much as you can. Maybe get a partial link out of it or something. All right. Let's see what that does. I like your idea of dropping the nose as much as possible. Yeah. So that gets you down. That might do it. So, that at least gets you so you can milk it to my house.

We are off the ground and, I believe, we're road-ready. Am I wrong? Oh, yeah. I think we could probably make it, you know, the three miles to the farm and then the 300 miles back, I'll say, on this makeshift contraption.


All right. What are we doing now? We are replacing the wheel bearings so you guys can make it home out of this hillbilly country. Got ourselves the new race and barons in. All packed of grease. We'll get the castle nut started.


Well, here we are the next morning and Trent did a fantastic job helping getting our trailer repaired. Had to chase down some hard-to-find bearings and, yeah, odds and ends, but, yeah, it came out great. So we might actually be able to get home, fingers crossed! So, thanks a lot for your help. No problem. That's all your way around trailers. Not your first trailer bearing. No.