Trailer Jack Accidents

Trailer jack investigations often focus on the condition of the snap ring and whether or not it had been properly installed.


Trailer jacks are designed to withstand extreme vertical loading but are often subjected to unforeseen lateral loading conditions as the user attempts to maneuver the trailer onto or off of a trailer hitch. In many popular trailer jack designs, these lateral forces act on a single snap ring, or retaining ring, which holds the jack in place on the trailer. Failure of this snap ring could allow the tongue of a loaded trailer to fall to the ground, potentially injuring an unsuspecting user.

In cases in which a trailer jack becomes separated from the trailer, the investigation often focuses on the condition of the snap ring and whether or not it had been properly installed. Force analysis and exemplar testing can further determine the lateral loading conditions necessary to separate the trailer jack from the trailer.

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Since 1982, Knott Laboratory has been providing comprehensive forensic engineering and computer animation services to reconstruct accidents.

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Our forensic engineers are experts in accident reconstruction, failure analysis and cause & origin. Our forensic engineers work directly with our in-house animation department to create state-of-the-art forensic animations for use in court, arbitration, mediation or settlement negotiations.

Richard M. Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E.

President & CEO, Principal Mechanical Engineer

(303) 925-1900
rziernicki@knottlab.com

Ben T. Railsback, M.S., P.E.

Director of Mechanical Engineering

(303) 925-1900
brailsback@knottlab.com

Steve D. Knapp, P.E., CFEI, CVFI

Senior Engineer

(303) 925-1900
sknapp@knottlab.com

William H. Pierce, P.E.

Senior Engineer

(303) 925-1900
wpierce@knottlab.com

Ricky L. Nguyen, M.S., P.E.

Mechanical Engineer

(303) 925-1900
rnguyen@knottlab.com

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