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Dump trailer decisions

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Joesell, May 22, 2014.

  1. Joesell

    Joesell ArboristSite Guru

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    I thought I had a used dump trailer locked down a few weeks ago, but the guy wanted to play games. So the search continues.

    I've been looking for a used one, but everyone seems to think that their ratted out, 10 yr old, rusty, leaking, worn out trailer is worth $1000 less then new.

    The more I look, the better a new one seems.

    I'll be bumper pulling it with a 3/4 ton Dodge w/a Cummins. I'll be using it for more than firewood.

    I'm leaning towards a Load Trail 14', 14,000 lbs, scissor lift, 2' sides with stake pockets, dexter axles, ramps, tarp, 2 way charger, 3 way doors, 10 ga floor and walls, I beam frame.

    Anything listed could be changed if there's reason, and that's why I'm asking. I don't want to get one and wish I would've done something different. So here's a couple things I'm not sure about.

    1. Should I spend a little bit more and get a 16'er? I don't want to kick myself over 2' and a couple hundred dollars.

    2. Deck over or Low pro? I'm really leaning towards a deck over. I know it's higher with a steeper loading angle for the skidder or ztr, but it seems like the deck over comes with 7' ramps instead of 6'ers. If it's to steep, I could lift the bed a little to make the angle better. The good part is being able to side load attachments, pallets, or whatever. They also have better ground clearance when pulling off road. Is there a down side?

    3. Am I making the right decision going with a scissor lift over the twin rams? I've seen a few trailers with the twin rams stall out at the beginning of the lift. It seems like the geometry is wrong. I don't have experience with a scissor lift, but I haven't read anything bad about them. Most people say they're great all around.

    I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Any insight or suggestions are welcome.
     
  2. firebrick43

    firebrick43 Life is all about big saws

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    This will be a gooseneck right?

    I much prefer rough cut white oak for floors. Especially with loading equipment, much better traction. Also especially if your dumping material into the bed it can dent steel more so than oak (easier to replace if it is damaged. )

    Of course if your hauling sticky clay soil and such the metal floor is better.

    Bigger trailer, well it's to 14k is already to big for the truck. Unless you haul light fluffy material I wouldn't.

    I suggest to every one with this size of trailer, get 8000 torsion oil bath axles. 17.5 tires even better. Pull better, better fuel economy, and less maintence. 7000 lbs axles typically have 3500 lbs capacity tires and you will be loaded heavy one one axle or another from time to time. Also typically dump trailer get backed or turned sharply while loaded and I have noticed trailers this size with the 235-80r-16 tires eat them up. At least get 14 ply tires.
     
  3. Joesell

    Joesell ArboristSite Guru

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    It won't be a goose neck.

    I do realize that a 14K trailer is over the limit. I'm interested in a bigger one more for the size and resale value of the trailer.

    That's a good point on the axles and tires. I'll have to see what the up charge would be.

    The wood floor would be nice, but I plan to move dirt and stone as well as wood.
     
  4. TC262

    TC262 ArboristSite Operative

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    My .02
    Resale actually goes down if you go bigger than a 14'. Not as many buyers with enough truck, guys with half tons will still pull a 14'. To me 7k axels are the way to go. Parts are cheap for them. My 10k oil bath axels cost an arm and a leg. The scissor is much better than twin rams. Low pro is much easier to side load by hand. I'd have trouble side loading a deck over with my tiny tractor. If yours is bigger not a big deal. You get a taller pile when dumping a deck over. Lower cg, better handling with the low pro and much safer feeling when loading equipment.
     
  5. TC262

    TC262 ArboristSite Operative

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    Around here I can buy a complete replacement 7k axel and leaf springs for $300. I can't do a brake job on my 10k for that.
     
  6. Butch(OH)

    Butch(OH) Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A lot of the questions you are asking are just plain personal preference or use issues, I know what mine are but that likely doesnt fit you or your usage. As for new VS used you are right on, 5 year old half rotted trailers are the worst buy in dump trailers. A good thing to do is to resist the temptation to take it out on the salt to make $50 or spend whatever it takes to get it undercoated. I own 5 trailers now and not one of them goes on the road while they are white with salt, I take some ribbing for that but the oldest is 12 years old now and not rotted out in any way. Building trailers is a darned competitive business and with the bulk of them are sold to people who look at 3 things, Price, how long and GVW in that order. Thus the Mfgs have to cheapen everything in order to get the price to where it ends with 999 instead of 125 if you get my drift? SO, the axle upgrade option is always a good one. There has been a lot of BS posted on hoist type and I have set back and kept my trap shut but truth of the matter is just because buyer A has hoist type B and it wont raise his loads that does not speak about the hoist type! What it does speak about is how much they cheapened the trailer for the price shoppers. Either type hoist, if properly engineered will easily raise any load you should be hauling. The real differences are that the scissor type hoist helps stabilize the bed when dumping a non-centered load or your not quite level. The dial cylinder types do not. When properly engineered the builder will add extra stiffness to the bed when using a twin cylinder lift and the cost difference become moot. The absolute worst combination would be a dual cylinder hoist under a flimsy dump body. You wont know it until you haul a load of stone that didn't get dumped in the middle. The light side will raise 2' before the other it finally raises and dumps allright but when you let it back down one side of the bed remains 6" off the frame. You are doing the right thing with your thought process, look, feel and use your common sense before buying, seldom is the cheapest trailer the best buy/
     
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  7. RAMROD48

    RAMROD48 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have a 3/4 Dodge and Cam Superline 6x12 low profile. Easy enough to get in tight places. Still hauls a cord of firewood or about 4 yards of material really well with no added sides. Add a 2x10 around the top and you have all the bed room you need. Has a 3 way tailgate and when in the down position will give you anditional 20"of bed length.

    12 foot seems to be the standard length work and landscape trailers around here.

    The resale will be higher and the monthly payments will be around $150 a month
     
  8. DanTheCanadian

    DanTheCanadian Weekend Warrior

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    IMHO stay away from wood floor. I no its cheaper and easier to replace but its a lot heavier and you'll find that with mud it'll hell to clean up.
    Deck over is the way to go. Yes its a lot taller but if you get the fold down sides you now can load pallets. The idea behind a dump trailer is IMO versatility. I've seen people buy these trailers with one purpose in mind and end up screwing themselves.
    Myself I would stay away from the oil bath axles because cost just doesn't justify itself to me plus I had a trailer with those axles and it just plain didn't pull well, again this is my opinion.
    If possible I would say screw the other styles and just get the single center cylinder in the front. I know they take a chunk out of the available room but they are the simplest and most reliable system. Easier to grease too which is really nice. The seem to be stronger also because of better geometry.
    14' is about the perfect size, 16' is really nice if you wanna also haul logs for timber mills but a 2' overhang isn't the end of the world, plus you save weight.
    If you want to avoid rot you should look into galvinised dipped, really expensive but they last forever. Just another option because you didn't have enough to think about lol.
     
  9. firebrick43

    firebrick43 Life is all about big saws

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    ?? Are you just replacing the whole assemblies or just pads and magnets??? Pads a magnets are not nearly that bad unless you're buying them from dexter at list.

    Plus if your running close to the capacity of an axle, sure you might have to replace them. Seen lots of 7k axles destroyed on 14 k trailers and even more on 20k (3-7k axles). Loose loads and unknown equipment is rarely centered and will overload one axle or another. Turning tight overloads and tweaks the spring hangers and pivots, bends axle spindles, ect if you are near capacity or slightly overloaded (or especially 3 axle setups). Upgraded axles keeps the owner from replacing parts on the side of the road, having accidents or being just plain frustrated. Brakes will last longer (at same load) due to larger surface area of the friction material. Torsion ride will eleminate the problematic spring hangers/pivots/shackles and improve handling drastically especially as it ages. Oil hubs make maintence easy and give a quick visual clue, and last much longer that greease packed bearings.
     
  10. firebrick43

    firebrick43 Life is all about big saws

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    Oil bath bearings reduce friction so I you had a trailer that pulled hard with them it wasn't aligned correctly or the axles were bent/manufactured with incorrect toe in and camber


    There is a galvanizing place in Chicago that has a 42' tank and can do a whole trailer frame. Can't have any enclosed tubing though! They will ventilate the tubing with a torch if you don't do it!

    I do agree with dan about the single telescoping cylinder in front!
     
  11. DanTheCanadian

    DanTheCanadian Weekend Warrior

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    My father-in-law has semi trucks and trailers and he has all aluminium trailers but he says his next trailer will be galvinized, there is a company in Ontario that does whole 53'! Expensive though.
     
  12. TC262

    TC262 ArboristSite Operative

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    Online I can find just shoes for $146 and complete assemblies for $225. Napa wants $215 for just shoes and prices are per wheel not per axel. Bare hubs with wheel studs are $215 each if the drum is bad.
     
  13. dave_dj1

    dave_dj1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Both styles have their places. I built a low profile and it works great and easy to load by hand. It does have it's down side, the pile of whatever you are dumping gets spread out where I think a deck over would pile it better. I use mine mostly for work, getting rid of construction debris so nothing super heavy but I do use it to haul my firewood sometimes too. I have barn doors, I don't/won't haul gravel or top soil, I have people that I hire for that.
    I built mine with 2' high sides instead of 18" but in all honesty I wish they were 3' tall now. Mine is 6 x 10 7k.
     
  14. blackdogon57

    blackdogon57 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have the same set up with gooseneck. If you float equipment it will almost certainly warp your doors when the machines come up the ramp. I found the flap door useless for firewood anyway ( always jammed). Ended up welding mine shut. I now have barn doors only. Sometimes a pain in the butt
     
  15. Joesell

    Joesell ArboristSite Guru

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    Galvanizing would be awesome! How much would that cost? I'm sure they'd have to sand blast first. Not to mention you'd have to take the axles and wiring out of it first.

    Would be sweet though.
     
  16. zogger

    zogger Tree Freak

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    I window shop CL a lot, and see actual dump trucks for what people want for these trailers.
     
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  17. TC262

    TC262 ArboristSite Operative

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    Yeah but a dump truck is a costly vehicle to maintain, plate, and insure. Than you still have to buy an equipment trailer to put your loader on. Dump trailers are very versatile, I believe that's why they hold their value so well. Many people have a use for one.
     
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  18. zogger

    zogger Tree Freak

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    Oh, no doubt, using it a lot, heavy use or commercial. Private use, I was thinking just occasionally, maybe with ag plates/registration.

    I have never used one, just throwing it out, that's all. They look spiffy, but I would proly go right for the truck myself.

    As to an equipment trailer for your loader, you still need it anyway wouldn't you, and two trucks then, and another driver? Or leave the loader at the jobsite? Not seeing the economic or convenience argument there. the dump truck can be loaded with whatever, and still haul your loader, and only one driver needed.

    I work on a big farm, just about every sort of gear here, from excavators and big crawlers and big loaders and on down, except no dump trailer. The boss has multiples of everything, built the biggest farm in the area and a private airport that rivals most county airports (how many guys you know own more than twenty airplanes?), moved some lakes around, etc..no dump trailer. And he drives just a generic small ranger (he can afford any pickup with any mods he wanted really, got a rockstar class RV just for a hoot, used it like twice...), he says, and I agree, don't fool around with pickups for big work, even so called one tons, go to a real truck.

    Anyway, I am just musing on what I see musta worked over the years around here doing all sorts of work. Just all kinds of equipment here, crap I can't even tell ya what it is called or what it does..no dump trailer.

    Anyway, whatever, to each their own, I am sure they are useful for a lot of jobs, you see them around a lot, I would just prefer a dump truck over one, given I hit the lottery and was out shopping. I can only afford scrap metal I eventually get working.
     
  19. stihlfanboy

    stihlfanboy ArboristSite Operative

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    I helped my boss build a scaffold trailer. Had it galvanized for about 350 $ and an hour drive to canton for a tank big enough for it to fit in. Had to drail a hole in each end of every pice of tube steal. Pain in the ass. But should last forever. Just had a dirt box dipped for are concrete buggy. Learned thin steal worps easy during the dipping process.
     
  20. Joesell

    Joesell ArboristSite Guru

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    Does any company build galvanized dump trailers? I think everything should be galvanized up here in the salt belt.
     

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