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Dump Trailers

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by sb47, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have been thinking about getting another trailer mostly to make wood delivery's with and I want some opinions from those that use them.
    I'll be pulling it with a 1/2 ton short bed with spring helpers for extra capacity.
    I only need it to carry a single cord at a time and my truck is limited so the smaller the better.
    Witch begs the first question. 5x8 or 5x10 or 6x8 or 6x10 or even 6x12? (I'm leaning towards a 6x12)
    I want tandem axles with breaks for sure.
    Lift type, single vs. duel cylinder, telescopic or single stage? Scissor or direct?
    Power up, power down or power gravity down?
    I think low sides with side board option would be more useful vs. high sides.
    What have you used and did you like it (yes, no) Did it do the job and how reliable? Pro's and con's of the different types. Best brands and build quality info.
    Thanks
     
  2. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you ask me, a dump truck is a better choice. Cheaper, easier to get into yards, don't need a tie up a truck, etc, etc.

    I have 5 dump trucks, 4 are 1 or 1.5 ton. I have maybe 25-30k total into them. Around here a decent dump trailer runs around $10,000

    Power up and down. Gravity down sucks in the winter. Have had to climb into the bed and help it down on a -25* day. And yes my 200lb ass was enough to help.
     
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  3. T. Mainus

    T. Mainus ArboristSite Operative

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    We use an 8x14 PJ trailers deckover for all of our deliveries. Roughly 100 cord this year. I prefer the deckover over a regular dump for 2 reasons. It sits higher so it dumps better. The lower trailers do not dump as nice because they are so low to the ground. With the fold down sides of the deckover, we can use it for hauling materials and load/unload from the side with the forklift as well. Ours is power up and power down with a scissors lift. It dumps wood just fine but if you load it up with gravel that gets heavy in a hurry. How are you loading the trailer with wood. We dump the wood in the trailer from our bags, and the 8x14 is barely big enough to haul a cord of wood. The deckover has shorter sides, only 18" though. We dump 2 bags in and then we have to flatten the pile out before we empty the 3rd bag in the trailer. I like our trailer, the PJ's are known for having crappy paint jobs. The paint is just flaking off ours right now. Ours is rated for 14,000 LBS. A full cord of wood is heavy. We pull ours with a F-350 SRW V-10 Super Cab. Truck handles it fine, stopping is the only real issue that you have to be careful with. We also have our trailer wired directly to the truck battery as well. We can do 8-10 deliveries a day and never have a problem with the battery running low. Before we did that you had to be careful, after maybe 4 deliveries the battery would start to get low. Had to plug it in while loading to get the charge back up. For us the trailer makes more sense than a separate dump truck. This time of the year we are using the hell out of it, but after firewood season it just sits not getting used. During summer you might do 1 delivery a week at the most. We bought ours used, paid 5 grand for it, new I believe they are in the 7-8 grand range now. The picture shows the trailer with a cord of wood on it. Couldn't imagine trying to deliver firewood without one.

    IMG_2918.JPG
     
  4. Husky Man

    Husky Man Addicted to ArboristSite

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    wiring to the vehicle charging system is definitely the preferred way, but ask any RV'er about the value of two 6 volt Golf Cart batteries wired in series, you get way more capacity than 2 12 volt batteries wired i parallel.

    I can't imagine a dump truck being cheaper in any respect, from purchase, to maintaining it to insuring it and licensing it, where is the cost savings? I can see it being more convenient at the delivery, but I don't see it costing any less, in any way.

    Doug :cheers:
     
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  5. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My 1/2 ton tows my 16' heavy duty utility trailer with a cord of splits just fine, but I also run breaks on both axles for better stopping. The biggest problem I have ran into with delivery's is narrow driveways. I stopped doing delivery's a few years ago and I donn't get a lot of request but this year I have over 100 emails requesting delivery's so I may have to rethink doing them again. I like to just toss the wood in (no point in being neat for the ride to the customer only to dump and go) and I would just do dump and go delivery's only. I can't see running a second vehicle as a valid alternative. From my research the scissor type has the advantage of lift power and stability. I haven't decided on deck height just yet but I will mostly be hauling firewood most of the time and I'm only guessing that firewood splits should slide out fairly easily. Although I may find more uses for it after I have one.
     
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  6. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    go with a deckover and power down. elecric brakes are a must. you mentioned 6x12 and that may be barely big enough for a cord with out adding sides. i have a 6x10/22"sides and cannot fit a cord tossed in. if you can swing it buy new. used dumps are usually abused by firewood guys.:laughing:
     
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  7. sirbuildalot

    sirbuildalot ArboristSite Guru

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    What is your truck rated to tow?

    A 6x12 dump trailer is going to weigh in the 3000-3500 lb range and a cord of wood, depending on species could be 4500-6000 lbs. Supposing your truck is rated to tow the weight, and you stated that you want to haul a full cord, I'd go for the 6x12. You can throw the splits in loose and still get the full cord. That would be tough to do with a 5x8 or a 5x10 trailer. Unless you had very tall sides on it. I agree with you that lower sides are a better choice. More stable while towing, and easier to load.

    As for specifics on cylinders and type of dump, I cant offer any useful commentary.
     
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  8. Oldmaple

    Oldmaple Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I considered a dump trailer for my tree service. My problem was any trailer with a GVW over 10,000 lbs (which is most of them of a decent size and quality) requires a class A CDL. If you use it commercially (which you would be doing) then you need the license. No sign on the truck then how would they know, hang a sign on it and all bets are off. Commercial MI state police are a real PITA.
     
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  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I built my dump trailer so I cant comment on different brands. Mine is 6x10 with 2ft removeable sides. I dont sell or deliver firewood, but I love my trailer for hauling logs home. I used a single double acting cyl, but I have it connected to the hyd with a open center solenoid valve. It powers up, but gravity feeds down. I can connect the down solenoid and have power down if I want to, but have never needed it. I also have my electrics connect straight to my truck battery by using Anderson connectors. Ths keeps the trailer battery charged and provides extra power for dumping. I too have found that just running off the trailer battery, that you run out of power making multiple dumps.
    My choice of size is 6 ft in width for the simple fact my JD Gator wont fit on a 5ft wide trailer, even my zero turn with the 54 inch deck dont fit well on a 5 ft trailer. A 6x10 with 2 ft sides will hold 120 cuft of wood stacked level with the top of the sides, round it up a little and you can fit a cord easy. Hauling 10ft logs, I can round it up pretty good and throw a strap across the top and haul more than a cord. Backup to where I want to dump and just raise the bed and drive out from under the logs. If you take your time, the logs will stay in a stack. I also sometimes use my trailer as a catch deck for the splits coming off the splitter. I just back the trailer until the bed is under the splitting wedge and let the splitter push the wood into the bed. Then back the trailer under my wood shed and stack off the trailer. Beats picking up splits and carrying the splits inside the shed. Brakes on both axles is a must and I pull it with a F150 4x4
     
  10. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    I would say with a half ton 6x12 would be about the biggest you could tow. I think a 14ft would be too big with a cord of wood on it. I agree with comments above, I would buy a new one, usually used trailers have issues with breaks, bearings and lights and are usually starting to rust. By the time you fix the issues, you have the same money into them. I’ve never seen them substantially cheaper than a new one.
     
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  11. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    Hmmm. You can buy a brand new 8x16 deck over gooseneck here for around $8900 with a tarp. I ageee a dump truck can be had cheaper but dump trucks for that price would also be considerably older. You also have an engine and other vehicle related items to maintain and you have to insure another vehicle.
     
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  12. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    5000lbs stock but I have added helper springs rated for an extra 1000lbs. Yes I know the axle is the limiting factor but I have been hauling cords on my utility trailer with no issues. My utility trailer is not a cheap light duty trailer ether, it's a heavy duty trailer and weighs almost twice what a cheap one of the same size does.
    I agree new is the way to go for several reasons. 1 your not buying someone elses problems and 2. most want almost as much as a new one anyway.
    I would probably only make a few delivery's in a single day so I don't think the battery would be an issue and I can always have the truck charge it as i'm driving.
     
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  13. Del_

    Del_ Get outside.

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    I've got a 6 x 12 with 2 ft. sides. Single rear gate. Two axle of course.

    It is exactly what you need. It is 144 cubic feet so a stacked cord would fit easily. A tossed cord would be slightly mounded which works out fine. A 4 x 4 pickup would be best for moving it around and even then be careful about going off road.

    The 6 x 12 bed also comes in handy for moving equipment around if you've got some nice ramps.

    Mine tows like a dream.

    If you can get wheel sizes the same as your pickup truck. It will make it easier to find used tires. An no, I don't worry about using trailer tires, but then I don't grind tires turning on pavement when I can avoid it, and I usually can.

    I've had my dump trailer going on 20 years now.
     
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  14. rarefish383

    rarefish383 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    We were cleaning out the filing cabinet today, and my wife pulled out the title to my trailer. Held it up and said, you've had this since 2006. Best tool I ever bought. It's a 5X8, with fold down drive on ramp. Can put mt BIL's 4X4 Kubota on it. The tailgate also hinges from the top so you can put gravel in it and chain the gate so it only opens a couple inches, and spread gravel. Diamond plate fenders and other step points. I put the live edge sides on it , just because. Stacked to the top is 1 cord. Thrown in probably couldn't do it. I'ts 5000 pound rated with electric breaks. When you start adding the second axle, you start to push the GVW of the truck. This trailer was pretty much made for half ton trucks. I love mine, brought home 4 loads of wood this week. The drive on ramp is a must. I use it all Year for the walk behind, JD 265 mower, Kubota 4X4 FEL. Mines a Pequea, when I bought it had a 5000 pound rating, 2 5/16 ball, breaks, 6 lug wheels, diamond plate fenders, tie down rail, lights in steel steps, for $3500. For the same price Bri-Mar and EZ Dumper were 3500 pound rated, 2 inch ball, 5 lug wheels, no breaks, no drive on ramp, stamped tin fender, and exposed cheapo lights. The other brands could build a trailer like mine but it was much more expensive. I went by my dealer a few months ago to get new bearings and they sold their Pequea dealership. He said shortly after I bought mine they skyrocketed the price and they were no longer competitive. When I asked if they lowered the quality or were they still heavier and better trailers? He kind of hedged the question and said his new line of trailers would do everything a half ton could handle. The Pequea website still shows my trailer and it's rated as a commercial unit. I just found a new 2019 C500 and it's listed at $3,999.
     
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  15. rarefish383

    rarefish383 Addicted to ArboristSite

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  16. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I don't mind going longer on the length, maybe 6x14 but I do want to stay with a 6' wide for easier access to narrow driveways.
     
  17. Jhenderson

    Jhenderson ArboristSite Guru

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    You only need a class a cdl if gross combined wt is over 26,001. Trailer wt over 10K only matters when the tow vehicle is over 26,001. A 14K trailer towed by a 10K pickup doesn’t require any special license.
     
  18. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    Just food for thought but a 8x14 and a 6x14 are actually roughly the same overall width. I much prefer a deck over trailer. Can hold more and I like the fold down sides.
     
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  19. Sandhill Crane

    Sandhill Crane AS Member

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    Actually it does in Michigan. The tow vehicle needs to be plated to cover the total combined gross vehicle weight of truck and trailer, regardless of the trailer having it's own plate.
    Edit: example: 10,000 gvw truck + 14,000 gvw trailer means truck needs to be plated for 24,000 cgvw.
    Edit: re-read your post and your speaking of operators license. If sell or delivering a commodity (firewood) you need a chauffeurs license below 26,001. Which I believe means you need a physical and drug test.
     
  20. Woodcutteranon

    Woodcutteranon Dr Pepper, Chainsaws, Good Times

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    I have a Griffin 6x10 dump. I added boards so my sides are 2.5' tall. I hand load a cord and the four rows, even with the tops of the boards equals 1 cord. I chose the trailer over a dump truck simply because I don't have a loader or a conveyor to load the DT. I pull my trailer with an F150. So far so good.

    I agree with recommendations for power up, power down for cold weather. Mine have dual rams and they seem to work fine. My only beef with the Griffin is the paint is absolutely crap. I had it on wet, winter roads just 5 trips and the paint is practically gone from the salt. My 1 year old trailer looks 20 yrs old. Crap paint. Also what annoys me is the paint was also put on lazy. If you lift up the D rings in the bed there is raw steel behind them. The painter didn't take the time to lift the D rings to paint behind them. If you are going to pull your trailer in the winter I would recommend you pay a little extra for a quality paint job...powder coat paint etc.

    The pic below is when my trailer was new last summer. This was before I added the side boards.

    GriffinDump1.jpg
     
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