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Trailer needs some work

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by 4seasons, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    I have owned this trailer for a year or two. I have hauled some logs with it, but only within a few miles from home. I need to haul some dirt on it now, and will use it for a car hauler also. So I will be putting some removable sides on, but it really needs a floor. I am thinking of milling some 1.5 inch cedar planks for the floor. But before that I need to fix the suspension and build some better cross bracings. I have some angle iron laying around and can bugger weld some strong snot. I am not sure what the best way to brace this trailer is. I also need to lift it some because it has an inch of up travel on the front axle and two inches on the rear when empty. From the pictures you can see that it was a tri-axle at one time before someone shortened it and cobbled a dovetail on it. I will have to strengthen the dovetail or remove it. I am open to suggestions on how to best strengthen the frame and where to place the axles when I cut the short mounts off to weld on some stronger taller mounts.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  2. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    Forgot to add some measurements. The tongue is 52 inches from the front of the bed. The bed is 6ft by 14ft. The dovetail adds another 19 inches.
    The front spring hanger is only 2 inches long but the others are 4 inches which is why the suspension sits the way it does. The outer and center beams are 4 inch angle, the 2nd and 4th beams are 3 inch angle and the hacked up cross bracings are 2 inch angle. All steel is 1/4 inch think.
    It is on mobile home axles, springs and tires, but those will be replaced later.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  3. CaseyForrest

    CaseyForrest I am NOT a tree freak.

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    Use white oak for the floor, or black locust. While cedar is rot resistant, it doesnt have the strength to take the beating a trailer deck will take.

    sent from a field
     
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  4. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That trailer looks way under built to haul cars on it, unless you are talking 2-3k cars.

    It's missing a frame, and asking a lot from angle iron.
     
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  5. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    I thought the same thing. But I can't find a chart that shows the strength of angle iron, or really any estimates of what size beams are appropriate for what uses. I'm not sure what the minimum size should be for a 10k trailer, but I know this one falls short.
     
  6. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The 10k trailer I had used a 6" C-Channel and the tongue ran under the frame, so that was a double 6" to the first axle.
     
  7. ATpro

    ATpro ArboristSite Lurker

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    I second using white oak and you would need a super structure under the trailer for hauling cars, tractors and such, and the tongue does need to run under the frame. I would use 4 inch junior "I" Beam ( 7.7 pounds a foot, 28 feet = 215 pounds) for the side runs, you would need bracing for the sub-structure, could use angle iron or better channel for that. Set what you got on top, chop the dovetail off, cut the tongue off and redo and build let-down gates in place of the dovetail that you could remove when you didn't need them. With all you are planning to replace I would put a little more new steel in the project and have a new trailer and use this one to haul a little fire wood and lawn mowers. On any Tandem Trailer the center of weight you are hauling should rest over the tandem. Tongue weight for any trailer should be 9 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight (GTW)
     
  8. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    I was hoping I wouldn't have to go all out on this build but the more I think about it and judging from answers I am getting, there is no quick fix.
    I am now changing my plans to build a tilt back car hauler. I have part of an old mobile home frame that someone tried to make a trailer out of. The main beams are 8" x2" I-beam. I need to cut it down and cross brace it to make a frame back thru the axles. Then I can sit this trailer frame right on that frame with some pivot point. Now I have to get out my slide rule and graphing calculator and do some math to figure out how long everything needs to be.
    By the way, I have found conflicting reports about trailer widths in Tennessee. One place says 8ft wide and another says 102" . I know Commercial trucks use 102" but that may be CDL only . So unless the 8ft is trailer body without tires, I can't go 7ft wide because the tires would stick out to far. I want to keep it low as possible and moving the tires under the bed would push it to around 3ft high.
     
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Unless you have a good source for scrounging steel, you will have more in fixing that trailer than its worth. You mentioned a 10k trailer, is that the gvw you are looking for or you just throwing a number out there. Most car hauler trailers are 7000lbs using two 3500lb axles. the tongue usually mounts under the front part of the frame and extends to just in front of the front spring hanger. This prevents the trailer and tongue from flexing every time you hit a bump. The center of the two axles should be mounted half the length of the trailer plus one inch for every foot in length of the trailer. In other words your 14ft trailer should have the axles centered 7ft, 14inches, or 8ft 2inches from the front of the trailer. Most of the decent car hauler trailers I have seen use 4x5x1/4 angle for the frame. I consider that a minimum, but it works. For cross bracing you can use 3inch angle welded just below the top of the frame rails so that your decking sets flush with the top of the frame. My personal trailers I have built, I always use channel for the frame and tongue. At least 4x2x1/4 channel, but my 18ft one is built using 5in channel and has two additional rails running down the middle. It handles a 9000lb tractor just fine. My dump trailer is made of 2x4x1/4 box tubing. If bugger welds are the best you can do, I suggest letting someone else do the welding. Bad welds with poor penetration tend to crack. What size/type welder do you have. Not a job for a 110v mig. I also suggest that you use axles with brakes on both axles. Some of the cheaper car haulers only have brakes on one axle. Its just a way to cut cost, but its minimum at best.
     
  10. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    When I say I can bugger weld some strong snot, I am saying I am not a professional welder. I can get a good weld on a flat level surface. I am ok up to about a 45° angle but a vertical or overhead weld gives me fits. I have a 240 volt AC/DC 230/140 amp stick welder. I have a bunch of 7018 rods, although I prefer to use 7014. I have more faith in my welds than the ones that are on these trailers.
    I won't say that I am a master scrounger, but I have been grabbing every piece of steel I could get for free for years. With scrap prices in the toilet and new steel prices thru the roof (someone is making a fortune on steel in this market) I am not selling or buying, but using what I have on hand.
     
  11. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Take you 7018 rods and heat them on top of your wood stove for a day or two and you will find they weld almost as easy as the 7014. 7018 doesn't like moisture. My personal thoughts on your current trailer is fix the spring hangers and put a floor on it, as is, for hauling your dirt. Pieces of channel will make good cusps for installing removable sides. If you feel the need to have a trailer capable of hauling a car or tractor, I would start from scratch instead of modifying your old trailer.
     
  12. Woodchuck71

    Woodchuck71 ArboristSite Operative

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    Only I would add to this conversation,scrap the mobile home axles also.
    They are not made for your intended use.
    Tires and bearings are junk.
    Had a guy wanted to move his double wide(not true dou let,but wider then single?).
    He got the permits,hired a couple state troopers for escorts,found a guy with semi, didn't make it 15 miles before the bearings let go on two axles.
    He thought it was easy money.
    I'd rather STACK wood then pull a trailer axle trailer.
    But,I do this for a living,so I can and MUST be picky what I hook to.
    That's why I pull my own trailer,won't even think about pulling houses for extra money or containers.
     
  13. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Forget that trailer for hauling a car even todays light ford foucas types.

    Invest in some thing a lot better and not waste money and time trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

    :D Al
     
  14. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    The mobile home axles are temporary. These won't see hwy duty, just used around the house. I just haven't found a deal on some 6k axles with brakes yet.
    I know that it would be easier to just buy a trailer that will do want I want. I also know that anything on the market is going to have flaws that I could design out of it. Simple fact is there is no product that has been manufactured that I am entirely happy with. All my cars, trucks, tractors, trailers, saws, lawnmowers, homes, yards, and fields. I also don't have the money to just buy something that is heavy enough to do what I want.
    10k is not just a random number. It is what my hitch is rated for and what my truck can reasonably pull. I have hauled some gravel on my truck and 2 tons doesn't cover much driveway. It would be nice to haul 4 tons at a time.
     
  15. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    I see several suggestions for white oak for flooring. Unfortunately I don't have access to any at the moment. Would love to have locust as well, but just don't have anything bigger than post size. I suggested red cedar because I have plenty but I didn't think about scuff resistance. The other wood I have several logs of that I can mill is Ash. I would think it is strong enough and I can seal it to resist rot, but what about scuff resistance? I know it makes good axe and hammer handles, but have never seen it as a floor before.
     
  16. ATpro

    ATpro ArboristSite Lurker

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    Ash, Gum, Oak, most any hardwood will work. The problem with ceder is it will crack if you put much weight on it, if it gets wet then drys out it will crack. The spec's muddstopper posted is good for a generic trailer, remember you balance the trailer hitch weight by where you position the load.

    I always used a Mig Wire Welder and Junior I-Beam for the main frame runs when building large trailers like Goose-Necks, Bumper hitch Trailers, Pintle Hook Trailer and such. I used Channel for smaller trailers.

    Here is the deal with building trailers, there is a thing called "Product Liability" "WHEN BUYING A TRAILER" make sure the Manufacturer has included the Insurance on his product. You will pay more but it helps cover cost if a manufacturer failure occurs, and it helps limit your liability also. The spec's for loading the trailer should be engraved on a tag on the trailer, as long as these spec's are followed the Product Liability Insurance should be enforceable. Any Trailer Builder worth his salt will have this on his product to protect himself also. Most retailer sellers will require it from a manufacturer to protect themselves.
     
  17. cantoo

    cantoo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I usually start out with a camper trailer frame and beef it up to what I'm going to be hauling. The splitter one used to be a Highway Road sign trailer. Sawmill one is a 20' camper frame that I beefed up. 2nd one in long grass is the frame for my "build some day" log deck. Last one is still sitting in my gravel pit waiting for me to convert it into a 30' sawmill frame. I plan to make it the same as the 20' but for doing long beams I will just move the sawhead back and forth.
    USER_SCOPED_TEMP_DATA_thumbnail1559416040693.jpg 20190726_193342.jpg IMG_20180520_134645.jpg 20190609_095041.jpg
     
  18. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I like my mig as well, but its not a 110v 135amp machine. As for decking The last trailer I built, I used 2x6 pressure treated pine. Not sure how long ago I built the trailer, close to 20years, ago, at least 15years. The deck is still good, but I did paint it after it cured out. Painting green pressure treat will rot the wood in a year or so. I also echo the comments about getting rid of the house trailer axles. My first trailer I built, I used mobile home axles. I had to narrow the axles for the size trailer I built. Nothing wrong with narrowing axles, but cutting metal out of the center and welding in a sleeve will take the crown out of the axle. House trailer tires are not that good to start with, but losing the crown of the axle will cause premature tire wear. You can replace the tires and wheels but you will still wear out the new tires prematurely. Not to mention there is that pesky little "for mobile home use only" printed on the side of the tires. Just might get you a ticket if ever checked.
     
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  19. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    I know about Mobile Home Axles.
    Please stop harping on the axles. I already plan on replacing them.
    You can get F class hwy tires like this 205/75/R14.5 that I have:
    [​IMG]
    These don't say mobile home on them anywhere. They are legal trailer tires. You still have the questionable bearings, brakes, and centerless wheels that I hate but are rated for 2835lbs each.
    [​IMG]
    Now I don't plan on running these. I want to run normal 6 or 8 lug wheels that I can use my truck tires on so I can rotate my old 16 inch truck tires on to the trailer to get the last bit of life from them.
    But non of this really matters because I am not running mobile home axles. That is just what the trailer is currently sitting on.
     

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  20. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    This is the other underbuilt trailer that I mentioned before:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It measures 17ft by 7ft. The tongue is 3 ft long and made of the same 8" x2" I-beam that the frame uses. The I-beam however is only 1/8" thick steel. The cross beams are 4" x1.5" C-channel . Non of the welds are up to snuff and some are already cracked. I have no plans to use this trailer for anything other than material for my trailer build. I am thinking that I can use the I-beams as the frame and tongue under my other trailer. I was also thinking of making this a tilt trailer.
    I really like the design of this trailer:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It is heavier than I want and I really don't want to put hydraulics on it. It may be more complicated to build this but I am wondering if it could be done with this simple design that is free on the internet:
    [​IMG]
    Seems to me that a front deck could be placed where the spare tire is. But I know that would make it tongue heavy. I am not sure if the tilt point would work if moved to the center rocker position.
     

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