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Which dump trailer to buy?

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

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Put the flatbed up for sale and switching to a dump trailer.

I started doing a little research, following a couple hot shot hauling bloggers, figuring they have experience with a variety of trailer manufacturers.
Tow Piglet is one. And it sounds like none of the manufacturers really stands out from another.
Big Tex owns PJ and recently bought BriMar/BWise.

Texas Pride, Sure Trac and Load Trail are three I could go with.
Although Sure Trac is the closest to me (12 miles) I would have to order one (12-14 week wait), and no telescopic hoist option. They also seem to have the fewest axle options.
Texas Pride has a 2" square tube top rail, which seems a plus. But, I would have to drive eight hours one way to the Missouri outlet. Not out of the question, but sixteen hours is a cost factor also.
Load Trail has a lot of option, which is nice, but the options can easily add thousands, and most likely special order.

Tow Piglet points out that the trailer is simply a means to make money, and typically has gone the 14k route, under cdl, and parts available almost anywhere. Which he has proved to be necessary from the first month of ownership. The tires, brakes, drums, seals, axles all basically crap from the get go, and replaced repeatedly. Interestingly he has recently departed from the 14k set up, and gone to 8k torsion axles, and bigger tires. In part I expect from the cost of down time. But before a true test of the new set up and heavier components, his 'dog tracking' (my words) trailer snagged a barrier wall with a wheel. (I do like his thinking of an 16k trailer stickered for 14k, torsion axles, and light duty truck tires.) Parts would take four weeks. He had purchased extra brake backer plate and drums with the trailer, but had to have a new spindle made to get back on the road in two days time. The extra parts were in the two to three hundred dollar range vs less than one hundred for off the shelf 7k axle parts.

However, I will not be hot shotting, or running more than several hundred miles a season.

I've loaded 14' dump trailers and found the max out at one cord loose thrown.
16' high side seems appropriate for two cords max. loose thrown (conveyor) volume wise, and 4k per cord seasoned oak, weight wise.
Do any of you run a high sided trailer?

My bumper hitch is rated 1,800 tongue weight, and 17k trailer weight.
The Kentucky 3500 Silverado dually was purchased used, and has a B & W gooseneck hitch, although the rating tag disappeared with two Michigan winters.
I've never pulled a gooseneck, and hate to rule it out.
I question backing one up, compared to a bumper pull, whether it is easier or more difficult.

I guess I'm wondering if you bought an inexpensive trailer if you wish you had bought better quality, and vise versa.
If you spent a lot, do you regret that choice, or have you still had common issues.

As for tires, I'm thinking a set of light duty truck tires would be the first stop after picking it up from the lot, and skip the first month, three blow outs scenario.
I would like a telescopic hoist, and paint vs powder coat, but no one paints their trailers.
 
muddstopper

muddstopper

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I built my 6x10, not because it was cheaper, but because I couldnt find what I wanted. I needed a trailer that I could remove the sides and make a flatbed for loading pallets with a forklift. I wasnt thinking firewood at the time I built the trailer, but I have found the removeable sides come in handy when loading log lengths with a FEL. Strap them down and dump off when I get them home. Dumping logs has a advantage over rolling logs off trailer also. You can raise the dump enough to get the logs to slide down to the ground on one end and then throw a log under the load to keep the whole load off the ground for bucking. If I ever find the time to complete it, I have a hydraulic lift I want to mount on the tongue of the trailer to load whole logs with. I have the parts and have fabbed up most of whats needed, I just havent found the time.
 
Jhenderson

Jhenderson

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First I’ve heard of PJ being sold. I own a 14 ft 18,500lb PJ GN dump. It’s the second PJ I’ve owned, 1st gooseneck. I really like the GN. If you’re looking to haul 2 cords On a 14K trailer it had better be dry. 2cords of long length( 12 ft) green mixed hardwood puts me at 16,500 or a little more. The 8K axles and 17.5 rubber give a little cushion. They also last a lot longer. I’ve got 9 years on this one using it at least 100 days a year on the original tires and brakes. My only complaint with mine is the powder coat. It started peeling the 2nd year. Now they offer primer which makes a huge difference. Be sure to either get tall sides or pick a bed design that lets you build stout sideboards. Mine are 2x4 oak with 5/4 oak boards and I still crack a board or post every so often with the log loader.
 
T. Mainus

T. Mainus

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I've been running a 8x14 PJ Deckover now for all of 7 years, rated at 14,000 lbs. Bought it lightly used but it has been running flawlessly for us, still has the original battery in it. There isn't any paint left on it but that is typical for these trailers. We delivered 130 full cords with it last year. Being a deck over it has the shorter sides that fold down so I can also use it for hauling material for the storage shed operation. I have hauled 2 full cords in it before but you have to put plywood on the sides and then stack it a little bit. I wouldn't recommend that to often. I have gotten 4 face cords in it without the plywood as well, but that is a load. We usually just dump in a full cord at a time and you hardly have to do any moving of the wood by hand. I have a divider system with stops blocks that allows me to load two face cords in the trailer at a time. We can do 2 different deliveries then with out having to run back to the shop. We have a hardwire that runs from the truck battery to the back of the truck that we plug the dump trailer in to that allows the truck to charge the trailer battery. I have done 10 deliveries in a day with it and never had the battery run low. Ours is a scissor lift, would recommend that over the 2 hydraulic cylinders. I wouldn't get a low pro style trailer, that why I like the deck over. It sits higher and the firewood dumps out a little better. If I was going to get a dedicated firewood trailer, probably get 16'er with a little taller sides so you could haul 2 cords if you had to. I probably only have 5 customers that order 2 cords at a time so you have to see if the larger trailer would be worth it. If your truck is set up for the goose neck I would go that route. Handles the weight better and they are easier to maneuver. Is the truck 4x4?

All that being said we are trying to find a dump truck for this seasons deliveries. When we get rolling I have to many deliveries to do so we were hoping to hire someone this year to try and keep up. I wouldn't trust anyone else to try and back in someones driveway with a dump trailer. We are looking for something like this. Screenshot 2020-06-29 20.39.39.png Screenshot 2020-02-11 20.38.11.png Screenshot 2019-09-08 23.31.56.png Been trying to find a F450/550 with a 84" cab axle to have that style box fabbed on the chassis.

I watch that Tow Piglet guy, he's an idiot, take what he does and do the opposite and you'll be fine.
 
ChoppyChoppy

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As far as CDL or not with a trailer, that will vary on the state.

I used a 12k trailer for a couple years to haul 2 cords. Worked fine though switching to a truck with dump made it MUCH easier.

Best setup are a "pickup" with 12-14ft bed. Heavy spec'd 1 ton will handle it. Seems that the 1 ton cab and chassis trucks are built more HD than a regular pickup.
I know the 2 C30s and 1 F-350 I have handle ~5 tons in the bed without much fuss.
THOUGH, have come across a few F450s that were lightly sprung or something and were on the bump stops with only ~2 tons in the bed.

Even with the truck I get deliveries that are challenging. They'd be impossible with a trailer.




As an aside, I've never been able to do loose wood and felt confident I had the correct amount when measuring by cord - it's an estimate at best.

Interesting read on area where customers buy just a face cord at a time.
 
Jhenderson

Jhenderson

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As far as CDL or not with a trailer, that will vary on the state.

I used a 12k trailer for a couple years to haul 2 cords. Worked fine though switching to a truck with dump made it MUCH easier.

Best setup are a "pickup" with 12-14ft bed. Heavy spec'd 1 ton will handle it. Seems that the 1 ton cab and chassis trucks are built more HD than a regular pickup.
I know the 2 C30s and 1 F-350 I have handle ~5 tons in the bed without much fuss.
THOUGH, have come across a few F450s that were lightly sprung or something and were on the bump stops with only ~2 tons in the bed.

Even with the truck I get deliveries that are challenging. They'd be impossible with a trailer.



As an aside, I've never been able to do loose wood and felt confident I had the correct amount when measuring by cord - it's an estimate at best.

Interesting read on area where customers buy just a face cord at a time.
CDL are federal laws. The state has no options. If you’re delivering a product and you’re over 26,000lbs truck or combined you need a CDL.
Id really like to see a C30 or F350 with 10,000lbs in the bed.
 
FlyingDutchman

FlyingDutchman

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Dumping flatbed. Save yourself the expense of buying and registering the monstrosity that is a dump trailer. In Illinois its almost unaffordable anymore to have a single axle homeade trailer. Registration went from $20 to 100 something. I know a heavy dump was over 100 before, afraid to even look what it is now.
 
Ryan'smilling

Ryan'smilling

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I'll never own another PJ trailer again. Bought a 5 year old deckover about 4 years ago. Had it two years and then bought a truck set up for a gooseneck. I didn't like the way that PJ pulled anyway, so I bought a gooseneck and listed the PJ for sale. I lost $800 on that trailer because of the rust. The powder coat was coming off in sheets the size of washcloths. Painted trailers only for me for now on.
 
muddstopper

muddstopper

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When I built my dump trailer, I wasnt thinking firewood. I bought a new 4500 kodiac truck and had a flatbed built to tow my Hydroseeder with, and haul materials on. there where several times I just couldnt get into some steep areas pulling the loaded hydroseeder. Then there was always those dead end roads that you simply couldnt turn a truck and trailer around in. I finally cut the axles out from under the hydroseeder and mounted it on the truck, this created problems with storing materials to do the jobs and I ended up having to haul the material in the back of another truck. Two trucks, two drivers, twice the fuel. I built the trailer to haul the materials. With a hydroseeder, you are always running to find water. I could unhook the trailer at the water source, mix a load and go spray it out. When done hook back to the trailer and head home. The dump trailer has came in handy for many types of loads over the years, but I also know the value of hauling on the back of a truck versus pulling a loaded trailer. I traded the Kodiac for a F450 4x4 with a flatbed, this setup allowed me to get in some pretty steep areas, areas that I would have never gotten into pulling a trailer.
 
nathan4104

nathan4104

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i have a Load Trail 6x10. bought it used. It's a 2012, someone changed an axle, now both sets of brakes are different!
We are in winter salt country.... I had to blast and repaint the trailer last year. did it myself to the tune of around $2000 (sand ain't cheap and i used almost a pallet worth). powder coating was coming off in sheets.
I have side boards added. I load with a conveyor, and count 180cu/ft of 16" as a cord. i probably give a bit away. 14" i lower it a bit, 18-20" i round it up a bit and no one complains.
For us here a dump truck would require too much licensing and insurance to make it worthwhile for a small timer like me (~100 cord/yr). I pull the dump trailer with a tractor and skip all the licensing with a Slow Moving Vehicle Sign. All my deliveries are within 8 miles on average.
 

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dave_dj1

dave_dj1

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The only advice I can offer is to look them all over really, really well and make your decision from there. I am building my own 6-5 x 12', 10K dump trailer because all of the ones for sale around here (50 mile radius) are built like crap! I can't even see how they can last a year much less more than that. They are built to a the bare minimum of engineering. I would rather give up a few pounds of cargo weight for a heavier frame that can take it long term.
 
Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

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I tend to over think stuff and stall out on making a decision if it involves any amount of money.
Paint: I have not come across one brand that is not powder coated. I did notice under PJ options...primer. Primer is an option! What does that say about competitive pricing? And, how would you know if you got a primed trailer from PJ?
Size: I figure four of my PackFix bundles is 1/4 cord plus a few cu. feet, and I will be loading with the conveyor. It comes out to 200+ cu. feet, loose, per cord for me.
Deckover, and gooseneck: I would really like to try a gooseneck before buying one.
-Perhaps someone has a photo of a cord of firewood dumped from a deckover vs a low profile trailer. I have three customers that unload my flatbed with a tractor or skid steer and move the pallets to where they stack. One is behind a house, and another is in a pole barn. That's where a deckover would be nice, but it's only three customers. The seasoned pallets are about 1,000 pounds, and takes a forty to forty five horse tractor or bigger.
Becks trailer sales in in central MI, about two hours from me. They carry several brands, but their advertising doesn't list prices.
If someone in MI can suggest a dealer, that would be helpful. Or a brand with paint. One brand did say automotive enamel, but I questioned if that could still be powder coat.

I like Tow Piglet. He does tear up a lot of stuff, but owns up to it and doesn't push it off on someone else.

The gmc 5500 is a 12' flatbed. It is DOT registered, cat diesel, remanufactured 6 speed trans., and expensive to keep on the road. About $2,500. per year. In Michigan trailer plates are a one time registration fee, and no road insurance required(I don't think).
 
sean donato

sean donato

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Just remember any trailer licenced over 10k requires a class A cdl. Doesnt matter the state. We just got hit at work for that. Had our youngest boy who hasn't gotten his cdl yet hauling our mini hoe, machine weighs just shy of 12k lbs, trailer is rated for 14k. Cost a pile in fines. Wont be doing that again.
For what it's worth, I borrow a friends 10k dump trailer occasionally. It's an Appalachian. 7'x16' its held up reasonably well, I dont care for the twin cylinders on it, sometimes as it lifts it kinds wobbles side to side, like the cylinders are binding somehow. Other then that it has held up well. Not used for any sort of production work, so ymmv
 
Jhenderson

Jhenderson

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Just remember any trailer licenced over 10k requires a class A cdl. Doesnt matter the state. We just got hit at work for that. Had our youngest boy who hasn't gotten his cdl yet hauling our mini hoe, machine weighs just shy of 12k lbs, trailer is rated for 14k. Cost a pile in fines. Wont be doing that again.
For what it's worth, I borrow a friends 10k dump trailer occasionally. It's an Appalachian. 7'x16' its held up reasonably well, I dont care for the twin cylinders on it, sometimes as it lifts it kinds wobbles side to side, like the cylinders are binding somehow. Other then that it has held up well. Not used for any sort of production work, so ymmv
Wrong! Any trailer over 10K when towed by truck grossing 26001lbs requires a class A cdl. Under 10 K with that same truck requires a class B . Trailer wt alone means nothing. You can haul a 14k trailer with an 11,999 truck all day long on a standard lic. Your driver was obviously over 26,000lbs. gross combined wt. Depending on your state you may be required to hold a DOT medical.
 
Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

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My truck is 12,800 gvw so anything over 12k is going to mean a cdl. I don't think getting a cdl going to be a problem. The expense is a cdl medical exam, drug test, and some fees. Dot registration of pickup. Not sure if trailer needs DOT registration or required annual inspections. The truck is personal use and will be, part time business use. I think magnetic signage is legal as long as it is on when doing business.
 
T. Mainus

T. Mainus

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Sandhill,

My equipment trailer is a Midsota and that has a pretty decent paint job on it, not powder coat. They do make a nice dump trailer as well.

IMG_2919.JPG This is what a cord of wood looks like in a 8x14 Deckover.

IMG_0877.JPG Probably 4 face cords on this one.

When dumping firewood you have to remember that it's not gravel. If your trailer is 14' long, your going to have a 14' long pile of firewood when your done.
 
sean donato

sean donato

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Well, all I can say to that is we got pulled over wrongfully then. The truck gross weight is 11000lbs, the trailer gross weight is 14klbs, we were specifically told he was over weight for license, because the trailer was rated for 14k lbs the truck gcwr is under 26k lbs. Cost us close to $4k in fines. State laws may have come into play, I couldnt say for sure. The DOT cop, wouldnt let anyone take it that didnt have a class A CDL, when I got there to pick it up I asked him why that was? He told me, because the trailer grosses over 10k lbs, didnt say anything about the truck.
 
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