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Trailer improving ideas?

unclemoustache

unclemoustache

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Bought a double-axle trailer yesterday to replace my single-axle. This one is a bit longer - 12' instead of 10'.

I would like a short rail around the bottom - maybe 8" x 10" high, and then a removable addition that adds another 2' or more. Square tube steel is my preferred material, as I already have plenty of that on hand. I'll need to get a bit more for telescoping with the size I have, though.

I also need a ramp. Since this trailer is so low to the ground, it doesn't need to be very long. Maybe I could even use a couple of 2x12 planks. I thought I might just weld some angle iron along the back on which the planks could rest (with some pins to hold them in place). But then again, a hinged gate/ramp is very handy as well. Thoughts and ideas?

I plan to use this as my log-hauling trailer (see the 3rd thumbnail) so having some kind of braces at the back will be good. Maybe something hinged on the side which turns completely underneath. I have a similar arch as what's in the photo, and I'll come up with a way to have that temporarily fastened to the bed. I don't want it permanent, as this will also be used for hauling my mower, lumber, and other stuff.

There's room on the front for holding saws and gear, So I should build/weld a box on there. Not sure how big/wide to make it. All the way to the edge of the trailer? Perhaps that would get in the way of tight turning. And I need something to fasten my capstan winch to (4th pic).

And how do I get this looking better? Sand it, paint it with something to keep it from rusting? Are there chemicals to help with that?

Thanks!

1600607287594.png 1600607302596.png 1600607353877.png 1600607740016.png
 
lone wolf

lone wolf

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Bought a double-axle trailer yesterday to replace my single-axle. This one is a bit longer - 12' instead of 10'.

I would like a short rail around the bottom - maybe 8" x 10" high, and then a removable addition that adds another 2' or more. Square tube steel is my preferred material, as I already have plenty of that on hand. I'll need to get a bit more for telescoping with the size I have, though.

I also need a ramp. Since this trailer is so low to the ground, it doesn't need to be very long. Maybe I could even use a couple of 2x12 planks. I thought I might just weld some angle iron along the back on which the planks could rest (with some pins to hold them in place). But then again, a hinged gate/ramp is very handy as well. Thoughts and ideas?

I plan to use this as my log-hauling trailer (see the 3rd thumbnail) so having some kind of braces at the back will be good. Maybe something hinged on the side which turns completely underneath. I have a similar arch as what's in the photo, and I'll come up with a way to have that temporarily fastened to the bed. I don't want it permanent, as this will also be used for hauling my mower, lumber, and other stuff.

There's room on the front for holding saws and gear, So I should build/weld a box on there. Not sure how big/wide to make it. All the way to the edge of the trailer? Perhaps that would get in the way of tight turning. And I need something to fasten my capstan winch to (4th pic).

And how do I get this looking better? Sand it, paint it with something to keep it from rusting? Are there chemicals to help with that?

Thanks!

View attachment 856261 View attachment 856263 View attachment 856265 View attachment 856267
Make sure the suspension components aren't rusted all to crap so you don't have a break down.
 
stihl023/5

stihl023/5

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Leave it flat, no rail. Then put on stake pockets. Pockets can double a tie spots. Plus leaving flat, large items on say pallets or loaded with forks one can be put in front of wheels then more put in from the back. A permanent rail or side makes limitations.

I have one with permanent rails and a flat carhauler with removable sides it gets used far more.
 
daddy

daddy

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Agree with flat and stake pockets The ones with rails are there for strength, If you don't need that they hinder you. Attached tailgate/ramp using expanded metal and pinned on angle to locate it seems the most useful and is out of the way unlike loose ramps that you have to deal with every time you use them.
 
old CB

old CB

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One thing to consider is something along each side--angle iron or similar rail--something that you can fasten rope, chain, come-along hook, or whatever. Most of your wood loads, and lots of other stuff for that matter, will need to be secured.

The arch on the tail end is pretty spiffy!
 
LogSawyer74

LogSawyer74

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I've also got a pretty rusted car hauler trailer. Someone told me about some stuff called Ospho (I think?). Basically it comes in 1 gallon plastic bottles and you just paint it on with a brush and it instantly converts rust to some kind of sealed black coating. At least I think that's what I remember. Anyone have any experience with something similar?
 
esshup

esshup

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Unc:

I could write a book..... I typically make a 700+ mile one way trip with a 20' dual axle car trailer weighing just shy of 10,000# every few weeks during spring/summer/fall. Definitely check the suspension. I have a 2 year old Aluminum (bought new) American Hauler car trailer, front leaf spring attachment point broke off and chewed up a tire. THAT portion of the trailer is steel. I need to find the engineer and kick him in the nuts. They used 12 ga. steel to weld the spring hanger to, then bolted that to the trailer.

1) Por-15 https://www.por15.com/ Use the Metal Prep, it converts the rust (Iron oxide) to ferric phosphate. Then paint it.
2) I'd attach a zinc anode to the trailer like they do on saltwater steel boats. The anode is supposed to "rust" first, before boat.
3) Yes on the stake pockets, or do stake pockets with a flat rail welded to the outside of them. That way you have an attachment point the whole length of the sides of the trailer, and you can install/remove sides of your choice in height.
4) Rear ramp or rear "door". Triton Trailers makes them folding so they are half height when stowed. A full sized ramp is a tremendous wind drag going down the road, even the expanded metal ones - like holding a sheet of plywood. Even at 10 mph, there is a lot of drag. I have a Triton trailer and I exchanged the welded on hinge pin for quick release pins. That way I can take the whole ramp off the trailer and not have a piece of plywood on the back when not needed. https://www.tritontrailers.com/accessory/bi-fold-ramp-kit/
5) Put the box up on the tongue, don't make it as wide as the trailer or you will hit the vehicle making a tight turn or backing up. Make it waterproof and lockable.
6) Put 2"x2" or larger LED driving lights on the back of the trailer to use as backup lights. You can't see what is behind the trailer when backing up at night, I did that and put a pair facing almost 90° to the side too, AND put them inside a piece of 1/4" wall aluminum tube so they wouldn't get hit or stepped on.
7) Attach the trailer license plate to the fender and put a light on it. I have lost enough plates to realize that they shouldn't be flopping in the wind.
8) Drill 4 holes in the trailer jack plate. Get a heavy duty castor and drill 4 matching holes. That way when the trailer is empty you can put the castor on the trailer jack and move the trailer by hand (if on concrete).
9) Do a dry run of changing the tire on the trailer when it is fully loaded. That way you will find out that the jack you have might not fit under the trailer, or it might not lift the trailer high enough to get the loaded trailer up off the ground enough to get the tire off.....
10) If you have to re-do the lights on the trailer, do it with LED lights. They don't have the vibration problems that incandescent bulbs do.
11) Trailer brakes? In my opinion, electric is the only way to go.
12) If you are re-wiring the trailer, put a plug or 2 on the trailer where you can plug in a LED worklight on a stand up high, to give you light at night but it is removable so it doesn't get in the way of daily use.
 
rwoods

rwoods

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I will be the contrarian here and say short rails on the side are useful even though I para-buckle quite a bit. Agree 100% with old CB and esshup on the tie-downs. Agree 100% with esshup on LED lights. Add stump guards to the front of the fenders - makes a nice step in addition to protecting the fenders.

I used my trailer like this for years (Yes, I tend to overload it but slow local use only); fenders are removable :
IMG_0944-001.JPG

Front End Loader Damage
IMG_3996.JPG

IMG_4085.JPG

After destroying one too many stakes and hauling more logs than rounds (sorry no pictures of log loads), I modified it and strengthen the frame in the process (You probably don't need the extra frame strength). Metal straps added along stake pockets and stump guards added in front of fender mounts:
Load not secured yet.
IMG_5096.JPG IMG_5166.JPG

Fenders have now been reinstalled to be road legal and additional lighting added.

Ron
 
rwoods

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Forgot. From day one I had square tube jack mounts added and an auxiliary Bulldog jack to change tires, assist the regular jack when loaded and to support the rear when loading the tractor.

Ron
 

svk

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You can treat it with Ospho then paint or just paint it with something like XO rust. Or if you’ve got a rental place nearby you could rent a sandblaster and take it down to bare metal. Then you could potentially find any issues with cracks etc

Check those wheel bearings as well as the date codes on the tires. Your tires look pretty good but older tires can often fail quickly even if they’ve been stored indoors. Tires with a 3 digit date code were made before the year 2000. For 2000 and newer tires, four digit codes-the first two digits indicate the week and last two indicate the year.

Also a good idea to check your lug nuts. I’ve had trailers/vehicles where the lugs were either way too loose or rusted tight and needed serious work to remove. Something you don’t want to have to find out on the side of the road. I also hit them with a little never seize so they don’t rust on again.

I second the suggestion to do stake pockets vs rails.
 
esshup

esshup

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I like the stake pockets plus welding a 1/4" thick or 3/8" thick flat bar to the outside of the pockets. That way you can use the stake pockets to make removable sides, and use flat bar to attach tie down straps to.

I have made 24" tall removable sides, plus front and back on a 48"x96" trailer, and also made a top for it. (two pieces of aluminum bent 90° running the full length of the trailer and the full width). The aluminum slides over the sides, effectively sandwiching them and then I run a couple of ratchet straps over the top to hold it down. Great for carrying stuff in the winter where ice/snow/salt will end up on the stuff if the cover and sides weren't there.

I had a car trailer in the late 80's and thru the 90's that I made removable 4' tall sides ot of OSB with 2x4's that slid down into the stake pockets.
 
unclemoustache

unclemoustache

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I really like the short rail on rwoods trailer. What is that - about 6" high?

I think I'll do that, but also do some stake pockets for higher additions. A decent forklift driver could manage to load/unload a pallet over a 6" rail, I think. But I've never really had a need for that kind of thing so far, so I think I'll do a permanent rail.
 
esshup

esshup

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I really like the short rail on rwoods trailer. What is that - about 6" high?

I think I'll do that, but also do some stake pockets for higher additions. A decent forklift driver could manage to load/unload a pallet over a 6" rail, I think. But I've never really had a need for that kind of thing so far, so I think I'll do a permanent rail.

Unc, the downside to rails is that if you need to hold down short things (like 1-2 sheets of plywood) the straps won't be lower than the top of what you are trying to hold down. The solution is to carry 6x8 blocks for a 6" high side rail. But that's more fiddling around you have to do.
 
rwoods

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I really like the short rail on rwoods trailer. What is that - about 6" high?

I think I'll do that, but also do some stake pockets for higher additions. A decent forklift driver could manage to load/unload a pallet over a 6" rail, I think. But I've never really had a need for that kind of thing so far, so I think I'll do a permanent rail.

6" on the money.
IMG_5492.JPG

Unc, the downside to rails is that if you need to hold down short things (like 1-2 sheets of plywood) the straps won't be lower than the top of what you are trying to hold down. The solution is to carry 6x8 blocks for a 6" high side rail. But that's more fiddling around you have to do.

No need for blocks - the straps would go under the upright rails and over to the tie down rails welded to stake pockets.
IMG_5497.JPG IMG_5498.JPG

Unc, I don't have a box up front but added mesh to create a basket for blocks, etc.
IMG_5499.JPG

I also added mesh to the hitch triangle under the bed with a lift out grate for chains, etc that might otherwise walk off. I about destroyed the grate in a little tractor incident, but the scrap yard has more if I decide to replace it.
IMG_5500.JPG

Ron
 
rwoods

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This little full width angle is from the factory. but it is strong enough to hold my ramps.
IMG_5501.JPG

I don't know if it is legal or not but I added tail, stop and turn lights to the back side of the front of the trailer. Also added clearance lights to the front so I could better see the trailer edges at night. I plan to install some LED backup/work lights over the winter.
IMG_5502.JPG IMG_5503.JPG

Ron
 
daddy

daddy

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I really like the short rail on rwoods trailer. What is that - about 6" high?

I think I'll do that, but also do some stake pockets for higher additions. A decent forklift driver could manage to load/unload a pallet over a 6" rail, I think. But I've never really had a need for that kind of thing so far, so I think I'll do a permanent rail.
Never loaded a trailer with a forklift Unc? The rail will not work out unless you add enough blocking to get the forks above it. If you don't need that, fine, but it will be a problem otherwise. Removeable sides are the way to go in my opinion. So much easier to move heavy things off the edge. I own both styles of trailer, and much prefer the one with flat deck. You can make as many different removeable sides as you want. Multiple sizes...
 
unclemoustache

unclemoustache

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Yes- at 12’, there isn’t much room in front of the wheels. I did the short rails.

So I got a lead on some logs, so I did some quick welding to finish up and did my Trial By Fire this morning.
I estimate about 6,000 pounds on there. Cherry and Walnut.
All went well, but one of the tires was low on air.

08F5B6A3-3A03-498C-A420-266B5F428CFD.jpeg 47FA59C4-A5EC-40F7-9DFE-45ABF5A564C7.jpeg
 
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