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Trailer

Post in 'The Gear' started by Shawn, Mar 3, 2007.

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  1. Shawn

    Shawn Member

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    Been looking for a small utility trailer to make my wood gathering a little easier. This is the first year I've been burning and have had several opportunities for free or nearly free wood that I had to decline due to no easily available trailer. I'm looking at two trailers. Both are 5x10, 3500 lb axles, 15 inch tires, one has a wood floor and one has steel mesh. Both are about the same price at $800 new. The biggest differences is the one with the steel mesh floor has a GVWC of 2,000 and the other one is 2,990. Both are from different trailer shops - the guy with the 2,000lb capacity trailer says his are manufactured in GA and anything over 2K needs brakes, he says the trailer is capable of the higher weight because of the 3500lb axle and standard size wheels. Also, both have the triangulated tongue. The biggest difference is I have to drive about 200 miles round trip to buy the trailer stamped for 2990 lbs. Any opinions?

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  2. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    I'm probably going to get some flak here for my suggestions...but here goes anyway:
    First a few questions for you: What is the vehicle you are going to tow with? Car,mini van, truck or SUV? What class/style hitch (bumper mount,reciever, class I,II,III etc) Are you in the US(not going to try to talk on Canadian regs)?
    Here in the US... FMVSS standards are such: "Light utility style trailers have a gross weight rating GWR of 3,000 lbs or less." Having said that here is where "the rubber meets the road" on light trailers in MHO... A trailer rated at 2,990 or 2,295 construction wise is about as heavy duty as it gets (for that class). The most important thing about these trailers is the AXLE...don't let anyone tell you different. The more the axle is rated for...the less you have to worry about. If it were up to me...I would buy the trailer with the 3,500 lb axle even if you have to drive a little farther to get it....especially since you intend on hauling firewood...because I guarantee you are going to overload it! (just can't be helped). Take it from someone who has been down this road before...the heavier the axle...the less you have head-aches!
    ***Hold the Phone*** Your numbers are out of whack...2,990 lbs is the Total GWR... 2,000 cap sounds about right for both...keep in mind 2,990lbs is the combined weight of how much the trailer weighs...and how much it can carry...in total (900-990 lbs sounds about right for a trailer of this size)...I would go with the steel deck..less to worry about (wet wood on wood for any length of time...guess)
  3. triptester

    triptester Feeling the Heat

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    A few things you might consider if you pick up logs they may not slide to well on the mesh. Mesh will also quickly get deformed from throwing blocks of wood on it. Mesh bottom trailers are best suited to carry lawn service care items.
    A 5x10 trailer when loaded with wood can get very heavy, GVW exceeding 3000, this will require brakes in most states.
  4. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    To quote Triptester:
    I agree! Now don't try this at home boys and girls...Professional behind the wheel...lol
    In all seriousness be carefull out there! This is one of my trailers by the way...keep in mind this load of wood (silver maple) is probably pushing the scale over 5,000 lbs and I prolly broke a few laws...but this trailer was the best $200.00 I ever spent! (6x10 double axle "in-op brakes" "wearing a tax button(plate) for 3K")

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  5. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Honorable mention...Same trailer hauling wood...
    ...We refer to this one as "The Wagon"

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  6. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Get the heaviest rated trailer you can afford and that your tow vehicle can safely handle.

    I have a 5x9 with 3500lb axle and pull it with a Z71 silverado. I had it before I started burning wood, as just a general hauler. If I were to buy a new one I'd get a 6x10 with 3" sides and 2 3500lb axles with brakes.
  7. Shawn

    Shawn Member

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    Thanks guys for the comments. I probably should have asked a bit earlier as I found an advertisement in today's paper and I picked up a new trailer at what I think is a pretty decent deal. It's a Top Brand Inc. trailer, 5x10, treated wood deck, back gate, 3500lb axle, 2990 GVW rating, 15 inch tires, angle iron sides, etc. Your basic, everyday utility trailer. I paid $775. plus tax - this was the best I have been able to find price wise in the last month or so of keeping an eye out for trailers. I figure I will primarily use it for picking up wood when available, but also mulch, taking my mower in for service, etc. It will be nice to have as it seems that there have been plenty of times a trailer would have been nice to have. Never heard to Top Brand trailers before and have not been able to find a website.
  8. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    keyman,

    is that a older Nissan pulling that? Both those loads look like they weigh a heck of a lot, how well did that truck handle it? Asking because I have a 2002 Nissan 4x4 and looking for a trailer. was thinking a 4x8 was about the max I could pull once it was loaded with wood, as my truck is only rated to pull 5000 pounds max, and when I calculate the weight of the trailer + the weight of the wood it adds up quickly
  9. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Elder...Nice to meet you ...and thanks for asking!
    Yup...This one (Kandy) the silver 90' king cab (I give em all girls names' fits' with my basic philosophy..if it's got t_t's or tires...it's going to be a source of heartache, plus it makes it easier when you say to the help grab "____" instead of "the nissan" to which they always reply "which one") was $600.00 "aquirement"(guy wouldn't let it go for less)..."king cab" so it has the desired longer wheelbase which is a must with longer, heavier trailers, 4WD,5-SPD(no 'automatic's thank you),KA24 motor (I like the Z24 motor better...more bulletproof...but ehh... how much can you expect out of a 4-cylinder) has a class III reciever hitch and moves just fine. It's not a 1-ton so I don't drive it like one (with trailers). This one is my "highway runner" so I baby it with trailers whenever I can to save it for running 80MPH down the highway...I've got so many of these damn trucks I don't think I could fit em' all in one picture...lol
    I have a bad habit of "doing more with less"...I've hauled some pretty crazy loads with my trucks...and for that "they don't owe me anything" but I get my money's worth out of them..."major mechanical breakdowns" are surprisingly rare...but when they "get tired" they get taken out of "the ready line" until they can either be brought back to "A1 stint" or retired to "off road status"(like my white plow truck/skidder....lol) I always say "I'm going to get a nice truck and treat it right"...but it will never happen. A truck is a tool or implement...as such they "sometimes take a beating"...and I'll be damned if I'm going to make $500/mo payments on something that is "going to get a tree ran down the side of it" backing into someone's yard to grind a stump...or 'fetch' a nice "mill log". "Bent fenders and 'torn' bodies just comes with the territory.." so I run Nissans'....I ought to be on their payroll...lol

    Crazy??? You be the judge:

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  10. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    ***Honorable mention***
    ...Nice pine to take off to mill...The one time I decided to move the chipper becuase the other (right sized) truck wasn't available..."GIT-R-DUN..."...lol

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  11. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    I'd go with the higher tagged weight rating. That way if 5-0 gets on your case, the odds that you're within the weight rating for the trailer will be greater and your chance of a ticket will be less.

    As for the deck material, I'd go with wood. No question there. Metal makes it hard to drag wood out and it will distort when you throw stuff in there. Wood decking can be replaced easily and quickly, and you can make it smoother or rougher as your needs dictate - sand it smooth and paint, or paint the wood with that non-slip gritty paint. And when you're ready to re-deck the trailer, go buy some new boards - no cutting and welding required!

    I've been running this 2990-lb rated 5x8 for a few years now, towing it with a Jeep Wrangler. Mesh gate, pressure treated wood floor and sides, 15" wheels and tires on 3500lb axles. The rear gate has been great for rolling large logs into the trailer, either by themselves or with the help of a handtruck. My only complaint is the 3500lb springs are a bit stiff unless the trailer is really loaded, but it has never bothered me enough to swap in lighter springs w/ overload leaves. What I particularly like for hauling wood, mulch, soil, debris, etc. are the high sides. My previous trailer had 16" sides and having the taller sides has been GREAT! I can load up with bulky stuff like odd-shaped branches, mounded up 5 feet high in the center, and then just run a couple straps over the load and cinch it down to within a foot of the height of the sides. With lower sides the odds of something jumping out of the trailer as I drove down the road was much higher.

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  12. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Trailer-ing is not bad when "within the manufacturers recomendations"...I don't care how hard you try...A trailer is always going to get overloaded...period. The bigger trailer "nicknamed the USS 'Wachusett' baby aircraft carrier"(my sawmill guy calls it)...is an 86' Eric..7' X 18' with no "builders plate" to be found so it is relagated to 3,000 lbs and under according to the 'tax button'...in truth she was built for 7,000 or better and is equipped hydraulic surge brakes...there is alot of talk right now about surge vs. electric...I'll take surge over electric any day of the week because when you slam on the brakes that baby is stopping...no "push and pray" as with electrics (damn pain in the ^ss, always gotta adjust the controller, brakes are either locking up or "non-existant" can't swap or loan the thing to someone without a controller, etc) I run the gears in the truck...and let her do the work...but she always stops when I hit the brakes.
    I'm working on building a heavy duty, double axe, surge brake equipped, light weight trailer for use with the Nissans' based on the 'Wagon' which would be perfect...if it dumped. When I get the time...arrggh! I won't show pictures of the "night moves" to protect my fifth amendment rights...lol This is about as far as I'll go "in daylight"...lol

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  13. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Computerusser...nice little trailer...
    If you don't like the rough ride of stiff single axles...Have you ever towed an empty double axle? (much nicer)...
    Nice trailer just the same...Is it a "home built"???
  14. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Probably more in line with manufacturers specs...but still over 2,000 pounds on the hitch...

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  15. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, it's really about perfect for the Jeep Wrangler that I tow it with, and its size discourages (though it doesn't prevent) me from exceeding the towing capacity of the Jeep. I had the trailer made by a local trailer fabrication shop, though there's nothing particularly challenging in either the design or fabrication. Since that time, though, I've acquired the equipment and (dare I say) skill necessary to do metal fabrication at home, so I will definitely build my next one myself. Attached is another picture of the trailer, attached to its tow vehicle.

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  16. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Thanks,
    Had to ask..looked factory...the job shop did good by you. So you want to build the next one? Hope you like to drink beer...building trailers is like watching paint dry...happens very slowly..take plenty of pictures for "emotional encouragement"...(maybe it's just becuase I build em' break them, and build em' again)...lol
    Yup by the looks of the picture...you sure are close to 3,000 pounds...like I said firewood + trailers = overload (can't be helped basic nature of man)...lol
    Thanks for the post & pics... <keyman>
  17. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    Keyman.
    Wow, I am impressed with the size of loads you are towing with that Nissan, I would of never thought it possible.

    Here are pics of my Nissan loaded with Oak in the bed, like I said I need a small trailer either a 4x8 or a 5x8 is waht I am thinking. I have a class 3 hitch on the truck,and truck is rated to tow 5K

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  18. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Thank you for the compliment Elderthewelder...
    I definately "shake some heads" with some of the trailer work I do from time to time...
    Like I said I'm trying to build an "application specific" dump trailer...got pretty much all the parts I think I'm going to need...just gotta fire up the torches and the welder now. If you are pretty handy...and can find the time and spare parts (i.e. junk trailers people have given up on) either a double axle old camper (that is "trashed") or "mobile home frame"...you can build a decent trailer....decent enough to get banged around hauling firewood anyway. Here are a few more pics to go along with the previous pic of the "chopped down dump truck"...even though it was placed on the trailer with a CAT "pay loader"..it was "unloaded by hand". The first picture shows my cousin shaking his head staring at the accomplishment of getting it off the trailer and onto it's new cribbing...the second is a better view of the same..."Yankee Ingenuity". Amazing sometimes...
    Your truck should haul just fine...nice rig...

    You like the "tight spot" I backed into???

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  19. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    I want one of those!!
  20. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks. I do agree that the shop did well by me. They did exactly what I wanted and did it within a couple days of placing my order. No complaints there! The next one will definitely be home-built, though, if only for the fun of doing it.

    I agree that it is not a quick process, but with a bit of planning and the right equipment, it works out OK. I spent a few evenings helping a buddy of mine build this trailer in his garage a couple weeks ago to replace a 5x10 single axle he had been using for a few years. He wanted to upgrade to a heavier trailer and add a second axle, since he regularly hauls quantities of 8-10' x 20"+ diamater hardwood logs home to mill into lumber. The design is a 5x12' tandem flatbed, using 4" heavy c-channel for the frame and tongue, with heavy angle iron spaced at 18" for the crossbraces. He also integrated a full-length piece of c-channel laying on its back as a way to have recessed tiedowns in the center of the trailer and to further stiffen up the trailer. Stake pockets were welded on and some sort of removable, pressure-treated wood sides will be forthcoming.

    It went together pretty quickly, maybe seven or eight weekday evenings and an entire Friday. He has yet to add decking, to install the lights, and to attach a tongue-mounted toolbox, but he finally got it painted this past week.

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  21. FuzzyOne

    FuzzyOne Member

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    LOL, I followed this trailer thread over on the welding forum while it was being made. That trailer definitely turned out nice. Especially considering the tight space he was able to build it in.
  22. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

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    Yeah, the 3/4" clearance between the tongue and the garage door...tight quarters!
  23. bigNATE®

    bigNATE® New Member

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    lol, I followed it on arboristsite.com .... small world eh?
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