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WOOD TRAILER PROJECT... NEED SUGGESTIONS! PIC INSIDE!

Post in 'The Gear' started by WoodButcher80, Feb 16, 2009.

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  1. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    hey guys.... ok, heres my scenario. i have a trailer thats 4x10 , i just got it for 100$ . it was a great deal, it pulled great down the road, nice and straight. its got 215 65 15" tires for a heavy payload and a torsion axle that springs the platform about 3" when i bounce on the trailer itself. i guess there are pluses and minuses with a torsion axle.. i havent used them before.
    i see 2 small wires coming from the drum, so im assuming this was a trailer axle with electric brakes? that would be great if they work. anyways, as you can see, the platform is junk, but i wanted you guys to see the design before i took the pics of it ripped off.

    i want to haul some wood, hopefully about 3000lbs or less, no more to be safe. the box frame is 2"x2" running in the front and the sides. angle iron is used to brace it left to right. thats about it.

    what im concerned about is on the left side of the trailer if you were standing at its front. it looks like the frame had something wrong with it and he repaired it by attaching 3 pieces of 2" box frame to fix it? i dont know much about how to fix cracked trailers, but is this a common method to side the side rails? it almost makes it look like there was a side step of some sort because the frame drops down. .. who knows .
    he did however brace it very well as you can see in the pic.

    i want to haul the wood safely. im assuming the best idea would be to run 2x10" boars left to right, 50" long, all the way along the trailer. the thing is, how would i secure the boards? i dont think 50 screws into the box frame on the sides would be a good idea! i mean i could just pinch em together tightly and brace them somehow....
    after doing this for support, i want to lay the top with 3/4" exterior grade plywood. then i would weld 2x4 pockets to the side so i can build up 2' tall sides, brake light brackets and im ready to go.

    the predicament is that i can get one for 200$ without a frame repair like this one has, and with 3x4" outer box frame and sides ready to go. i dont mind spending 100$ on welding material to make it beefier, and 100$ on wood. BUT , is this worth it, or do i just put back on the top wood, and sell it to someone who wants to carry snowmobiles and lighter duty stuff? i know i can get my 100$ back i paid for it because the axle and hubs themselves are worth that.
    ugh.. enough typing... what you guys think??? :) click pics to make em bigger

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  2. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    more pics on their way

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  3. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    more pics on their way.........

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  4. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    more pics on their way ..........

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  5. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    LAST PIC ......

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  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    It was a camper in its former life, hence the step.
  7. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Looks to me like you have a lot more than $100 - 200 worth of work to make that trailer able to do what you want, and at best it would STILL have less capacity than the one you describe as being able to get for $200. IMHO it's a no-brainer to get the better trailer and sell this one to get your money back out of it...

    As to the strange gap in the side rail, I'd be worried about it... Do you have any history on this thing, like what it started out in life as? I could easily be wrong, but it looks like it might have been a travel trailer originally, with that gap being where the door was to get in. If so, I'd be concerned about the strength on the frame, as my understanding is that travel trailers and the like often get a lot of their strength from the bodys that are sitting on them....

    If that trailer was all I had, might be worth trying to fix it up, but if you have a cheap upgrade available, thats where I'd be more inclined to spend my money...

    Gooserider
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    If you need a small off-road trailer to pull behind a tractor, I would shorten that up a bit by cutting out the step section and leave it at that. I thing Goose is probably right about going with the other trailer.
  9. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    The mod on the side's pretty ragged-looking. I'd think you'd want to retrofit some additional steel members across it to support a stout wood floor to get it to the capacity you're after. Needs a lot of work, IMO. I agree with Goose that you just might be better off passing this one along and going for the other one you mentioned. Rick
  10. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    thanks guys...i will be using this to get wood up to 30 miles away from my house with my truck . ill then stack it on my wood pile till i need it. then my theory is when i need firewood, i can fill my trailer up, hook it to my 3wheeler, and pull the load into my garage space and take the pieces inside as i need em to burn. slick eh??! :) that way i dont have to get 5 wheel barrow loads a week to run my stove (i burn 24/7) . currently i get the barrow loads of wood and stack em in the corner of my garage. parking the trailer with enough wood to last a month would be sooo much easier , and i wouldnt stack it since its already seasoned and dry. woo hoo! thus i need a 5' wide MAX trailer , so the lady can pull in the garage too.

    as for this trailer , i guess that would make sense that it would be a travel trailer seeing how they would be the ideal candidate for a torsion axle. well, heres a pic of the other trailer for 200$
    it has 3"x4" box frame running all the way to the back, and 3x3 boxes up front by the triangle design.

    he said it has angle iron for the 'bumper' cross bar, and one 3x3 box right by the axle running parallel with it. he said theres no other cross support on this aside from the little angle iron bar in the back and the 3x3 box going across by the axle.

    he said the prev owner used it for hauling 2000lbs of coal all the time. the prev owner used angle iron in the corners to hold the sideboards in place, and they can be removed to make a flatbed. . . i probably can get it for 175$ , you think its worth it just for the solid frame (no step thing like on mine) , and 3x4 box setup ? its a 4.5x8 , 2 feet shorter than mine.

    the fenders are junk. i guess they used cuttings from a 55gallon drum and put them on.... pretty clever, but pretty gnarled up !!!

    thanks for all your help guys !!!

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  11. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd put my money & effort into the second one to make a nice little wood hauler. The first one just doesn't have enough goin' for it. Rick
  12. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Nope, don't haul wood with that.
    I don't know what it was but that close up shot of the step shows it was made by someone without a clue.
    That would be for VERY lite weight use.
    Let's see shots of the other one.
  13. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    for some reason, the reply i sent to you guys showed up 2 above this one.... with the pic of it covered in snow. .. sorry
  14. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw it, butcher, that's the one I was talkin' about two posts up. I think it's a better rig for you, myself. Kenny's just havin' a hard time keepin' up. %-P Rick
  15. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Fozz, you did not.
    Can't see no close ups but the overall shot gives a real good impression.
    Yes, definitly a warmer and fuzzier feel than the other one.
  16. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks guys ,

    it seems a better buy. heck, he said the lights work, that saves me 30$ right there. i dont want anything like 6' wide. it wouldnt fit in the garage and my beautiful plan wont work anymore :) . ill post it for 150$ on cl , get 125 for it .

    as for the other one, how much wood do you think itll fit with 4.5x8 and 15" sides as is? . you think 1 angle iron on the bumper and 1 3"x3" box frame 4' long across by the axle would be enough lateral support? probably have to beef that bad boy up to eh? theres a book at the library on how to build a trailer. ill use that for a reference to strengthen it .

    p.s. RICK you stole MY AXE !!!
  17. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I agree, looks to me like the second one offers a LOT more to work with... Shorter won't hurt that much, just pile the wood a bit higher on what you have, and otherwise it looks a lot stronger and would need less in the way of work to get it on the road. The fenders are shot as you said, but they'd probably work, or could be made to with a little "lovin' from a BFH" but looks like it has lights, a workable box to carry the load, and so forth...

    Not sure about your plans for parking the trailer load in the garage, but if you think it would work, it's worth a try... I just suspect that once you have the trailer you'll find its got more uses than sitting around under a pile of wood. :coolsmirk:

    Gooserider
  18. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    i agree goose, the thing is i dont tackle any immediate plans in the winter when im burning , which is when itll have wood in it in the garage. even if i needed it, ill only put a months worth of wood in it at a time... no biggie i guess.
  19. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    this guys sellin this 5x8 for 450$ , but its about the same as the one for 200$ but its from a trailer company with documentation, and its for sure a 3500lb axle. . . but its 275$ more for steel rails .

    im sure the 200$ one has a 3500lb axle on it. ..

    my pick would be the 200$ one , do you concur (heheh) ?

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  20. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Mixed bag... Again, it looks like a better trailer, but I don't know if it's $200 better... Would depend on the construction differences between the two, which is hard to see under the snow... One question that might influence it, is how your local registry types are about home-brew trailers vs. ones with documentation - it might be worth checking to see what difference it makes, as the government often specializes in making life more difficult, so it might be worth $200 extra for the hassle reduction...

    Gooserider
  21. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    wise words goose... wise indeed ....
  22. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    ok, i talked to the seller and he sent me more pics of the one i could get for 175$ . see what you think. he said 3x4" on the outsides, 3x3" on the inside. looks like all i need to do and run more 2x4's the length of the trailer underneath the wood platform.
    ill leave it up to you guys... worth it? if not, its ok, its an hour away and i can wait for a month or so i guess.... thing is every trailer in this shape/strength is always 400$ asking price.

    i appreciate the help.

    EDIT: i just noticed it isnt a box frame, its thick 3x4 angle iron on the outsides... is this better than 2x2 box steel?

    also, what do you think about how the tongue (round pole in front) was attached to the body? should i hold off?

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  23. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    last two...

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  24. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would still say it's an improvement over the first trailer, but not as much of one... It looks much worse in this second set of pictures than the initial photo did.

    Angle is stronger than strip steel, and C channel or I beam is stronger than angle, but box or tube is stronger yet...

    Again it looks like you don't have a lot of cross structural support, and the tongue is not really substantially attached to the rest of the body - is that center member under the box steel or wood? I can't really tell from the photos. If it's steel I don't think you'd need much additional support under the box, but if it's wood I'd be more concerned about the entire structure of the trailer.

    Another thing I notice is that there doesn't seem to be any suspension other than the tires - if so it will be bouncy as heck going down the road, especially empty, which is hard on both the trailer and the tow vehicle.

    Bottom line, I'd say it would do the job, but I wouldn't want to push the load limits on it very hard....

    OTOH, that commercial trailer looked like it would be much better by comparison, though as I said it's hard to see a lot from that angle and with all the snow on it - you probably have much more substantial framing, with cross members, stronger tubes, etc, and a load limit that is probably more set by the lawyer types than by the strength of the materials that went into it....

    Remember that a commerical trailer is made by an outfit that has a known address, and deep enough pockets to attract ambulance chasers, er, lawyers... They will tend to make stronger, better engineered and built projects than home brew types just in self defense... (Though it doesn't totally guarantee it, my father had serious damage done to a boat he owned thanks to a commercial trailer collapsing on him) When you get home built you are starting from the basis of not knowing just how good the builder's welding skills are, and so on, where with a commercial product you have a more known quantity....

    Gooserider
  25. WoodButcher80

    WoodButcher80 Feeling the Heat

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    goose,

    well, if your lookin at the 3rd pic, it looks like they added the center round tongue pole into the fram by that ugle piece of metal thats rectangle... thats my guess. ya, it doesnt have a suspension, but most of these half-hazard trailers dont. in a perfect world it would be 5' long leafs with 15" LT tires and a 4x4 box steel bed. .. but it aint happening! i guess i could check out that 450 one and see how its built, box or angle iron. . . im pullin it with a cherokee, so i can pull 3k-4k tops. we all pull more than we should, i just want to get the best bang for my buck.... you get hwat you pay for eh? i guess ill hold off. any other sugg?
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