need advice about buying a trailer

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
725
NW Ontario
Hello all,

I'm looking for advice for buying a trailer to haul cord wood from the local mill to my house. I don't know much about things to look for, other than that my neighbour suggested a double axle trailer. It will be loaded with a clam, so I will be looking for something with side rails as well. I would be hauling one cord at a time, about 30kms on the highway. I would also like to use the trailer for towing my quad around when i go out of town.

I'm hoping you all can give me some advice about trailer specs, size, capacity, attributes etc. so that I know what to look for when I go to the local trailer dealer.

thanks so much :)
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
641
West Michigan
What are you going to haul it with, and how much wood are you planning on hauling at a time?
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,674
San Ysidro, New Mexico
For one cord at a time one axle is enough. I will recommend two axles. Once you have it work will start showing from all over and you will like to be able to handle it. About space you need to figure out how much space you need for your quad. If you need sides, I highly recommend getting a dump trailer. The practicality of the dump is unbearable. I use my flat bed just for hay. Anything else will go into the dump trailer. Will be nice to come with your wood, dump it and stack it later. Just an opinion.
 
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Osage

Feeling the Heat
Nov 3, 2011
267
kansas
For one cord at a time one axle is enough. I will recommend two axles. Once you have it work will start showing from all over and you will like to be able to handle it. About space you need to figure out how much space you need for your quad. If you need sides, I highly recommend getting a dump trailer. The practicality of the dump is unbearable. I use my flat bed just for hay. Anything else will go into the dump trailer. Will be nice to come with your wood, dump it and stack it later. Just an opinion.
I would not want to put a cord of wood on a single axle. A cord of cured white oak weights around 4200#. More than you want to haul on your normal single axle trailer.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
725
NW Ontario
What are you going to haul it with, and how much wood are you planning on hauling at a time?
I will be hauling it with a 2014 F150 FX4 ecoboost. I will be hauling one cord of 8ft logs at a time (heaviest species being white birch and ash)
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
641
West Michigan
For a cord, a lot of trailers will work fine. If you can find a decent dual axle in your area, it will handle more load, and not be so sensitive to how the load weight is distributed when you're filling it. I think a single axle would be ok for that size load as well, but it will have to be a fairly well built one for sure. You'll really need to pay attention to the carrying capacity, make sure it's at least 4000 lbs. That rules out a lot single axle utility trailers.

A smaller twin axle trailer is going to be sturdier and safer in the long run and more capable if you can find it in your area.
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,674
San Ysidro, New Mexico
I would not want to put a cord of wood on a single axle. A cord of cured white oak weights around 4200#. More than you want to haul on your normal single axle trailer.
there are some 5200 # trailer out there with single axle. i never has use for one cause most of what i do and carrier is heavy. plus for me single axle looks weird. but the choice is available if you look into it.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
668
Northwest Lower Michigan
When you say cord, do you mean full cord or face cord? In my area when people say cord they almost always mean face cord.

I can safely haul about 1.5 face cord with my single axle 5x8.
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
359
California redwood coast
From some shopping I did, upgrading from a 3500lb single axle w/o breaks to a 5200lb single axle with brakes was $560 more. 3500# single axle to double axle (3500# each, both with brakes) was near $1060 u.s. dollars more ($960 with only one pair of brakes). Most of my loads will be fairly light, so I went with the 5200# s.a. (with rear stabilizers) which should still cover the occasional cord of wood. I don't plan on reselling anytime soon, but word is double axle keeps its resell value better. I may regret not doing double axle, but some folks say they're harder to maneuver and walking them not an easy task, plus more upkeep.

How about trying a u-haul double axle rental to see how you like1 vs 2 axles before buying?
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
617
Southern WI
What price range are you looking at? No matter what you get a would say trailer brakes are necessary.
I had a 5x8 single axle dump and found it very handy. Easy to pull with half ton PU.
Other recommendation would be a 14 foot dual axle utility trailer with a ramp gate.
 
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MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
303
NV
As mentioned your truck is rated for 7-11k towing depending on configuration. One thing I’ll stress is, as long as your able, do not skimp on the trailer. Match the trailer to your truck. Find out exactly what your towing capacity and payload is, then begin shopping for the trailer. As mentioned wood can be several thousand pounds dry, not to mention wet weight (you never know). I wouldn’t think about anything other than a double axle with brakes. Check local/state laws (for example where I am law requires brakes on both axles; some don’t). If you can afford it, a dump trailer would be best IMO. You can get your wood and any other material you want/need, and also haul your quad in it. You could go flat deck and this would accomplish your goals also, and you could always build sides if needed. My trailer is a double axle flat deck, 6k rated; it matches my truck perfectly (Tacoma 6400 lb towing capacity). I can grab a cord or 2 of wood, haul my tractor etc it does what I need. Big tex, PJ, diamond C etc all good companies.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,317
Northern Canada
When you say cord, do you mean full cord or face cord? In my area when people say cord they almost always mean face cord.

I can safely haul about 1.5 face cord with my single axle 5x8.
there is no legal measure of a face cord
it is used to rip off unsuspecting customers
 

MTASH

Burning Hunk
Dec 24, 2018
158
Montana
Also keep in mind the axle rating is not the payload rating for the trailer. For example, I have a dual axle flatbed with 3500# axles, for a gross weight rating of 7000#. The trailer itself weighs 2100#, so my actual payload is 4900#.

A lot of people overlook this, which leads to overloaded trailers, failed tires, etc.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
725
NW Ontario
As mentioned your truck is rated for 7-11k towing depending on configuration. One thing I’ll stress is, as long as your able, do not skimp on the trailer. Match the trailer to your truck. Find out exactly what your towing capacity and payload is, then begin shopping for the trailer. As mentioned wood can be several thousand pounds dry, not to mention wet weight (you never know). I wouldn’t think about anything other than a double axle with brakes. Check local/state laws (for example where I am law requires brakes on both axles; some don’t). If you can afford it, a dump trailer would be best IMO. You can get your wood and any other material you want/need, and also haul your quad in it. You could go flat deck and this would accomplish your goals also, and you could always build sides if needed. My trailer is a double axle flat deck, 6k rated; it matches my truck perfectly (Tacoma 6400 lb towing capacity). I can grab a cord or 2 of wood, haul my tractor etc it does what I need. Big tex, PJ, diamond C etc all good companies.
Yes from the advice i've received and my own sleuthing, i'm realizing a double axle is likely the way to go, along with trailer brakes. I would love to get a dump trailer, but it is a price jump for sure. There are some reasonably priced flat decks around, but then i think i would still have to jimmy-rig something up for the sides, because it will be loaded by a clam, so the logs will just roll off the side if there's nothing to brace the logs when the operator opens the clam.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
725
NW Ontario
What price range are you looking at? No matter what you get a would say trailer brakes are necessary.
I had a 5x8 single axle dump and found it very handy. Easy to pull with half ton PU.
Other recommendation would be a 14 foot dual axle utility trailer with a ramp gate.
i'd like to keep it under 4k Canadian
 

MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
303
NV
Yes from the advice i've received and my own sleuthing, i'm realizing a double axle is likely the way to go, along with trailer brakes. I would love to get a dump trailer, but it is a price jump for sure. There are some reasonably priced flat decks around, but then i think i would still have to jimmy-rig something up for the sides, because it will be loaded by a clam, so the logs will just roll off the side if there's nothing to brace the logs when the operator opens the clam.
Yeah it’s a jump in price but it’s worth it (if you can swing it), having sides, dump function (less back ache/work for you and yours) and a cover for materials etc, they are a nice addition. If not you can always build sides for the flat deck, I did mine with 2x4 and 2x6, but there’s also options to have metal sides/stakes and you can work from those. I would probabaly do those or at least think pretty hard about them if I were going to be moving logs regularly. Also concerning price, big tex has a 7k dump trailer tandem axle for 5 grand American (not sure what your conversions are), or as an example I got a 16 ft 6k tandem axle flat deck brakes on both axles and a spare for just under 4 grand.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
668
Northwest Lower Michigan
I always go with independently controlled trailer brakes. If for any of various reasons you start to sway, you can touch the brakes and straighten out. Also if you lose the brakes on the truck, the trailer brakes can slow you down, and using caution can limp you home. As opposed to having zero brakes with extra weight pushing you.
 
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Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
617
Southern WI
i'd like to keep it under 4k Canadian
Not sure how prices are up there compared to down here. Should easily find a tandem utility in that price range. Think dump is above that cap.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
668
Northwest Lower Michigan
there is no legal measure of a face cord
it is used to rip off unsuspecting customers
I agree, it’s a loose measure. But all my life I have yet to see a firewood dealer say a cord and mean a full cord. It’s always face cord, 16” wide give or take. Take what you can get and word gets around for dealers who cut you short. I haven’t burned wood in 5 years but I help my dad with his.
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
359
California redwood coast
I always go with independently controlled trailer brakes. If for any of various reasons you start to sway, you can touch the brakes and straighten out. Also if you lose the brakes on the truck, the trailer brakes can slow you down, and using caution can limp you home. As opposed to having zero brakes with extra weight pushing you.
Are there any other types of brakes put on
trailers besides surge brakes on boat trailer?
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
359
California redwood coast
Just curious, have any of you had personal experience with single vs. dual axles for maneuverability, especially for tight spaces?