need advice about buying a trailer

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
Don't buy more or less than you need. If it's a occasional load of wood and moving a single ATV, then a single axle trailer might be all you need. Much easier to handle, cheaper, etc.
this is definitely something that has got me flip-flopping right now. in reality, i will use it to move 4 cords of firewood per year, and maybe my quad once or twice per year.
 

hedge wood

Burning Hunk
Mar 1, 2009
178
Eastern NE
this is definitely something that has got me flip-flopping right now. in reality, i will use it to move 4 cords of firewood per year, and maybe my quad once or twice per year.
If you are only going to use it 4-6 times a year. Rent some different type trailers for a year or so and see what works best for you and watch the used market for a deal.
 
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tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
667
Northwest Lower Michigan
My 5x8 enclosed with 3500# axle has been a lifetime investment. I say that because I’ve had it for 20 years and counting. Not counting the 2-3 years I had the first one. I was 21 when I started towing. I’ve towed it with anything from a station wagon, minivan, jeep. Monthly trash hauls to the dump and recycle. Picked up scrap on evenings after work and later turned it in for cash. Hauled sheets of building materials. Hauled firewood and tons of pellets for like 15 years. Gathered moving boxes, moved my own stuff between houses, moved in and out the belongings of 2 wives and a housemate. Moved mower and snowblower back and forth to maintain other house. Hauled our equipment when I was in a band. Any time I saw something I wanted or needed on a whim, like an organ, woodstove, pellet stove, range, water heater, furnace, mower, snowblower, furniture, large car parts ...... the trailer was always there immediately. With the insurance settlement I paid $1600 for it, plus a few hundred for the brakes and controller. It has to have paid for itself many times over, not counting the convenience which is priceless.

Like they say if you build it they will come. You might really only use it a handful of times a year. But you may find many more uses over time so it would be good to think about. There was only one time I wished the trailer was bigger so I borrowed one, the rest of the time I’m glad I got the size I did. If I really had to I could always trade up.
 

MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
302
NV
this is definitely something that has got me flip-flopping right now. in reality, i will use it to move 4 cords of firewood per year, and maybe my quad once or twice per year.
So I’m going to give you a bit of info to mull over, and while some will call this nit picky, others myself included call this making informed decisions. First, the trailer you linked I agree is over priced. I did the currency conversion and my trailer (8x16 tandem axle 6k brakes load ramps spare tire was right around 200$ more), so find a better deal or as suggested rent a few and trial them. Next, I re read your original post, a cord at a time, white birch or ash, approx 30 kms on the highway. Now, your truck is rated for it (assuming payload capacity is there also, remember 10-15% tongue weight etc). Is this wood going to be wet or dry? I’d imagine safe to assume if in log form it won’t be dry. According to internet birch weighs in green at 4312 lbs, ash at 4184 lbs. The link your provided has the payload of the trailer at 4110 lbs, so if hauling green wood your technically overweight.

Im not sure how it is for you in your area, but for example, here being on the highway or interstate opens you up for potential trouble (ie law enforcement stops you, weighs you, finds your trailer over weight); or god forbid you get into an accident and they find your over weight, now you could be held liable etc.

Now, is it likely you’ll be stopped by police etc? Probabaly not. Is it likely you’d get into a wreck with that short drive? Probabaly not. But they are possibilities, and therefore risks associated with it that you should know, and take into consideration making your decision.

Factor in perhaps you get different species of wood at times etc, as some pointed out the dry weight of some species alone would max, or exceed that trailer. The atv obviously wouldn’t be a problem. Just want you to think about these things, so you can make an informed decision/best decision for you regarding doing this safely and correctly. Sorry for the long post.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
So I’m going to give you a bit of info to mull over, and while some will call this nit picky, others myself included call this making informed decisions. First, the trailer you linked I agree is over priced. I did the currency conversion and my trailer (8x16 tandem axle 6k brakes load ramps spare tire was right around 200$ more), so find a better deal or as suggested rent a few and trial them. Next, I re read your original post, a cord at a time, white birch or ash, approx 30 kms on the highway. Now, your truck is rated for it (assuming payload capacity is there also, remember 10-15% tongue weight etc). Is this wood going to be wet or dry? I’d imagine safe to assume if in log form it won’t be dry. According to internet birch weighs in green at 4312 lbs, ash at 4184 lbs. The link your provided has the payload of the trailer at 4110 lbs, so if hauling green wood your technically overweight.

Im not sure how it is for you in your area, but for example, here being on the highway or interstate opens you up for potential trouble (ie law enforcement stops you, weighs you, finds your trailer over weight); or god forbid you get into an accident and they find your over weight, now you could be held liable etc.

Now, is it likely you’ll be stopped by police etc? Probabaly not. Is it likely you’d get into a wreck with that short drive? Probabaly not. But they are possibilities, and therefore risks associated with it that you should know, and take into consideration making your decision.

Factor in perhaps you get different species of wood at times etc, as some pointed out the dry weight of some species alone would max, or exceed that trailer. The atv obviously wouldn’t be a problem. Just want you to think about these things, so you can make an informed decision/best decision for you regarding doing this safely and correctly. Sorry for the long post.
No apologies necessary at all! I appreciate the advice, and it's good advice. I don't want to do anything that flirts with the limits of what the trailer can do, or potentially sets up a dangerous situation. This is why i made this thread - to get all this good practical advice before i spend a bunch of money.

One of the biggest challenges right now is finding and getting to places that sell trailers. There is one guy in town here, but he's closed because of COVID stuff, and his trailers are likely way overpriced. Then there's a dealer 1.5 hours to the east, and then a few about 2.5hrs to the west. So it will take some sleuthing and time to get it all in place and pull the trigger on somehting. Especially cause i can't even go west right now without quarantining for 2 weeks (crossing provincial boundary), which i'm not going to do just to buy a trailer!

Today i'm going to head to the lumber yard and get a half cord put in my truck. Will see how that goes, and maybe for this year this is what I'll have to do.
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
811
Western Washington
I think renting one the first year is an excellent idea. That’s what I did. If you rent a dump trailer, I don’t think you’ll won’t want anything else. If I was going to get a trailer for firewood it would be a tandem but maybe you can cut your loads down to a safe size and just make more trips. Over loads aren’t very fun
 

festerw

Feeling the Heat
Nov 16, 2009
474
Cambridge Springs, PA
My 5x8 enclosed with 3500# axle has been a lifetime investment. I say that because I’ve had it for 20 years and counting. Not counting the 2-3 years I had the first one. I was 21 when I started towing. I’ve towed it with anything from a station wagon, minivan, jeep. Monthly trash hauls to the dump and recycle. Picked up scrap on evenings after work and later turned it in for cash. Hauled sheets of building materials. Hauled firewood and tons of pellets for like 15 years. Gathered moving boxes, moved my own stuff between houses, moved in and out the belongings of 2 wives and a housemate. Moved mower and snowblower back and forth to maintain other house. Hauled our equipment when I was in a band. Any time I saw something I wanted or needed on a whim, like an organ, woodstove, pellet stove, range, water heater, furnace, mower, snowblower, furniture, large car parts ...... the trailer was always there immediately. With the insurance settlement I paid $1600 for it, plus a few hundred for the brakes and controller. It has to have paid for itself many times over, not counting the convenience which is priceless.

Like they say if you build it they will come. You might really only use it a handful of times a year. But you may find many more uses over time so it would be good to think about. There was only one time I wished the trailer was bigger so I borrowed one, the rest of the time I’m glad I got the size I did. If I really had to I could always trade up.
I really miss my 6x12 enclosed trailer. Had to sell it a few years ago and I've missed it since.

No worries about shoveling it out, no worries about things getting wet if you leave them overnight, great temporary storage.

One of these years I'll buy a 14' dual axle.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,312
Northern Canada
Rent for a while and watch Kijiji
If you are mechanically inclined a little...
Find a good used trailer.Let someone else eat the depreciation.
A well built trailer frame will last a lifetime. Tires are cheap so don't worry about replacing them on a used trailer if you buy it right.Brakes are cheap to work on as well.
I got a used tandem axle trailer 20+ years ago,2 7000# axles,18 ft brakes on both axles.I will have this trailer till they pull my license,unless it gets damaged from overloading.It's carried some huge loads so i don't think that will happen.The worst damage it ever received was from loaning it out to a buddy for firewood.
Friends :rolleyes:
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
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just got back from picking this up. $60 for the load. Not sure what it will split/stack out to, but i'm happy with what I got for $60. Now to see how much of a PIA it is to unload...
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
I think renting one the first year is an excellent idea. That’s what I did. If you rent a dump trailer, I don’t think you’ll won’t want anything else. If I was going to get a trailer for firewood it would be a tandem but maybe you can cut your loads down to a safe size and just make more trips. Over loads aren’t very fun
unfortunately it is really expensive to rent a trailer in my small town, and for the same overpriced cost I could get some cordwood delivered. trailers are really hard to come by up here, or rather trailers in good shape that don't cost an arm and a leg.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,393
Downeast Maine
How long is your bed? At first I thought you might be pretty overloaded, but with a shortbed probably not.
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
358
California redwood coast
This thread got my curiosity going, as I have a single 5200# axle on order. You all got me wondering about tandem axle. I checked UHaul's trailers out online. Surprisingly, their tandem axle trailer is only rated to carry a 2670# load. That'd be less than my future single axle, which will be around 4000#. ($30/day before tax and insurance to rent the UHaul, by the way.)
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,393
Downeast Maine
This thread got my curiosity going, as I have a single 5200# axle on order. You all got me wondering about tandem axle. I checked UHaul's trailers out online. Surprisingly, their tandem axle trailer is only rated to carry a 2670# load. That'd be less than my future single axle, which will be around 4000#. ($30/day before tax and insurance to rent the UHaul, by the way.)
I think Uhaul underrates their stuff for an added safety margin. I have used the tandem axle auto transport as well as the tandem axle enclosed trailer.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,312
Northern Canada
I think Uhaul underrates their stuff for an added safety margin. I have used the tandem axle auto transport as well as the tandem axle enclosed trailer.
Yea they do,you should see some of the loads i see on Uhauls coming up the Alaska highway.
There was a firewooder here for a couple years who had a Uhaul trailer disguised as a firewood trailer.Not sure if he bought it unknowingly or stole it.But he would put 4 cords of dry spruce on it with 14" tires.He worked out of our town for a couple years,he went through very few tires considering the loads he carried.
 
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MTASH

Burning Hunk
Dec 24, 2018
158
Montana
Tires are also important in this discussion. If buying a new trailer, the manufacturer *should* have installed tires rated for the load capacity of the trailer (or higher). But if buying used, it's common for someone to have installed cheap replacement tires that may not be rated for the full load capacity. And in either case, it's very important to run the proper air pressure.
 
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mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
358
California redwood coast
On topic of utility trailer tires... I've noticed that 5200# axles typically have bigger wheels (e.g . 15” vs 14") an extra lug (6vs 5)compared to 3500# axles.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,312
Northern Canada
Tires are also important in this discussion. If buying a new trailer, the manufacturer *should* have installed tires rated for the load capacity of the trailer (or higher). But if buying used, it's common for someone to have installed cheap replacement tires that may not be rated for the full load capacity. And in either case, it's very important to run the proper air pressure.
Most of the trailers i see coming from boarder towns in the US allways have car tires on them.Semi truck loads go by on thier way to Alaska.
Sometimes i see them on trailers being pulled.
Unfortunately 90% of trailer tires are made in china.
If you get a trailer that has 16" tires then you can run LT tires rated for the weight you are going to carry.Then you can find tires made in Canada,or USA.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
So I've been able to bring 5 truck loads of 8ft logs home this week. I realize that this is a very slow way to bring cord wood home, but beyond that, it's really working well for me. So my question is, so long as I don't mind the extra time it takes, how much better off would I be with a trailer vs. doing it this way? How significant will the wear and tear on the truck be vs. having a trailer, and the maintenance that will go with it? What do you fellas think? I'm almost starting to think I'll just pick away at wood using my truck box, since I have the time.
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
614
Southern WI
Trucks are made to haul, just respect its limits/capabilities. I use my truck to haul wood all the time, but its a beater, so damage not an issue for me. You will get dents and scratches. Hauling logs like that, you may damage a bedside or tailgate it one slips while loading/unloading. If you prefer to not damage your truck, a trailer would be the way to go.
As for maintenance on a trailer, its minimal. Keep bearings greased, tires properly inflated. If you have a place to store it out of the weather, that will greatly reduce the maintenance needed.
If you are on the fence on weather to get one or not, just keep using the truck and wait for the right trailer at the right price to come along.
 
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Trailer are usually lower and can be easily loaded from the side (side panel removed) ...
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
Trucks are made to haul, just respect its limits/capabilities. I use my truck to haul wood all the time, but its a beater, so damage not an issue for me. You will get dents and scratches. Hauling logs like that, you may damage a bedside or tailgate it one slips while loading/unloading. If you prefer to not damage your truck, a trailer would be the way to go.
As for maintenance on a trailer, its minimal. Keep bearings greased, tires properly inflated. If you have a place to store it out of the weather, that will greatly reduce the maintenance needed.
If you are on the fence on weather to get one or not, just keep using the truck and wait for the right trailer at the right price to come along.
This is great advice, and kind of what I'm thinking right now. I just got the truck ready to go for another load, and did notice that my studs on my tires took a pretty good beating last week lugging all those heavy loads. Unfortunately, most of the town roads are bare right now, but out in the country where I live they are still ice/snow packed. So, the combo of bare pavement and heavy logs did do a number on some of the studs. But such is the price of doing wood :)