Truck vs trailer

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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,593
07462
I use both, have a standard 6.5 pickup truck bed and a 6x10 trailer with mesh sides, I prefer the trailer due to the lower height for larger rounds, but I can also fit a lot when used in combo, 4 full loads of the truck and trailer will carry me for a whole season's worth of wood. The biggest problem with the truck is getting the first dents and scratches, after thats over with it becomes easier to haul things.
3E94FB50-FD85-44FA-8BE5-57C739FF05D0.jpeg
 
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Isaac Carlson

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2012
804
NW Wisconsin
I'm having some trouble following you, here. How on earth would a dumping flatbed weigh a lot less than a stock sheetmetal pickup bed? Seems to be it would have to be heavier, factoring in the upper and lower structures required for dumping, the hydraulics, and the decking. Also, while a flatbed would be awesome for unloading with a grapple, I'm not sure I see the advantage on loading. My trailer has solid sides, and is deeper than a pickup bed (by almost 2x), but it's still no problem to load it with a grapple.

If loading with a grapple or forks on a very regular basis, I'd want a 20' tandem axle trailer with removable or fold-down stake sides. Remove the side from which you're loading, load against the far wall, re-install the near wall after the first row is loaded. Perfect.
I said my dumping flatbed would be lighter than a bed plus a dumping insert, and it would have more room. It might not be that much lighter, but it will sure give me more room than the insert. My bed will have removable sides, just like a flatbed trailer. I have flatbeds, but if it is something that will fit on the truck, that is my preferred method. I don't like pulling a trailer if I don't have to.

I have been working hard to make my bed design as light as I can while still having a reasonable safety margin. I am using a telescopic cylinder up front to shift more of the weight to the front axle. My cylinder weighs about 80 lbs compared to 250-400 for a scissor and requires much less pressure. (1,200 psi vs 3,200+) That lets me use just about anything to power it. I have acquired a pto pump, a clutch pump, and a power steering pump. I like the power steering pump for the ease of install and setup, so I could use the other two for anything I want or sell them if I decide to.
 
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Bobbob

Member
Jan 13, 2022
65
Transfer PA
My wood hauling is mostly done with a Polaris Ranger and a 3x5 trailer. I can get quite a lot on when using both together. Most of the time I'm able to pull right up to the tree. I have a 5x10 utility trailer we use when gathering away from home. We use the trailer for everything from gravel to drywall. Don't have to worry about denting or scratching the bed. Tow vehicle is a Toyota 4runner. Personally would rather have this set up than a truck any day. Easier to load and unload
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,593
07462
2-11-16 007.JPG
The only big issue with a cheaper trailer is overloading its weight limit, this trailer is a 3500gwr, figure some oak rounds can weigh 150-200lbs, its very easy to overfill, another thing is finding the right balance, you want a heavier tongue for better control, but you dont want it so heavy that all the weight is on the ball either.
My next trailer will be a 12ft dump, those are usually 10-15k gwr and double axle w/ electric brakes.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,593
07462
that wheel looks like it's leaning.....is the axle bent?
Nah, travels just fine, I think that looks like a bend because the suspension was flexing since it was parked on uneven terrain
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,593
07462
@Ashful please don’t say that to me lol, I went kayak shopping 3yrs ago and ended up coming home with a 2019 2500hd duramax, retired my 11’ hd.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,947
Philadelphia
@Ashful please don’t say that to me lol, I went kayak shopping 3yrs ago and ended up coming home with a 2019 2500hd duramax, retired my 11’ hd.
My mistake. I hadn’t zoomed in enough to see the bolt pattern on those wheels, and assumed you had a 1500.

The big problem with those dump trailers, that few seem to realize, is the insane tongue weight needed to keep such a short trailer stable at speed. Load something that short to 15,000 lb, gross, and you’re going to want at least 2000 lb on the ball hitch. That’s an awful lot of weight, so far aft of the rear axle, for most trucks.
 

Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
629
Connecticut
A while back I had a small 4x6 trailer towed by my SUV. Bought that because at the time there were 3 other drivers here and no room for a truck. Have an older full size truck with an 8' bed. I'll admit a trailer has advantages. I could never master backing up with the 4x6 trailer, at least doing it well. One time at the dump a guy said just use your driver's side mirror to back up, that was good advice.

That thing was so light when empty. a few times when trying to back it into the yard where I store it I said screw it and just picked up the back to move it. I've heard though - a smaller is actually more difficult to back up than a longer trailer.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,947
Philadelphia
I've heard though - a smaller is actually more difficult to back up than a longer trailer.
A little, yes. It’s really compounded by the reduced visibility you often have with a small trailer, more than just the length itself.

A bigger factor than just trailer length is the distance from your rear axle to the ball hitch, sometimes referred to as drawbar length. Put a low short trailer on a short drawbar with a tall tailgate, and even an experienced driver can hate it.

I have one very low and relatively short boat trailer. I rearranged it to allow me to drop the tailgate on my pickup, when backing the empty trailer down the boat ramp, so I wasn’t completely blind to it in my old truck without backup camera.
 
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Isaac Carlson

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2012
804
NW Wisconsin
A while back I had a small 4x6 trailer towed by my SUV. Bought that because at the time there were 3 other drivers here and no room for a truck. Have an older full size truck with an 8' bed. I'll admit a trailer has advantages. I could never master backing up with the 4x6 trailer, at least doing it well. One time at the dump a guy said just use your driver's side mirror to back up, that was good advice.

That thing was so light when empty. a few times when trying to back it into the yard where I store it I said screw it and just picked up the back to move it. I've heard though - a smaller is actually more difficult to back up than a longer trailer.
The length of the trailer doesn't matter. It's the distance between the rear axle of the towing vehicle and the trailer axle's that matters, along with hitch to rear axle distance (to some extent).
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
29,088
central pa
It's funny how different the same trailer can be behind different tow vehicles. I can easily put our enclosed work trailer in anywhere when it's behind one of the trucks. But put it behind the van and it just doesn't cooperate. Doesn't want to rotate at first and once it does it instantly wants to jackknife. That combo just is a bear.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,827
Northern Canada
It's funny how different the same trailer can be behind different tow vehicles. I can easily put our enclosed work trailer in anywhere when it's behind one of the trucks. But put it behind the van and it just doesn't cooperate. Doesn't want to rotate at first and once it does it instantly wants to jackknife. That combo just is a bear.
The rear end in a van is usually closer to the bumper than a pickup,so that makes sense.
I learned to back up a trialer driving a CJ5 with a pickup box trailer.We were moving out in the country i was 14 or so,made 100's of trips moving lumber,steel,ect about 1/2 mile down the road.
Also learned how a trailer can toss around the tow vehicle when the ball comes off.
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,697
San Ysidro, New Mexico
The rear end in a van is usually closer to the bumper than a pickup,so that makes sense.
I learned to back up a trialer driving a CJ5 with a pickup box trailer.We were moving out in the country i was 14 or so,made 100's of trips moving lumber,steel,ect about 1/2 mile down the road.
Also learned how a trailer can toss around the tow vehicle when the ball comes off.
I think the turning radius is the culprit here. Small trucks, short wheelbase or small vehicles with tighter turning radius have the same effect. Trailer, tend to go straight first before follow the towing vehicle due to the quick swing of the tale of the towing vehicle giving the sensation of jacknife.
 

Isaac Carlson

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2012
804
NW Wisconsin
Wheel alignment plays a huge factor as well. My neighbor has a tandem axle equipment trailer that you cannot back up in a straight line. I tried. It was pointed almost sideways just to get it to go somewhat straight. I checked the alignment and it was way out. I informed him, but I don't think anything has been done about it. It pulled like a boat anchor. Our little 5x8 will back up nicely behind the rav4. Our 16 and 20 foot tandems pull beautifully, but they don't like to turn when backing, which can be good or bad, depending on where you are trying to go.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,947
Philadelphia
Wheel alignment plays a huge factor as well. My neighbor has a tandem axle equipment trailer that you cannot back up in a straight line. I tried.
I have the same problem with my articulating farm wagon. Drawbar to front axle linkage is bent to one side from having to turn it 90 degrees every time I back it under my porch. I learned to watch the front tires, rather than the drawbar angle, but it's not very accurate just eyeing a tire to see if it's straight.

IMG_4782.JPG
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,827
Northern Canada
I have the same problem with my articulating farm wagon. Drawbar to front axle linkage is bent to one side from having to turn it 90 degrees every time I back it under my porch. I learned to watch the front tires, rather than the drawbar angle, but it's not very accurate just eyeing a tire to see if it's straight.

View attachment 293569
Try backing up a Super B that gets your skilz sharpened up.
I have a log trailer that has a single axle lead with a bunk that hooks to the fifth wheel,it has a pintal hitch to pull the rear tandem axle log trailer,with an adjustable reach.
I have spent a long time backing that one up,just because i had to show it that i could.Now if i find myself in a bind where i have to back it up,i know it can be done just sucks to do it.
 
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