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Gary's Welding Trailer Project

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  • Gary's Welding Trailer Project

    I couldn’t find very many pictures of welding trucks or trailers before I started this project. So here is a fairly detailed write up along with some pictures. Perhaps someone can find this information useful in their next welding truck/trailer project.

    This was a fun project and long overdue. My first portable welder was a Miller Blue Star 2E and no, I won’t be posting any pictures of THAT trailer set up. With the TB302G comes a matching new trailer. Hopefully, I won’t outgrow this one, but if I keep listening to you guys, I just might end up with a bigger blue machine.

    Tools
    I hand blend the majority of the visible welds. It’s time consuming, but I like the way it looks. With the exception of the rod holders in the tool box, nothing was bent or sheared. Everything else was hand blended. Steel was cut with a chop saw, jig saw and cutting torch. I used a hand held drill, hand held grinder, and hand held belt sander. I cut the holes on the rear bumper and on the rod holders on my floor mill.

    Paint
    The paint is Dupont “Nason” K2 single stage polyurethane. It’s a bit more durable that typical automotive paint, but doesn’t flow quite as well. A good choice for trailers and the like. Pin striping is the vinyl stick on type.

    Tool Box
    The tool box is custom made. The shell is 1/8 diamond plate with some 1” square tubing and the top is framed with 1 ½ angle iron. The hinges came from King Architectural Metals and I added grease fittings to them. The gas cylinders were ordered directly for SPD. They offer free engineering services. You give them the dimensions and weight of the lid and they tell you what type of cylinder you need and where to mount the pivot points. They can design for virtually any lifting/closing force you want.
    http://www.spdhardware.com/gs1.htm

    Stickers and Stars
    The “Texas Stars” from King Architectural Metals are grey cast and welded on from the back side. A dab of caulk after sandblasting and priming gives them a molded in look. The “WARNING” and “DANGER” stickers need to be read carefully. I had them custom made at a sign shop and I put them on most things I make. I use this tongue design on all the trailers I make, so they all look the same up front.

    Trailer Wiring
    The wiring harness is a sealed type. There are two breaks in the main harness that are sealed with heat shrink. The heat shrink I use has a heat activated melt liner that provides a water tight seal. All connections are soldered and covered by that type of heavy duty heat shrink. It typically takes me two full days to wire a trailer, but it will last many, many years.

    The battery mounted in the welder is hooked into the trailer wiring harness. It serves as the battery for the break-a-way brakes and also supplies power for the light in the tool box. When I’m towing the welder down the road, the battery gets charged from the truck via the trailer connector. When the trailer is sitting idle at the shop, I plug a battery maintainer into the trailer wiring harness and the welder battery stays charged up. I have enough batteries to mess with, so using one battery on the trailer saves me from some of those headaches.

    Water Cannons & Fire Extinguishers
    I own four water cannons and right now that’s probably a good thing since I live in Texas. I wanted these to be readily available at all times, so I mounted them right out in the open. I also have a 10 pound dry chemical with room to mount a second one. Even though the welder trailer is ready for some action it will have to sit for a while until we get some rain.

    Center of Gravity and Weight
    I ran calculations for various mounting positions of the welder, gas bottles, tool box, etc before I settled on a layout. The tongue load is pretty accurate to what I calculated it to be and I tested it at 80MPH on the freeway the other day. Unlike some of my first home made trailers, no fishtailing or swaying. The total weight is a little over 2k fully loaded. The axle is 3500lb and tires are 75D15 load range D rated for 2530lb each.

    Bottle Rack
    It holds medium acetylene and 240 cu ft oxygen bottles in a vertical position. I was worried about the center of gravity being to high, but the trailer tows just fine. The rack is welded to the support frame underneath the diamond plate skin. Two ¾” bolts hold the bottles in position. I think it would take a pretty good wreck to knock these bottles out of position which is what I designed it for. Hopefully, I won’t ever find out.

    Future Bottle Rack
    I left a space behind the tool box for a second bottle rack. This would be a horizontal rack capable of holding two 240 cu ft bottles. Or, I could make something else to bolt down in this space. I predrilled the mounting holes and welded supports underneath.

    Cables and Hoses
    The cables racks have a total of 200’ of 1/0 welding cable on them. 100’ for the ground and 100’ for the lead. The hose rack has 100’ of Goodyear Oxy/Act twin hose. It doesn’t show up in the pictures, but the welding cables have my name printed on them. I ordered the cable directly from the manufacturer. I believe it was Trystar.
    Attached Files
    Millermatic 35
    Miller TB302G
    Ellis 1800
    Smith & Victor Torches
    Optrel Satellite
    Arcair K4000
    Ingersoll-Rand 175CFM Diesel Air Compressor
    Home Made Welding Trailer

  • #2
    More Pictures

    More Pictures
    Attached Files
    Millermatic 35
    Miller TB302G
    Ellis 1800
    Smith & Victor Torches
    Optrel Satellite
    Arcair K4000
    Ingersoll-Rand 175CFM Diesel Air Compressor
    Home Made Welding Trailer

    Comment


    • #3
      More Pictures 2

      More Pictures 2
      Attached Files
      Millermatic 35
      Miller TB302G
      Ellis 1800
      Smith & Victor Torches
      Optrel Satellite
      Arcair K4000
      Ingersoll-Rand 175CFM Diesel Air Compressor
      Home Made Welding Trailer

      Comment


      • #4
        More Pictures 3

        More Pictures 3
        Attached Files
        Millermatic 35
        Miller TB302G
        Ellis 1800
        Smith & Victor Torches
        Optrel Satellite
        Arcair K4000
        Ingersoll-Rand 175CFM Diesel Air Compressor
        Home Made Welding Trailer

        Comment


        • #5
          Incredibly nice work. That is by far the nicest welding rig/trailer setup I have ever seen.
          Dynasty 350DX
          Dynasty 200DX TigRunner
          MM 350P
          MM Passport Plus
          Spectrum 375 Extreme
          08' Trailblazer 302

          Comment


          • #6
            great looking trailer, love the danger stupid people not alowed to operate stickers did you get those printed up special or can you buy them.
            thanks for the help
            ......or..........
            hope i helped
            sigpic
            feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
            summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
            JAMES

            Comment


            • #7
              Very nice !!!

              Gary, Thats a very nice trailer. I see you took a lot of time and lots of patiences being very ticky do every little detail but its all worth it.
              I know that you are happy with the results of all your hard work and time.
              Thanks for shareing all the pictures with us. we all love to see pictures of everyones projects you have a great talent I am proud of you & Happy for you. I have sen jobs where the clients judge weather or not you get the job by the rig you made/drive, you will get lots of work from that rig
              you will look great driving down the road with that rig. Great job !
              Thanks again for all the pictures
              Gary you are the Man ! Nice true Blue paint.

              Comment


              • #8
                GREAT TRAILER! Congratulations! You must be justifiably proud!!!
                Syncrowave 180 SD
                MM185 with 3035 Spool gun
                1971 Roughneck 1e
                Stars-n-Stripes BWE
                Optrel Satellite OSE
                ESAB 875 Plasma Torch
                Lincoln 200SA Diesel
                O/A Set
                Century 250A/C-D/C BuzzBox
                1.5 kVA Spot Welder
                Phoenix Electrode Conditioning Oven

                Professional Auto Mechanic since 1974
                My own shop since 1981

                Cya Frank

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great job Gary! What you got there is rolling advertisement of the quality work you do, and I hope it makes you some money. Nice attention to detail.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I hope I haven't led anyone astray, but I'm what you guys would call a hobby welder. I do a lot of fence work around the farm and that's what I built this rig for. I know I couldn't justify the expense, but nice tools and equipment is my one vice. If I were making a living, I'd probably get a dedicated truck and outfit it.

                    This leads to question. How many welders that make their living from it use a trailer set up verses a truck rig?
                    Millermatic 35
                    Miller TB302G
                    Ellis 1800
                    Smith & Victor Torches
                    Optrel Satellite
                    Arcair K4000
                    Ingersoll-Rand 175CFM Diesel Air Compressor
                    Home Made Welding Trailer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by garybdavis
                      I hope I haven't led anyone astray, but I'm what you guys would call a hobby welder. I do a lot of fence work around the farm and that's what I built this rig for. I know I couldn't justify the expense, but nice tools and equipment is my one vice. If I were making a living, I'd probably get a dedicated truck and outfit it.

                      This leads to question. How many welders that make their living from it use a trailer set up verses a truck rig?
                      Gary, what part of Texas? That is a very nice job.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I like your attention to detail, well done Gary
                        L*S

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cope
                          Gary, what part of Texas? That is a very nice job.
                          Currently the Dallas area, but moving to the Austin area later this year.
                          Millermatic 35
                          Miller TB302G
                          Ellis 1800
                          Smith & Victor Torches
                          Optrel Satellite
                          Arcair K4000
                          Ingersoll-Rand 175CFM Diesel Air Compressor
                          Home Made Welding Trailer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hobby welder to hobby welder, that is very, very nice ... looks you went the extra mile to have it just the way you wanted it. My best friend who passed away a few years ago was displaced in NM from Denton, TX and he always said "it's good enough for who it's for", that can be taken lots of ways but I prefer to think it means work on it till its the best you can do, it shows that you have done that. Sorry for the long speach, but I really am impressed.
                            Regards, George

                            Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
                            Hobart Handler 140 - Great 120V Mig
                            Hobart Handler EZ125 - IMO the best 120V Flux Core only machine

                            Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
                            Miller Spectrum 375 - Nice Cutter

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by garybdavis
                              How many welders that make their living from it use a trailer set up verses a truck rig?
                              I built a trailer first. Bigger, but not nearly as nice as yours. Held most of the parts and power tools and had a rack for ladders, materials, and finished projects, also.

                              But it was a pain sometimes. Now, I'm putting everything on the truck and converting the trailer to flatbed with walls strictly for hauling material and projects.

                              Comment

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