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Fixing utility trailer...(it was free)

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  • Fixing utility trailer...(it was free)

    First post. Hope you guys could help me out.

    I don't have much experience weld but have done some with my dad. We made a flatbed trailer out of a travel trailer frame. It came out pretty good, the welds didn't look too pretty but were good.

    I will be using a Lincoln AC/DC 225/125 buzzbox(I know wrong company but the forum is great), with 6013 rod. (he has a lot of these)

    I was given this trailer and before using it, I would like to make some changes and additions. For some reason the previous owner installed the axle towards the rear. I have no idea why. I would also like to make some side walls. Also, would it be too difficult to make longer (extend), was thinking 14' total. On some projects we carry long pieces of wood, 12' to 16'.

    The trailer will be used to haul trash to the dump, move family..when needed, tile, thinset, plywood, sheetrock...an so on, not all at the same time. Work around the house never ends.

    I got some measurements... Size is 5'x10'. Frame is 2x2 square tubing and 2x2x1/8" angle. From the picture, could you tell me if the design is ok? Also from the number on the axle, could you tell me what the specs are? Here's the part number TS 35 73 0580 545 1 AX-5201-BD. It might be a 3500# axle and the spings are 4 leaf, flat end slipper. The mfg website indicates 2000# capacity each.

    Let me know if you would like pictures from different angles...

    Thanks, Joe






  • #2
    From what I can tell about your axle, It looks as if it is a 3500 lb. with a 73" hub face, 58" spring centers with 5 lug on 4 1/2" centers, springs sound like they are 1750 lb. capacity.

    The frame itself is pretty weak being made with 2" tube but all is not lost, If you put your foot on one of the corners and shake it, you will see a lot of twist and flex. If you put at least a 12" side rail on it, it will stiffen up quite a bit. I would suggest using square tube of at least 1 1/2 x 14 ga for the uprights and perimeter rails, angle will work but square will stiffen it better.

    As for the tongue, I would cut that one off and replace it with at least 3" x 11 ga. square box tube. The tongue should reach all the way back to the second crossmember for structural support. The diagonals on the tongue should reach back that far as well (see pic.)

    As far as lengthening it, I wouldn't do it. Not with the existing frame materials, way too weak for it. I would make a tailgate and have it set up so that it can stay in the horizontal position for longer loads or another suggestion is to make a receiver hitch type of set up on the back with an arm that slides in and out to the length and height you need to support your load.


    On a 10' trailer the axle center should be at the 72" mark, 60% rearward from the front edge of the trailer deck.

    Hope that gets you started and helps you out some. Dave

    Oh yeah, One more thing, If you don't have the proper experience let some one who does have do the critical parts such as welding the axle into it's proper place and especially the tongue. You are working on something that will be traveling down the highway and that is not the place for someone to test their first welds.
    Attached Files

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your input Dave, it really helps clear things up.

      I've seen the coupler(not sure if it's the correct term)where the ball goes, that are a frame type. Are they any better than what it has now? Not sure if there is an advantage.

      Another question, the cross members are 2x2x1/8" is this ok or should it also be 2x2 square tubing? Not sure but by the time it's completed, I don't know how much load capacity I'll have.

      Is there an advantage of having the springs over the axle vs. under?

      Thanks again.
      Last edited by weldingfan; 08-27-2008, 08:50 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        An A frame coupler is much better than the one you have now, but for what you have and what you will be able to carry it will be fine.

        As far as 2x2x1/8" crossmembers, yeah they are kinda weak, but again for what you have and what it will be it should be O.K.

        Something that I did not mention in the first post was fenders. I would suggest that you figure out a way to bolt them on instead of welding them because it's not if you bend one up, it's when you bend one up that you wish it was bolted instead of welded.

        One other thing, I generally put my tail lights on or near the back of the fender, here's the reasons why:

        1st, unless you put them in some sort of a cage it is the first thing to get broken when you back into something (and you will back into something)

        The 2nd. reason is the shin bone slam dance cuss fest that goes on when you walk around the edge of the trailer and smack your shin bone on it.( again, when you do, not if you do, and it WILL happen)

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, one of the lights are already busted and for the shin bone dance, it's been close.

          As for which rod to use. Is 6013 rod the correct one?

          Thanks...

          Comment


          • #6
            As for the tongue. You indicated 3"x11ga. I would then have to change the coupler to 3", correct.

            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              Another thing...

              Was thinking of making the sides about 3' high. Do you thing it would be ok to make it out of 2x2x1/8" angle? Also, would adding 2x2x1/8" on top of the frame help stiffen it up some more?

              As for the cross members, I know you indicated that this would be fine but do you think I should add more of them or remove those and add square tubing?

              If I were to use the existing 2x2 tubing, what else can I do to them to stiffen it up more?

              Your thought please...

              Thanks..

              Comment


              • #8
                weldingfan,

                Not that any of your posts indicate any doubt about anything dabar39 has told you (because they don't) I would like to point out he builds trailers commercially which is why he knows what he's talking about.

                With that said, if you do rebuild the tongue - which you should - and whether you elect to go with an A-frame hitch or not you'll notice how the angle back of the diagonals would be less than what the current ones are as shown in his picture. What this means is you can achieve a tighter cramp angle before there's a danger of bumper-to-tongue contact. Just another plus with replacing the current tongue.

                Are the x-members angle or tube? Hard to tell from the photos.

                Duane

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for your input. That's what I'm looking for, opinion and ideas. Since I'm not too savy with the correct method of building this. I prefer to ask you guys then but something together that would be dangerous.

                  Got some input from others. As for the angle pieces coming of the tongue, instead of just ending them when they get to the frame...continue along the bottom of the frame up to the front of the axle? Not sure if maybe connecting the left and right side with a cross member, would help?

                  All the cross member now are 2x2x1/8" angle.

                  Thanks again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by weldingfan View Post
                    Yeah, one of the lights are already busted and for the shin bone dance, it's been close.

                    As for which rod to use. Is 6013 rod the correct one?



                    I'm kinda partial to 6011's myself for this type of work but the 13's will do, a little difficult to do vertical ups with them, in my opinion.
                    Thanks...
                    Originally posted by weldingfan View Post
                    Another thing...

                    Was thinking of making the sides about 3' high. Do you thing it would be ok to make it out of 2x2x1/8" angle? Also, would adding 2x2x1/8" on top of the frame help stiffen it up some more?

                    1/8" angle just does not cut it in my book, too flimsy, a lot of flex. I would suggest 3/16" thickness on the angle but in this case I would prefer tube for the structural advantages as was suggested earlier.

                    As for the cross members, I know you indicated that this would be fine but do you think I should add more of them or remove those and add square tubing?

                    Only you know what kind of loads you will be putting on the trailer, If loaded properly they will be o.k. for a while but will eventually sag from the weight. It wouldn't hurt to add a piece back to back with what's already there.

                    If I were to use the existing 2x2 tubing, what else can I do to them to stiffen it up more? Putting sides on it will stiffen it up an awful lot and the use of planks for the decking instead of plywood helps a lot.

                    Your thought please...

                    Thanks..
                    I also noticed on another forum somebody suggested running the center tongue rail all the way to the back, There is no point in doing so, it will not increase the strength and will possibly interfere with the movement of the axle. Not a good idea. The best tongue set up is with a 50 degree A-Frame coupler and 2"x3"x11ga. for the rails brought back about 32" past the front edge of the trailer deck, The center of your coupler should be at or about 42" from the front edge of the deck and should have a standing height of 16 to 21" (depending on tire size) from the ground for level pulling. If you do decide to go with the A-Frame coupler my suggestion is to not use the hole provided in it for the jack. Move the jack back at least six inches from the coupler other wise you may not be able to open the tailgate without hitting the jack.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just noticed you are from south Fl. How far are you from Vero Beach?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not too far from Dolphins Stadium.. Sorry for the rough drawing, it was the only thing I could come up with quick...

                        So, option 1 might be best in this case?

                        Not sure if using the cross member (yellow horizontal line) to connect both sides is necessary.. An the yellow lines, your suggesting 2x3x11 ga, in stead of 2x2x1/8", correct? Also, 2x2x1/8" angle will be ok to use on the frame, maybe I could add more? Just happen to have some laying around...





                        Option 2

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=weldingfan;157004]

                          As for the cross members, I know you indicated that this would be fine but do you think I should add more of them or remove those and add square tubing?


                          As dabar39, I too was going to suggest you use another piece of 2x2x1/8 angle against the current x-members if you want to beef things up there. If you go this direction, consider placing the addition ones with the horizontal leg low to form a 90 degree 'Z'. In this way you will have a 2" flat surface to weld your new extended tongue to.

                          You could 'mirror' the existing angle to form your own tube which creates an area that could trap road crime and moisture that could eventually cause rust through although this would be stronger than a 'Z' member.

                          Either way, you don't have to solid weld your seams along the length where the two pieces meet. A 1-1/2" to 2" weld every 12" or so will do and alternate your weld locations from the top to bottom joints. If you want to help prevent rust bleed from the unwelded portions of the joints apply body seam sealer to any open joint areas prior to priming.

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