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Utility Trailer Plans/Questions

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  • Utility Trailer Plans/Questions

    I have searched the message board and the internet for utility trailer plans/ ideas, with little success. Has anyone used one these plans with good results or willing to share some plans? I want to build a 6' x 12' trailer w/ 24" sides and a drop gate, #3500 axle. I have looked at some trailers to get ideas but most seem to be under built. I want to over build mine, to add a measure a safety in case it is overloaded by a friend. Any help or offers would be great. I bought the MM 175 and thought this would be a good project to break it in on instead of my MM 130.

  • #2
    this is what i am working on its a 6x12 single axle 3500 i got the plans and can email you them if you would like.


    • #3
      Originally posted by ev372 View Post
      I have searched the message board and the internet for utility trailer plans/ ideas, with little success. Has anyone used one these plans with good results or willing to share some plans? I want to build a 6' x 12' trailer w/ 24" sides and a drop gate, #3500 axle. I have looked at some trailers to get ideas but most seem to be under built. I want to over build mine, to add a measure a safety in case it is overloaded by a friend. Any help or offers would be great. I bought the MM 175 and thought this would be a good project to break it in on instead of my MM 130.
      If it's going to be a single axle just be aware of the load limitations. 3500# includes the weight of the empty trailer so it's not hard to max it out. I have an enclosed trailer that's single axle 6 x 12 so that's why I am mentioning it.


      • #4
        Could I have a copy of those plans also?????


        • #5
          trailer plans

          I don't don't have any trailer plans per se as each one that I build is a custom order to fit the buyers needs. The one thing that you mention is over build, why?, A 6'x12' trailer would be difficult to over load unless you plan on moving heavy pieces of machinery. The common every day person will move household items and not much in the way of equipment.
          Over engineering the trailer will only help you do more work than is necessary, cost more money than you need to spend and will decrease the payload capacity using the heavier materials. I can't see an advantage to the overbuild theory. If you are worried about friends overloading it, don't lend it out unless they are willing to pay for any damages.

          My suggestion would be to figure out what will most commonly be placed on the trailer and build accordingly from there.

 has a basic layout for a single and tandem trailer in their catalog that is a decent starting point to work from. One more thing to note, I see you are located over in Tampa, don't buy your trailer supplies from Redneck trailer supply as they are way over priced on their items. Dave

          P.S. I have added a few pictures of a 6'4"x12' that I delivered just yesterday, this is the second set I have built for this customer and still have 2 more sets to build him, Thought it may give you some ideas for yours.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by dabar39; 07-18-2007, 07:21 AM. Reason: added pics.


          • #6
            Dave, thanks for the info. I was going to use 3" channel x 3/16" for the tounge, since my last trailer recived a bent tounge from my brother in law, due to placeing to much weight forward. This is what I ment by over build, and I agree with your policy -"You break it, You pay to fix it". I was just trying to avoid the aggravation. I like the pictures of your trailers, this gives me some ideas to add to mine if I can find a better price on steel. I did by my axle from RedNeck, $92.00 for a #3500 with leaf springs and hardware; a friend has an account with them. Also, I priced the steel locally, about $600.00 . By the time I purchase all the parts, I will be over what I could buy an already made trailer - $850.00, but not built to what I want. I have to call around and check other suppliers. Thanks for the help, keep it coming. I will check with the web sit you mentioned about those plans.


            • #7
              don't worry about Dave, he's just showing off As long as you guys build trailers, don't e-mail each other!!! We want to learn EVERYTHING
              Dave, If you build a trailer for someone, tell them it's rated for 2000lbs,
              and there the smart people that they are, overload it and it breaks, then they try to sue you, wouldn't it be better to overbuild it?
              thanks guys,


              • #8
                Over building

                Bert, I don't see a need to over build anything, If they are gonna break it they are gonna break it. When I build a 3500 lb. trailer it is rated for just that, if the owner overloads it and it bends or breaks, how is the liability on me?

                A 6'4"x12' trailer being built with 2"x3"x3/16" angle for the frame and 2"x3"x11ga. box tube for the tongue, 1 1/2" angle for the uprights and perimeter rails, and decked with 2"x8" or 2"x10" plank boards is more than sufficient. Building with these materials the empty trailer weighs in at about 480 lbs. Leaving you with a payload capacity of 3020 lbs.

                When you build the same trailer using 3"channel you now have a trailer that weighs 640 lbs. and a payload capacity of 2860 lbs.
                How did you gain anything by over building it, you just spent alot more money on materials and lessened the payload. Another thing to note, Trailer axles and springs are rated at about 85% of their actual capacity, so if it is overloaded to the point of failure, it's the owners own gross negligence.

                Just my thoughts and I'm sure some of these guys on here are going to dispute my way of thinking, as I know a few have the overbuild mentality, in advance I will say no hard feelings and you are entitled to your own opinion and I am entitled to mine. Dave
                Last edited by dabar39; 07-19-2007, 06:48 AM. Reason: fingers don't like to spell the way my brain does.


                • #9
                  Dave - I agree with building everything such that all the components match. If I use a 3500lb axel, then overbuilding any other portion will just mean the axle gives out first. I would reinforce certain areas where experience shows they are more susceptible to damage.

                  Which leads to my question - is your selection of 2x3x3/16 angle based on experience (and a history of satisfied customers) or based on engineering analysis? I'm not in the business but I've made a few trailers. Each time I've gone looking around at commercial trailers - but they all seem flimsy to me.
                  I would likely have used 3" channel for a 12' trailer - just cause it "seems" about right, but I would really like to know if there are any "guidelines" or reference tables published.

                  Big Eddy


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the offer on the plans. If that offer is still available could you send me a set. Im new to the message board so Im not sure how to you can my email with out me posting it here. let me know, Thanks, Eric


                    • #11
                      trailer build

                      Big_Eddy, If you take into account that I have personally built well over three hundred trailers to date, and the fact that I have never had a come back issue that was deemed to be my fault, than yes I can speak from experience that the angle frame is more than capable of handling the payload capacity it is designed for. As for a list of happy clients I could provide you a complete list of past customers and you can speak to them yourself, If they were un happy with their trailer it was never expressed to me, and most all of my customers are repeat buyers or word of mouth advertising. I have had only one issue to date about using angle for the tongue, that was enough for me, now they all are built with the box tubing as mentioned earlier in this thread.

                      As for using channel for the trailer frame, it's still gonna flex. If you are trying to make something so over kill, then you might as well build yourself an equipment trailer rated at 10-12 thousand pounds to move your 100 lb. refrigerator. And while your at it go out and buy a spare tire for your spare tire if you are so worried about something going wrong.

                      Most, (not all) of the production built trailers are flimsy and poorly built with the cheapest parts and materials available, I however take a lot of pride in my work (I have to, my name is put on it) and will only buy the best parts and materials available. The customer does not get his/her trailer until I'm completely satisfied that it will do every thing that it is intended to do. This is one of the reasons I get paid what I get paid to build these custom trailers.

                      I have to chuckle to myself when people who have built a trailer or knows someone who has built a trailer seems to question my building process and or my integrity. I think the fact that I have built so many trailers (without structural defects) should qualify me to think I know what I'm doing. Now before someone says it, no I do not know it all and if someone can show me a better way to do it, I'm all ears. Dave


                      • #12
                        I mentioned how a person can overload a 6 x 12 trailer. No, I don't mean with a table and refrigerator. I was thinking more along the lines of dirt and rock. I've seen little trailers piled full of stuff like that and it's not usually a pretty sight. If the trailer is going to be used to haul light stuff then there is no concern about overloading.


                        • #13
                          Dave - Sorry If I came off sounding critical - absolutely not the intent - something got lost from the middle of my post. I very much recognize your experience and expertise (300 trailers - wow!!!) and am in no way trying to slight you. I can tell you know what you are doing and I'm looking to benefit from that experience.

                          What I was trying to say was that before I build, I go look at other trailers to see what they have used - to get the material selection right. However - after I look at the box store flimsy stuff I usually up-size for my own use as I can't see their material selection being sturdy enough for regular use. End result - if I were to build a 12' trailer I would have probably selected 3" channel as it looks about right to me. (then again if I built a 12' trailer it would be a tandem as I haul dirt, materials, garden tractors and equipment, not quads. )

                          What I'm really trying to ask is "Is there a better way" to decide what is the most efficient material selection?

                          Do you have or can you point to any general guidelines to use when selecting material that would make it easy for us weekend welders to build trailers that are sturdy enough, but not overkill?



                          • #14
                            Big_Eddy, Sorry if I came off as being a little defensive, the way you worded the post I took it as if you were questioning my abilities in making a good quality and safe product. I have been blasted in the past from some self appointed authorities that have built maybe one or two trailers in their lifetime. I might add that those same people were never able to back up their claims against me with any kind of proof or logic.

                            When you say that you have looked at the "box store trailers", that's where you screwed up. You can not compare those trailers to the one you are looking to put into service. When I build a trailer I go into great lengths to make the trailer capable of whatever the customer will be using it for. You mention carrying loads of dirt, materials, garden tractor etc... you are not looking for the same trailer as the basic home owner, therefore the "box store" trailer is not what you need. In your case I would use a channel frame and depending on the weights you will carry I may go with a 4" channel instead of 3" as you mentioned, or possibly box tube construction.

                            Those items you mentioned as a payload is the exact reason I have never built two identical trailers, your needs are not the same as the next guy. That's the reason I told ev372 I don't have plans but did suggest a site that has some basic plans for the home owner type of utility trailer. Dave


                            • #15
                              Over Build

                              Can you post some close up pictures of the side steps on that black trailer? I like that idea, just wanted to see how that was attached to the frame in front and back of the fender. About the 3" channel I mentioned, I was looking at using this for the tounge only and 2" x 3" x 3/16" for the frame and cross members. This way the the tounge would be over built in case the load is to far forward. Sorry if I confused anyone. Thanks again, Eric


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