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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vero Beach, fl.
    Posts
    761

    Default 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
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    John Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    639

    Default

    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.
    Jim

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Eastern Ontario
    Posts
    100

    Default

    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?

    Big_Eddy

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vero Beach, fl.
    Posts
    761

    Default

    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
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    John Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    15

    Default Over Build

    Dave,
    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
    MM 175
    Oxy/Act Set
    220 Arc Welder

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vero Beach, fl.
    Posts
    761

    Default step pics.

    ev372, Not sure if you will be able to see what you are looking for in the pics, but I'll tell you how I do it . The cross member in front and behind the fender is cut at 17" longer than the trailer width so it will stick out 8 1/2" on each side to protect the fender. The step on the front of the trailer is just 1 1/2" angle from the cross member to the underside of the main frame rail. The rear step is 1 1/2" angle brought back from the cross member to the rear of the trailer and a piece is then brought to the underside of the rear cross member. In this case I used a piece of 2"x 1/4" flat bar to tie it into the top perimeter rail. I hope this isn't too confusing the way I describe it but you may be able to understand it as you look at the pics. Dave
    Attached Images Attached Images
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    John Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vero Beach, fl.
    Posts
    761

    Default almost forgot

    I personally prefer using box tube for the tongue as it is easier to conceal the wiring harness and add a little protection to it. Dave
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    John Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    hillsboro,OR
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Hey my email is chrismadden@mici.com just send me a email and ill reply back with the plans.
    Millermatic 135
    Syncrowave 200 with coolmate 3
    Hypertherm powermax 30

    were I am when I am home
    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...5/IMG_7413.jpg

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    2,469

    Default

    Hey Dave......
    If you ever, I'm sure you will, make another trailer with the 2x3x3/16 angle iron, PLEASE write a detailed description from Stages 1 through 20!!!
    I'd love to know how to build that too!!! I agree with your method/ethics of building, but, re: homeowner, 'cmon, I know A LOT of dum*##)&*#ss that use a homemade trailer to redo their lot, and have a big pile of grave, seeing the trailer bending, going down the road. After they get home, trailers broken, they wash it off, then bring it over to you and lie they weren't carrying that much with it!!!
    Like I mentioned in an earlier post, my friend that did custom boat trailers for a living, used 4" to 6" channel for boats from 17' to 30' long. His bunks were
    2x6 wrapped with carpet only supported with 1 bracket in the front and 1 in the back. All the other boat builders put 4 or 5 brackets. His bunks flex with the boat going down the road. The others don't. He says, when there are bumps, what's taking the beating while the trailer is bouncing? the bunks? NO,
    the fiberglass/boat = stress cracks in the hull....
    ok...I'm finished
    I'm not late...
    I'm just on Hawaiian Time

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Eastern Ontario
    Posts
    100

    Default

    EV372 -I'm with Dave on using tubing for a tongue. Not clear about how you intend to use channel for the tongue. If you use 3 inch channel laid flat, then you are using it in its weakest plane, and it is not going to be as effective as you might hope. It will be 3" wide and fit a standard coupler but it is really only ~1 1/2" high and it's height that provides the strength. If you put it on edge how is is strongest, you will need to use two pieces back to back, (or front to front if you prefer) to get a tongue that is wide enough to fit a coupler - so in effect you just made up a box tube by doing so. I'll grant that 2 @ 3" channels back to back and welded along the length are stronger than a 3" x 3" tube, but I don't think that additional strength would warrant the extra effort and fitup issues.
    I have a 2'x3' garden trailer (for lawn tractor) that has a 3" channel tongue laid flat (replacement for the crappy factory piece of bent sheetmetal that noodled on the first good load) and that tends to bend and flex a lot going over rough ground with any load - and it's only 4' from coupler to axle. FWIW - I don't think you would be happy with the same on a 16' trailer with a normal tongue length.

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