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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,691

    Default Aluminum Gravel Train Box - Door seal

    I have a customer that I have to install a rubber seal on the rear gate of the gravel train box, He says that it has to be water tight.

    The rubber that I am using is 1/2" x 2-1/2", I'm going to make a track to hold the rubber out of aluminum flat bar.

    The question that I have is how much should I leave sticking past the door. ( For the smash. )
    1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 5/16" or 3/8". --- Maybe 1/2"

    The rubber was supplied by the customer and I dont know what type it is, I do know that its stiffer than skirt board rubber, I'm going to say its about as stiff as conveyor belt rubber that a cement plant would have.
    Last edited by Portable Welder; 02-19-2013 at 03:31 PM. Reason: Spelling erorr

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    7,623

    Default

    A water tight gravel box , Ehhh,wonder what the reasoning would be for that. Kinda thing that teflon would last somewhat longer than a couple chunks of conveyer belt.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    113

    Default

    Water tight must be enviroment of some sort

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    St. Paul Park MN
    Posts
    132

    Default

    How many turnbuckles are you putting on each side?
    I had a customer that hauled paint sludge in East dump trailers and can tell you that countless hours can be spent making a tailgate water tight to only be not so water tight after pounding up and down the road.
    Final solution was to cover the inside of the trailers with a sheet of plastic every load. My shop time was taking all the profit and then some untill they started using the plastic. These trailers were well used tho. Does the tail gate already have the rod on it to contact the middle of the rubber seal? Tried both flat and round for this with about the same results.
    Last edited by lars66; 02-20-2013 at 07:45 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Portable,

    A few years ago I had the same problem you do right now. Working with a bunch of aluminum end-dumps, used to haul grape pulp (after pressing) from the wineries around here. Problem is, flat rubber doesn't "smash" too good, and we were working with fairly soft rubber strips, with no fiber cords inside. Too little stickout, doesn't seal. Too much stickout, tends to bunch up and wrinkle. Either case, it leaks. I'm not sure what kind of tailgate you have, but these were simply hinged from the top, so the stickout had to taper in the higher you went.

    We did need to install extra tightening dogs, generally one or two at the bottom and one each side about a foot or so above the trailer floor. Used 1" acme thread all-thread for these. The air-pot locks on each side weren't enough.

    We never did quite seal everything off 100%. I could just drive around, find certain stop-signs, you could see dried grape-juice on the roads, with millions of flies, and dead drunk squirrells, skunks, and possums.

    I always thought a hollow rubber grommet (like the door seals on your pickup), or a hose that would compress and seal properly, inside of a welded channel, would be a better way to approach this. Doing either one of these ideas, would most likely require remounting the door hinges and locks, to allow space for the hollow rubber and the mounts, between the door and the edge of the end-dump, so there's nothing sticking up to hang up material. Unfortunately, I always had to deal with this as best as I could right as picking season started, or sometimes in the middle of picking season, we were happy to just reduce leakage, not eliminate it.

    I also recall, up to a few years ago, there was a company here in Lodi making sealed, leak-proof roll-off beds, designed for toxic waste. I don't think they are around any more, they went bankrupt (a few times), but maybe this gives you another source for ideas -- not Lodi specifically, but anybody or any equipment designed for toxic waste. I myself have no idea how they sealed the tailgates, but I'm sure they did seal. Never saw one close-up.

    Good luck, Portable, hope I was able to help.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lars66 View Post
    How many turnbuckles are you putting on each side?
    I had a customer that hauled paint sludge in East dump trailers and can tell you that countless hours can be spent making a tailgate water tight to only be not so water tight after pounding up and down the road.
    Final solution was to cover the inside of the trailers with a sheet of plastic every load. My shop time was taking all the profit and then some untill they started using the plastic. These trailers were well used tho. Does the tail gate already have the rod on it to contact the middle of the rubber seal? Tried both flat and round for this with about the same results.
    Most of the commodity delivery companies anymore, are putting a little piece of cheap plastic tarp, on the walking floor trailers between the floor and the doors, before loading. They can usually open the doors and remove the tarp before unloading.

    It has been explained to me several times in the past, by some not very nice California Highway Patrol officers, that the only things that can legally fall off your truck is clean (CLEAN) water and chicken/turkey feathers (only off live birds).

    Portable, another idea just occurred to me, you should research this. What are the rendering companies (tallow companies, that collect dead cows) doing with their trucks and trailers right now??? One major tallow company that works around here sends trucks from Reno, NV. I am absolutely sure, the CHP isn't allowing them to drive 200 miles dripping rancid animal fat the whole way, those trucks and trailers have to be sealed.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,691

    Default

    Thanks for everyones input.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    west edge of the RRV
    Posts
    69

    Default

    The factory built ones I have seen are usually a square piece of foam rubber material (3/4 x 3/4) in a channel in the wall. There is usually a round rod on the gate that presses on the seal in the channel. They are mostly liquid tight, but not completely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    388

    Default

    You could try inflatable seals that might be fun if not long lived or you could redesign the box.. Slope the floor up to the top at the back so it dumps over the lip instead of out of a door. Reduces the cubic foot capacity but it won't leak. And these days with anything moderately heavy you often run out of weight capacity before you run out of room anyway.
    Meltedmetal

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,691

    Default

    Melted Metal, Not here in Michigan, Our truckers are allowed to haul heavier than almost all the states around us, If not the heaviest, They haul about 27 ton on the lead trailer and about 23 ton on the pup. Thats why we have some of the worst roads in the nation.

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