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View Full Version : Any Trailer feature tips or ideas ?? Help


rob7233
03-24-2007, 08:52 PM
Next week, I'm planning to sit down with a custom trailer builder to have a good quality trailer built. Plans are for a OPEN 14' dual 3500lb axle w/ brakes, 18" -24" mesh sides, a heavier duty 4" rear gate with an additional side gate to pull a 36" ZTR off from the side. I want to limit the length to 14' since I want to store it my garage. I already have plans for the fuel cans, cooler and hand tool placement but I've never had a trailer with a CAGE mounted over the front.

Can anyone tell me of their experience with a CAGE? Thoughts on front vs top opening? General Pros and Cons? Does it add a lot of tongue weight? Good vs. Bad issues?

Also, I was hoping that someone would be willing to share any neat trailer features or setups they have done or seen? Anyone willing to brag some? I'm just trying to come up with more ideas or things that I haven't thought about or considered. Or if you were to do it again, what would you seriously think about changing?

HazellLawnCare
03-24-2007, 10:10 PM
I just received my new open trailer with a cage on the front. I had mine made with sheet metal on the front, top, and sides. The back side folds down and is made of expanded metal as is the bottom. I will post some pictures of it tomorrow.

AbsoluteH&L
03-24-2007, 10:28 PM
My friend has a full mesh cage, open top. As for the tongue weight, it depends on how much crap you keep in it. His becomes a carry all. It has extra ball hooks, trimmer line, starter cord, tools that just never seem to make it back to the tool box, back pack blowers, gas cans, you name it's there. This is a worst case senario, he's been alot better. There is still no way to lift the front end without the jack. I got spoiled with my old 5x10 years ago, I would just pick it up and put it on the hitch. I can still do this with my 6.5x12 but some times I would just rather let the jack do it's job, darn things heavy.

corey4671
03-24-2007, 10:38 PM
my cage opens from the front and the rear although I rarely use the rear. It didn't cost that much more either. I have found that with the truck tailgate down I can stand onthe tailgate and the open gate from the cage makes a nice work area. I have a backpack blower, chainsaw, 5 gallon gas can and three gallon cans plus an airtank in my cage along with a milk crate to hold trimmer line, tire repair supplies, tire gauge and various odds and ends....also, look into a split rear gate...will save on your back! make sure your jack is mounted in a way that your tailgate car be lowered. give some consideration to the bulldog coupler for your hitch.

amscapes03
03-24-2007, 10:40 PM
put the company name and list your services on the rear gate........at the bottom of the list of services, add one more........"Free Snow Removal". :)

dhardin53
03-24-2007, 11:44 PM
I will give you my working experience with my new trailer and the reason I got, modified and have adapted my dream trailer.

I do 4 or 5 fabrication jobs every year, and last fall I stated collecting and pricing parts, axles, tires, new iron, hitches and was ready to start my build Dec, 1. Then i found a well built trailer In Tennessee on E-bay, and found there cost built was like only a few hundred over the cost I had projected.

Here in the mid west for years many LCO guy have been going to Sikeston MO and get trailers. But I found a operation In Tennessee for a lot less. Its a 16'. I know you said 14' but if you can get it in your shied you will thank me later. Also make sure the tung is whats called a folded tung. Mines is 3 1/2 x 5" from the hitch to the first spring. This makes the trailer a payload of 6 or 7000 lbs capacity. Yes 2 3500 lbs axles but the larger iron for the tung like this 5" will carrie much more. Sikseton offered used tires and rimes,Tennessee has new wagon rims and used tires. No tail gates.

What I have made is a folding 6' back ramp that is full width (6'4") and 6' long but folded up it only 3" tall. Reason I do not like the 4" ram, some equipment will hang on the steep rise. For my side ramps I went with 6' folding but only 60" wide. I looked at what was available in gate lifts and made my own. From 2 large garage door springs, 2" black pipe and have both gates with spring assist that can take a beating. I have added a black plastic tool/tote box over the front tung and a black truck finder storage box over the back side finder.

The cost break down. Trailer $850, new steel for ramps and spring covers, including expanded steel for ramp floor $450. I had the springs, I bought cable and 2 pulleys, a quart of black paint making my total cost around $1400.

I asked in Tennessee how the made such a nice trailer so reasonably price. They said one word "Mexicans" they had 2 family's that moved into there area and was looking for work so a bunch of guys went together and set them up. I really recommend them and If anyone would like the info on them let me know. (So i guess LCO are not the only group using Mexicans)

Again this is "My Dream" trailer and it may not be yours. But the extra 2 feel you will need and help in its resale. With the stronger tung when you cut into the 12" tall sides rails the trailer will not be computerized. The longer ramps are a dream to open and use. And yes 2 ramps on even a 14' are well worth the price compared to unloading the hole trailer to get the one peace of equipment off the front.
I went to long time with a very small trailer before and I know this year my "Dream Trailer will really pay off. Good luck

rob7233
03-25-2007, 01:44 AM
Thanks so much for the input and ideas for the trailer. I'd like to give you more information on what's being planned. First, the builder uses no angle iron but square or box tubing instead, except for the structural channel for the main rails. I also have a truck box in the bed of my truck to keep most of my misc crap in. I still have a couple question based off your above replies:

1. What is a bulldog coupling? Is it like a helmet coupling and what's the advantage?
2. Any good points in having a cage mounted on stand-offs(risers) besides clearance for mowers, wheelbarrows and trash cans?
3.Good point about ramp angle being too steep for some equipment> We talked about a dropped axle setup for just that purpose. Does anyone have any negative experience with a dropped axle setup. I was told axle travel is the same as leaf spring.
4. Will a split-gate be any more rigid or heavier duty than a built up standard 4 footer? How much easier would it be to handle? Am I right in that it would only be secured from the one side per each panel? Would my sign also have to be spilt? My mesh on my current trailer last 6 months before it requires rewelding because of the gaps and flexing. I really hate that. Besides putting more uprights are there any fixes for it, that last?
5. What is a folded tongue? "Mine is 3 1/2 X 5" from the hitch to the first spring" Could you clarify that? How does that work and why would it be better?
6. Does anyone have a removable tongue/A-frame setup? This would allow for a longer trailer to be stored in me garage once it parked in place and the jack is dropped. Can that be made safely? What about the pins for it?
7. Folding gates>>mean>>-Longer ramp lengths = less steep angle. Is that the same as a "dovetail" gate? Who's had experience with those? Advantages vs. Disadvantages? Any other input?
8. Anyone got pictures they want to share? Thanks for all the replies so far!

2 clowns mowing
03-25-2007, 06:45 AM
gorilla lift system for rear ramp. they get heavy after a while. I ordered a 6.5 X 24 ft with full cage, 10,000lbs cap, new tires side ramp he's building it for $2800 done in one week what's yours cost?

mini14
03-25-2007, 07:47 AM
over time with a lot of tongue weight u will crack the steel frame rails at their junction points due to flexing.so do it right the first time and add lots of reinforcement there. just rewelded mine last week. bulldogs can be a pain if unhitch/hitch a lot..pintle ring imo is quickest/safest, but slaps forward/backward alot.

rob7233
03-25-2007, 03:15 PM
I was still hoping someone would try to answer some of my other questions that I listed earlier in this post...... :dancing:

AbsoluteH&L
03-25-2007, 09:01 PM
Thanks so much for the input and ideas for the trailer. I'd like to give you more information on what's being planned. First, the builder uses no angle iron but square or box tubing instead, except for the structural channel for the main rails. I also have a truck box in the bed of my truck to keep most of my misc crap in. I still have a couple question based off your above replies:

1. What is a bulldog coupling? Is it like a helmet coupling and what's the advantage? Cast coupler not stamped steel
2. Any good points in having a cage mounted on stand-offs(risers) besides clearance for mowers, wheelbarrows and trash cans? none that I know of, My friend mounted his to the 24" sides
3.Good point about ramp angle being too steep for some equipment> We talked about a dropped axle setup for just that purpose. Does anyone have any negative experience with a dropped axle setup. I was told axle travel is the same as leaf spring. If you make the trailer to low it will scrape going in & out of steep drives or in a nursery yard (bumps & ruts)
4. Will a split-gate be any more rigid or heavier duty than a built up standard 4 footer? depends on how it is built How much easier would it be to handle? Am I right in that it would only be secured from the one side per each panel? Would my sign also have to be spilt? My mesh on my current trailer last 6 months before it requires rewelding because of the gaps and flexing. I really hate that. Besides putting more uprights are there any fixes for it, that last?
5. What is a folded tongue? "Mine is 3 1/2 X 5" from the hitch to the first spring" Could you clarify that? How does that work and why would it be better? I don't know what he's talking about either
6. Does anyone have a removable tongue/A-frame setup? doubtful This would allow for a longer trailer to be stored in me garage once it parked in place and the jack is dropped. Can that be made safely? doubtful What about the pins for it? good luck
7. Folding gates>>mean>>-Longer ramp lengths = less steep angle. Is that the same as a "dovetail" gate? no Who's had experience with those? Advantages vs. Disadvantages? Any other input?
8. Anyone got pictures they want to share? Thanks for all the replies so far!

now you owe me your lunch money, do your own homework next time.(search) note that I answered most ?'s

dhardin53
03-26-2007, 07:49 AM
Ok, A folded tung is one iron structure running about 3 or 4 feet in front of the first spring then slowly bends (or there is a fold in the steel) going across the bottom of the trailer floor to the hitch.

The straight "A" frame tong may start back at the first spring but its a straight line to the hitch.

In the longer 14 and 16' trailers the weakest part is the span from the first spring to the hitch. As well the very front left and right corners are not supported by anything but the cross supports. So a folded tong will give you more support to the outer corners, so if you cut the top rail off to add a side ramp. You will have plenty of lower support.

There is not that much savings in a drop axle in trailer floor hight that I'm aware of, to gain that much as being able to use a short ramp. The cost is much higher for 2 drop axles and your gain my only be a inch or two. Yes you don't need to be dragging the ground. Thats the best way to bend up a nice trailer.

Split ramps are mainly designed for less weight for the operator to have to deal with. Ram length is hampered by 2 factors, to high equals to much wind resistance. and much over 4' very difficult to handle when your talking a full width as need for LCO. So my full width 6' long ram without spring assist would take 2 guys to open and close. My folded ramp when closed is 3' high and open its 6'. there is a big advantages here as I said.

A dove tail trailer is not as practical for LCO. you loose trailer space. Yes you get a easier loading ram slop. but you lose sometimes 2 feet of flat trailer space. Dove tails are more suited for car haulers and much heavier equipment like trencher, bulldozers, and some Skid steers.

I'm not a fan of cages out in the open to store your smaller stuff. Its to tempting to be stolen. and it get wet and sun worn.

Also a landscape trailer is to big of a unit to be removing the tung. I have see very small utility trailers that you can fold up and out of the way. But there are mostly very light weight units.
Just my opinion.

HazellLawnCare
04-07-2007, 09:22 PM
Here is my new open trailer. Its a 20ft Kodiak with 6000lb axles so I can haul my tractor or whatever.