View Full Version : Trailer Design

11-06-2001, 09:48 PM
I need some advice on trailer design. I've done a search and didn't really find what I was looking for. Here's what I've got. 6 1/2 x 16' dual axle, open, utility trailer. There is a prison not far from here that I am going to take it to this off season and let them modify it. They do awesome work and they're very reasonable. It doesn't have a fold down gate, been using folding ramps to get me by (major pain in the @$$). The gate is priority 1. I guess what I am looking for is some advice on nice to have features i.e. folding gate up front for push mowers, ways to mount gas cans, weed eater, edger, blower rack etc. etc. I am running a Hustler Shortcut and a Lawnboy p.m. I plan to add a Hustler w.b. next year and I'm pulling with a 3/4 ton Dodge Diesel. Any advice would be appreciated and if I could get some pictures to show the guys doing the work would be great too. Thanks.

11-06-2001, 10:05 PM
I have a 2 ft dovetail on mine. Then the back gate is a split gate. I had a guy make it for me, he used some type of material that is very strong but very light. I can drive my car or tractor on it with no problems.

11-06-2001, 11:11 PM
If you're wanting to conserve space, and be completely efficient in use, access to equipment, and ability to transport, here are a few pics on this site. http://content.communities.msn.com/GuidosEquipmentPics/buildingofascrubtruck.msnw
Pics #'s 14, 20, and 21 will probably be the most help to you.

They're not real close pics of the trailer, but it will give you an idea of how my spicerack is built. It has two teers, one on top for my pushmowers and edger, and a lower one that holds my backpack blowers, chainsaw, and hedgesaw. I also keep an Igloo cooler on it as well. My two trimmer racks are homemade as well, and are made out of smaller square tubing, with just some flatstock strips about 1/2" wide, cut and bent into J shape. The fronts are bent in a larger arc to hold the larger part of the trimmer and the rears are smaller to hold the end down by the heads. I just slipped hunks of old garden hose over the hooks for padding, and I welded D rings on the square tubing to allow me to strap the down. They doll move, wobble, or even roll or tip when transporting. They stay nice and snug. I mounted the shelf unit offset toward the back about 12" to allow me to put my rakes, shovels, and whatever else against the front of the cage. This also allows me to grab my pruners, oil, tarps, trimmer string, and other things (I keep a milk crate full of stuff) right out of the front of the trailer if I want. I hope this helps. If you have any questions about this type of setup or anything, feel free to ask. Good luck with it!

11-06-2001, 11:17 PM
Make the gate 4' long, mine is 3' long and sometimes the deck drags. As for storing gas, hedge trimmers, chain saws, and pruners I have baskets in the front of the trailer that is two stories high. On the side of the trailer I have a trimmer rack that I bought from triple crown for 100 dollars. I haven't made a rack for the back pack blower yet or the spayer. I wish I had a camera so I could post it on here.

11-06-2001, 11:46 PM
Screen in the bottom tow & add a rail -- this area makes fr perfect storage for gas cans, and a milk crate for hand tools, etc. Use a singleor double tiered crate across the front for back pack blowers, guys lunch coolers, etc. I hve a sttel late welded in the front of this crate which holds a 5 gal. cooler. I also have trimmer racks on passenger side rail added. Some people have set ups w/ crates over fender ells, place for spare tire, etc... It all dependa on your needs.

11-06-2001, 11:53 PM
Runner, I to just purchased a 7x16 tandem trailer today and would like more info on your setup. Did you build the storage cage yourself? If so, do you mind sharing with me the specs on it like dimensions and such? How did you make the lid or cover for it? Also, a little more info on the trimmer rack. I to am going to have to make a ramp gate for my trailer as it does not have one. Looking to make it 4ft x 7ft. Would like to make one that could also double as a ramp for a car if I needed to haul one. I have a 67 Mustang and 64 Thunderbird. You can reply via this thread or email me off line if you wish. If any body else has any suggestions, it is greatly appreciated. Thanks for any info provided.

11-07-2001, 10:28 AM
If you have full ramp style end gate, I suggest have spring assist added. Almost all of our trailers have had this added. Some of our trailers have had the steel gates replace with aluminum ones. This will reduce back strains and injuries, steel gates can be quite heavy depending on design.

11-07-2001, 11:21 PM
I don't know about your setup.
As a solo op, this configuration works extremely well for me.

Although no depicted here, I drive my Walker off the back ramp and the eXmark WB off either front gate, depending upon the parking situation. Minimal unloading time.

All gates have lift-assists using automotive-style leaf springs.
Note trimmers and blower are racked up and locked, make sure you can lock your small stuff up.
The tool box can be gotten for ~$150,-very convenient for blades, shears, saws, funnels, trash bags, oil, etc.

Depending upon your current trailer's design, you may not be able to add a side gate. Most trailers rely upon upper tubes running fore and aft to form a truss which adds strength and rigidity to the whole.

My trailer has a 5" c-channel undercarriage to carry the load. The upper tubes are taken out of the load-bearing equation.
Just food for thought.


11-07-2001, 11:22 PM
Here it is:

11-07-2001, 11:49 PM
I have seen several guys this season modify their 16' and longer trailers with mesh cages on the sides of their trailers to store catcher plates. This way if they are'nt bagging they can store the plates.

They have also mounted a mesh-type crate system on their fenders to store fuel cans/oils. I would recommend that a split gate, 4' in height would be recommendable.

I have also seen where one guy had a gate for his trailer that was mesh and angle iron just like a regular gate only his gate was split horizontally instead of vertically. He had two handles welded to the side of the ramp for lowering and raising it. He claims that this system gives him the room he needs to carry his bagger unit on his Z w/o any problems that a full size gate would give him on his smaller trailer.

Hope this helps add food to their thoughts.

11-08-2001, 10:36 AM
Thanks guys,
This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I havenít thought about the split gate. I can see the advantage of a horizontal and a vertical split. I have an idea in mind to do both and Iíll see if the guys can do it. Iíll try to do some before and after pics and post them here.
A few more questions and comments:

I havenít looked too close and otherís weedeater/edger racks but from what Iíve seen, it appears that you have to lock each individual piece. I would like to see some ideas on ways to secure all items on the rack at a single point. Maybe like one arm that swings/pivots/ rotates and locks at one point on one end and then on the other have it so that you can secure each individual piece. I know this may sound stupid but I have been in situations where I could unlock the entire rack and leave the items unsecure while Iím working which would just save time when I come back to grab my next item and go. Then there are those times when you wouldnít want to walk to the other side of the truck without locking everything up.

Hoss: Maybe Iím just stupid, Whatís a dovetail?

RM: First of all, thatís a nice rig youíve got there. Iíd like to have that rig.
I suspected the side rails were for load bearing so I probably wonít be able to do the side gates on this trailer. That really sucks cause I like that idea.

Runner: You said that your spicerack holds your pushmowers on the top level. Do you just muscle them up there?

Thanks again for all the good infoÖ.Joe

11-08-2001, 02:26 PM
The mowers I use, (when they are used, very little anymore) are Snapper 2 cycles, and are PRObably the lightest mower available on the market. They have the solid mount handle, and when I put them up, I just pull the handle up and lean them forward, grab the handle down low so the rear wheels rest against my wrist, and do one clean motion up and onto the side. Once I get the other up on the other side, I just jump up on the trailer, straighten down into the basket, and strap 'em down. Takes about 30 seconds for both. When bringing them down, I am able to ease it down freely with one hand.

Tazman, I'll get you the specs on that rack. My trimmer racks, believe it or not, are made from old scroll columns like on aluminum awnings. Both the square tubing, and the flat stock I bent for my hooks. (those were the "S" shaped part on the column.) The rack is made from 2" square tubing, with expando for the floors of the shelves, and lighter mesh for the sides. I have no door on it, it is just open on the back side (toward trailer) for access to anything I need.

01-25-2002, 07:26 PM
If your looking to save some time, check out the A.M. Leonard Catalog (amleo.com) they have a great selection of weedeater/edger racks and long handled tool racks to add to it, They come with a great protective coating that has saved plenty of wear and tear on my equipment, however, I am not sure if they are listed on the website, so youll need to order a catalog,...you will enjoy the catalog anyway, great selection of products for any lawn care type industry.....ET

LJ lawn
01-26-2002, 12:14 AM
anyone think of making a double deck trailer?kind of like a car carrier design.why haul only 2 when you can get 3 z riders on the space of a 16' trailer.have to make the upper deck at least 6-7' and have it hydraulically raise and lower.

01-26-2002, 09:43 AM
I know it is like throwing water on the fire but are you gents considering tounge weight. There are lots of great ideas here and they are ideas that can work but just be sure to consider that little connection you have between your truck and your trailer.
All you have is that 2" ball and the metal that snaps to it.

My suggestion is to start with the reciever and make sure its not gonna bend when you hit abig set of bumpy railroad tracks. A pintle hitch can be a better option but if you really start adding weight you can mayby consider a 5th wheel.

Just my suggestion. Stay safe. Good Luck.

01-26-2002, 11:46 AM
I agree with ED about the weight issue....not to mention the cost involved pertaining to hydraulics etc....I ran into the same problem as far as room is concerned, I have three mowers, but when I bought the ZTR Scag I could not find the room for all three not to mention the rest of the equipment....I believe I am going to set up a smaller trailer for smaller jobs...and leave the big stuff at home one day out of the week and tackle all of the small jobs at once.....I wanted to purchase a hydraulic dump trailer also for big clean-ups.....The starting prices around here are around 4500.00 for a 6 x 12 (or 14) Anyone have one of these? And are they worth the saved time??? ET

big james
01-26-2002, 12:07 PM

Shawn Burns
01-26-2002, 12:14 PM
I have a "basket" on the front of my trailer. It's 24" tall, 24" deep, and 7' wide. the frame is made of 3/4" square tubing, and all wrapped in expanded metal. It holds 2 backpack blowers, 2 backpack sprayers, 2 2 1/2 gal. gas cans, portable air tank, 5 gal water cooler( hole cut into expanded metal for spout to stick out), and room to keep hedge clippers when i need them. The top is hinged to open toward the rear of trailer and has locks on both sides. The rails going from the trailer deck up to the tongue are covered in expanded metal, giving me a platform to stand on to access the basket. I have a trimmer rack that holds 3 trimmers and uses a sliding bar to lock the trimmers. I wish i knew how to post pics., that would help explain things. I can e-mail pics. if you're interested though.

01-26-2002, 03:01 PM

That is one beautiful trailer! Did you custom build it, or is it a manufactured trailer? I really like the front tool box (nice and deep,high,wide), and the heavy 5" channel frame!

Mine is very similar, I only have a curbside gate, smaller similar shaped tool box, and smaller 3" channel frame.

Whats the GVWR on that, and what axles/suspension does it have.

Can you post any more pics?


01-26-2002, 06:28 PM
Yankee Clipper, Great looking rig. Any way, I would definatly recommend a 5' gate. Your mowers will never drag. I had a 4' gate and sometimes they would scrape. My new trailer has a 5'er and nothing touches.

01-29-2002, 07:50 AM
Thanks for the compliments guys.

TLS this is a custom job, I specified the features but the mfg specified all materials.
Check them out at www.teshandsons.com I cannot say enough good things about this outfit.
I have no Idea of their delivery area but I do know that their warranty includes service nationwide.

The GVWR is 7000lbs and the trailer weighs 1500lbs.
The axels are Dexter I beleive.
The website may answer your other questions.

I'll post more pics soon.


David Haggerty
01-29-2002, 08:20 AM
These are heavy duty, but would work on lighter gates.
It's hard to see, but there's spring assist underneath.
It's an auto coil spring with a pipe from the middle hinge compressing it when the gate drops.

The "dovetail" section is hinged too, hung with chain from the rail.
If a driveway or something is too low, it just rides up an over without getting hung up.


02-08-2002, 04:56 PM
Additional pics...

02-08-2002, 04:58 PM
Note the attachment system. Pull one pin and the whole rig slides off of the hinge pins for pallet loading etc.

David Haggerty
02-08-2002, 09:34 PM
Great pics!


I wondered how those leaf spring assists worked.

Did you do the work? Whoever did, does nice work.


02-08-2002, 09:58 PM
No I certainly cannot take credit for those (they're patented).


1st Class Lawns
02-09-2002, 11:54 PM
I have a 6 x 14 Tesh trailer with 2' mesh sides,and back and side gates (with finger lift) .
This is my third trailer and without a doubt its the best I have ever pulled.
If I ever need another trailer it will be a Tesh

02-10-2002, 11:18 AM
which do u guys prefer, the expanded metal/mesh sides or the railing type, or wooden?

05-27-2002, 10:48 PM
That has to be by far, the nicest trailers I have seen in a while!!!

Rob's Lawn Care
11-02-2005, 06:37 PM
Humm, nice idea, something to think about.