PDA

View Full Version : Custom trailer


mowerbrad
06-25-2010, 09:41 PM
I talked to a friend today and mentioned that I was looking at new trailers, hoping to get one by fall, and he mentioned that a company about 45 minutes away can get me a great price on a custom built trailer. This got me thinking....maybe custom is the way to go.

It'd be an open trailer, 16 or 18 feet long by 7 feet wide. It would have a split ramp gate in the rear and a 4 foot wide side ramp on the front passenger side. The axles would be two 3500lb axles with breaks on both, I thought about 5200lbs axles but depending on the price I get, the 3500 axles would be more economical for me. I'd like to have some sort of built in tie down system to make things easy for me.

I will only be towing 1-2 mowers and a little bit of grass from the baggers, so this trailer wouldn't have a ton of weight on it.

What things do you guys think I should put on this trailer?

If I get a good price back from the fabricator, I will probably go through with it and want to make sure that this trailer is what I want and has everything I like.

Dan85
06-25-2010, 10:01 PM
I can't stress enough how useful boxes are on our 18' open trailer. We have a united Welding Service Neck Box (http://www.uwsta.com/rec_trailer_box.html) and two UWS Fender Well Boxes (http://www.uwsta.com/blue_fender_well.html) . Initially I thought these fender boxes would be useless because of their size, but I've grown to really love them.

Trimmer racks are always nice. We have two backpack blower racks, but they stick out too far for my liking, (especially when backing into the bay at night) and I would rather just keep them in the truck anyways. We have an electric RV jack on our trailer, it's a nice perk at the end of the day, but it's nothing I couldn't live without. Our trailer also came with 2 equipment ramps in addition to the mesh gate, these are stored under the trailer. Also, we have a lift assist for the gate, like a gorilla lift, definitely a good investment. We have D-hooks welded to the top of the frame for our tie downs.

mowerbrad
06-25-2010, 10:27 PM
I've thought about a tongue box on the trailer, the more I think about it, the better the box sounds. And a gate assist would be really convenient.

mowerbrad
06-26-2010, 11:12 PM
I know more of you guys have some ideas....

What would you guys want on a trailer? I'd like to send my design to the fabricator by the end of the week.

ajslands
06-26-2010, 11:51 PM
way off topic, but where in the world is grand haven?

is it on lake MI




is it near luddingtion?

John_DeereGreen
06-27-2010, 08:54 AM
Watch out having brakes on both axles on a longer trailer...we've had issues with our 20 foot and 2 axle brakes sliding the front tires...

Good luck!

mowerbrad
06-27-2010, 09:46 AM
So maybe only having brakes on one axle would be better....that would also help to keep the cost of the trailer down some.

I'd like to have some tie down points in several spots (every 3 feet), I was thinking just simple D-ring type tie down points as apposed to an E-trak system.

I would like to have rear stabilizer jacks so I could load/unload the trailer without having the trailer hooked up to the truck.

I will be putting a tongue tool box on the trailer, which will be very convenient to keep straps and tarps in there.

I'm also thinking of putting a boat winch on the front of the trailer, in case a mower breaks down and I have to load it on the trailer by myself.

mowerbrad
06-27-2010, 09:50 AM
way off topic, but where in the world is grand haven?

is it on lake MI

is it near luddingtion?


Grand Haven is on Lake Michigan, south of Ludington.

Grand Haven is the green star on the map.....

mowerbrad
06-27-2010, 09:12 PM
I posted this in the "truck and trailer" section but haven't been able to drum up too many responses and I'd like to get some quick suggestions on this within a day or two so I can get all my info together to send out to the fabricator.

I've been in need of a new trailer for a little while now. My current trailer does the job but is slightly smaller than I'd like (6x14) and it is starting to fall apart and having repairs done to it far too often.

So I was talking with one of my friends the other day who mentioned having a trailer custom built to fit my exact needs. He is a rep of some sort for the fire truck division of a local trucking center, the same place that would be able to custom make a trailer for me (they have done many trailers before) and he said he could also try and get me a deal on the trailer. So this got me thinking, maybe custom making a trailer would be my best bet.

This trailer would be used mainly for mowing, so it'd have grass/leaves on there, hauling maybe 2 full size mowers eventually and a 21" mower. Eventually it could carry something heavier, but as of right now, I don't plan on it hauling anything more than lawn care equipment.

So far I've come up with a few ideas and have drawn up a sketch of what I'd like it to look like. Here is what I've come up with so far....

-18' long by 7' wide
-tandem 3500lb axles, one with brakes...(if it isn't too much more I'll upgrade to 5200lb axles).
-Split rear ramp gate (gate would be split two sections, both 3.5' wide)
-4' side ramp gate on passenger side.
-1' railing all around trailer.
-Tongue tool box
-rear stabilizer jacks to be able to load and unload without being hooked to the truck.
-LED lighting all around.
-D-ring tie-down points every 3'.
-Maybe a boat winch mounted on the front in case a machine breaks down and has to be pulled onto the trailer.
-Yellow in color
-Maybe some type of gate lift assist


Anyone have any other suggestions for me? I want to make sure that this trailer lasts me longer than my last one and is built right.

yardguy28
06-27-2010, 09:17 PM
i've never heard of anyone having stabilizer jacks at the rear of tandem for tipping. tandems don't usually tip when loading and unloading. unless it's something big like a skid steer loader.

i could load and unload mowers on a tandem all day long unhooked from a truck.

unit28
06-27-2010, 09:48 PM
i've never heard of anyone having stabilizer jacks at the rear of tandem for tipping. tandems don't usually tip when loading and unloading. unless it's something big like a skid steer loader.

i could load and unload mowers on a tandem all day long unhooked from a truck.

yep, and as far as a skid steer, that will sink a hole in the gate
....ask me how I know.:)

mowerbrad
06-27-2010, 09:53 PM
I have to have my 14' tandem hooked to my truck to load or unload. Running a 1500+ pound ztr up or down the gate would tip my 14'. I'm not sure if an 18' would be different or not.

Runner
06-27-2010, 09:57 PM
Also, you are required (by law) to have brakes on both axles of the trailer, not just one. If you are going to run the electrical, the plug, and brakes on one, you might as well make it both.This will save you the citation and the trouble of having to put it on later, anyway. Also, don't forget your breakaway system. This is also required by law.

mowerbrad
06-27-2010, 10:10 PM
Also, you are required (by law) to have brakes on both axles of the trailer, not just one. If you are going to run the electrical, the plug, and brakes on one, you might as well make it both.This will save you the citation and the trouble of having to put it on later, anyway. Also, don't forget your breakaway system. This is also required by law.

I never knew I was supposed to have brakes on both axles, most of the trailers at the dealers I've seen only have brakes on one axle.

And yes, the breakaway system will be on there.

unit28
06-27-2010, 10:12 PM
I've never had any issues of "lift up" of my 16' big tex:)

Junior M
06-27-2010, 10:16 PM
go ahead and get the 5200 pound axles so your not limiting yourself.

onebladetwoblade
06-27-2010, 10:16 PM
now that's a good looking...........................................dog!

unit28
06-27-2010, 10:19 PM
now that's a good looking...........................................dog!

full champion pedigree and never been hunted...mama's baby.

B Gillespie
06-27-2010, 10:29 PM
Jacks on the rear are to relieve strain on the trailer and prevent unloading of the tow vehicle.

5200 lb axles as a minimum. Tires (16") and bearings last much longer.

Heavy guage wiring with 7 pin RV connector.

Drop leg 10k lb. jack

Way too many tool boxes and storage locations. Plan out all of your equipment and design storage accordingly.

I like metal floors, some prefer wood.

Adjustable 2 5/16" coupler makes it easy to fit different hitches or vehicles. Can also be switched for a pintle or ag style hitch.

Removable sides to load pallets of chemistry, sod, pavers, seed, etc.

4' Enclosed storage at the front of the trailer would be awesome, but expensive and more wind drag.
Posted via Mobile Device

unit28
06-27-2010, 10:58 PM
speaking of tires any one suggest 10 ply?
never know when you're gonna haul 4 cords o' wood.
Also, I like bulldog hitches, and electric jacks.

John_99_2007
06-27-2010, 11:30 PM
Make sure you spend as much money as possible so you don't make too much profit.
Also, make it super heavy and carry everything you own around town all day so you reduce your gas milage.

mowerbrad
06-27-2010, 11:50 PM
I can tell you that this trailer surely won't be THAT EXPENSIVE. I'll make sure it suits my needs well, but I'm not going to be spending $4k on it by any means....if I were going to spend that much, I might as well just buy an enclosed trailer, but I don't want to spend that much money.

The 5200lb axles really look appealing to me. And from the prices I've seen online, they really aren't that much more expensive than 3500lb axles. And if that is true from my fabricator, I will probably upgrade to those axles, just to have the extra capacity in case down the road I have to haul something heavier.

I like the adjustable 2 5/16 coupler idea. I never thought about that, but it sounds like a good thought that I will have to really look into.

KS_Grasscutter
06-28-2010, 12:00 AM
I would get a 20' if you want room for 2 mowers plus clippings.

mowerbrad
06-28-2010, 12:06 AM
I would get a 20' if you want room for 2 mowers plus clippings.

18' is about as big as I want to go, if I go any bigger I'd really be pushing it being able to park at some of my accounts. And in town accounts are not easy to manuver to with large trailers, so 18' is pretty much the longest I want to go with. So once I hook my truck to the trailer, I'm going to be over 40 feet long....not that small and manuverable.

I did think of a 20 footer, but just couldn't do it.

Bob_n_weave
06-28-2010, 12:08 AM
I would get a 20' if you want room for 2 mowers plus clippings.

"Clippings" :nono:

unit28
06-28-2010, 12:11 AM
"Clippings" :nono:

what , you guys don't dethatch?

mowerbrad
06-28-2010, 09:24 AM
There is no way I can't haul clippings, whether it be grass or leaves....I'm most concerned with leaves and thatch. I can't dump onsite at most of my customers, so hauling away is the only other option. And like I stated in a different thread, I have been getting customers lately that specifically call me because they want their lawn bagged (not mulched, not discharged). So I need to have the ability to haul clippings.

Anyone else have any ideas? Anything you guys would have wanted on your trailers?

watatrp
06-28-2010, 09:29 AM
Try out this website http://www.mobilestructures.com/

I've bought several trailers from them. They have a pretty good selection. They will also give you a discount for paying w/ cash or check.

The winch is a good idea. I've got one on my trailer now. When I had two mowers, I could always use one to tow the other in case of a breakdown. I've also had to use it to push the "dead" one up on the trailer. I have milk crates on my trailer to hold the small stuff. Getting a trailer that is easy to balance when loaded is smart. Took me a few minutes to find my center when loaded on mine. The tongue weight is only about 40 lbs so I can move it easily even when it's loaded.

Hey, I've got one Prolocker I've been trying to sell. It wouldn't work w/ the springer forks so went to Faststraps.

B Gillespie
06-28-2010, 09:38 AM
speaking of tires any one suggest 10 ply?
never know when you're gonna haul 4 cords o' wood.
Also, I like bulldog hitches, and electric jacks.

I agree on the tires and bulldog hitch. Electric jacks are really nice on RV's and such, but they don't seem to last long on work trailers.
Posted via Mobile Device

DoetschOutdoor
06-28-2010, 10:39 AM
What you listed as what you want on the trailer are not really "custom" options anymore but pretty much come standard on alot of trailers. Do not let the fabricator charge you an arm and leg as alot of trailers come with everything you mentioned standard except for a side gate. Tool box on the tongue is a good idea but you will lose over 2 foot of being able to back up without jackknifing the trailer and denting your truck if you have toolbox on there. Winch is overkill on a mowing trailer. E track prices have dropped like a rock over the years or else get those cheap $5 flush mount rings and put them where you want.

Have you thought of an enclosed trailer?

mowerbrad
06-28-2010, 02:44 PM
Mike, I'll have to think about that Prolocker...I have always thought about one for the mower but never got around to looking into them much.

The tongue tool box is not one of those rectangular boxes, instead it is one that is more triangular and fits right on the tongue without obstucting my turning abilities. That way I will be able to carry some straps, a tarp, and maybe even some trimmer string and other misc things.

I have thought about an enclosed trailer, but I really don't want to spend $6000+ on the trailer. With an open trailer I get exactly what I need and should work perfectly for me.

yardguy28
06-28-2010, 08:27 PM
yep, and as far as a skid steer, that will sink a hole in the gate
....ask me how I know.:)

i'll take you word for it....i see it now :clapping:

I have to have my 14' tandem hooked to my truck to load or unload. Running a 1500+ pound ztr up or down the gate would tip my 14'. I'm not sure if an 18' would be different or not.

don't know what your doing differently cuz i've loaded and unloaded ztr's on 14' tandems unhooked from a truck before and seen it done plenty of times. i've never seen a tandem trailer tipped unless your loading or unloading a skid steer.

Jacks on the rear are to relieve strain on the trailer and prevent unloading of the tow vehicle.

5200 lb axles as a minimum. Tires (16") and bearings last much longer.

Heavy guage wiring with 7 pin RV connector.

Drop leg 10k lb. jack

Way too many tool boxes and storage locations. Plan out all of your equipment and design storage accordingly.

I like metal floors, some prefer wood.

Adjustable 2 5/16" coupler makes it easy to fit different hitches or vehicles. Can also be switched for a pintle or ag style hitch.

Removable sides to load pallets of chemistry, sod, pavers, seed, etc.

4' Enclosed storage at the front of the trailer would be awesome, but expensive and more wind drag.
Posted via Mobile Device

incase you didn't catch it i'm saying you don't need the rear stabilizers because YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE HOOKED TO THE TOW VEHICLE to load and unload a tandem :hammerhead: tandems don't usually tip when loading and unloading. i can load and unload a tandem all day long with mowers unhooked from a truck.

now maybe it relieves stress on the trailer but thats not worth the rear stabilizers IMO.........

B Gillespie
06-28-2010, 11:21 PM
incase you didn't catch it i'm saying you don't need the rear stabilizers because YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE HOOKED TO THE TOW VEHICLE to load and unload a tandem :hammerhead: tandems don't usually tip when loading and unloading. i can load and unload a tandem all day long with mowers unhooked from a truck.

now maybe it relieves stress on the trailer but thats not worth the rear stabilizers IMO.........

Yes, if the wheels are chocked, equipment can be loaded on an empty trailer with stabilizer jacks. Would you like a cookie for your epiphany?


Brad, after installing a pintle on my new trailer, I remembered how easy to hook up and strong they are. Mine replaced the junk 2 5/16" adjustable that came with the trailer. I originally intended to buy a 2 5/16" Bulldog, but the pintle was exactly $100 cheaper.
Posted via Mobile Device

Richard Martin
06-29-2010, 03:35 AM
i've never seen a tandem trailer tipped unless your loading or unloading a skid steer.

My 16 footer will tip when I run my Dixie on and off. And I have a pushmower and a Ferris 36" Hydrocut at the front along with the trimmers, blower and 3 gal water jug.



Brad,

I also recommend brakes on both axles. It's a cheap but very worthy upgrade.

You can also build a "ladder" into each gate for extra heavy vehicles like skid steers and Mustangs that are trailered from MD to NC. It works very well.

Richard Martin
06-29-2010, 03:58 AM
Here's a pic of the ladders.

Don't forget that your trailer can't be any wider than 102" total. My trailer has a 6' 9" (81") inside width and is 103-1/4" total. If they measure me at a traffic stop (unlikely) I will get a ticket for being too wide. When I put the new Goodyears on last year we just switched rims and all and the original rims had a different backspacing that kept the trailer right at 102".

And don't forget that you'll need clearance lights too. They're the 3 running lights in the middle of the rear of the trailer.

zo6
06-29-2010, 04:05 AM
i never knew i was supposed to have brakes on both axles, most of the trailers at the dealers i've seen only have brakes on one axle.

And yes, the breakaway system will be on there.

ive never seen or heard of anyone with brakes on both axles

yardguy28
06-29-2010, 07:28 PM
Yes, if the wheels are chocked, equipment can be loaded on an empty trailer with stabilizer jacks. Would you like a cookie for your epiphany?


Brad, after installing a pintle on my new trailer, I remembered how easy to hook up and strong they are. Mine replaced the junk 2 5/16" adjustable that came with the trailer. I originally intended to buy a 2 5/16" Bulldog, but the pintle was exactly $100 cheaper.
Posted via Mobile Device

nope i'm talking unhooked from the vehicle no rear jacks and no wheel chockes. just the tandem. mower up the ramp with me on it, no tipping.

My 16 footer will tip when I run my Dixie on and off. And I have a pushmower and a Ferris 36" Hydrocut at the front along with the trimmers, blower and 3 gal water jug.



Brad,

I also recommend brakes on both axles. It's a cheap but very worthy upgrade.

You can also build a "ladder" into each gate for extra heavy vehicles like skid steers and Mustangs that are trailered from MD to NC. It works very well.

you'd be the first i've heard of then......

Here's a pic of the ladders.

Don't forget that your trailer can't be any wider than 102" total. My trailer has a 6' 9" (81") inside width and is 103-1/4" total. If they measure me at a traffic stop (unlikely) I will get a ticket for being too wide. When I put the new Goodyears on last year we just switched rims and all and the original rims had a different backspacing that kept the trailer right at 102".

And don't forget that you'll need clearance lights too. They're the 3 running lights in the middle of the rear of the trailer.

:laugh: LMAO :laugh:

i needed that. thats a new one. getting a ticket for being too wide. never heard that before.......:hammerhead:

Richard Martin
06-29-2010, 07:36 PM
:laugh: LMAO :laugh:

i needed that. thats a new one. getting a ticket for being too wide. never heard that before.......:hammerhead:

You're not nearly as smart as you think you are...

http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/publications/size_regs_final_rpt/index.htm#width

Here's the law specific to my state.

http://www.ncdot.org/doh/operations/dp_chief_eng/maintenance/permits/docs/NorthCarolinaLaws.pdf

yardguy28
06-29-2010, 07:44 PM
You're not nearly as smart as you think you are...

http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/publications/size_regs_final_rpt/index.htm#width

Here's the law specific to my state.

http://www.ncdot.org/doh/operations/dp_chief_eng/maintenance/permits/docs/NorthCarolinaLaws.pdf

who ever said i thought i was smart????

i'm probably one of the dumpest people you'll meet and i'll be the first to admit it.

mowerbrad
06-29-2010, 08:14 PM
Here's a pic of the ladders.

Don't forget that your trailer can't be any wider than 102" total. My trailer has a 6' 9" (81") inside width and is 103-1/4" total. If they measure me at a traffic stop (unlikely) I will get a ticket for being too wide. When I put the new Goodyears on last year we just switched rims and all and the original rims had a different backspacing that kept the trailer right at 102".

And don't forget that you'll need clearance lights too. They're the 3 running lights in the middle of the rear of the trailer.

102", got it. I'm sure the fabricator will know all the specs that the trailer needs to meet, since they have built quite a few.

I'm thinking for the clearance light in the middle, I'll do the fancy tail, turn, stop light...the type that are like 30" long and are used for the middle clearance light but have all the functions to be a third brake light and tail and turn signals.

I will make sure to go through everything with the fabricator to make sure that the trailer meets all requirements.

Scagmower48
06-29-2010, 10:11 PM
I would also look into what kind of paint they are going to put on it. Are they going to put a good quality primer and paint down or some cheap stuff like they did on my trailer, so it starts cracking two year later even if I waxed it a half dozen times.

Powder Coat it if possible.

collegefundms
06-29-2010, 10:26 PM
Also if your just painting it black. Look into the rhino lining or the DIY. I actually think you can have any color of rhino line now.

mowerbrad
06-29-2010, 10:50 PM
I'm actually leaning toward YELLOW as the color. Black shows dirt too easily and I have to go down dirt roads fairly often. Red paint is really expensive, so I would rather not go that route...and by really expensive I mean it could cost me $100+ just have the trailer painted red.

I will make sure that it is a quality paint job too. Didn't really think of that at first either.

watatrp
06-30-2010, 06:38 AM
Sounds like your trailer is going to be expensive. I've always considered open trailers more of a disposable item. Use them for 5-7 years and then sell them for about 30% of what they cost new. I can purchase the trailer you want minus the custom paint, stabilizer jacks for around $1500 in my area. Elkhart is where a lot of them are made so costs are lower.

JohnnyRoyale
06-30-2010, 06:49 AM
Pintle hook is safer than ball IMO.
Consider having the trailer hot-dipped galvanized.
We built one 3 years ago and still looks like new today.

mowerbrad
06-30-2010, 09:48 PM
Once I find out the price from the fabricator I will need to adjust it to what I want to pay (maybe remove a few options if I really have to). I'm thinking it will be about $2500-$2800.....I don't want to spend too much more than that.

I am not really a fan of pintle hitches, I've towed pintle hitch trailers before, but I just don't like them as much as a ball hitch.

mowerbrad
07-03-2010, 09:32 AM
Well, I took my design to my friend who works with the trucking center....hopefully I will have a price within the next week or two and then get this thing built and ready to go in August.

Now I've just got to go get a couple other prices from other fabricators so hopefully I can get the best price possible.

Right now we are expecting the price to be between $2000 and $3000. And I finally settled on all the specs:

-5200lb axles
-2 5/16 ball hitch
-split ramp gate
-side gate
-3' expanded metal sides on the front 7'
-small dove tail at the end
-LED lighting
-Front tongue tool box
-Rear stabilizer jacks
-Flood lights on the front
-Heavy duty 7-way plug and wiring
-Wood floor
-Color: John Deere Yellow

So I should have this sometime in August.

Turf Commando
07-03-2010, 08:38 PM
I'd check out JB Enterprises
http://www.trailersandwagons.com
They make quality trailers (even custom)at decent price. Bought my 6x12 trailer with 3500lb axle and 1500lb lift gate for $1,200..