View Full Version : Trailer Repairs - To do or not to do?

09-18-2002, 01:29 AM
I know this is long, but if anyone has any ideas on this, it sure would help me out..

Ok, picked up a 16 by 7 foot dual axle trailer from a friend who is no longer using it for $50. He had to get rid of it.

I put down a new wood floor on this trailer using pressure-treated decking, painted it up and re-did the lights. Total spend - right around $275. total total.

Added a full trimmer rack system and made my own easy gate, which I can always take off of this trailer if I decide to sell it. So I'm not counting that money..

Now, the "passenger side" of the front axle is wacked out. Must of hit a curb or two in it's past history. 3 of the 4 tires are shot to heck. The hydralic surge brakes don't seem to work.

So I asked a trailer company around here for an "estimate" to do the work to get the trailer up and running.

To put on 4 new tires (and i'd have the one good one left mounted on a rim as a spare cause I don't have one right now) would be $347.00... Guy is charging $87.00 a tire, these are 20.5*8-10 in size? I know I saw Carlise USa Trail Hwy's on www.stopandgotires.com in my size even with an "F" Load rating for $51 a piece... $278 delivered to my door which is $69.50 a tire... Is Mounting them onto a rim worth $20 a tire? I have no idea what shops charge for that service...

Now, add on $129 for a 3500# 2 3/8" axle. Add on a U-bolt kit and a grease seal and a grease cap and 5 hours of labor at $55 an hour and we're looking at a grand total of.....$863.00!!!!

That's without fixing the brakes which he says are locked up and shot to heck. No fluid, rusted lines, actuator on the hydralic system doesn't work, etc.

So... if he was to replace the couple, with a new actuator and a new coupler, and do all that was listed above, we're looking at a grand total of $1143.....

I told the guy not to do anything, and I picked the trailer up from the place I took it.. I'm taking it to a second place for another estimate.

Do you think I'm being hosed?

If you had this LARGE trailer, (16*7), would you get any of the above work done?

I want to SELL this trailer and my SMALL 4 by 8 trailer and buy a nice medium size trailer, probably something that has a 5-6 foot width and a 10-12 foot length. My current mower(s) is a 32" Exmark and a 21 push, I may be going to a 48" walkbehind in the future, but I think any 6*10 or 6*12 could fit a 48",32" and a 21" no problem. I have all the trimmer racks that I would mount on the new trailer...

What do you think a 16*7 trailer would fetch if I left it "not fixed up" or should I "fix it up, no brakes", or "fix it up, with brakes" and spend the whole $1143, add the $275 I spent on wood and lights and sell it for $1500 and come out ahead by $100? Or no way would a 16*7 ever fetch $1500? What if I didn't fix anything on it at all? Would anyone pay more than $225 for the trailer as described?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


09-18-2002, 01:48 AM
I say no-fix-up. You wouldn't get $1,000 for it after you had all that work done to it.. I'd say sell it for what you have into it now, which would be $275. Put that toward a new one. Your trailer prices I'm sure are lower than mine are. They want $1500 for a 5X10 (Washington guys know what I'm talkin' about). I think you could get a 6X12 for about $1100-1200 or so. It would be lower to the ground than what yours is now, which in my eyes, is a big plus. Hauled my Toro Proline around on a snowmobile trailer before I bought my Exmark and a new trailer, not fun. Too high, no sides, looked stupid, and it was long and wide. I hope you figure something out! Good luck!

09-18-2002, 02:03 AM
Doesn't seem like its worth the hassle, I hate fixin & selling. My advice is to sell both your trailers and buy a 6 X12 single or tandem whatever fits the budget. A 6 X 12 carries my "36,"48 and 2 "21s with room to spare.

Albemarle Lawn
09-18-2002, 02:29 AM
Ask $250 but if you get offered $150 take it and don't look back you won't regret it.

I have learned over the years that loss of productivity makes junk the MORE EXPENSIVE THAN NICE STUFF!!!


09-18-2002, 02:35 AM
i would save money and fix it myself.if you don't how too it's a good chance to learn.

09-18-2002, 07:46 AM
Find someone else to look at it or do the brake work yourself.

The price for the Carlile tires is about right. I just priced a set of them for just about the same.

09-18-2002, 10:18 AM
I was nearly in the same boat, but not as bad. I had figured I was going to have to spend $500 fixing up my 16ft, but that was just for tires, decent rims and a new gate. More for breaks and emergency break-away breaking unit. Instead, I took that money and just applied it to a new trailer for $1,300. Now I want to sell my old one and get a 10 ft for just hauling my overseeder and aerator around, maybe even just a 8 ft trailer. Maybe you can order you a new trailer without the deck and use the wood that you just bought to put in it.


09-18-2002, 11:03 AM
doug--are you nuts?

I can put you on a 6.5X16 ALL BRAND NEW except the tires are used but made to look new for $750. add $100 for brakes on one axle.


09-18-2002, 02:07 PM
I'm still waiting for the second estimate quote to come back to me to see where that puts me. When I do get it, I'll see if I can make any kind of deal with the place that they keep that trailer and use that towards a new 6*12 or whatever.

I think the pricing of trailers is weird, cause you guys on here say how I can get a 6*12 for $1000 to $1500 according to the replies so far, so I figure that my "fixed up" perfect condition 7*16 would fetch even more money.. Plus it has a super sturdy rear gate on it that is real nice and that adds to the value as well.

Either way, I don't know if I can sell it with 2 flats and a bent axle.. I might ask the shop what the price would be just to change the axle and a set of tires, even if used is better than what is on 2 of them right now...

Geogunn, where can you get a new 16*6.5 with brakes complete for $850? That seems awefully low.

Any idea how much a garage charges to change a tire onto a rim?


09-18-2002, 02:35 PM
This kind of reminds me of Bush Hog Boy and his scag. I guess there are two kinds of people in this world. Both are perfectly o.k.
The first kind is the guy who likes to tinker on things / do it your self / maybe has a a little more time and patience than the rest of us. The other kind is the guy who says - my life will probably be alot more simple if I just spend a little more and get a newer / new piece of gear. Thats how I am. My advise in sell your two trailers and go get the one you want. Let us know how it works out.

09-18-2002, 08:19 PM
Here is what the trailer looks like.. You can see it's in tip top shape for what I have into it so far, other than 1 bent axle, some bad tires and no brakes. <G>

Got back the second estimate today.... $560 for axles and 4 tires, $900 to axels, tires and brakes...

I gonna talk to them again tommorow to see what else can be done to get the trailer workable, but for the least amount of money possible.

Here's the pic:

09-18-2002, 10:33 PM
thats a nice trailer, shop around, fix it, and keep it

09-18-2002, 10:58 PM
Sell it. those wheels are just a little to light duty for heavy use,at least that my thoughts ,I could be wrong about your wheels. The body of the trailer looks good. You need to inclose the side railsto keep things from rolling out.

09-18-2002, 11:18 PM
So now I hear sell it's and keep it's.

Keep it cause it's nice.
Sell it cause it's too lightweight for any good. HMM..

The wheels are 10 inch I believe as the tire size is stamped on the sidewall as 20.5*8-10..

I only carry a 32" exmark, 21" push, blower, trimmer, some hand tools, some gas and a couple of other small things.. Everything can fit on the trimmer rack, the blower box mounted to the deck, inside the toolbox, or strapped down to the deck (mowers).

So I don't lose anything off of the sides..

Oh yeah, I hold a couple of hand tools as well, no problem in the rack.

The garbage cans can't fall off either since there are metal bars that go thru the handles of the garbage cans and the metal bars are closer together than the width of the garbage can itself is...

So it works out nicely, just very large in size..

09-19-2002, 12:04 AM
That thing is a lot sharper than I thought it would be. As far as how heavy duty the wheels are I don't know if I would drive a kubota up in it but I bet it could handle a coulpe of ztr mowers. If they can get the work done in a timely fashion for not a bad price to where you are in the trailer between $1500 to $1800 dollars you might want to keep it.

09-19-2002, 12:46 AM
Fix it. however, forget those stupid surge brakes.Nothing but a pain in the ----. Get two new 3500 lb. axles so you can run 15" wheels. Get one of the axles with electric brakes and you solve the brake problem at the same time. I can buy an axle with electric brakes here for 125.00 each.:)

Ryan Lightning
09-19-2002, 01:06 AM
Im with Mowingman on the 15" rims. I was thinking, maybe see of you can get axles wide enough for the tires to sit out side the deck, and add some fenders. It may lower the trailer a little.

09-19-2002, 02:08 AM
One issue in my area, if you are using a trailer over 3000gvw you have to have electric brakes. Surge brakes are against the law for comercial applications and the commercial veihcle enforcment in my area are hard on Lawn car businesses as there are so many guys running around with nothing but junk out there. Great looking trailer though, If i could find one like that I would be all over it for hauling my snowmobiles around.

09-19-2002, 01:13 PM
Good looking trailer. Can't figure out how come your gas cans stay in place...hate to think you actually have to bungie them down every time you use them. I'd go along with the others and say fix it but only if you intend to enclose the sides.

09-19-2002, 01:32 PM
i say sell it and get something a bit more heavy duty why spend more money on a used trailer . you want some thing that will last for years

i would go with something like this but 8.5 x 16 with 16 inch wheels with brakes on both axels electric or surge

i got my triler from these guys they custom made it the way i wanted it


09-19-2002, 06:58 PM
Well, my first estimate to do 1 axle, 4 tires and that was about it was like $863.. Now I got a second one but they were doing 2 axles and 4 tires for like $560.

So in talking it over, 1 of the axles is bent out when put on a machine, but NOT to the eye. So they are only going to replace 1 axle. In addition, rather then replace all 4 tires, they are going to replace 2 since 2 are truly bad, the other 2 I just don't like but that is just cosmetic.. They are also going to change the coupler to one that I like, but NOT do the brake system. Got this down to a $325 repair now.. Add that to the $250 I have in it and I'm right around $625 into it. Everyone here is telling me to sell it for $900 without brakes as is, cause there are guys all over the place that want it for ATV's the such and these ATV guys don't care about brakes at all..... so I'm told..

As far as the gas cans, look at my picture carefully. There is a piece of wood running the lenght of the trailer in that front corner. There is another piece running side to side that forms a small "Box" in the front passenger side of the trailer. It is made to the exact size to fit 1 6 gallon gas can, 1 2 gallon gas can next to it, and 1 quart of oil and a bottle of 2-in-1 mix all in a perfect square. As you can see, it's a very tight fit so even hitting a bump, the gas can's don't move a single bit.. In fact if it's hot out and the gas cans puff up at all, I need to open the vent valve first to get them out.. So it's real nice and tight.

WHy does the piece of wood running the lenght of the trailer go PAST the "gas box"? Next to the cans, I mount my grass gobbler on the deck, with the edge of the grass gobbler up against that piece of wood. I run a bungee cord from a v-hook on the edge of the wood thru the gobbler and onto the side of the trailer. Here's a better angle pic of the trailer deck, maybe this will help understand the setup. The metal dots on the deck are anchor points for my belt strap to hold down my 32 exmark. The 21 push goes in the driver side front corner.

Any other feedback or ideas, I'd love to hear them!!!!!


09-23-2002, 09:19 PM
Well they are fixing the trailer up so far, somewhat.

They are putting only 2 new tires, not 4. The other 2 are ok for now.

I was told the footprint of the trailer is very wide and the distance between the axles is far. So any 90 degree turn around town, some of the tires will be skidding sideways no matter how you do it.

So the tires will wear quickly, it is a function of the setup of the trailer.

So 2 tires for now and 1 axle is fine for now. That will get it rolling nice and straight. They are putting on a new coupler since the one that is on there is CRACKED. <G> Now that could of been a bad situation. <G>

With that done, the total bill will be like $250. (2 tires, axle, coupler and whatever labor)... I will probably try to sell it and see what it gets. There are lots of ATV guys around here, so if they want it for atv's, it would be great. We'll see how it goes..