Aluminium trailer or Medium duty steel ????

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by tomo, May 27, 2009.

  1. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Hi Considering another trailer
    Type flat deck wheels located outside floor [similar to medium size car trailer ]
    Rating 4400lbs
    floor size 14 x 6
    Aluminium floor /interlocking floor planks 6 inch wide 14 ft long 1 inch thick
    tandem / dual axle tosion type rated at 2600 lbs per axle
    1 x brake axle , surge type, hydraulic disc brakes
    4 1/2 wide x 4 ft high ramp
    low deck height 15- 17 inch

    Alloy trailer weight 770-880 lbs
    steel trailer weght 880- 990 lbs

    Carry 2x ztrs or 1x zero and garden waste
    A stake body system will be used eg removable walls

    opinions ???

  2. T-Trim

    T-Trim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 204

    Big Question can you weld Aluminium????
  3. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    I have the facilities to be able to weld aluminium.
    The main reason for the consideration of alloy type trailer is to reduce the towing tare weight.
    It seems properly thought out a steel part alloy trailer can come very close in weight .
  4. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,251

    Hi Tomo, No rust with aluminium and no need to paint or added cost of gal dip.
    I would look at the aluminium personally.
  5. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Latest update on trailer is

    Basically if u do a internet search it seems like alloy trailer design is tricky

    alloy trailer
    Usa built 14 x 6 around 800 lbs [350-400kgs ] RnR trailers
    Australian 14x6 around 1100 lbs or 525 kgs heavy and dam costly .bugger :dizzy:

    If u measure/weigh every nut bolt etc a light weight combination trailer can be acheived
    The easy part is the trailer, it is the suspension that weighs a lot
    Trailer with 4x 2 box chassis , 3 x 2 front main and rear main box crossmember
    Floor crossmembers 1 1/2 x 3/16 angle [40x 40 x 5mm]
    Use the main chassis as the A frame
    Running a seperate A frame under main chassis adds weight
    13 inch Alloy wheels/ tires
    Alloy 1200lbs capacity
    Steel 1500lbs cap little heavy

    Suspension brakes etc
    10 inch electric drums are lightweight but $$$$$ to maintain
    10 hydraulic disc little heavy but are real good and cheap to maintain

    There is 9 inch hydraulic drums but ........cheapest/lightest/ low performance

    Alko torsion
    good technically many good points but
    MOST EXPENSIVE the indecision is from there reliability THEY FAIL then WEAR TYRES AND ITS almost CHEAPER TO BUY NEW AGAIN than have them
    repaired A week down time as well

    THe positive side to torsion is weight saving ,and the trailer can sit low to ground
    THe ride of trailer is important the higher the deck of trailer the longer the ramp and increased weight etc Big tall ramps cause wind drag and u have to lift them :weightlifter:

    Leaf spring is cheap/reliable and mostly available
    Soooooooo ... heavy :weightlifter::dizzy:
    close :weightlifter:

  6. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Posts: 4,785

    I would just go with a steel trailer. I mean the weight savings aren't that great. I have a 16ft trailer with 2ft steel sides and a 4ft gate that weighs 1100lbs. I got it dirt cheap too, much cheaper than a similar trailer made from Aluminum. Also it has a life time warranty on everything but the axles and wheels which is a plus for me since I'm always overloading the thing.
  7. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    latest up date
    First we all know generally the lighter the trailer the weaker it is .
    eg u can make a 14 x 6 out of 2 x2 1/8 wall box section which will not last
    This particular trailer is not being built in that way

    The final design is

    Part alloy part steel

    Bed Frame
    4 x 2 1/8 wall tubing

    A Frame
    4 x 2 1/8 wall tubing

    Front and rear main crossmembers [2]
    3 x 2 slightly less than 1/ 8 wall [2mm]

    Floor support x 10
    1 3/4 angle 3/16 wall


    Extruded alluminium floor panel [not flat sheet ]
    Aluminium wheel guards
    Aluminium wheels 13 inch high load capacity [light truck ]

    Light mechanicals

    10 inch drums electric [all other brakes are heavier ]
    1 3/4 [45 mm ] roller eye ,load sharing leaf suspension [low profile]
    1200mm 4 ft ramp [15 inch deck height allows ramp to be short/ light ]

    using both materials allows a balance between cost and weight
    NB ; if u use alloy chassis the section of material has to be that large that deck height is raised to much and will effect loading angle to much .
    Typically only 25 % saving in the main frame is possible . The main chassis in alloy is also the most expensive part $$$$$$$$

    Estimated finished weight is
    975 lbs --1125 lbs

    photos soon

    tomo :waving:

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