Diamond plate deck

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.lawnsite.com/buttons/jump.php?i' started by Shady Brook, Nov 29, 2001.

  1. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    I have a steel mesh deck on my trailor, but it is suffering some serious damage. I have quite a few cross members under the deck, but she is still tearing apart. I am looking to replace the back third or so with steel Diamond plate. This is the area with the least supports, and also where most of the weight is. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how thick to buy, and any idea on cost, and weight of the material? I need a piece about 7' by 7'. I appreciate any help you can give me. Oh, and as far as my pay load, I normally only load up about 3,000 lb's of equipment, but would like her strong enough to haul a large bobcat on occasion.

    Thanks
    Jay
     
  2. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Sorry I can't help you on the cost question :( but here's some info to help answer your other questions:

    Generally, we get diamond tread plate (usually referred to around my neck of the woods as "checkerplate") in 4' x 8' sheets, so it looks like you'll use up 2 sheets and have a bit of "drop" left over.

    Weights: a 4' x 8' sheet of 1/8" checkerplate is about 175 pounds, 4' x 8' sheet of 3/16" is about 250 pounds.

    Strength: I'm looking at a reference table in a steel handbook that shows approximate load capacities in pounds per square foot. For 1/8" checkerplate, 333 lbs/sq f with supports every 12". It drops to 148 lbs/sq f when the supports are 18" apart.

    3/16" checkerplate: 750 lbs/sq f at 12" centres, 333 lbs/sq f with supports at 18" centres.

    Real world applications? The deck on our old boom truck at work was made from 1/8" checkerplate and I've had plenty of weight on it. IMO, 1/8" checkerplate should be fine for your application, especially if you add some crossers while you're at it. If you prefer, use 3/16" plate: there will be a bit of a weight penalty but it will be mucho strong!
     
  3. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Rob

    Thanks so much for your thoughts. I appreciate your taking the time to look into the metal strengths. I have learned quite a bit from reading some of your other posts concerning welding and such.

    I agree that the 1/8 should be plenty, although more is better rings loudly in my mind. :D Course there is probably a nice price difference between the two thicknesses.

    I have access to a 115 volt 70 amp mig, says it will do 3/16's in one pass... It just does not seem possible. Do you think she will do an adaquate job, or is this a good excuse to go by me a 220 volt stick welder? :)

    Again, thanks so much
    Jay
     
  4. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    I think this is an EXCELLENT "excuse" to get that 220 volt stick machine! :D

    I'll admit to being a bit biased since I mostly stick weld (outdoors usually) but I think that for your trailer project, the 115v/70 amp MIG will be a bit small for the job.

    "3/16 in one pass" - it WILL do it, but you'll have the machine "maxxed out" in the process. I tend to view maximum capacity claims with a grain of salt: The boom truck I was driving today has a crane rated for 4 tons. But that's at 5 feet from the centreline of rotation. Truck deck is 8'6" wide, so basically I could pick 8000# up off the deck but wouldn't be able to go anywhere with it!

    That new stick machine will pay for itself in no time - get one and start building! :cool:
     
  5. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Rob

    I love ya man! That is just the answer I wanted to hear. :p

    "Honey, Rob says I need a new stick welder, it will save us thousands of dollars, and the sooner I get it the better!" Yeah, that's the ticket!

    Thanks man
    Jay
     
  6. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Uh-oh - I had no idea I was going to end up in the middle of a domestic debate! :eek:

    J/K - but I bet you WILL find lots of uses for the new machine! And if you get a good one and take care of it, it'll last a l-o-n-g time.
     
  7. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Rob

    Since I have you here, I will hit you up for one more question. I was thinking along the lines of a Lincoln stick 225 AC. Do you think there is much need for the AC/DC version. I don't plan to weld upsidedown to much, but I guess it could happen every now and then. Any thoughts on other stick welders, ie craftsman/century and such. I want something that will last me a long time, like you said, but want to keep price down so I can do a torch too!

    I got a good woman, she puts up with me, and thats more then reasonable.

    Thanks
    Jay
     
  8. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    At work, I use DC machines (gas engined mobile units) all the time while the home machine is AC only. For your application I feel you don't really need the AC/DC version. Everything on my truck (bumper, headache rack, plow mounts, winch mount, deck, trailer hitch, wrecker attachment etc etc.........) I fabbed with an AC machine and nothing's broken off yet!

    Don't know much about Craftsman/Cenutry etc, except that the home machine (actually belongs to a friend of mine) is an older Sears 295 amp AC unit. It's at least 15 years old and has given no problems, I don't know if the stuff built nowadays is as good.

    I think the Lincoln stick 225 AC you mention is a good choice. To begin your stock of welding rod, I'd suggest these types: 6011, 6013 and 7014, one box of 3/32" and 1 box of 1/8" each.

    Total 6 boxes, the 3/32" is for lighter stuff and the 1/8" for the heavier (3/16" and up plate etc) fabbing.

    6011 is great for tacking and working with material that may be a bit dirty/rusty (like you might find underneath a trailer!)

    6013 I like as a good all-around rod, it can be used for flat/horizontal/vertical and overhead welding.

    7014 is ideal for pouring in flat welds. Turn the heat up and go!

    I know I'm gettin' real good at spending someone else's money, but one more thing to invest in: Good welding gloves and either a set of leather sleeves or a complete leather welding jacket. (I prefer the sleeves because I tend to find the jacket too hot/cumbersome much of the time) Don't know about everyone else, but for me the novelty of getting burnt wore off long ago!

    Good luck with the new welding machine!
     
  9. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Rob

    Super post, I will gladly take your advice, even if I have to remortgage my house. ;) I hope you can stay active on the site, many will benifit from your knowledge. Thanks again for all your help.

    Take care
    Jay
     
  10. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,666

    I have used diamond plate for many things over the years, but I have learned not to use it for flooring applications as it is very slippery when wet, just like any other steel plate material. I think your machines will slide all over the trailer unless you tie all of them down really well. If you want a solid floor, why not use treated 2x10's or 2x12's. You could also use expanded metal, but with more supports under it. I have hauled heavy construction equip on trailers with well - braced expanded metal floors. The majority of heavy duty haul trailers have wood plank flooring. I would suggest you not use diamond plate.
     

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