Long term storage in cargo trailer - weight distribution?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by storagetrailer, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. storagetrailer

    storagetrailer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Good day! :)

    I have been a previous proud and happy owner of a Haulmark single axle 6' x 12' enclosed cargo trailer and I am now looking into purchasing a 5' x 10' single axle enclosed cargo trailer.

    My purpose this time is mainly that of storage.
    Most likely I will be packing this trailer to close its capacity weight and it will be scheduled to be stored stationary for a year or two (or maybe longer) in a driveway.

    1) The purpose of my question is to address the concerns I have with the weight distribution in such a static setup.

    I am assuming I should not let this trailer sit as is, as typical, with the weight on the tires (and naturally the front weight resting on the hitch).

    I am nervous to place jacks under the trailer and let the weight rest on those because I am not sure if a) this is ok and b) if placed in the wrong spots or any spots, might cause parts of the trailer frame or floor to buckle/warp.

    2) Would it make sense to prep the trailer in the proper recommended setup beforehand or after it is loaded?

    I am assuming there has to be a way to setup a loaded trailer for long storage as there has to be people out there using the trailer for such a purpose.

    Also to note, I do not have a paved driveway. It is more of a compacted pebble/stone driveway, but fairly solid.

    I thank you kindly for your assistance as you can imagine this issue is very important to me.

    Have a great day!
    :)
     
  2. TURF DOCTOR

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    If it was sitting stationary for a long time pull the tires off, this will help with crooks also.
     
  3. greywynd

    greywynd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    If I was doing something like this, I would jack it up, and lower it onto jackstands or large heavy wooden blocks under the frame in at least 4 spots, more if possible. (NEVER use concrete blocks to support anything that someone or something could go under, they are meant for house foundations, not car stands) I would also either remove the tires/rims, or at least cover them to protect them from the sun. (Principle cause of tire rot). Couple other things, use some grease on the electrical plug, it will help the connections from corroding, as well as the connections to the lights. Any other areas where rust will form is a good idea too, such as the coupler, tongue jack, whatever....anywhere there are moving parts that it will help to keep water out.

    I would also plan on a good thorough 'check-up' before putting it back on the road, have the bearings repacked, go over the lights, clean up the grease and oil the things that need it.
     
  4. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 752

    Buy 4 cheap jackstands from Harbor freight or some such place. jack it up and install 4 stands, on the frame, one at each corner, letting the springs hang free. Put some plywood squares under the jack stands to keep them from sinking in the ground. You dont have to jack it up too high, just enough to get the weight off the tires, off the springs and onto the frame. Make sure its level and yur good to go.
     
  5. storagetrailer

    storagetrailer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Well gee, thanks!
    Some very nice advice.
    I'm just concerned about buckling or however you'd describe it.
    The weight would be on the blocks or jacks, would the shell (walls and roof) not be affected at all, in a sense like it's just floating there or is there some sort of weird physics at play now where the trailer being suspended on blocks somehow cause a conflict of directions of weight distribution like where the blocks are, they are somehow 'pushing' up towards the walls causing them to buckle in opposition to the walls downward weight due to gravity?!!

    Sorry...a bit complicated in my description but I don't know any way to describe it. Maybe I'm just conjuring up some sort of strange scenario and being overly paranoid.
    I guess the short answer is if someone has experience doing this same thing and the condition of the trailer being fine in the way of any warping/buckling in the walls, roof, floor, etc.

    Again, thanks a bunch for the great help.
    Believe it or not, I tried several times via several methods to contact Haulmark and I get no response.
    You guys are my only hope it seems.
    Thanks! :)
     
  6. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,372

    With these 4 blocks.. Don't you think that all the weight will sag towards the middle? I think your better off going with 6 jacks. One on each corner and 2 in the middle.. The haulmark should have stabilizer jacks on the back..at least mine does..
     
  7. storagetrailer

    storagetrailer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    See, this is a type of example in which I fear.
    Sure makes sense, in theory at least.
    I'm not sure if it is a factor or not, but by me asking here, I am trying to avoid any of these possible damages.

    My last Haulmark did have the rear jacks. But I forget if (after jacking with a jack), if they would extend tall enough to keep the tires off the ground or were just there to keep the trailer from tipping backwards (might not even be rated to uphold the weight in the trailer! - that might not be their purpose).
    If the rear jacks can be used, maybe I could use those and the front jack and then add a couple jacks in the middle.
    Not sure.

    Still a bit nervous. Anymore help is much appreciated!
    Thanks! :)
     
  8. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    If it were me, I'd put it up on jackstands, with 2 under the front corners, 2 in the middle, and 2 in the back, plus remove the wheels, back it up against a wall of some kind to make it nearly impossible for thieves to steal things, and put a lock on the tongue to keep anyone from thinking about stealing it too. just be SURE to put some thick blocks of wood under the trailer for the stands to sit on, they'll prevent the stands from sinking into the ground.
     

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