1. Shady Brook

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

    Anybody know of a good and inexpensive source for buying steel on line? I don't need large quanities, I am thinking along the lines of stuff to build a heavy duty trailer, or flat beds for my trucks. I remember seeing a site linked to that fella who built a bed for his S10, but did not see they type of steel I was expecting.

    I sure wish lots of people would write in this forum, I look forward to new threads every day.

    Thanks
    Jay
     
  2. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    I get mine from the structural places in town. I'm sure they get a kick out of the hobby guy and his flimzy purchase.. But they are nice and the steel is priced right. I also do some wood working and man steel is cheap!
     
  3. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    I've never looked into the idea of buying steel on-line (of course, I do have a pretty good source available to me since I'm employed in the biz.......... :blush: ) but I have a feeling shipping might get expensive going that route - although I'm not speaking from experience here.

    Have you checked out any structural places like Shady Brook mentioned? That might be worth looking into.
     
  4. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 611

    Lots of times the guys around here will let me dig around the cut piles for small pieces I may need. Sometimes they let me have scrap. If I need bigger stuff they can get that for me as well. Make friends with a local shop. One that does a lot of work is better cause they will be more inclined to not care about scraps and leftovers IMO.
     
  5. Shady Brook

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

    You guys have given me a good idea! The guy who built my trailer is about an hour from here. He builds alot of trailers, so may have some scrap. He is a pretty good guy too. I doubt I would get anything of real length, but free is good, and who knows when I will find a use for it.

    There is a big steel place about an hour from here, the only problem I have had is getting a hold of anyone who knows anything, or is willing to talk to a small fry.

    I bet shipping probably would get pretty salty, I will have to check aroud local a bit better.

    I have been toying with the idea of "in the future" building a goose neck trailer in the 24 foot range, and mounting a dump box on it as well as having 14 foot left over for my lawn equipment. I think that would be dream. Kind of got the idea from some trailers I have seen on line, but am not willing to pay for.

    Do you think it may be better buying a 24 footer pre made, and then add the other modifications? I guess I am thinking of the monster weight steel I would probably be working with on a beast that large. I am thinking something at least 12000 lb at the very minimum. I think 16,000 would be better.

    Thanks fellas
    Jay
     
  6. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Tackling a project that large can be quite a handful, especially if you're fairly new at fabbing - not because it's overly difficult, just that there's so much of it! Unless you have the equipment to pick and move the trailer, you'll have to do a lot of the welding in position (aka "vertical" and "overhead")

    Depending on how specialized you would like your trailer to be, your idea of buying one and then modifying it to suit your requirements might be the better option. On the other hand, by building your own you can have EXACTLY what you need.

    Have you built any trailers yet? If not, perhaps building a smaller one (hey, I could use a 5' x 10' motorcycle trailer (hint! ;) ) would give you a better idea of whether or not you wish to get involved with a bigger project.
     
  7. Shady Brook

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

    Rob

    Thanks for your thoughts. I am quite the novice, as some of my earlier posts would indicate. :) My thoughts (dreams) would be for the new trailer not this coming year, but next. I hope to get a stick in the next few months. I have had access to a small mig, which I have been using quite a bit.

    I just did build a small 4x8 trailer out of scrap metel left behind from the previous owner. It will serve my purpose for hauling junk around my house, sticks/wood etc. I really enjoyed working on it.

    As for the big trailer, I would not trust myself with a unit that large. I would have help from a friend, who does quite a bit of welding, and has built some trailers in the past. He has offered to build one for me, but I would like to do most of the work with some supervision. Just to risky for me fabbing a rig like that, I could not take if if she got away from me and hurt someone. :eek:

    Any idea what a stock 24 foot goose neck might weigh? I am thinking I would need a dove tail for the gates as well, hum... I may need a 28 footer! ;) But then there is hauling it around town, that could be interesting!

    Thanks again
    Jay
     
  8. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Based on the info in your latest post, I say plan it out and then build that big trailer!

    One suggestion I have when you design/build it - avoid the use of tube as much as possible, also try and avoid creating any areas that will hold dirt and moisture (dirt + moisture + the inevitable road salt = RUST :mad: ) If you do make use of tube, try and either cap all the ends or make provision for any water that gets in to drain out.

    Weight? That's hard to say, I know the flatbed I built a few years ago weighs at over 4,000# empty (I have a couple pics of it on the 2'nd page of the thread "Work Photos") so I'm guessing at a weight of 5,000 - 6,000# plus for the one you're describing. Minimum tandem, possibly tri-axle configuration - definitely brakes on ALL axles!
     
  9. Shady Brook

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

    Rob

    Thanks for the suggestions. I was thinking of some big meaty channel with angle for support. Probably go with a plank deck. Any suggestions on what size of Channel and Angle you might use to build a trailer such as this? I would rather overbuild then under.

    Three axles may be the way to go, more brakes, more weight capacity, and probably would help with load distribution. I may have a couple tons of material in the dump section up toward the front of the trailer.

    Hope you do not feel like I am hogging up your time Rob, I just enjoy learning from you.

    Much thanks
    Jay
     
  10. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Overbuilding is good - up to a point! If you overbuild t-o-o much, you'll end up not being able to payload a whole lot. I have a tendency for "overkill" myself - just ask anyone who I've built something for................... ;)

    On the trailer I built, I used 12" S-beam (aka I-beam, the flanges are fairly narrow. Another style of beam commonly used in structural steel applications is called a "Wide-Flange" beam, so named because the flanges are wider than those on a similar size S-beam) for the side rails and 2" channel for the crossers, and 2" rough-cut boards for the deck itself.

    8" structural channel might work well for your main frame, and you could use 2" channel or 2" angle for the crossers. Tomorrow I'll take a look at the deck on our boom truck and see how it's constructed - I KNOW it'll carry plenty of weight 'cause I've had that truck loaded heavy a few times. :eek:

    Hogging my time? Not at all - I enjoy posting here, sharing info & ideas is what this site is all about.

    BTW, whereabouts in Indiana are you? I'm hoping to get down to Frankfort for a weekend next summer, depending on where you are I could make a detour out your way for a quick visit.
     

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