Any Trailer feature tips or ideas ?? Help

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by rob7233, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Next week, I'm planning to sit down with a custom trailer builder to have a good quality trailer built. Plans are for a OPEN 14' dual 3500lb axle w/ brakes, 18" -24" mesh sides, a heavier duty 4" rear gate with an additional side gate to pull a 36" ZTR off from the side. I want to limit the length to 14' since I want to store it my garage. I already have plans for the fuel cans, cooler and hand tool placement but I've never had a trailer with a CAGE mounted over the front.

    Can anyone tell me of their experience with a CAGE? Thoughts on front vs top opening? General Pros and Cons? Does it add a lot of tongue weight? Good vs. Bad issues?

    Also, I was hoping that someone would be willing to share any neat trailer features or setups they have done or seen? Anyone willing to brag some? I'm just trying to come up with more ideas or things that I haven't thought about or considered. Or if you were to do it again, what would you seriously think about changing?
  2. HazellLawnCare

    HazellLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 832

    I just received my new open trailer with a cage on the front. I had mine made with sheet metal on the front, top, and sides. The back side folds down and is made of expanded metal as is the bottom. I will post some pictures of it tomorrow.
  3. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    My friend has a full mesh cage, open top. As for the tongue weight, it depends on how much crap you keep in it. His becomes a carry all. It has extra ball hooks, trimmer line, starter cord, tools that just never seem to make it back to the tool box, back pack blowers, gas cans, you name it's there. This is a worst case senario, he's been alot better. There is still no way to lift the front end without the jack. I got spoiled with my old 5x10 years ago, I would just pick it up and put it on the hitch. I can still do this with my 6.5x12 but some times I would just rather let the jack do it's job, darn things heavy.
  4. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    my cage opens from the front and the rear although I rarely use the rear. It didn't cost that much more either. I have found that with the truck tailgate down I can stand onthe tailgate and the open gate from the cage makes a nice work area. I have a backpack blower, chainsaw, 5 gallon gas can and three gallon cans plus an airtank in my cage along with a milk crate to hold trimmer line, tire repair supplies, tire gauge and various odds and ends....also, look into a split rear gate...will save on your back! make sure your jack is mounted in a way that your tailgate car be lowered. give some consideration to the bulldog coupler for your hitch.
  5. amscapes03

    amscapes03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 398

    put the company name and list your services on the rear the bottom of the list of services, add one more........"Free Snow Removal". :)
  6. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I will give you my working experience with my new trailer and the reason I got, modified and have adapted my dream trailer.

    I do 4 or 5 fabrication jobs every year, and last fall I stated collecting and pricing parts, axles, tires, new iron, hitches and was ready to start my build Dec, 1. Then i found a well built trailer In Tennessee on E-bay, and found there cost built was like only a few hundred over the cost I had projected.

    Here in the mid west for years many LCO guy have been going to Sikeston MO and get trailers. But I found a operation In Tennessee for a lot less. Its a 16'. I know you said 14' but if you can get it in your shied you will thank me later. Also make sure the tung is whats called a folded tung. Mines is 3 1/2 x 5" from the hitch to the first spring. This makes the trailer a payload of 6 or 7000 lbs capacity. Yes 2 3500 lbs axles but the larger iron for the tung like this 5" will carrie much more. Sikseton offered used tires and rimes,Tennessee has new wagon rims and used tires. No tail gates.

    What I have made is a folding 6' back ramp that is full width (6'4") and 6' long but folded up it only 3" tall. Reason I do not like the 4" ram, some equipment will hang on the steep rise. For my side ramps I went with 6' folding but only 60" wide. I looked at what was available in gate lifts and made my own. From 2 large garage door springs, 2" black pipe and have both gates with spring assist that can take a beating. I have added a black plastic tool/tote box over the front tung and a black truck finder storage box over the back side finder.

    The cost break down. Trailer $850, new steel for ramps and spring covers, including expanded steel for ramp floor $450. I had the springs, I bought cable and 2 pulleys, a quart of black paint making my total cost around $1400.

    I asked in Tennessee how the made such a nice trailer so reasonably price. They said one word "Mexicans" they had 2 family's that moved into there area and was looking for work so a bunch of guys went together and set them up. I really recommend them and If anyone would like the info on them let me know. (So i guess LCO are not the only group using Mexicans)

    Again this is "My Dream" trailer and it may not be yours. But the extra 2 feel you will need and help in its resale. With the stronger tung when you cut into the 12" tall sides rails the trailer will not be computerized. The longer ramps are a dream to open and use. And yes 2 ramps on even a 14' are well worth the price compared to unloading the hole trailer to get the one peace of equipment off the front.
    I went to long time with a very small trailer before and I know this year my "Dream Trailer will really pay off. Good luck
  7. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Thanks so much for the input and ideas for the trailer. I'd like to give you more information on what's being planned. First, the builder uses no angle iron but square or box tubing instead, except for the structural channel for the main rails. I also have a truck box in the bed of my truck to keep most of my misc crap in. I still have a couple question based off your above replies:

    1. What is a bulldog coupling? Is it like a helmet coupling and what's the advantage?
    2. Any good points in having a cage mounted on stand-offs(risers) besides clearance for mowers, wheelbarrows and trash cans?
    3.Good point about ramp angle being too steep for some equipment> We talked about a dropped axle setup for just that purpose. Does anyone have any negative experience with a dropped axle setup. I was told axle travel is the same as leaf spring.
    4. Will a split-gate be any more rigid or heavier duty than a built up standard 4 footer? How much easier would it be to handle? Am I right in that it would only be secured from the one side per each panel? Would my sign also have to be spilt? My mesh on my current trailer last 6 months before it requires rewelding because of the gaps and flexing. I really hate that. Besides putting more uprights are there any fixes for it, that last?
    5. What is a folded tongue? "Mine is 3 1/2 X 5" from the hitch to the first spring" Could you clarify that? How does that work and why would it be better?
    6. Does anyone have a removable tongue/A-frame setup? This would allow for a longer trailer to be stored in me garage once it parked in place and the jack is dropped. Can that be made safely? What about the pins for it?
    7. Folding gates>>mean>>-Longer ramp lengths = less steep angle. Is that the same as a "dovetail" gate? Who's had experience with those? Advantages vs. Disadvantages? Any other input?
    8. Anyone got pictures they want to share? Thanks for all the replies so far!
  8. 2 clowns mowing

    2 clowns mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    gorilla lift system for rear ramp. they get heavy after a while. I ordered a 6.5 X 24 ft with full cage, 10,000lbs cap, new tires side ramp he's building it for $2800 done in one week what's yours cost?
  9. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    over time with a lot of tongue weight u will crack the steel frame rails at their junction points due to do it right the first time and add lots of reinforcement there. just rewelded mine last week. bulldogs can be a pain if unhitch/hitch a lot..pintle ring imo is quickest/safest, but slaps forward/backward alot.
  10. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I was still hoping someone would try to answer some of my other questions that I listed earlier in this post...... :dancing:

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