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building a trailer- how big?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FrankenScagMachines, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    I know, this is sorta the question only I can answer. Well today i picked up a 22' travel trailer camper frame with tandem axles, 8 ply tires, and electric brakes on all wheels. I can easily cut the frame down to whatever size i want/need.

    For regular mowing, the 12' i have is just a couple feet too short on days i use the big bagger on the Ferris. I am thinking this fall i'll have more equipment on board and i don't want anything left on the truck because i want the bed space available for leaves.
    I'm going to have a rear and side gates on the trailer, probably 4 or 6' on the side gate. All i need to get through it would be the Lawn Boy and the eXmark 36" so 48" should be fine, though i may have to unload one to get the other out thats probably not a big deal... i would only have to do it once a week LOL.

    Here's my "needs":
    Room for regular mowing equipment with baggers installed and everything.
    Room for above plus leaf removal equipment (push blower, dethatcher that mounts on front of Z, hand tools, box for tarps, etc).
    Room for a 24" wide toolbox like that fits in a pickup truck bed
    Room for gas cans and portable toolbox

    I have even thought of a hopper on front to dump grass into so i don't have the mess on the truck and have to tarp it (in this hopper the sides would prevent debris blowing out) and not have to empty it to do personal errands in the truck after work. basically i want a self contained unit that only requires a truck just to pull it and to haul leaves in fall. The debris hopper on front of the trailer can come off in fall since we'll be dumping to the truck, that will free up trailer space for the extra leaf removal equipment that will be on deck. I don't really want the whole 22' length of it, but don't want to short myself. i want to be able to still go places in the rig and not have to park on major streets like semi's lol. We might be keeping the 6x12 or trading for a 6x10 (the 6x12 is my parents' and they don't need that big of one, they rarely use one at all but when they do they don't need a huge one).

    Now, on the width- the trailer frame rails are 70" to the outside of them (box frame not channel or angle) that goes to the inside of the wheels. My 6x12 is more like 6' 4" inside the box, so 70" may feel crammed. In fact the Ferris with bagger may not fit there even. But, the trailer has brackets that were to hold the camper floor and they stick out to the edges of the tires which is 92" width. I can build around the tires and put fenders on them (of course) so most of the trailer would be 7' 8" wide, which is pretty good width! I'm thinking of doing that. it won't be any wider than the tires anyway.

    As for sides- I think i'm gonna make stake pockets and go with wooden sides maybe use two 1x8's so have 16" sides. i think that would be good. i have 12" sides now which seems fine, but 16" holds more mulch...

    so many choices. i guess i'm thinking out loud since i'm the only one that can decide how big to make it, but i'm open to suggestions and comments and ideas.

  2. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    pic of it. the 6x12 is in the background. the 22' came with a spare and a nifty little swing down holder for it that clamps to the frame. That will be moved under, on or around the tongue probably. Oh, all gates will be equipped with springs! only way to go!

  3. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

  4. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    Looks like an excellent project, eric... I'd definatly make it the full width. The fenders won't need to be very tall to clear the tires, I imagine, so eventually you could roll a 72"er right over the fenders if needed.. I don't think I'd make it much shorter than 18', and personally, I'd make it 18' with a looong dove tail, ( not so long as to make it drag alot on drives, etc.) then you don't have to have such a long ( read HEAVY ) ramp gate...

    Either way Show us pix of the completed unit.. Looks like a lot of potential...
  5. chuckers

    chuckers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    i would leave it 22 ft if you have the steam to pull it you never know when you mite need the length
  6. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    I've decided on full width and I can trim it down to 18' length and still be comfortable. This is not an educated guess, i've sat down and figured out exactly how big it needs to be! This will allow for 3' of length for a debris box in summer which will be removed in fall to have room for extra leaf removal equipment. this box will be 7.5' wide x 3' long x probably 3' or 4' high which holds a whole lot of debris!
    as for gates- side gate will be 4' wide and 4' long. Since it's not a full width one it won't need spring assist and i won't build it real heavy duty, it's just for a walk behind. Since it's a w/b it doesn't have to be real long because you can pop up the mower deck easily so it won't bottom out. The rear gate will be 7'x5'. the small trailer has a 4' gate and it's alittle too short. the deck height is similar so 5' should be good. this way it's not too tall and heavy but should do fine. It will have springs on it (so weight doesn't matter) and will be built heavier than the side gate.
  7. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    i thought of that (definatley have power to pull- one ton with 460 big block V8) but thats just too big when i can do it with 18' just fine. beleive me, i was tempted to leave it alone but as it is i'll have to back into the driveway with it off of a busy highway (dangerous and annoying) plus my driveway is small and we can't expand driveway because yard slopes off on both sides :angry: plus some jobsites have limited parking space, like downtown where i park between cars and stuff.. might have to take the smaller trailer on days i mow those lawns.
  8. vipermanz

    vipermanz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,773

    you haven't put it in your signature yet...........:D
  9. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Got it Vipe! LOL
  10. Eric 1

    Eric 1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,220

    I think i would make it 16ft with a 2 ft dovetail = 18ft long x full width wide.Every thing else sounds like it is just how i would do it.

    Good luck O master builder.:cool:

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