Did your trailer boards warp?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Lasko's Lawn Service, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Lasko's Lawn Service

    Lasko's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    I've been researching the best way to replace the floor boards or an open trailer. I've decided to buy rough cut lumber and put several coats of linseed oil or used motor oil on it. My concern is, isn't rough cut lumber still "wet" or "unseasoned". Have any of you experienced badly warped boards and/or spaces between the boards after they dried? Or is that another benefit of the oil coatings (to keep the boards a uniform thickness with additional moisture present)
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    What kind of wood?

    My trailer has standard dimensional 2x6 lumber on it and has never fully rotted out. One 20' board I had to replace, and then replaced the end 4' or so at the gate. Yes, the new lumber (treated) warped. One actually broke the screws that were holding it to the frame. I think the key is to NOT use treated lumber, just use kiln dried and treat it yourself as you are doing.
  3. Working with green wood, you install it wet while you can still work it. Bolt it down so it don't warp as bad. Some are going to warp, split or break anyway and will have to be replaced.
    Sawmills call all rough cut lumber "oak". If you could actually get some white oak lumber it'd last long as the trailer without any treatment. Poplar won't last one year out in the weather. you probably won't know what you're getting. One trick I try (if they'll let you sort thru the stack) is that the harder the wood, the heavier it is. If you find a board half the weight it's probably poplar or white pine or something else that won't last too long.

    I'd recommend painting the underside of the trailer with used motor oil after the boards dry. Then buy some new oil for the top. Whatever is cheap. Because you'll want to do it a couple of times. Motor oil works. Try to do it when you can let the trailer set a day or two to let the oil soak in.

    There's going to be cracks between the boards. It makes it easier to wash it off. Not too good if you want to haul gravel though.
  4. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    I used treated 2x8 and even though I put a gallon of motor oil on them they still shrank and left small gaps, I loved the way it first looked, tight joints....but I think with open trailers gaps will appear...note my trailer was only 3 years old when the floor gave out......
  5. mjealey

    mjealey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 475

    I have always thought about going to a synthetic surface. A lot of people are switching to Trek or other brands for their decks at their homes, I wonder if these boards would work for a trailer. I know they don't expand and can withstand the weather for 20 years. I have never really looked at them to know if they would be strong enough. I moght go to Home Depot today and check it out!!! They are more expensive, but if they last for the life that I have the trailer that would be worth it.
  6. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,548

    I've had trouble with pressure treated lumber that I've bought from places that store it indoors. Wet to dry is what causes the warping. All of the treated that I've bought that was stored outside and then used outside has been fine. I'm sure climate plays a big role.

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