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i need to customize my tailgate somehow

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by The Curious Porpoise, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. The Curious Porpoise

    The Curious Porpoise LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    first off, excuse any of my questions if they seem elementary or fundumental to any of u-- my apologies, but i'm new to this business:

    my trailer's tailgate is just like most, having a couple beams going up and down with the mesh metal grate that goes across it. whenever i step on the metal mesh and not the frame, the mesh bends inward. i'm 200 lbs. but obviously any bigger mowers are gonna be even more stress on this metal mesh. is the mesh gonna weaken over time and eventually need to be re-welded or fixed in the future? because if that is the case, then i think i might do the ole' 1/2 sheet of plywood over the mesh to distribute the weight more evenly and eliminate any future repairs... let me know if this is a problem area for people over time...

    also, i have a 48" WB w/o any type the floating feature on the deck.... ergo, every single time i back my mower off the tailgate the middle front of the mower slams onto the large pin that hold the tailgate onto the trailer. i then have to apply downward force on the mower's handles to lift the mower into the air slightly to allow myself to further back the mower down and onto the ground... any else have any similar problems? i just hope that some one knows what i'm talking about and i'm not the only one... i would just like to streamline the whole process of loading and unloading my mower from the trailer... i had the idea of attaching an angle iron onto the very top of the tailgate in order to eliminate (or at least lessen) the "lip" that is created from the pavement and the top of the tailgate

    thoughts? prior experiences?
  2. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    plywood on the the gate... yeah thats going to suk some gas. theres different thicknesses of mesh (expanded metal). mine.. unless im driving the kubota up it constantly, doesnt bend. maybe after a dozen years... you have to fix it... fix it right then.
  3. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Brian, he's a pic of my trailer. I know its 2 ramps but the idea of how there attached to the trailer could still work with a full width ramp. Nothing to hang up on! They are removable too if I want to put on the "slide in" tailgate.

    Also, notice the (for want of a better word!) steel tube up the middle of the ramps. Sure, the mesh has bent down to it now but its not going any further. Luckily, there in the right place for my riders!

    tail gate.JPG
  4. The Curious Porpoise

    The Curious Porpoise LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    i guess u mean that w/ plywood covering up the gate it will act like a parachute, "catching" the passing wind? lol, i was just about to make some plywood sides for the front and sides of my trailer too (to haul away leaves)... hopefully these additions won't adversely affect the aerodynamics of my ride as much as plywood on the gate (because of the different positioning)????
  5. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    cool dog. i got plywood 3' tall box with signs on outside on front of couple my trailers for grass and leaves. also got ramps like in pic welded on to mesh gate for kubota to drive on without screwing up gate. had to add backsavers gate lift assist system to compensate for extra weight. ill take bunch of pics end of month when it slows down a bit.

    also we are converting front box on 2 of the trailers to dump to the side. we are going to try 2 different ways of doing this and will post both when done. this will be an ongoing project over the next few months, though.

    sorry for the wait. im sure lots of people are waitin for some pics from our skunkworks facility...

    55 hp walker.... what????
  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I would weld in some extra cross bars on the tailgate to help prevent the sag. I would also consider using the expanded metal on the sides of the trailer as well, instead of the plywood.....Weld it up and make it look good.

    I had the problem with the center pin as well....Not the biggest deal to apply downward pressure to lift the deck the couple inches needed so it doesn't hang up...I would not sweat that detail...

    But fix the tailgate, if you don't it will strech, and then ondaythe welds will break, and then you'll end up replaced an entire sheet of the metal for the tailgate. Fix it now while its still new....Or better yet, if you bought it new, take it back to the place you bought and see if they can do a little bit of extra welding for ya...You might get lucky and catch em on a slow day...

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    In time it will tear and need fixing as will all the equipment. Go buy a mig welder and figure out how to use it. It's not that hard. Over time it'll be the best shop tool you can buy. A decent welder and accessories, mask, gloves, 4" grinder, etc. will be about $400-$500.
  8. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    Fix this before it breaks. Eventually, the mesh will be bent inward and is very difficult to pull out and repair. Either buy a mig welder or take it to a shop, may want some extra L bar stuff in there too for added support. It WILL bend all the way in over time, fix it asap.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ahhhh the trick with the grate on the gate, yes, yes :rolleyes:

    It takes practice not to F*K up the mesh is what I found...

    Always walk up and down the gate via the steel beams OR avoid it by climbing over the sides or sidestep it. Far as the mower, I don't have a problem anymore BUT make sure to lift the FRONT of the deck by popping a wheelie (at least my Wb is like this) right when the bladebolt nears the critical angle (for lack of better words) and do this as you both load AND unload otherwise the bottom of the bladebolt will CATCH and tear grate near the top (not to mention your mower is 'stuck' at this point and it's a *&%^ to get it unstuck without tearing MORE grate)... Most of the damage on my grate happened in my first year, once I got good at dealing with it, it's 3 years later and the grate looks about the same it did then and is right for a 4-year old (really haven't damaged it further) and so long I continue to watch it, it will last many more years.
    For some of the worst damage, a hammer and some skillful 'taps' set it straight but this isn't a real fix, it only 'restores' an even surface so still you have to be even more careful but with practice you'll eventually get to where you won't even think about it anymore.
    So yes it takes practice but once I 'got it' I wondered how I could've been so stupid when I was new ;)
  10. The Curious Porpoise

    The Curious Porpoise LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    what is this backsavers gate lift assist system u speak of? how does it work?

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