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  1. #1
    Elite Member
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    John Deere 1070

    Default the trailer saga begins

    As some of you may remember from a previous thread, I have rescued some i-beam that was getting scrapped from work. I am wanting to build a trailer with it. I have 2-24' 12" i-beams and 5-20' 8" i-beams. Not sure about the weight, but it is not the lightweight stuff- the web is close to 1/4" thick. I would like to build a gooseneck using the 12" beams for the frame and the 8" for the neck. I have looked at many manufacturers and some use 12" throughout and some use 8" throughout for a 24' 14k trailer. I haven't seen this combination yet, but think it will work. I will use 12" x 24" x 3/16" triangular gussets at the joints on the neck. Then I will use 3" channel at 16" spacing and then a wood deck (probably 2" oak) and will build ramps out of 3" channel and 2"x1/4" angle. I plan on using some using some donor axles from a 14k bobcat trailer that has a damaged frame that I can get for cheap. I will probably also use 3 or 4 4"x4"x1/4" square cross tubes between the main frame rails.

    This will be a long process that will be built in my free time. The critical joints will be well prepared and beveled, then arc welded with 6010, then either 1 or 2 passes with 7018, less critical with just a 7018 pass. I plan on painting with valspar tractor and implement paint, but may look into a single stage automotive paint... perhaps imron- not sure yet. I am still putting a material list together in my head to see if it would be cheaper to buy a good used trailer, especially since the axles I am getting will need new rims and tires. I may even repair the donor trailer and sell it to buy new axles. I haven't seen it for a while and need to evaluate the options (it is a friend of mine's that he has sitting around). The dimensions and axles placement I can get from different manufacturer's websites.

    I will post pictures along the way (but as I said this will take me a while, I have built many things in the past and have had success and am pretty confident in my weld abilities. I have not built anything quite this big yet and imagine the biggest hurdle will be getting the frame placed and squared up, but have a few ideas for that. I worked at a trailer manufacturer out of high school and did a lot of assembly and wiring, then worked in the cut department. I have been wanting a flat bed trailer for some time because I hate fenders.

    Anybody see any problems with my plan before I get too far into this? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: the trailer saga begins

    One aspect that I am still working on, is the side rails. I think I may use 5" channel welded to the end of 3" channel cross members, but not sure if I should face it in and weld a rub rail on the outside, or face the channel out. I like to have a lot of tie-down places. I would have the channel welded higher than the cross-members to match the height of the wood.

    The spring perches are also something that I will have to work out once I get the axles and determine the best height for the size tires/wheels I get.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: the trailer saga begins

    ok, so after some measuring, I have determined the 8" beam to be "s" beam 8x18.4lb and the 10" is "w" beam 10x15lb. I for some reason remembered it being 12", but it turns out to be 10". Now I am considering using the 8" throughout, as it is heavier and I have enough, but the 10" may be stiffer. I have also seen a manufacturer use 8" for the main frame and 12" for the neck, I don't think that is the best way to go.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: the trailer saga begins

    I think either size you use will be fine as long as you build all the proper bracing and supports as needed.
    I would put the rub rail on, especially if you need lot's of tie downs.
    Keep us posted with lot's of pics.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: the trailer saga begins

    has anyone used the "autolock" gooseneck coupler made by tempco? It seems like a good idea, just wondering if it works as well as it seems. It's a little pricey, but I think it may be worth the money. It would take one more point from the fifthwheel vs. gooseneck debate.

    http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Coup.../LL2516ST.html

  6. #6
    Elite Member DT86's Avatar
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    Kubota 9540, RTV 900 and David Brown 885.

    Default Re: the trailer saga begins

    Yes that or one that works the same.

    8 or so years ago that hitch saved a friends trailer for being stolen in the night. There were tracks in the mud backing under the trailer, landing gear only partially down but the trailer was still there. The hitch was in the coupled position and he figured that the criminals-to-be were too stupid to figure out why it wouldn't go down over the ball and left.

    In my experience you need to be unhooking on level ground to see any real benefit from it. How many times have you jacked one up 6" above the ball only to drag the neck across the tail gate? Think about it.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: the trailer saga begins

    Quote Originally Posted by DT86 View Post
    How many times have you jacked one up 6" above the ball only to drag the neck across the tail gate? Think about it.
    none... I have never owned/ used a goosneck or fifth wheel.

  8. #8
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    Default Re: the trailer saga begins

    I'm looking forward to seeing pictures as this progresses.
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

  9. #9
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: the trailer saga begins

    Me too, though it probably won't be for a few months. I just don't have the space in the winter to consume a large portion of my garage with a long-term project. It is my workshop/ tractor/ sometimes car storage in the winter. If I gotta work on the car- I need to be able to pull it in. In the meantime, I am researching/ designing everything so hopefully when I start I will be able to progress quickly. Right now I am pondering folding ramps so I can have 5' beavertail with 5' stand-up ramps that will fold down and fold out again to make 10' ramps with a leg in the middle. I don't know how well it will work, or if it will make enough of an difference in the angle to be worth it.

    I am also right now deciding on axles. I am starting to think that the donor trailer I was going to use may be better to fix up enough to sell it and buy new axles, then I can get the dimensions I want instead of trying to make something work.

    It will also end up being long enough that I won't be able to fit in the garage, so the plan is to build everything up to the neck in the garage, then by the time I get to the neck, I will have to pull it into/ out of the garage partway until it's done. Unfortunately I will have to paint it outside as well.

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