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  1. #11
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    Looks like a super way to put in a good strong bridge easily. Like others have said something to keep it up out of the dirt will add a lot of life to it. Even digging a footer across each side to let the ends sit on would be great and you could add some bolts imbedded in the footers to set the trailer frame down on to held hold in position.

    Topstrap

  2. #12
    Silver Member TYMinColton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    210
    Location
    Colton, OR
    Tractor
    2008 TYM T273 w/ FEL - 100 hrs, 1962ish Ford 881D project - hrs unknown

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    A steal at $1200 installed. Go for it. I spent 6 months on craigslist looking for an old trailer to ford a stream and couldn't find anything close to the deal you've been promised. . . .

  3. #13
    Silver Member Rockin' G Ranch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    208
    Location
    Point Blank, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota L4740 HST with FEL

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by TYMinColton View Post
    A steal at $1200 installed. Go for it. I spent 6 months on craigslist looking for an old trailer to ford a stream and couldn't find anything close to the deal you've been promised. . . .
    WTB: Old worn out flatbed trailer (30' minimum length) to use as a bridge across a stream.
    Took me 1 day on craigslist to find this one.
    I will be meeting him at the property on Friday to review the installation. He made his offer "sight unseen" so I may be able to get it done for less - but I don't take advantage of anyone so if he says "a-deal-is-a-deal", I will honor his offer.

  4. #14
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    That is a great deal! I have looked at using a railroad flatcar as a bridge over my 20' wide creek. they wanted $10,000 for the car alone! total bridge was going to be high 20's all said and done.

  5. #15
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    70
    Location
    Australia
    Tractor
    Jinma 204

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    Hi,

    I'm currently doing a bridge myself. I'm using a bolster style shipping container. Similar to a flat rack but without the folding ends. These come in 20 foot and 40 foot and are available anywhere you can get shipping containers. Fit onto any truck that can handle a container.

    Worth investigating. I've attached some pics of a bolster (doesn't have to have the holes in the top) plus one of a nicely done up bridge made from one.

    Mark
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge-s4200557.jpg   Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge-s4200548.jpg   Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge-flatrack-bridge.jpg  

  6. #16
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    I'm new to this site so I hope you all will bear with me. I've read through the recent threads and noticed that it's been a year or so since the last posting; I'm hoping to get some updated advice and info.

    Anyway, I'm looking into building a bridge with (2) old 8' x 40' flatbed trailers @ $1400.00 each that I lucked into. They are hard to find. It's even harder to find local "bridge builders" who are familiar with using alternative (to wood, I beams, or concrete) materials; most are more comfortable installing culverts.

    Meanwhile, I've had the opportunity to look at a bridge that crosses over a much larger stream to a wrecker service business. The owner did this project himself [using (2) 8' x 40's and (1) 8' x 45] and has routinely driven semi's across the bridge over the past 10 years. It seems very sturdy but the wood needs replacing; he milled his own oak and used 1"x6" decking on the more worn part and 2"x6" in other areas and said he should have used 2" thickness throughout.

    He says he can pick up and deliver my flatbeds to my property, cut off the extraneous stuff, and winch them in place over my stream. He feels that it will take him and an assistant 3-4 hrs; he hasn't quoted me a price yet. He said I would need to "frame and pour the concrete".

    I have heard that I can get very large concrete blocks at extremely reasonable prices. The concrete company pours excess concrete into the forms at each day's end. Obviously, there would be multiple pourings/dryings so I'm not sure if this impacts strength/lifespan.

    My stream is approx 5 feet deep (although water's just about 6" now) and 20 feet wide so the flatbeds will extend approx 10 feet on each side of the stream's edges. We had a very wet season 2 years ago and many culverts were washed out across the street where my stream meets up with another stream. So, you can see that I'm pretty concerned that I don't do this project and then face a re-do when we have another wet year! I could probably do OK with just a single 8' width except I will need access across the stream for construction of the house, septic, well, etc. and imagine that the larger trucks will need more width than my car does.

    The ground does freeze here but at this moment, I'm not sure what the frost level is.

    I want to avoid disturbing (i.e digging) the soil around the stream/woodland as much as possible and try to limit heavy equipment soil compression also. I also would love to be able to balance functionality/safety/cost containment with appearance. I'm not sure how much "pretty" costs when you're building a bridge!

    My goal is to act as my own contractor and get this project done well and within a reasonable budget. Obviously, I don't have a working knowledge of bridge building but I do want to educate myself and make sure that the folks that I hire will do the work correctly.

    As always, I have to remind myself that this doesn't have to be a monster project and the mother of all bridges. I'm 55 years old, won't put a bunch of wear and tear on the bridge after the house is built, and am not really concerned that it last beyond my lifespan.

    So, here are my questions:

    1. What is the best way to support the ends of the flatbeds? Do I need to dig footings? If so, how deep, how wide; should they be continuous or is spaced OK? What about the large concrete blocks? How about just small concrete blocks laid above ground to set the edges on to keep the metal off the soil?

    2. What would be the most economical, long-lasting way to deck the flatbeds? What's the best wood/dimensions. I'm sure concrete would be more expensive than wood; would it significantly reduce the load capability? If concrete is an option, what inexpensive material could be used to line the flatbed for a poured concrete deck? Alternatively, what about using gravel over some sort of permeable retaining material?

    3. Any suggestions and instructions for railing?

    4. How much money/sweat equity should I invest in scraping and painting the flatbed?

    5. Any thoughts about a permanent installation of just one 8' x 40' flatbed (for my car access) and a temporary installation of the 2nd flatbed next to it until house construction is complete? I do need to keep in mind that in the event of a fire (heaven forbid), I might need a wider bridge for fire truck access.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts and suggestions. I'm sure there are more issues I haven't even dreamt of yet.

  7. #17
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,451
    Location
    nicholson, pa
    Tractor
    John Deer Lt160

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    Printable Covered Bridge Plans

    might help you out. First where are you at so people can tell you how far down you have to dig for your foundation.
    I have seen almost every bridge have a poured "frame" to connect the base to, if its not there you would have nothing to connect it to.

    The decking on the link I posted i think they did a staggared frame one in a side to side pattern the other at an angle to provide more support.

  8. #18
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    172
    Location
    Santa Cruz, Ca
    Tractor
    BCS735/720 Ford1200

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    A word of caution on using flatbeds for bridges. If you are building a house or structure check with your local fire department or building dept. as to minimum requirements. In my area I think you need to be RATED @ 25 tons. I have a neighbor who had one that wasn't, the FD pulled up to it started dragging hose and kept his house fire from speading to the trees and hill, total loss. His insurance didn't cover him because of his inadeqaute bridge which I wouldn't have walked in the dark. They're ok for extra access but beware. Isometimes wonder why are they selling something that is still usable for it's intended purpose. Ive even seen a couple of trailers with broken frames on the road that let go. Same with rail cars, another neighbor used one and he had to take out a second mortgage although he is taxed handling a shovel.

  9. #19
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    116
    Location
    Collins, NY
    Tractor
    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    Hi Creeker-
    I can't give you the answer for the "best" way to do things, cause I'm not sure I know. I can tell you a bit about our bridge though, which has been in place for the last 30 years and is still quite solid.
    We have a flatbed railcar for a bridge. It's 8' wide, 90' long, and sits on railroad ties at either end. Hasn't shifted a bit in 30 years. The soil it sits on is fairly well drained though, and the bridge deck is about 12 foot above high water level. We protect the bank that it sits on with a wall of huge boulders put in place with a dozer. I put smaller rocks in every year in my spare time with my tractor.
    It would be great if you could keep your bridge double wide. Septic trucks are big. So are trucks that are needed to pour concrete for that new, bigger garage down the road. Think you may want your driveway paved or repaved down the road? More big trucks. Our full size moving truck was a TIGHT fit on our bridge as well. Do yourself a favor and keep it double wide if you can.
    Our railing is good only to protect pedestrians. It's not strong enough to protect vehicles from going over the edge. But the bridge has an integral lip on either side that goes up 8", so you'd have to drive like a dummy to go over the edge. Our railing is made of pipe, cable, and 4x4's. Pipe is welded in vertical position to act as posts. There's a pipe every 8 feet. They have a square flange welded to their top, so that 4x4's layed horizontally can be lag bolted to them.
    Not too many people have a bridge, so I will be very interested to see how things work out for you. I hope some of this helped.
    -Jay

  10. #20
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    116
    Location
    Collins, NY
    Tractor
    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Flatbed Trailer for a Bridge

    Oh yeah-
    I think a poured concrete deck would be WAY too heavy, and would decrease from the max load your bridge could support, but that's just my guess. See what others say.

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