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Portable welder is building a Pipe Welding Rig

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  • #16
    Finney, Your killing me, Im glad were not betting because I'd loose a whole lot of money betting that the upright holding the cables is on the front side which would be in the way.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Finney View Post
      Portable Welder
      Attached is the last rig I built last year. I am starting another one when I get time. I have also attached the diemenisons. The well on the passenger side is for 2 oxygen cylinders, and the well on the left is for 1 act. cylinder. You want these trucks as short as possible. The tool boxes on top of the bed came from TSC. There is a tool box built into each front corner of the bed.
      Was this rig rolling through Kansas City a couple of days ago by any chance? Louisiana plates? I swear I saw it's twin if it wasn't this one.


      • #18
        No that rig is in Wisc. But its twin was sold acouple of years ago and I have not seen it since.


        • #19
          Originally posted by Portable Welder View Post
          Yea I think a pull behind would make alot more sence verses a fifth wheel.

          I don't think so.
          My old travel trailer was (is) a bumper pull, my current trailer is a (former) 5th wheel that I welded a gooseneck (with gussets) onto the pin box. My gooseneck ball is (like those on many welding rigs) waaaay behind the axle, at the back of the bed. It pulls like it's not even there.
          A 5th wheel has several advantages including much more storage space, and they tow so much better over a heavy bumper pull trailer. I tow heavy with a fork lift/trailer and my main material hauling trailer but I'm thinking pretty seriously about converting both to a gooseneck just because they don't push the truck around anywhere near as much.

          Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.


          • #20
            My friend finally came back to town from the minnesota pipe line and we pulled the stake bed and snow plow off the 2004 chevy that has 10,000 miles on it.
            As far as towing with a bumper hitch using my F-550 welding rig I dont notice its there, I do however notice the trailer with my F-350 crew cab 4Wdrive pick up when the trailer is on the empty side.

            I was wondering about the placement of the goose neck ball if he decides to go that route.
            The typical fifth wheel pin is just in front of the rear axle by about 2" however I cant see any reason why it cant be back farther other than you could jack knife it in a litttle easier or tighter with the pin over the axle.
            In fact one of the pics of the other rigs that he was working with had the ball on the back side of the axle by a little bit maybe 2-3".

            For tanks he wants to run 2-330 cu. ft. oxegens, 2 75/25 tanks and one big acytelene tank because the line hes been working on runs wire on the fill & cap. I dont know what the cut off point is on carrying to many tanks.

            The rig he bought is the 165" wheel base while most off the other rigs he worked with were the shorter wheel bases, I did notice however that some guys are using a 4 door short wheel base that measures out to be about the same as the 165" wheel base.

            Im waiting for my friend to make some decissions on how he wants it built.

            As far as wrapping cables up he's talking about welding a pc. of pipe stood up on end down in the bed with expanded metal for the bottom to let the dirt fall through and just coiling the cables down in the hole on the inside of the pipe so he can lock the compartment up.
            I'm not crazy about this but its not my rig to work off.


            • #21
              My gooseneck ball is about 3 feet behind the axle centerline, 35" to be exact. That gives me 44" of space from the ball to my welding machine which is plenty. I can't jacknife the trailer but I can come very close. If I were to move the welding machine forward one inch it would.
              This is a very common setup on welding rigs. They pull just fine. There are a lot of extended pin boxes out these days because the new 4 door trucks have less clearance, but welders have been dealing with it forever due to the welding machine being in the back.
              Lead wells are very popular these days.
              I don't know how much you pull with your F-550 but a 30'-40' trailer weighing 12,000-20,000 lbs. is very noticable behind every one ton I've owned, specially on whoopdedos and in heavy crosswinds. You never lose sight of the fact you have a good load on. That same size/weight on a gooseneck is much less work to drive, specially over the course of 12 or 14 hours.

              My take.
              Happy Thanksgiving to all.

              Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.


              • #22
                Thanks for your input JTMcC, My 550 weighs out at 16,680 lbs so when I pull my tractor with my 12,000 GVWR trailer I probably am pulling 8,500.00 and you dont even know its there untill its time to take off due to lack of power.

                I dont disagree that in most cases the goose neck is a better puller, I'm just saying that with a heavy enouph truck theres not much difference.

                You just take options away setting up a rig because of needing to pull a gooseneck.

                If it were my truck I would use the bumper hitch and build boxes on the bed but since its not I'm just doing my best to make my friend aware of his options with all the pro's and con's, so I appreciate the input from every one.

                Thanks JT for taking the time to measure your ball distance for me and letting me know it works good.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Portable Welder View Post

                  If it were my truck I would use the bumper hitch and build boxes on the bed.

                  I've got relatively large boxes on my bed.
                  They are 32" long, 24" deep and 18" tall. That's as big or bigger than you'll ever see on a pipeline rig. They easilly clear my trailer.
                  With the new extended pin boxes you can put the entire upper/front of the 5th wheel trailer at or slightly behind the rear edge of the bed.
                  I've got a pretty standard type pin box and the front of the trailer extends over the back of my boxes but there is plenty of clearance.
                  As a comparison, my toolboxes are about 2" shorter (in height) than the bed sides of a new Dodge pickup box.
                  The only compromise in mounting either a 5th wheel or gooseneck hitch on a welding rig is getting back far enough to clear the welding machine in turns. I don't see any options taken away as you said, the bed area where hitches mount is empty on a pipeline rig anyway, the hitches are removed for work of course because that's where you have to carry weed burners, beveling bands, crawlers, wind boards, ect. So even if you don't put a hitch there, you have to leave the area open anyway.
                  None of this is my own ideas of course, they've been doing this for decades.
                  Just my take.

                  Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Coalsmoke View Post
                    PW, up here we are allowed 5 bottles before the DOT considers you carrying commercially, your codes may or may not be the same.

                    Well my day wasn't wasted, I just learned another new thing. Good to know Coalsmoke. Does anyone know how many batteries you are legally allowed to carry? I seem to remember hearing it was 3 but I'm not 100% sure. So I guess a diesel truck with 2 batteries hauling an engine driven welder with electric start would be at it's limit! That's kinda usless info but interesting none the less!

                    Can't wait to see how things progress PW.
                    at home:
                    2012 325 Trailblazer EFI with Excel power
                    2007 302 Trailblazer with the Robin SOLD
                    2008 Suitcase 12RC
                    Spoolmatic 30A
                    2009 Dynasty 200DX
                    2000 XMT 304
                    2008 Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                    Sold:MM 251
                    Sold:CST 280

                    at work:
                    Invision 350MP
                    Dynasty 350
                    Millermatic 350P
                    Retired:Shopmaster 300 with a HF-251


                    • #25
                      Thanks again JTMcC,
                      The rigs that he had pictures of had boxes that only stuck up maybe 8", I need him to to go buy the camper so I can get it modified with the goose neck so I can get my measurements so I can see how tall the boxes can be.
                      Ounce again thanks.


                      • #26
                        Coal, Thanks for the info on the tanks, Ill have to check US laws on that but 5 tanks would be exactly what I need.

                        c wagner I will provide pics as I go thanks for your interest.


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Portable Welder View Post
                          Thanks again JTMcC,
                          The rigs that he had pictures of had boxes that only stuck up maybe 8", I need him to to go buy the camper so I can get it modified with the goose neck so I can get my measurements so I can see how tall the boxes can be.
                          Ounce again thanks.

                          No sweat. Those low profile, top loader boxes are pretty popular but I prefer side loading boxes.
                          The top of your bed (where the hitch, be it gooseneck ot 5th wheel, will mount) will normally end up pretty close to the same height above the ground as the floor of a pickup bed. That means the top of your boxes can be safely as high as the bedsides of that same pickup box which is going to be right around 20" these days. Nobody puts boxes that high on, but you can safely build on-bed boxes that high and the particular trailer becomes immaterial as every one of them can be towed out of a pickup bed.
                          I could get crossed up badly in say a ditch, under worst case circumstances and make contact between my trailer and the top of a toolbox, but I still have 2" more clearance than if I was towing with a pickup bed like most do.
                          With boxes 14" -16" or so, I don't think you could make contact even if you tried.
                          I'm not trying to wail on a dead horse here but you might be making it a bit more complicated than it actually is.

                          I'd also not buy a gooseneck adapter for $400-$700. I just bought a Gooseneck hitch, a coupler welded to a pipe (and you can buy the coupler seperate and put it on the pipe yourself) and after taking several measurments cut it down to 12" and welded it dead center to the pin box, right around the pin. I put 4 large gussets on as well going to each corner of the square plate on the bottom of the pin box, it's way overkill but I have no concern for it's failure. My measurements came out right, but I put the pin box in the center position so it can be moved 2' either up or down for adjustment.

                          All of this was done after looking at and measuring many, many hitches on the back of dozens of welding rigs. The manual turnover ***** are pretty slick, I didn't have room between where I wanted to mount my ball and a bed crossmember to use one so I just made a simple 4" channel frame with 1/2" plate and welded to to the frame. The ball isn't really in my way but I can pull it off if it was.

                          Too much information no doubt, but if someone had of clued me in on this when I was doing mine it would of been helpfull.

                          Have a day!
                          Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.


                          • #28
                            Dont feel like your beating a dead horse, I appreciate all the info your giving.

                            Since I am a Dealer for Rigid Hitch, I'll get my catalog and check on the goose neck adapters and pin box.

                            I also install custom hitches for the local camper dealer so they'll give me the low down on the goose neck.

                            For as many hitches as I do in a year I never get fifth wheel work so my knowlege isnt much in that area.


                            • #29
                              Here are some pics of the truck, you may see that I went a little over kill on the sub structure of the area in which the fifth wheel mount will go, He was originally going to use a goose neck attachment and changed his mind and wants an adjustable fifth wheel.

                              Since he does not have a camper yet and wont buy the camper untill the truck is done he cannot tell me where he wants the plate so I put supports from front to back so where ever it gets mounted the structure will already be there.

                              Another concern I have is that he wants me to weld pipe 16" diameter standing straight up flush to the floor of the bed, he will then spool the cables into this well, im not using pipe however instead I'm rolling 10 ga. sheet into a pipe to save weight.

                              There will be two wells 16" dia. and another one some where around 13-14".

                              I think the wells will be a pain in the butt to use, I hope he's right and I'm wrong.
                              Attached Files


                              • #30
                                Coal, He's always had reels for the work around here, but for the pipe line he said they wont hold up under running mig on high for hours on end.

                                He said he likes the well idea because he can secure his cables at night.