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  • Need Trailer Welding Advice

    I'm going to build a 5,500 lb trailer from online plans. In store bot'n parts, it will be at least $600. The axels alone will be over $400.
    http://www.trailersauce.com/trailer-...iler/introduc/

    I've never done a trailer, before. Advice as to the welds would be appreciated. According to the plans, the parts are mostly 1/8 angle of various dimensions. There are a few pieces of 3/16.

    I'd be using this trailer to haul heavy iron objects, e.g. mills, lathes, compressors, engines. Having it come apart on I-95 would not be cool.

    Advice on the welds? I have MIG, stick, TIG, torch welding ability.
    ____________________________________________

    I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

  • #2
    I built trailers in my dads shop, almost 500 of them. I would use metal thicker than 1/8" esp for heavy objects you wrote of. Either MIG or stick we started with 7014 then went all MIG...Bob
    Bob Wright

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    • #3
      Just rent a proper trailer when you need to haul machinery, trailers take up a lot of room, need to be licensed and insured, always in the way and end up being loaded with so much trash you don't want to go through the work of emptying it out to use it.

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      • #4
        1/8 seems pretty thin. After the countless trailers I have repaired that were "factory" built, I highly doubt you could do worse with your eyes closed. That being said you would want to MIG weld them for efficency. That being said, have someone experiences build it with you and you will learn more than you didn't know you needed to...practice.
        Ryan
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        • #5
          The biggest problem with thin metal trailers is rust. Esp in the salt/winter states. And tube rusts very quick because it never gets painted inside so it rots from the inside out. Also tubes that are welded shut to keep water out gets condensation inside from the sunlight and heat build up so it will rust quicker...Bob
          Bob Wright

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          • #6
            Most of the time, it's about just as cheap to buy one, but I think I'd use heavier steel as well. I haven't built 500 trailers, but I've built a few. I'd want to know what machine you have that you're planning to use. The first trailer I built I use a small MIG to tack it up and then welded it out with 7018.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tackit View Post
              Just rent a proper trailer when you need to haul machinery, trailers take up a lot of room, need to be licensed and insured, always in the way and end up being loaded with so much trash you don't want to go through the work of emptying it out to use it.
              I'd do that, but I run into a couple of problems. U-Haul is VERY picky, anymore, abut who they rent to. If you have an older F-250, they won't rent you the heavier trailers. "We cannot be sure of the maintenance condition of your vehicle". A 1988 F-250 can drag a house down the street. I guess they fear lawsuits.

              But still. You're right. I'd use it, what, 3 times a year.

              As to 1/8", I agree. 3/16 would be far better. I've seen soooo many trailers bent at the axles.

              I don't have anyone MIG qualified to help me. I have a Miller 210. Beefy enough to weld 3/16 with ease.

              ____________________________________________

              I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

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              • #8
                I see that model you're looking at calls for uprights and steel sides. That part accounts for a lot of stiffening and explains some of the lighter substructure materials. A 3/16ths angle iron tongue might worry me though.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by buffumjr View Post

                  I'd do that, but I run into a couple of problems. U-Haul is VERY picky, anymore, abut who they rent to. If you have an older F-250, they won't rent you the heavier trailers. "We cannot be sure of the maintenance condition of your vehicle". A 1988 F-250 can drag a house down the street. I guess they fear lawsuits.

                  But still. You're right. I'd use it, what, 3 times a year.

                  As to 1/8", I agree. 3/16 would be far better. I've seen soooo many trailers bent at the axles.

                  I don't have anyone MIG qualified to help me. I have a Miller 210. Beefy enough to weld 3/16 with ease.
                  Thanks buffumjr for the info on U Haul, I didn't know they were so worried about the things of which you speak.

                  Good luck on your trailer build, if you're short circuit migging it make sure you have penetration. Mig welds can lay there and look like a million dollars and not be welded to the steel.

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                  • #10
                    I would most like make the tongue out of 3" channel or 2.5" heavy wall square tubing,

                    and for that GWV rating you will need brakes in most states, is my recall, and make sure you can get a home made / self build trailer licensed, in your state,
                    and I would suggest moving up to the 6' x10' trailer, most likly the cost difference would be small, and I think in the long run you would like the larger cargo bed,
                    Last edited by Farmer Boy; 06-10-2016, 11:06 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tackit View Post

                      Thanks buffumjr for the info on U Haul, I didn't know they were so worried about the things of which you speak.
                      Yeah, I had a 1970 1/2 ton pickup Chevy pickup, and U-Haul wouldn't rent me a two wheel car front wheel hauler to tow a 1992 Mercury. This was in 2002. They said the Chevy wasn't heavy enough to control the Mercury. I lied to them, and told them it was for a VW bug, they rented it to me, and I towed the Merc 1,400 miles to Florida, no problem. The lawyers are just having too much fun.

                      Well, I need to identify another project. My machinist neighbor's son installs silt fences. He has trailers to haul his tractor around. He has a Chevy 2500. He'll let me borrow one of his trailers when I need it. His are able to haul his 5 ton tractor with ease.

                      Besides, 2 or 3 times a year is not enough use to justify over $1,000 of materials.

                      Maybe I'll make a Go-Kart. "CarsandCameras" on YouTube has lots of advice.
                      Last edited by buffumjr; 06-11-2016, 05:52 AM.
                      ____________________________________________

                      I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

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                      • #12
                        But building a trailer will be fun if you e never done it. Just make a smaller one. You can always sell it down the road.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                          But building a trailer will be fun if you e never done it. Just make a smaller one. You can always sell it down the road.
                          Ooooh. Craigslist. Hmmm. Yes. Maybe a 5-1/2 x 10 twin axle 2,400 pounder. They are always hot. Still, the challenge is to make money. Spending $1,000 to make $900. But yes. Fun.

                          Still thinkin' of a go-kart. I was thinking maybe a 10 or 12 HP from a riding mower. Use the mower's transmission, just have the sprockets different. That way, have reverse, and 4 or 6 forward gears. Be able to use the riding mower's wheels and steering parts.
                          ____________________________________________

                          I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
                            Also tubes that are welded shut to keep water out gets condensation inside from the sunlight and heat build up so it will rust quicker...Bob


                            That's incorrect. A sealed structural tube only has the moisture that's sealed inside, and that only supports corrosion for a very short time.

                            These things were studied, and figured out well before I was born. And it can be a 1" square tube, or a 12" X 24". Sealed structural shapes do not corrode from the inside out.

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

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                            • #15
                              No Bob is right, have 2 piles I haven' shoveled up yet from the 7 car hauler that just left. Only way you can weld the tubing cracks near the bottom and around the bottom is cut the tubes open and clean them out. This one was an 03.

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