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  #1  
Old 08-14-2010, 03:08 PM
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Section 8 Section 8 is offline
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Trailer Question

I am building a 4x8 trailer with 3500lb capacity. I want to use steel for the floor and walls instead of wood or aluminum. I thought about using tread plate, but I figured that the paint will just come off the treads and it would rust and the rest would come off, so I decided to bed line it, so the tread would then be useless. How thick should I use and how far can I span with it? Right now I have a basic ladder frame, 8 feet and a couple of inches long, by 51 inches wide. There is a connecting piece between the outer rails every 24 or 25 inches. So right now the spans are up to 25 inches by 51 inches. I was thinking of putting a couple of 1x1 through the center around every 18 inches, so the spans would be 18x25 or so to keep from using a thick plate but still be pretty strong.

I want this trailer to last and I don't want the floor to start sagging, but I would like it to be economical too, the main problem being that my wife has no mechanical sympathy, I will be telling her that it is a 2000lb trailer, which won't be to far off after everything is welded on.

What should I do for plate and bracing?
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:56 PM
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I would use 10-11ga for the floor with crossmembers on 16" centers. I usually use 2 x 2 x 3/16" angle for crossmembers on a trailer of that size.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:31 PM
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Steel plate is slicker then snot with wet boots, and you are going down with any oil... Be-sure to do something about traction, which is why tread or diamond plate was created.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:53 PM
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I am going to bed line it so it doesn't lose the finish so fast.

I decided to go with 2x3x1/8 for the frame. Maybe I should just use wood, steel is going to double the cost of the steel in it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:10 AM
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Steve.693 Steve.693 is offline
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In most cases I believe a wood floor is a better option as it is typically a steel floor on a trailer that takes a beating and rusts out , This is then a PITA to cut out and replace. You mentioned wanting this to last so I would say being able to easily replace the floor is an asset.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:54 PM
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Some of the spray on bed liners don't provide any better traction when wet than a smooth surface does. One of the guys here that I use applys the Speedliner brand. That system is such that you can add a little bit of silica sand to the mix. Now that gives some excellent grip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Section 8 View Post
I am going to bed line it so it doesn't lose the finish so fast.

I decided to go with 2x3x1/8 for the frame. Maybe I should just use wood, steel is going to double the cost of the steel in it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:35 PM
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8Ball 8Ball is offline
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I don't want this to sound like a commercial for Thompsons water sealer, but after sealing the deck on my house I had about a gallon left over. Not wanting to waste it I decided I would use it to seal the new deck on my snowmobile trailor too. I added about two scoops of sand to the sealer, slapped it on the trailor and waited. That was two years ago. The deck still looks new and has great traction in all conditions.
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:19 AM
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rbeckett rbeckett is offline
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Section8, I tend to prefer the wood deck over a steel deck due to point loading issues. It seems like a fairly thick wood deck flexes a little and bounces back if overloaded in one place compared to a steel deck getting a sag that collect rain water and rust. We use a local cypress mill to make real 2x8 dimension lumber and get a good life from it even hauling heavy tracked equipment like D-9's and 966 loaders. We generally apply diesel to the deck a couple of times and allow it to soak in and dry between applications and it hardens the wood as well as makes it impervious to rain and weather. Before I became disabled, we had 2 step deck heavy haul trailers we kept busy hauling road and heavy construction equipment for the local companies. Wood worked much better in that application than steel and was easier to maintain and repair if it got damaged. Just my .02 FWIW.
Bob
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