Boat trailer question

A friend of mine brought me a boat trailer that he wants me to put some
sides on so he can use it for firewood collection. I figured it was going
to be a basket case with rollers, etc. But someone did a right fine job of
redoing it. It has at least four horizontal supports, not sure of what
they're made of. The outer frame is square tube, like 2 x 4. If is decked
with angle holding the decking on, and carriage bolts holding it to the
horizontals. It is single axle with 15" 5 lug wheels, and a stout axle. It
looks the size that would be used to carry like a Searay, or some other
fairly substantial boat. Estimated length of said boat would be 18'.
The positioning of the axle with relationship of the deck is good with
relationship to putting the load right over the axle, with the deck forward
enough to keep it from being tongue light. I'd say 2' - 3' more forward of
the centerline than behind the centerline of the tire.
My question is what is the best way to approximate the new carrying capacity
so that I know how high to make the rails, and use that as an indicator of
when the trailer is loaded? I did not look for a plate, and suspect if I
found one, everything may be changed due to the modifications already done.
Can provide photos if requested.
Sorry to butt in with metal stuff, but, hey, .....................
Reply to
Steve B
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You can find information on how much a cord of wood weighs. It varies depending on the type of tree. But if it were me, I would make the rails higher than what is necessary for hauling wood. That way the trailer is suitable for hauling lighter things such as taking leaves to the dump. The tires might give you a good idea of how much weight the trailer can haul.
Reply to
In MANY cases the spring and axle ratings limit the trailer weight rather than the tires. If it has 8 inch wheels, the tires will be the limit. If 12 inch, likely the tires. If 13", possibly the tires - if 14" or bigger- quite possibly the springs or spindles.
Reply to
I have 7,000# axles on my trailer, 6 lug 15" wheels and the heaviest E rated tires I can get are good for 5,660# for the pair.
Reply to
Pete C.
I think possibly the best thing is to take it to the local Six States Trailer place, a supermarket of trailer supplies, from light to ultra heavy, and just ask their opinion.
Reply to
Steve B
-...But if it were me, I would make the -rails higher than what is necessary for hauling wood. That way the -trailer is suitable for hauling lighter things such as taking leaves -to the dump. The tires might give you a good idea of how much weight -the trailer can haul. - Dan
I'd make the steel rail sides low like a construction trailer and provide stake pockets so he can choose the wooden side height, and be responsible for the consequences.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
"Jim Wilkins" wrote
He has told me himself he tends to overload, but even with higher stuff, you can get a lot more in of light stuff like branches and leaves.
He's a precision mechanic at a company that makes I don't know what. But he's very smart. He's going to do some work on my ATV's and help me with the shop, and I'm going to weld his trailer up probably just the way he wants it. I imagine it will be a metal low wall, probably expanded metal, then pockets for some plywood and 2 x 6 panels.
All in all, I think it will be a very fair trade. He doesn't weld, nor have any welding equipment.
Reply to
Steve B
I like the idea of making the sides stake-sides, then he can pop them out and use it as a flatbed. There are standard sized steel stakes and pockets and side panels, or you can make your own pockets out of Seamless Square Tubing on the chassis, and regular for the stakes.
BUT make sure to have a lock-in method for securing all the stakes to the chassis, especially on a trailer they do like to bounce out on the road. And the CHiPpies get real mad when you drop stuff on Their Freeway.
Drill a hole through the stake and pocket, and put in a PTO Pin, a Ball-Lock Pin (with a leash, of course!) or a plain old bolt and nut. Or weld a nut on the pocket and use a short bolt with a T-handle to lock it in through the outer face of the stake - Do NOT clamp the stake in, it'll bend and never come out... Then you can get the standard stake-bed L-latches for the top edge.
Do a little digging on the Net - they use "standard" axles, springs, tires, and other pieces to build trailers. And those pieces come in standard 'steps' of GAWR capacity - 1,000# and 1,500# for little 8" tire DIY chassis, 2,000# 3,500# 5,000# and occasionally 7,000# for 13"- 15" wheels.
The chassis GVWR is usually permanently marked on the VIN and ID tag - if you can still read it. Measure the springs - width, thickness, number of leaves, and you can fairly easily match them up in a spring catalog and get their ratings.
Same thing with the spindles - look up the replacement hubs and bearings, and that catalog page usually gives you the ratings. If you keep getting the same answer every time, that's probably it.
For a small single-axle boat trailer it's probably a 3,500# axle but you need to make sure. Then you take the completed trailer to a Public Scale and get the empty chassis weight, subtract that from 3,500 GAWR and there's your load capacity.
Yes, the tongue and tow vehicle takes some of the load, but you don't want to shave it that close all the time.
And if the guy's worried about overloading it, you look at the springs that have a nice arch - when the arch goes flat, it's full.
You could install rubber "bullet" snubbers on the chassis so it doesn't make a hard crash bottom-out on bumps, then put in a Test Load of bricks at GVWR and proper 10% tongue weight to get an exact ride height.
Then you tell him to stop loading when there's exactly (example 3") left between the spring and snubber. Cut him off a (3") chunk of dowel with a broomstick handle to use as a "Go/No Go" gauge.
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman (munged human

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