Cross Posted - HOME MADE STEEL TREAD PLATE

A few months back I picked up a gooseneck equipment trailer. It was
made in a farm shop. Overall its pretty decent, but it has some issues.
It was decked in what looks to me like bowling alley planking. I was
told its the same heavy duty engineered wood as is used on some
commercial trailers. Its quite strong. With a 7000 lb tractor on it
there is no sagging under either axle when its fully on the trailer.
Even when the ratcheting chain binders are cranked down.
However for some reason it is not supported at the very back of the
trailer. Its about 2wo feet to the first cross member that supports it.
I have driven the mentioned tractor up the ramps and onto the trailer
over that end. I went very slowly so that I could slip from the forward
pedal to the reverse pedal at the first sign/sound of cracking. There
was no sound of cracking and I successfully loaded and unloaded the
tractor, but the end of the boards did sag rather substantially. There
is rather substantial steel at the back of the trailer. The boards just
stop short of it. The bottom is also slightly below the level of the
outer frame.
I have consider a couple options. One is to weld in a support cross
member under the end of the boards. The other was to cut the boards
back to the last support and weld on a 2x8' piece of steel tread plate.
Well, its expensive and impractical to buy a piece of steel tread plate
these days. I had a wild idea to maybe just weld on a piece of plane
steel plate and scatter weld beads all over it to create some treads. I
probably won't but if I did what would be the practicality of that?
I've got ten (well nine, one is the top on my welding table) pieces of
4x8x1/4 A36 I bought a while back because the price was right. Some of
it is slated for a 60' work bench top down the back wall of my shop, but
there will be some left over for other things.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
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The "additional crossbeam" idea would be a lot lighter? You could use a "slender" rather than "plastic" section - because there's no benefit in it being able to "plastically rotate" in overload. Thin-wall Rectangular Hollow Section?
If you did the plate idea, you'd only have to weld on tyre grip ribs at the pitch of the wheels, obviously.
Reply to
Richard Smith
The "additional crossbeam" idea would be a lot lighter? You could use a "slender" rather than "plastic" section - because there's no benefit in it being able to "plastically rotate" in overload. Thin-wall Rectangular Hollow Section?
If you did the plate idea, you'd only have to weld on tyre grip ribs at the pitch of the wheels, obviously.
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How much of a safety factor does a trailer floor need to account for road bumps etc?
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Don't know. Would several-fold over deadweight load if at all possible, my instinct says. I'd gladly do some beam calculations you'd suggest available sections and deadweight. Find out if it easily comes in at margin which is "well over".
Reply to
Richard Smith
<snip>
Without seeing it, looking underneath and some pondering... I would probably use this method. Even though I have welding equipment, I'm just as likely to use bolts for something like this.
Reply to
Leon Fisk
There is not a lot of room to work. There are some very nicely done ramp holders slides under the frame as well as a swing down tilt stop for loading.
That being said, if those were not there I would probably do a drop cut on the last 4-5 feet of the trailer, and go to swing ramps with their own support feet.
I probably don't use it enough to stress over it quite this much, but...
Reply to
Bob La Londe
<snip>
Can the ramp holders be used some how to shore up the boards above?
Reply to
Leon Fisk
Probably. I could climb under it with a hammer and some 2x4s. LOL.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
Sounds like Apitong, great stuff for decking. I would add a crossmember myself.
Reply to
Steve W.
Which points out on of the obvious solutions. I have found (not particularly cost effective, but cheaper) drops of steel tread plate for sale. Just weld them in where needed.
Reply to
Bob La Londe

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