What options for trailer floor

We just stripped and sandblasted our trailer, it is 20k Cronkhite with a 18 ft long bed. The wood on it was completely rotted and I am now looking for good options. I want this trailer to haul forklifts, machines etc.

What options do I have. 1/4 inch diamond plate is very expensive and costs $10 per square foot. I would prefer something cheaper that would last 5 years.

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

I'm re doing my truck bed right now. I'm using pressure treated 2 x

  1. I'll also coat it with used motor oil and let it sit in the sun a couple weeks and wash off

My old trailer was diamond plate. I guess it was nice in that it lasted the whole 30 years I owned it. But it had several indented spots from too heavy a pressure point. Plus slick as snot on a greased glass door knob when you spill a dab of oil on it.


Reply to
Karl Townsend

I would go back with wood. Steel decks are too slick and are prone to dents and ripples caused by point loads. I've always used treated yellow pine lumber and you will get well over 5 years. Trap both ends of the planks under an angle iron rather than using screws at the ends of the planks and don't get carried away with screws to allow the boards to move. I use strips of 90# roofing stuck to the trailer iron with tar where the boards cross sit to protect the trailer and the planks. How thick was the original wood deck? I have seen some decks done with bridge planks (+/- 3" thick). If you carry the same piece of equipment repeatedly it may be worth putting some steel deck plates on top of the wood deck where the wheels sit.

Reply to

White oak, doug fir, jarrah, and purpleheart are 4 commonly used woods in the past (around the world) in 2+ inch thicknesses. Ipe is another possible. All are good at handling weather and are tough, with doug fir having the shortest life, 5-7 years. Doug fir and white oak are probably your best bet for cost.

-- Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplacable spark.

In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach.

The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours. -- Ayn Rand

Reply to
Larry Jaques


Find a local sawmill, they may be your best bet for oak.

Reply to

As others noted, I'd also recommend the wood option.

If have the local mill option, just be careful if it's "oak" to steer away from red oak--it does not weather well at all--white oak will stand up well. Around here, anyway, Doug fir is at a premium since it all comes from the West Coast. W/ the housing slump it might not be as bad; I've not tried pricing recently.

Don't know whether it's a local or not up there but if there's locust (particularly black) it's not useful for much else but is extremely tough and rot-resistant but because isn't much for typical lumber use can be less expensive.


Reply to

Or another suitable local species. Here in Maine hemlock is the wood most commonly used for trailer decks.

Reply to
Ned Simmons

Here in New Hampshire red oak lasts decades and white oak rots quickly. I recently cut up a red oak trunk that has been lying on the ground in the woods since the mid 90's. Roughly half the cross sectional area is still too hard to stick a knife into. What rot there is penetrated lengthwise much faster than across the grain.

Pressure treated Southern Yellow pine has nearly the same strength as oak.

formatting link
is stiff but it can be rather brittle.


Reply to
Jim Wilkins

Something is funny there about the oak, Jim. White oak is used in boatbuilding because the pores will not wick water like a soda straw, through capillary action. The pores in white oak are filled with "tyloses."

Red oak has no tyloses and will wick water. Consequently, red oak soaks up water, holds it in its pores, and rots easily. White oak does not.

It's hard to explain your experience. There is a thousand years of boatbuilding experience behind the preference for white oak.

Reply to
Ed Huntress

Something must change when you cross the border into Maine. Here white oak has good rot resistance while red oak rots very quickly. Traditional Maine boats were Northern white cedar planks on white oak frames. White oak is hard to come by locally these days; red oak is abundant.

Reply to
Ned Simmons

Boat planks have cut ends and treenail holes that expose the end grain. The red oak posts of my sheds all rest on flat rocks so they don't rot like red oak pallets left on the wet ground. I acquired some old red oak trailer decking that was beat up but not rotted, and piled firewood on it over one winter. By next summer the bottom planks were all rotted underneath.

It was a long log and the rot had to penetrate from the ends, one of which was off the ground. I agree that red oak is a sponge and rot runs down its grain easily, but it doesn't cross it nearly as fast. Standing red oak trees that have been dead for maybe 5 years since I first saw and taped them are only rotted ~1/2" in except near knots that let rot in deeper. Many showed little or no sign of surface rot for several years after the bark had fallen off.

Some local(?) fungus gets to the tops of dead white oaks and rots them downwards and inwards, while dead red oaks rot in the heartwood from the ground up. I would have saved good white oak logs for my sawmill but I never found a dead one before it went bad. In winter live and newly dead trees look alike, in summer the leafy branches conceal the leafless ones except from directly below.

The property owners only let me cut dead and fallen trees, so I spent a lot of time looking for and marking standing dead ones.


Reply to
Jim Wilkins

And about the same length of Cooperage experience.

Reply to

Freshly cut storm-downed live red oak develops fungus on the sapwood of the cut end within two or three days unless I leave it open to the breeze to dry. White oak doesn't seem as bad, though I don't have nearly as much experience with it.

Once the red oak log has dried it's very resistant to rot on the outside. The cut ends are still somewhat susceptible if they stay wet for a few days.

Old red oak pallets that I get from the garden center usually have little or no decay. They stay outdoors in the weather, but stacks of them dry quickly in the sun.

After standing dead red oaks have shed their bark and dried for a year or so they remain dry enough inside to split and burn immediately, even after long storms. Only the first few feet above the ground will be wet. Perhaps I see the cases where water doesn't have enough time to soak back in after the wood has dried.


Reply to
Jim Wilkins

Be sure the under carrage is stout and not rusting. You don't want to load up something and break boards.

Remember putting steel over wood might rot out the wood under it -

Rather than steel plate in places - put down heavy wood and then overcoat areas or the whole with expanded metal. The heavy stuff that will dry out from rain and provide traction on the smoothest fork lift wheel.

Mart> >> We just stripped and sandblasted our trailer, it is 20k Cronkhite with

Reply to
Martin Eastburn

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.