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Built a Flatbed - need some spec info

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  • Built a Flatbed - need some spec info

    Last year I rebuilt a flatbed trailer for my father-in-law. I thought it had turned out really nice.....16X8, dual axle, new paint, new deck, etc. Anyway, he wanted the hitch lowered and I was unable to do it so he took it to another welder to have it done.

    Well, the guy he took it to inspected it and took all the measurement and said I had done everything okay except for the axles were 5/8" off on both axles, both sides.

    When I rebuilt this trailer, I didn't change any measurements from what it already had, but this other guy that took a look at it made it seem like a REALLY big deal to my father-in-law.

    I am wondering where I would go to find out more info on this OR if anyone knows what problems this will cause in the long run (if any), the Hwy. Patrol laws, or if there is an allowance for your axle suspension?!?

    I really need help with this so I can either fix it or put my father-in-law's mind at ease! Thanks!

  • #2
    I doubt you'll find any regulations on axle spacing anywhere - only GAWR. However, you can find some info on Dexter Axle's website. The main contributing factor is the spring length. Assuming you are using shackled springs, they need to be able to flex without making the shackles horizontal. If you are using slippers, then they need to be able to move without coming out of the hanger. Torsion axles are a different animal altogether, but I often see trailers built not to the axle manufacturers recommendations.

    Here's a bit of info from Dexter.

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    • #3
      Off 5/8" in what way? Are they 5/8" further back on one side than another (crooked in frame)?...In relation to each other?...Improperly located on the springs?...Spring mounts off center?....

      Please tell us a bit more...and, as the Tappet Bros. have found out, when it comes to in laws...well....

      The guy who did the "Inspection" might just be a jerk...there are plenty of them out there!...or just fishing for more $$$....but he might be right, and it just might be abig deal...(that's why we need a more detailed explanation).

      Did you replace the frame rails, or re-located the spring hangers that were originally on the frame? Did you replace the tongue, or re-locate the hitch position on it?
      "Good Enough Never Is"


      • #4
        The shackles come off the rocker arm at about 50 degrees. This guy is telling my father-in-law that they need to be 60 degrees.

        From the center of the rocker arm (between the two axles) to the outside bolts on each leaf spring measures 30 5/8" each way on both sides of the trailer. This guy says they need to be at exactly 30" or it will cause BIG problems. My wife and I kinda picked up that the guy was trying for more $$$, but I want to make sure.

        I made sure everything was squared up and had the same measurements around. The guy is saying that if we changed from the 6 1/2" rocker arm to a 7" that it would straighten it up more or that he could cut the channel off and do it the right way.

        Then he told my father-in-law that if there was ever an accident with the trailer involved that the Hwy Patrol would measure the axles to make sure it had the right specs and so forth and that it would be pretty serious if his specs were off.
        Last edited by welder10yr; 07-16-2009, 10:15 PM.


        • #5
          Originally posted by welder10yr View Post
          Then he told my father-in-law that if there was ever an accident with the trailer involved that the Hwy Patrol would measure the axles to make sure it had the right specs and so forth and that it would be pretty serious if his specs were off.
          Oh, horse hockey.
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          • #6
            What State is this in?
            Ed Conley
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            • #7
              In Utah........


              • #8
                Flyover Country

                I see that BS slingers are not exclusive to the E & W coasts, you seem to have them in the middle too. I have built trailers large and small since 1969, and the guy is full of horse puckey. And I can't imagine a cop measuring a trailer frame, no reason to. This guy should run for office. He would do well inside the Beltway.


                • #9
                  I have built trailers also. Never heard the term "rocker arm" used to describe the equalizer.

                  With regard to the concept of 'post accident' forensic examination of the trailer, that is a very real possibility depending on the severity.. if someone dies it's almost a guarantee.. only it likely would not be DOT scoping it out, rather it would be the plaintiff's experts. We live in a sue happy society and there are plenty of horn knee lawyers circling like vultures.

                  I would fix it.

                  sigpic WHEELED VEHICLE SERVICE SINCE 1960


                  • #10
                    Hold on I'm getting my boots on it's getting deep in here. I would tell that guy to fly a kite.

                    I don't know if you have Alko Axles which is what I use but here is some information that might help.

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