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Enclosed trash trailer build help

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  • Enclosed trash trailer build help

    Complete newb here I can barely weld but I got a friend that's kick *** at it that I can call on so here's what I need to build it's basically a enclosed trash trailer but I'm building it solely to hold wooden pallets as many as possible in 2 rows as high as I feel comfortable making it its gonna have steel woven wire for the siding hopefully that makes it a bit lighter or anything that has the same characteristics so it's not a sealed off design I would like it to be 20-26' long by 8' wide maybe 8.5 and the walls can go as high as say 10' I need to be able to load as many pallets as possible I was thinking of using 2x8 tubing for the frame then maybe 2x2 for the crossmember I'm looking for advice or tell me how you would do it with the dimensions I've given make it as light as possible w.o havin to cough up the coin for special metals that are much more expensive its gotta hold as many pallets as possible thanks in advance guys!!!!

  • #2
    Before you get started, what's your budget? Have you priced existing trailers, especially used ones? Trailers are CRITICAL projects that will be on the roads at speed. They are not for beginners, and even most journeyman won't bother because it's usually way cheaper to buy one, unless the needed dimensions are so critical that they need to.

    When you look for material, the term you want to use for the sides is "expanded metal." You may even want to specify flattened expanded metal since it will be a vertical surface that you'll be brushing up against.

    With what truck are you towing it? A trailer that size will need brakes. Have you decided which kind you are going to install? Does your state require homemade trailers to be inspected and registered?
    Last edited by MAC702; 11-26-2018, 10:09 AM.


    • #3
      Budget is pretty hefty on the count of this is for my own personal business and yes of coarse I realized that but there are no trailers that match my criteria for sale that would be my first choice but this way I get to learn a bit and maybe discover something I enjoy I love building with my own 2 hands so when ever possible I like to build it myself


      • #4
        There was a time when pick up trucks weren't so popular and making trailers paid the bills. As mention, it's cheaper to buy one and modify it to suit your needs. The reason why usually has to do with manufacturing costs and labor rates. Your buddy sounds like a solid but what if he gets sick, busted, or decides chasing trim is more fun? What's plan "B".

        While copying an engineered design is a solution, these days, with the price of materials, axles, lights, wheels and tires...not to mention the material prep, transporting, shop space? A head start doesn't hurt as bad. Beside that, some jurisdictions frown on home built. Licensing/registration may be an issue?

        If your worried about weight, most is weighed per foot length or sq. foot of area. Do the math, it can get heavy quickly. A person who works with these material quickly gets a learned lesson on such things as structural rigidity, beam deflection, and time it takes to cut, fit and weld.

        You were talking woven wire mesh, Mac mentioned expanded metal. One typically comes in a roll the other a sheet. Both require edge support, depending on the width and length, you could find extra work as a result.
        HSS or rectangle tubes in a 20' length get heavy. Buy a 40 to save a buck and plan for a crane or fork lift as your friend.
        I'm all for I can do it, but thinking it through, making a drawing to follow, material list, cut list, plan of attack will go along way. Not saying you can't, just think it through.


        • #5
          I'd start off knowing what a variety of pallets weigh, have it rock solid in my mind just what an 'average' pallet weighs, how much I intend to tow (in weight), then play around with trailer dimensions. Once you know the trailer dimensions and total weight, you can set about sizing the support members.

          Just what would two rows of pallets ten feet high and 26 feet long equate to?