Ever since I sold the 16' tandem trailer I had I have pretty much regretted it. I sold it because it was just too heavy to haul around with an empty weight of 2,150 lbs.
It was nice though, but being older and also very heavy duty the deck was pretty high off the ground.
When I sold it I bought a 6.5'x12' single axle trailer. I do like it a lot, but I was surprised that it also weighed in at a hefty 1,200 lbs
That left only 1,800 lbs of loading weight which was a not as much as I would like when I get dirt, gravel and lumber for landscaping projects.
So I have been looking for a while for a lighter tandem axle trailer - preferably with brakes as I am towing it with a mid size SUV. I wanted one that was flat so I can load items over the side without having the railing in the way, and since I do not need it for a car I really did not need a dovetail.
I finally found something that was priced reasonably and went for it. It seems that everyone else around here expects near new prices for their used trailers.
It did require a complete rewire job and new lights to meet the new DOT codes, but those are things I am very comfortably with doing. The wood floor and the bones of the trailer were in very good condition.
It was also nice that it had brakes on all 4 wheels.
I did find out that the brakes however had not been hooked up for a while so I had to take them all apart, lube up the moving parts and clean the brakes. Now they are working pretty good.
Sorry that I do not have pictures of this. I was working on the trailer while my wife was sleeping, recovering from surgery.
Between taking care of the kid, the wife and the house hold tasks I was able to still find a little time here and there to work on it.
And now that the kid is in daycare I could do some more work to keep my sanity in all this
So anyway here is the final product after I build sides, wood tailgate etc. I also made brackets so I can use the mesh tailgate from the smaller trailer on it if I have to move the tractor or anything else that can drive up the ramp. Be ware - many pictures ahead.
Here is the tractor pulling out the trailer. As it is here it is probably weighing in at around 1,500 lbs. (empty weight without sides and ramps is listed at 1,250 lbs). That leaves a nice 5,500 worth of loading capacity.
Front side view
The other side
Rear side view showing the tailgate from the other trailer
Even though the other trailer is only 77" wide the ramp seems well at home here on the 83" wide trailer.
Ramp down ready to drive on
I of course had to try it out to see if my welds would hold - it all worked out good driving my Legacy with FEL on there. With all the ballast and me on it is in the 2,000 lbs range.
The ramp is just attached with some pins sliding into a tube. I welded up tubes that are bolted onto the trailer (with grade 8 bolts). That way they can be taken off again so you can put the separate ramps on if you ever want to move a car or larger vehicle.
These are the ramps that came with the trailer
As you can see they just sit in the rear channel.
The storage rack is just behind the wheels - double stacked which is a little unusual.
They just slide in and are locked in place with a pin
If I don't need the big heavy ramp I build a smaller wood tailgate to put on.
it doesn't fold down all the way due to the channel for the larger ramps, but it will still work fine
I just welded up a piece of angle with a tube on it so it fits in the brackets for the larger tailgate.
I them made brackets that would lock on to the side similar to the steel tailgate. I had to angle them a little to get them up high enough.
It latches on nicely
Here is an inside view of the tailgate lock I build. I made them out of 2x3 angle as I had to make up for the difference to fit the ramp tailgate from the narrower trailer.
As the bolt holes got kind of close to the edge of the wood sides I made a reinforcing bracket that goes back to the 2x4 in the stake pocket. This way the wind load on the tailgate will not rip the angle out of the wood. You can also see the hitch pin that is holding the 2x4 in the stake pocket.
This is what it looks like - it just slides in and locks with the little ball.
Finally I mounted 6 D-rings on the deck. This is handy for smaller tractors and other lighter items. Here is an example.
Underneath I put washers and then a fender washer on to spread the load out on the wood.
The wood sides can be removed in about 5 min by pulling out the hitch pin and removing the pins holding the sides in the front.
One side removed
The other side remove
The front sits with 3 pins through the bump rail
Everything removed to make it a flatbed trailer
Well, there you have it.
I think this will be a very versatile trailer I will keep for many years.
When summer comes I will give it a paint job although I will likely paint around all the DOT tape the previous owner put on. There must be $ 75 worth of tape on there.
I will follow up with some pictures of the lights at night. I usually go to the letter of the law and make sure I have enough lights on it.
Hope you enjoyed and maybe got some ideas for yourself.