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Old 12-29-2010, 08:32 PM   post #1 of 10
NEWT92
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Default Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

Gonna build/design a gate for my new to me trailer. Need a question answered and some opinions.

Trailer deck is 82" wide. Gate will be a split gate, being two 3' wide X 5' tall, with a open space of 1' in the middle. Kinda designed like this one..



This is one on one of my other trailers.. Now, do the 6 cross tubes on this gate offer any extra strength? Would just the 5 uprights be just as strong?



The gate on this newer trailer will be used to haul my 3500lb roller and maybe have 3/4 ton or 1 ton trucks up it if needed. I have this gate (red one) on my current gooseneck and its been used for this hauling. The gates are 5' tall also and have a slight bow in them now. Not sure how thick the tubing is, but Im thinking of using thick wall tubing on the new gate.



Whats your opinions???
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:55 PM   post #2 of 10
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Default Re: Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

I would use the Red Design. The first one with the 6 cross tubes can still let the expanded metal bow inbetween them and make a bumpy ramp.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:07 AM   post #3 of 10
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Default Re: Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

The first set of ramps are the ones I'd have the most faith in, but they could be improved yet. I make my ramps out of 3/16 thick x 3" tall formed channel with 3/16 thick x 2"x2" angle iron. I only put expanded steel on if I have little tires (lawn mower size or smaller) on the ramps because it makes the ride smoother. However, a truck tire will cause the expanded steel to sag quickly. Remember, you simply cannot put too many welds on a piece of expanded steel... the better it is tacked down, the less it will sag.

As for square tube stock, I'd still prefer formed channel due to the strength. Think of your floor joists in your house. Would you rather have a thin and tall (2"x12") floor joist or something like a 6"x6" floor joist? With the 6x6, you do get strength, but a floor made of these is still more likley to sag than one made from 2x12's Now, if weight was an issue in your home, as it will be on your trailer, the choice is very simple. With the tube steel, there is a lot of steel that will not actually be supporting the load you are driving over the ramp. Instead, that extra steel is just useless weight you will be picking up every time you have raise or lower the gate.

If formed channel doesn't suite your needs, consider making it all out of angle iron. The same basic principal applies. I'd just like to see you use something that is going to give you the maximum amount of strength for the amount of weight put into it.

As for the six cross tubes on the second gate, those are what is keeping a vehicles tires from falling right through the uprights. The expanded steel would not hold up very long if it did not have the structural support of those cross bars. The flat stock cross bars on the first set of ramps are likely to be stronger, but I can't quite tell what size they are
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:57 AM   post #4 of 10
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Default Re: Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

so far. I should have added some info about the new gate design. It would be more like the red gate above.

Each piece (split gate) will be 3' wide X 5' tall like I said. I would have tubing uprights at 9", 18", and 27". I was thinking of thick wall on the sides and maybe the 9" (second from the outside) one for extra support when trucks go on. The 27" one will be right around where my mowers and 2520 run, and the 4 inside uprights would carry the roller along with the others for support (if that makes any sense).

Question is do I need cross pieces like I asked before?

Also, Im wanting to use this type of hinge. A double acting hinge with the helper spring.

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Old 12-30-2010, 10:26 AM   post #5 of 10
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Default Re: Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWT92 View Post
Question is do I need cross pieces like I asked before.
Definitely. When you put weight on the expanded metal that metal will sag and deform (turning the diamonds into squares) and try to pull the long pieces inwards. The cross pieces prevent that.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:16 PM   post #6 of 10
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Default Re: Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

I guess your best bet would be to cut those out with a plasma cutter or have it done on a cnc torch table. Hagerty steel in East Peoria can do that for you if you have a template. Otherwise, you can check with a local fab shop
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:13 AM   post #7 of 10
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Default Re: Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

Newt I'd go with the design in pic 1 or 3. Both of these designs will support the weight of the tractor and not flex/bend the expanded metal. Pic 3 will be a much heavier ramp to lift though. Good luck.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:43 AM   post #8 of 10
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Default Re: Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

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Newt I'd go with the design in pic 1 or 3. Both of these designs will support the weight of the tractor and not flex/bend the expanded metal. Pic 3 will be a much heavier ramp to lift though. Good luck.
Tell me about it!!! Pics 2 and 3 are my current trailers.

This is the trailer Im making the gate for, and will sell the red trailer.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:27 AM   post #9 of 10
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Default Re: Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

That trailer doesn't come down? Looks like a hydraulic dove tail????????

Have you considered useing c chanel with angle stock spanning the distance? A piece of angle every foot or so? Just thinking out loud here.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:46 AM   post #10 of 10
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Default Re: Trailer ramp/gate design opinions.

Got my ramp/gate just about done. Not sure if I will put it all back together today or not, painted everything yesterday and paint still sticky.

Dont worry, will follow..
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