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:Stop: Ok Guys-don't make fun of my MS Paint skills-BUT- I have a question.
Being that funds are at a premium right now-I'm trying to make the most of what I have. I have this 14 ft Starcraft boat & trailer I haven't used for decades. The transom wood on the boat is rotted. BUT-my attention is directed to the TRAILER. I've been wanting to get a trailer suitable for hauling my Wheel Horse or other garden tractors. The trailer was heavier than it needed to be for the boat and the old 35 HP motor. MY QUESTION-can I convert this trailer , by putting a wooden deck on it? It's a tilt trailer-you can pull a pin and it tilts to let the boat on or off. Without going out there and measuring it-I'd say it's made out of 2-2 1/2" round tubing. It was painted heavily with Rust-o-leum a couple of times-I think it's still structurally sound.It was made in the 50's.
It was made in Goshen Indiana. Very near where we picked up the boat at the "Starcraft" company. I'll try to get pictures if I can-but I would need to clear out the "Jungle" around it.
I don't know why I didn't think of this before! Thanks for any input you can give me!-AL
Heres a drawing (sort of)-
 

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I would think it will be fine .. the one thing I would be concerned about is the tires, wheels and wheel bearings .. check them and replace if needed .. sitting that long .. just might have caused problems with them
 

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I would think it will be fine .. the one thing I would be concerned about is the tires, wheels and wheel bearings .. check them and replace if needed .. sitting that long .. just might have caused problems with them
Good point. Especially, being a boat trailer, the bearings probably have water in them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
:fing32: Thanks Guys-I had already thought about the bearings and I know the tires have to be replaced-I was more concerned about the trailers capacity. I can't wait to dig it out and get a look at it. I'd like to keep the "tilt" if I could-it would loading and unloading much easier.
Do you think a wood frame and deck would be strong enough-or should I weld the frame in tubing-then floor it with wood?-Thanks-AL
 

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Sounds like a good project you have started. The frame will be capable of carrying a good bit more than your Wheelhorse. My suggestion would be to frame out the floor area with metal and add a wood floor. For small trailers, I have found the pressure treated deck boards ( 1 1/4" thickness) are plenty strong yet lighter and cheaper than 2x6 or 2x8 stock. Angle iron will work well. This will also give you a perimeter if you decide to add short uprights and a top rail to create a side for tying or containment.

Good luck and keep us posted with progress.
 

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My suggestion would be to frame out the floor area with metal and add a wood floor.
:ditto:

With a torch and a welder, you can make a trailer out of anything!

Any questions, there is a lot of good advice here!
 

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I think you will have no problems at all aupporting the tractor weight on that. SHould be more then up to the job.

One thing I WOULD keep in mind... Boat trailers tend to be setup balanced for something [a boat] that has most weight on the rear. Becouse of that, you will find the axle farther back then a normal trailer. Depending on the disign of the trailer, you may want to move the undercarrage foward a little, shorten the tounge, or just make sure you dont put the deck too far foward on the frame.
 

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I did the same thing. Mine had an angle iron frame that I put Southern Yellow Pine 4x6's over to get height over the wheels, and then used 2x6's for a deck. Ended up with a trailer with a 62" x 9 1/2 foot deck. Added aluminum sideboards that double as ramps.
 

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:Stop: Ok Guys-don't make fun of my MS Paint skills-BUT- I have a question.
It's a tilt trailer-you can pull a pin and it tilts to let the boat on or off....
Whoa....It's a Tilt Trailer....You have the makings of an excellent and very useful setup. The potential for a very wide variety of hauling just about anything, not just your tractor.

Ingersoll444 is spot on concerning the weight distribution and distance over the axle position. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but typical (small) single axle position on trailers are 60/40 - 60% length forward. Tilt, however is 50/50 static, or dead center with the axle which does NOT include the tongue length.

Good luck with a great project :trink40: !

Mark
 

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Years ago I made a way to hoist my boat up in the barn so I could use my trailer for other things. So I put a expanded metal floor around the boat rollers so I can use it for both...
 

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Seems I'm always behind reading these threads but I have a Tandem jet ski trailer I converted first to haul my 32 ford Dwarf car and then I went a little farther and added some Harbor Freight Loading ramps and I have a trailer I can haul two yard tractors on. It has a cross bed tool box on the nose and a strap winch. It has axle-buddys and I just keep them full of grease. I have been pulling it 12 yrs . Here it is classed at a homebuilt.
 

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It sounds like a great idea to reuse the trailer, but my main concern would be it being a trailer from the 50's, how is it inside the frame. Rust can be your biggest enemy building a trailer to carry tractors. I guess after you make your first cut to re-frame it you will see what the strength is for your plans. Best of luck and have fun with the project.
 

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I will be doing that very trailer-use conversion, next spring-- my neighbor gave me a boat trailer-- tandem axle and tilt too! and yes I have a welder and a torch! just gotta go to his "other place": 350-ish miles away to go get it once I get caught up on other projects, around here.
 

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I think you will have no problems at all aupporting the tractor weight on that. SHould be more then up to the job.

One thing I WOULD keep in mind... Boat trailers tend to be setup balanced for something [a boat] that has most weight on the rear. Becouse of that, you will find the axle farther back then a normal trailer. Depending on the disign of the trailer, you may want to move the undercarrage foward a little, shorten the tounge, or just make sure you dont put the deck too far foward on the frame.
No reason to shorten the tongue, unless you have a shortage of space to store it. A longer tongued trailer is easier to back up.

For balance, get the bathroom scales out and weigh the tongue with the trailer empty and again with the tractor on it. Tongue load should be 10% to 15% of the weight of the trailer plus load. Move the tractor back or forward to achieve this load, and mark where the front wheel is on the deck or siderail. For a GT, about 250 lb. is going to be close, assuming 750 lb. for the trailer and 1000 lb. for the tractor (175 to 262.5 lb. tongue load). Knowing what the tongue load is empty gives you a starting point for balancing any load.

For decking on my homebuilt single axle 'tractor taxi' I used 5/8" plywood scewed down to 2" x 2" angle on 24" centres. Hauled my MF1655 with FEL around for over 20 years with no problem. The trailer had a 12.5' deck plus the tongue and less than 5' of that deck was behind the axle.

With that much deck in front, forget the tilt idea, use ramps instead. It takes a hydraulic jack to tilt the bed and hold it so you can drive on. I tried a tilt bed when I got my new tractor. Did not like it. :eck16: Bought a beaver tail with ramps instead. Sooo much easier and faster.:bannana: :bannana:

Bob :rauch10:
 
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