I have been considering a small trailer that is just large enough to haul a lawn tractor but small enough for the lawn tractor to tow it while loaded. I had my heart set on an aluminum trailer but the price of metal has gone through the roof. Second choice was galvanized steel but those too, have really shot up in price so I settled on powder coated steel and purchased this "trailer in a box" from CTC.
The assembly instructions aren't great and so I had to use deductive reasoning to figure out which bolts go where. Some of the bolts are not meant to be tightened to the max as they will collapse the U-channel or HSS tubing and so rely on nylock nuts.
Two of the bolts for the rear of the leaf springs double as the anchor point for the fenders so I cut 1/2" iron pipe to fit inside the channel and ran the bolts through them so I could fully tighten them.
The tailgate purports to also fold inward and lay flat on the bed but to do so requires that the two brackets be loose enough to swivel out of the way. This again relies on nylock nuts holding the brackets. The holes in the brackets are both oblong and oversized so if the bolts are left loose enough for them to swivel, they slop around. I ended up making up bushings with an ID to fit the bolts and an OD to fit the bracket so that I could fully tighten the bolts yet allow the bracket to swivel and not slop. The heads of the bolts stand proud of the HSS tubing that makes up the frame of the tailgate and prevent it from laying flat inside the box. I had to bend the HSS over some wood blocking just enough to allow clearance for the bolt heads.
The tailgate purports to serve as a ramp but it does not appear to be strong enough to take the weight of my tractor. The bed tilts so the tailgate could actually lay flat on the ground during loading but doing so would bend the license plate that hangs down. I could opt to not use the mounting bracket under the combination tail/license plate lamp and simply mount the plate to the tailgate. I could use my loading ramps rather than tilt the bed.
The wheels are narrow "pizza cutters" that while adequate for paved roads, would rut up the yard so I am contemplating buying wider wheels and keep the narrow ones as spares.
The bed width measures out at 47.5 inches and so it won't carry 4' x 8' sheets of plywood or drywall laying flat. I plan to make 16 inch high (four) sides from 3/4" PWF which will reduce the inside dimension to 46 inches. I also plan to cap the top edge of the plywood to protect it which further reduces the inside dimension at the top but that would allow 4 foot wide sheets (or long loads*) to sit entirely on the top rail.
* I realize that adding the plywood sides would prevent the tailgate from folding flat in the bed and so I am contemplating how I could make the sides (or tailgate) easily removable. I am also contemplating cutting and hinging the tailgate to make it foldable so it won't stand proud of the 16 inch tall (plus top rail) plywood sides.
Pics to follow...