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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I bought a very used flatbed trailer for my recent addition, a JD X595, since this size tractor would not fit into the bed of my F350 like the X300 does. As you can see from the photos below it has an open center section. The remainder is covered with steel diamond plate. Knowing how prone I am to self-injury, I planned to cover the open center death trap. Steel prices are ridiculous and sufficient diamond plate to fill in would cost more than I paid for the trailer, so I decide catwalk steel grating cut to size and welded in place would be a good option. (I am just a beginning Welder, but I learn quickly).

I watched for a couple months the used steel grating available on CL, FBM etc... and the closest I found was about 3 hours away. The next closest was twice that distance, so Saturday morning I headed to Tallahassee (enemy territory in my mind, being a U of Florida graduate). This guy had a stack of grating several feet high and said the pieces were 3 by 20 feet, about twice the size I found elsewhere. I figured he has the grating at his warehouse so surely, he will have a forklift or at least he will be able to help me load this 20-foot-long section of steel, right? I calculated a couple of hours there, 30 minutes to load and pay the guy, lunch and a couple of hours home, right? Surprise! an hour out from Tallahassee I text him my arrival time and he texted back saying he is headed to the football game and has left the grate outside the yard gate, and I can just leave his cash in the office mailbox. Best of all, my sweet Wife is just along for the ride, simply because I promised her a nice lunch afterward for riding along. She has zero interest but 100% tolerance of my projects, my tractors and my other such nonsense.

Ok, it can't be that bad. I finally locate the Industrial Park, his business and the gate where he has dropped the grate, on a pretty steep and short driveway where I have to back the trailer in while my truck blocks half of the street. Relieved to finally find it, I see the grating actually is 20 feet long, and just trying to lean it up against the trailer or even drag it is impossible for me alone. I figure this section weighs at least 300 to 400 pounds. Of course, I left that new 15,000 lb. winch I bought specifically for this trailer in the garage, at home, 200 miles away.

Anyway, using what I could find in my truck, and in the nearby dumpster, 2 hours later I had single-handedly loaded this monster. Originally, I had planned to cut to size and weld in place small sections of this grating piece by piece, for all twelve of the open stations, but as the beast finally dropped onto my g18 foot long trailer it occurred to me how nicely it fit over all the open sections without any modifications. Although there may be a trip hazard due to a 1-inch grate lip from it sitting on top of the deck, it looks very inviting to not have to do all of that cutting and welding. So, I have the piece at home and now I am considering my options of whether to cut and weld twelve sections or to simply make a few cut outs for access to the trailer bed tie-downs and just weld it in place and deal with the one-inch lip.

BTW, my dear Wife never gave me an ounce of grief over my apparent lack of planning. She really enjoyed it when after struggling for 2 hours with this beast and finally getting it loaded, I climbed back into the truck and told her "See that, Easy-Peasy". Good laugh. What a great mate I have.

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What a "grate" (great) story! Too bad you had to bust your butt loading it up, but glad you were able to manage it. You do have a good mate there. Mine would have just stayed home for sure. I doubt the 1" lip would cause a problem unless you were dragging something up onto the trailer.
 

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You might want to either grind down the end, or even using something else for the very end, such as expanded metal, as it doesn't take much for it to catch on anything hanging down from the tractor, such as a mowing deck.
 

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Me being the way I am, I would cut it so it could drop down flush and weld it in place.
I know eventually I would haul something that will catch on it, maybe tear something up and then be kicking myself for not doing it right the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Me being the way I am, I would cut it so it could drop down flush and weld it in place.
I know eventually I would haul something that will catch on it, maybe tear something up and then be kicking myself for not doing it right the first time.
You are probably right, especially since I tend to make things as complicated as humanly possible. I agree that every time I stub on that lip or mess up something dragging it on board I will be cussing myself. I still plan on buying a plasma cutter and once I see how that goes I may decide to go ahead and complicate this project as mush as possible.
 

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A true MacG\uyver !! Congratulations on some great work rescuing your grating in a remote and hostile land. Hey, could it be a new series?? :unsure: ;)

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why not take an angle grinder and cut it length wise to fit and weld it in place?
The trailer has multiple cross bars making 12 open sections that need to be covered. The original plan was to buy a plasma cutter and cut to size. This steel is extremely tough, I can't imagine making that many cuts in it with a grinder. Please don't ruin my excuse to buy myself a plasma cutter. ;)
 

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The trailer has multiple cross bars making 12 open sections that need to be covered. The original plan was to buy a plasma cutter and cut to size. This steel is extremely tough, I can't imagine making that many cuts in it with a grinder. Please don't ruin my excuse to buy myself a plasma cutter. ;)
Uhh, ah...yes that's it, as a self proclaimed subject matter expert, (SME) it absolutely requires a plasma cutter! Recommend you get one as soon as possible!! (y) ;)
 
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I personally would break out the Husquvarna 14" chop saw with a couple abrasive blades, but I already have one of those.
My son has a plasma cutter, but the chop saw would be faster.
Since you have neither, go with the plasma cutter, it would be cheaper than the chop saw.

But when I get to the concrete at the end of the steel, I am still cutting.
A good diamond blade, there is not much it will not cut.

You did a good job of overcoming what got thrown at you behind enemy lines with a successful mission outcome. For that you get two atta boys. (Two atta boys and a buck 50 will get you a small coffee at Micky D's)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I personally would break out the Husquvarna 14" chop saw with a couple abrasive blades, but I already have one of those.
My son has a plasma cutter, but the chop saw would be faster.
Since you have neither, go with the plasma cutter, it would be cheaper than the chop saw.

But when I get to the concrete at the end of the steel, I am still cutting.
A good diamond blade, there is not much it will not cut.

You did a good job of overcoming what got thrown at you behind enemy lines with a successful mission outcome. For that you get two atta boys. (Two atta boys and a buck 50 will get you a small coffee at Micky D's)
Thanx Dave. I do already have a metal chop saw. Specifically what blade would you recommend? Still going to get a plasma cutter but I can see some potential difficulty getting the PC head in position to cut the grate. Cutting the outside piece, no problem but the next vertical won’t be very accessible. A chop saw would for sure be more appropriate for the direction I need to approach this stuff to cut it.
 

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First my saw

If all I am cutting is metal I will usually use an abrasive blade, but I have to be very careful using abrasive blades. That saw 6.5 HP motor will have an abrasive blade looking like a wet noodle if you don't use a very light touch while cutting. Pressure to heavy on the blade, it will explode. Heavy blade pressure also just eats the blades anyway even if it does not explode.


That is one option.


Option 2


Option 3, not what I normally run, but as close as I can find online at a store nationally available.


Option 4, Closer to what I run, still not it though. Mine is orange, Diamond Core is the name and the last one I bought was over 300 dollars. That has been a few years ago though. I searched Diamond Core blades, nothing came up, maybe they are no longer in business.

Like most tools, don't force it, let the tool do the work.
Start forcing it, you are just burning up the blade.
I use a garden sprayer with water in it to cool the cut, but that makes it a two person job. One runs the saw, the other runs the garden sprayer. Best results, spray the side of the blade right before it goes into the cut. I use the same method cutting concrete, stone, block, brick to keep the dust under control, but it does make a mess.

Edit: I read through all the current post and down near the bottom of the page is a post about a mower deck catching on the ramp hinges. And they do not appear to be sticking up anywhere near an inch high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
First my saw

If all I am cutting is metal I will usually use an abrasive blade, but I have to be very careful using abrasive blades. That saw 6.5 HP motor will have an abrasive blade looking like a wet noodle if you don't use a very light touch while cutting. Pressure to heavy on the blade, it will explode. Heavy blade pressure also just eats the blades anyway even if it does not explode.


That is one option.


Option 2


Option 3, not what I normally run, but as close as I can find online at a store nationally available.


Option 4, Closer to what I run, still not it though. Mine is orange, Diamond Core is the name and the last one I bought was over 300 dollars. That has been a few years ago though. I searched Diamond Core blades, nothing came up, maybe they are no longer in business.

Like most tools, don't force it, let the tool do the work.
Start forcing it, you are just burning up the blade.
I use a garden sprayer with water in it to cool the cut, but that makes it a two person job. One runs the saw, the other runs the garden sprayer. Best results, spray the side of the blade right before it goes into the cut. I use the same method cutting concrete, stone, block, brick to keep the dust under control, but it does make a mess.

Edit: I read through all the current post and down near the bottom of the page is a post about a mower deck catching on the ramp hinges. And they do not appear to be sticking up anywhere near an inch high.
A lot of great information. I appreciate it.
 

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What else are you going to use the trailer for? It looks way bigger then it needs to be for a garden tractor.
Depending on the uses, a flat deck might be very nice/useful.

I'd probably keep looking for sheet stock, either diamond or just flat and save the grating for another project.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What else are you going to use the trailer for? It looks way bigger then it needs to be for a garden tractor.
Depending on the uses, a flat deck might be very nice/useful.

I'd probably keep looking for sheet stock, either diamond or just flat and save the grating for another project.

.
I bought this trailer because it was a good buy, sturdily built and large enough to carry my recently acquired X595 if I need to trailer it in for service. Also, if I want to take both the X595 and the golf cart down to our river vacation place it should be pretty easy to do. I could probably get the X300 on there in addition but that may be a bit tight. The more I ponder my options I am thinking that a truly flat bed would be nice to have and would reduce the limitations on what I can use the trailer for. Looking forward to getting hold of a plasma cutter and seeing how that goes. I will also experiment with some metal cutting blades on the chop saw but I can see myself going through a stack of blades cutting this material that many times, and it looks like I can buy a plasma cutter for about the same cost as a few of the higher end blades.
 

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Boy--that was a pretty neat recovery and a great story. You do have a great mate.
I had something like that happen to me years ago--I bought a Wheelhorse GT14 from a man down in N.Carolina. Along with a front blade and a mower deck. I planned to pick it up and store the trailer @ the seller's house as I went farther on across the state to my High School reunion. Well--shoot that down--got to the address-nobody home-tractor and parts sitting in thje front yuard--all seperated.. my wife is along w/ me--but she is sick-has A GI infection thing going on. I/she struggled-got the blade loaded first-then the heavy deck-. Finally got the tractor started--it ran out of gas halfway up on the trailero_Oo_O fi9nally got that winched on/tied down. What tto do now? I drove down the road a littkle way--saw a small tractpor dealership-pulled in there (late friday afternoon) Finally talked to the owner's wife--she was good enough to let me park my trailer (loaded) in her fenced -in back lot for the weekend. "Call me when you are headed home--I'll get someone to come open the gate for you"--sure enough -Sunday afternoon, I called--she showed up herself- I re hooked the trailer up-had a little nice conversation and got on the road home. Nicest folks-wouldn't take a dime for their troubles--she was still concerned about my wife being so sick. Finally got homelatethat night--never so gklad to see my driveway.
Try to contact the original seller a couple times later on--he never responded back to me--guess once the stuff was gone--I didn't count anymore. But here again--he didn't do what we had talked about before hand, either. left me hanging-
Just goes to show you-good and bad folks everywhere-
glenn
 

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Original seller obviously had your money already, so you were no longer of any importance to him at all.

I have a friend that constantly tells me stories of stuff people try to pull on him.
I constantly tell him, you mean nothing to them, fact of modern life.

60 years ago 90% of people would go out of their way to help you.
Today 90% of people are trying to figure out how to get one over on you.
Sad but true.
 

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Original seller obviously had your money already, so you were no longer of any importance to him at all.

I have a friend that constantly tells me stories of stuff people try to pull on him.
I constantly tell him, you mean nothing to them, fact of modern life.

60 years ago 90% of people would go out of their way to help you.
Today 90% of people are trying to figure out how to get one over on you.
Sad but true.

To me this forum affirms that people will go out of their way to help people they don't even know. Maybe we're the one percenters!
 
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