Lumber Getter


Thinking about buying a utility trailer to get my lumber home from the lumber yard.
I googled and found out that you can buy kits and build your own. Anyone have experience doing this? Is it a PITA? Am I better off buying one preassembled somewhere (used?)
Thanks
Stoutman
--
http://home.triad.rr.com/brianmelissa/woodworking_frames.htm



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Stoutman, I bought one of the folding trailers from Northern Tool about 16 years ago.
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeIdi70&productIdF5468&RF5468
I put the pieces parts together in my living room in an evening and then assembled the major components in my garage the next day. I built a box with hinged lid on mine to haul luggage for ski trips, but I also use it to drag home everything from plywood to 14' lumber. It has at least 20,000 miles on it. I've replaced tires several times and wheel bearings once just because. It's very light, balanced just right, and pulls really nice. Rated capacity is about 1,000 lb. For the price, it's hard to beat.
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas Carlyle
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http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeIdi70&productIdF5468&RF5468
I've got a similar one from Harbor Freight (around $200 IIRC). I put a floor in, built some sides and it's been a great little trailer for me. If I were hauling things for a living, I wouldn't recommend it but it's been great hauling stuff to the dump, lumber, adobe bricks, dirt, etc.... and it tracks great on the highway. For me it's worked very well. Rated capacity is only about 1000 lbs but 99% of the time, I don't need anything more. Sure came in handy when picking up my 500 lb. table saw! Cheers, cc
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Do you really buy so much lumber so often that a trailer is justified? If not you can consider
A. putting a roof rack on the car B. making two trips C. borrowing a friend's pickup D. paying a few extra bucks for delivery
B.

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On 11/20/2005 10:20 PM stoutman mumbled something about the following:

I've bought several kit trailers and several purpose built trailers. The kit trailers, I won't trust too much of a load or anything valuable. Typically, the angle iron used to build the frame is very low quality, everything is bolted instead of welded (wouldn't want a bolt to come undone while going down the road with a heavy load), so I've always ended up welding them after bolting them together.
A 6x10 kit with no sides or ramp is about $350-600 plus you have to add your own floor and 3/4 plywood just doesn't cut it, you really want to use 2x6 PT, so add another $100 to the cost there, and reduce the capacity by a couple hundred lbs (usually well under 3500 lbs).
A 6x10 landscape trailer with 18" sides is about $600-1000 already has a floor out of PT 2x and will typically run in the 3500-5000 lb capacity.
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Odinn
RCOS #7 SENS BS ???
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You'll use it for a lot more than lumber if you get one. That's why I bought mine, and that's what happened with me. (Obviously you and I are exactly the same. :) ) My first trip with it was a camping trip.

About five years ago I had a preconceived notion that a trailer should cost about $400 Cdn used when I bought one of those folding trailer kits from Canadian Tire for about that amount. What you get for that money is wheels and a frame, and some really lousy electrical stuff. I added nearly $200 worth of wood to make a lidded box on top before I could use it for anything. I was in a really big hurry (long hours at work to make time for a vacation) and couldn't wait around for the right deal. The first day of my vacation was consumed building the box for the trailer.
If I had to do it over again I wouldn't buy one of those kits. Mine struggled to bring home a load of topsoil. It's wheels are small so speed is limited and it jack-knife's easily in reverse. I'd spend twice as much money and get something with a welded frame next time. Maybe that's just me, but this one has taken more time and money than I ever expected.
But I use it a lot, so every penny has been justified. YMMV.
- Owen -
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Buy a trailer? Build a trailer? Loan a trailer? Buy a truck? Loan a truck? Have the damn stuff delivered?
I have loaned a trailer and a truck from Mafia relatives. You know the ones; you owe them for the rest of your life. I 've owned a small truck that got very little use and cost too much to keep up. And I looked at the 'kit' trailers sold by places with minimum wage employess that cost 1000$ plus. And like other posts, these are bolt together jobs.
After some thought. I bought the steel for the box frame and tongue (trailer is 49" X 72" ) and used a rear coil spring axle assy from my written off Chrysler car (I get to use 14" wheels). After 2 minutes of hand hacksawing a piece of steel, I wised up and bought a steel cutoff wheel and used my Sears mitersaw for all the cuts. This is where welding experience is really handy. I went to a sheetmetal shop and got them to bend 18 ga galavanized steel for my sides and tailgates. I have one tail gate in the front and well as one in the back. The bed is 1/2 plywood and supported 2' OC. The tongue looks a bit long with both gates up, but makes it slightly easier to back up.
This way when I have it sitting idle, it uses less storage space than an 8 footer and most stuff I carrry will fit in the 6 ft box. On those days when I need sheets of drywall, plywood, long boards, etc, both gates go down and the load can be evenly distributed for decent tongue weight. The 12' boards sit on top with the gates up. The capacity is under 1000 lb or until the trailer wheels get to within 2" of the fenders. The rear coil springs used by Chrysler are not that big. This just fine considering that I can haul it around with my Fiero or any other 4cyl. car.
Total cost to me; about 400$. Value; about 1400$.
I gave it to my kid 700 miles away and built another using leaf springs. (add 100$ to the cost) The coil springs give a nicer ride - you don't know the traile is there on the highway. The leaf springs increase capacity and you know there's a trailer behind you. Now when she brings me lumber, I haul the finished stuff back to her and we both have a usable 'haul ' vehicle.
Pete 'the builder'
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