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#1 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted October 07, 2011 - 08:34 PM

A couple of months ago, I had to take my forklift with me to pick up a small crawler.
The only trailer that I have that is strong enough to haul the forklift is my big gooseneck.
I didn't want to have to haul that big of a trailer just to carry the forklift so I borrowed a smaller trailer from a friend of mine.
Two weeks ago I had to haul the forklift out again and I had to barrow my friends trailer again.

Now this was starting to develop a pattern that I don't want to get into so I decided it is time to build another trailer so I don't have to keep borrowing one.


Last weekend I picked up this old rusty horse trailer and not knowing when I might want to haul the forklift again, I decided to brake off my current project and build another trailer.

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The first thing to do is to start removing the shell.

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Today I got it stripped down to the frame.

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Horse trailers are built to haul heavy loads but there strength is designed into the shell of the trailer and not so much in the frame.
With the shell removed, the trailer sags easily where the front round part attaches to main part of the frame.

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The main part of the frame isn't long enough to hold the forklift so the front part is going to have to be removed and re-built.
The main part of the trailer is set up on jack stands so I can cut the front part off.

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.... Posting updates on this isn't going take up much space so I'm going to put the updates all on this post instead of making a separate post each time. ....

#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted October 07, 2011 - 08:42 PM

Looks good Ray. I have one question... What does your forklift look like??
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#3 big red dog OFFLINE  

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Posted October 07, 2011 - 09:25 PM

hey where IS the forklift
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#4 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 07, 2011 - 10:00 PM

How big of a forklift? Those things are heavy!!! I bought a scrap one several years ago (I wanted the forks for my big tractor...). Wasn't very big, but weighed almost 10,000 pounds!

I have a short twin axle trailer that I got with my mini x - a 2 ton Bobcat. Looks like the trailer was home made, is short, just long enough for the excavator with the boom folded under. I already have a good trailer, so sold it off - but it was handy being a short little thing....

I would thing that you would need a low riding trailer or long ramps given the small wheels most forklifts have, otherwise you would ground out on the hump.
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#5 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted October 08, 2011 - 04:36 AM

Oh boy,another new build project from Ray.:yelclap::dancingbanana:
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#6 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted October 08, 2011 - 07:25 AM

Here is my forklift.
Like every thing else I have, this is a home made rig also.
It's built on an old Jeep chassis so it has larger wheels and 4-wheel drive.
I still wanted a low trailer to haul it so that's why I went with an old horse trailer.

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Edited by jdcrawler, October 08, 2011 - 07:31 AM.


#7 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted October 08, 2011 - 07:38 AM

Another project that I'll be following with great interest! Here in PA, we are allowed to build trailers for the road, however, the DOT makes it darn near impossible to do legally. The most difficult part of it is getting the DOT to issue a title for it...which is required before you can proceed with licensing. Then there's a cost prohibitive initial inspection...But I digress LOL. I'll keep an eye out for your updates Ray! Thanks again!
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#8 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2011 - 03:50 AM

Always wondered what you could do with an old horse trailer. Guess I'm about to find out. Git-er-dun, Ray!
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#9 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2011 - 04:19 AM

Can hardly wait for the progress photos.
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#10 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2011 - 07:00 AM

Good luck Ray, I think this will be fun to watch as well.

As Caseguy said, home made trailers exist here, but the process is a bit of a PITA. Last time I enquired, they sent me a 16 page book to fill out and attach pictures from every angle to. They no longer allow mobile home axels... Any on the road now are Grandfathered in. It is much easier to do in Ohio and then transfer it into PA, that's how most guys do it these days, but you gotta have someone who lives there to help you out with the paperwork.
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#11 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2011 - 07:22 AM

It's a lot easier to build home made trailers in Michigan.
They don't require a title or an inspection unless they are over a certain length ( I think its 16 feet, but I'm not sure ).

The down side of that is there are some trailers running around that look really unsafe.

#12 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2011 - 08:21 AM

Only real bad thing you can not go over 55 with a 2 axel trailer.
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#13 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2011 - 09:23 AM

Only real bad thing you can not go over 55 with a 2 axel trailer.


Thanks, that's good to know Wilbur! My FIL takes his trailer up there quite frequently and pulls his twin axle trailer. I'll just bet that he's unaware of that little detail!
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#14 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2011 - 05:12 PM

Once I get the front "round" part cut off and the wood floor taken out, this is what is left.
All of this angle iron framework is only 3/16 thick.

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I went down to the local steel supply and got two 8-1/2 foot long sections of 20-pound steel channel.
These are 10 inch wide with 3 inch high sides.
The wide part of the channel is 1/2 inch thick.
The sides are 5/8 inch thick at the bottom and 3/8 inch thick at the top.
They weigh about 170 pounds each.

I'm mounting them upside down and they are spaced the same width as the wheels on the forklift to carry the weight.
The finished trailer will have a wood deck over the whole thing.
This deck should end up setting about 18 inches off the ground.

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The channels are clamped tight against the side angle iron and cross pieces on the trailer.

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Both channels are welded along the top of the angle iron and I'm starting to fit the rear cross piece in place.
I have three 12 foot sections of the pallet racking left and I'm going to use them for the cross bracing and the tongue.
The pallet racking is 4 inch wide with 3 inch high sides and are 1/4 inch thick.

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Once all the welding is done from this position, the trailer will be flipped over and welded from the under side.
At that time, I'll also weld in gusset supports for the spring mounts.

Edited by jdcrawler, October 09, 2011 - 05:18 PM.

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#15 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 09, 2011 - 10:11 PM

Haven't had to find out about Tennessee yet, but Florida is a mixed bag when it comes to homemade trailers. Under 3,000 lbs trailer weight, it's just a tag and an assigned vin. Over 3k, you get a title, have to punch an assigned vin in THREE locations on the trailer, and have to have it inspected.

Any home made trailer, you have to provide paper trail for the parts - reciepts, old paperwork, etc. I've built 3-4 smaller trailers and didn't have much trouble getting them registered. But for a 3500 lb (14,000 pond rating) trailer, had to jump through a lot more hoops to get it legal.....
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