Trailer Frame that needs Medical Attention

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Trailer Frame that needs Medical Attention

Postby BTW » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:41 pm

A couple days ago one of my customers wanted me to install a pair of drive up ramps on a flatbed trailer he just bought. He also bought the ramps (I did not fabricate them).
When he pulled up and backed the trailer into the yard the first thing I noticed was the trailer was bent, I mean it is real badly bowed. I personally would be embarrassed to tow the trailer on a public road.
I did install the ramps the way he wanted them but, he did not say he wanted me to fix the bent trailer main frame. He did admit he paid too much for the trailer but, he needed one real bad to haul his Bobcat on.
Hmm, I would have passed on buying this trailer because it needs too much work plus, technically it's illegal to use on public roads because it's over width. Overall width is 9 feet and a few inches. As far as I know maximum, width is 102 inches unless they changed it without me knowing they did. Plus the axles does not have enough capacity to match the trailer.

To give you an idea on the severity of the trailer frame, the lunette eye (hitch) is only 16" off the ground after unhooking it from the truck so, that will make it 3" lower. We are talking only 13" off the ground, that is way too low. If the front half of the trailer was level to the tandem axles, the back of the trailer would be touching the ground or at least almost touching.

How I would fix the problem is, measure 11-1/2 feet from the front, that would put it at the equalizer hanger where the bend starts. Then I would pie cut from the top at 15 degrees +/- as needed to bring the frame up to above level by a few degrees. This frame is constructed out of 6" hot rolled channel so it does have some "meat" to work with. Then I would 'scab' on or some people call it "fish plate" I guess that sounds better than "scab" some 1/4" or 3/8" flat bar going at least 2 feet fore and aft beyond the pivot point of the pie cut on the outside and as much as I could fit on the inside and weld it between the channel flanges. I would also weld a 2" x 3/8" flat bar on the outside of the entire length of the trailer frame on the sides of the stake pockets for 2 reasons I would also add more of them. #1 it would give it more strength/resistance to bending again and #2 it would give plenty of options for tie downs. The term for this flat bar is "rub rail" most truck flatbeds have them installed and all flatbed semi trailers have them.

I am sure others would go about fixing the frame by another method.

Here's some pics of the trailer.

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108_1566.jpg (38.01 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
108_1563.jpg (39.97 KiB) Viewed 4292 times
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