Utility trailer vs flat bed? Can I cut off the sides?

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Utility trailer vs flat bed? Can I cut off the sides?

Postby siena » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:00 am

Can I cut off the sides of a utility trailer like this one :Image to make it a flatbed to start with? Also, what am I looking for when I look at used trailers? Thank you!
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Re: Utility trailer vs flat bed? Can I cut off the sides?

Postby siena » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:01 am

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Re: Utility trailer vs flat bed? Can I cut off the sides?

Postby Wellcraft290 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:04 am

I would personally be a bit hesitant to just cut the sides off. They use angle iron and I am not sure how much support the sides gives the trailer from twisting. I have the same trailer that I use for a tractor and ATV transport.

I am sure if you reinforced the main part it would work but for the money I don't think it would be worth it.

I am building a trailer frame myself. bought a HF welder the new 125 titanium model and done a bunch of projects to learn. quite easy to do and lots of fun.
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Re: Utility trailer vs flat bed? Can I cut off the sides?

Postby Sparksalot » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:31 am

Are you looking to make that a chassis to build a cabin upon? The cabin can at times, and construction process, become more of a structural element that the frame.
Done? Surely you jest. A teardrop is never "done".

The Compass Rose build thread: viewtopic.php?t=23213

Inspiration: http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/Trailer%20for%20Two.htm

It's got a cop motor, a 5.3 LS plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. ~ Elwood Blues
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Re: Utility trailer vs flat bed? Can I cut off the sides?

Postby Squigie » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:48 am

If you intend to 'build a box on a frame', it may be a bit weak.
But if you intend to build a 'monocoque' / 'stressed torsion unit' that people or cargo can be inserted into, it would probably be fine.

It all comes down to design.
There are a lot of good designs around here. Tony Latham's are good examples of putting the strength in 'the box', and what I intend to do.

The frame that I have drawn up for my first build - as yet unnamed, but basically 'Bare Bones and Rough Roads' - would never hold up to much use as a utility trailer, let alone a flat bed. But I intend for the "box" to be a stressed skin design, with elements to increase strength and prevent racking/twisting moments.
The box is the strength.
The frame does offer some strength, but is mostly just the support, and a place to bolt the axle, jacks, and ancillary equipment.

Put another way...
You can build (or buy) a frame and a box; and the trailer and box need their own strength, independently.
But if you build them to be symbiotic, the frame doesn't need anywhere near as much strength.

Think of it like building an airplane fuselage, and then slapping some landing gear on it. The plane doesn't need the landing gear for strength. But the landing gear does need the plane.

I think that makes sense. But my brain isn't running on all cylinders this morning.
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Re: Utility trailer vs flat bed? Can I cut off the sides?

Postby tony.latham » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:16 pm

The original teardrops of decades ago were built on flimsy frames.

Cut them off.

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