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Forum topic by Dabcan posted 07-03-2015 11:47 PM 1216 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dabcan

252 posts in 2137 days


07-03-2015 11:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: trailer transport wood car

Hey Everyone,

I’m in need of a way to bring more rough cut lumber and some sheet goods home on a regular basis. Likely once/month, so I don’t want to rent anything, but I also don’t want (or can afford) a truck as it wouldn’t be used enough. I can fit a lot of wood in my car but it makes a mess and it really sucks in the winter if it’s hanging out the back window. Sheet goods have to be pre cut which I don’t like.

I was thinking I would by a small 4×8’ trailer with a friend of mine and we could split the cost since we would rarely need it the same day (likely never). I’ll need to get a hitch on my car, but was wondering if anyone had any advice on what to look for in a trailer? Anything that is useful to have? I only have a small car so it would need to be a flat bed type trailer maybe with sides but nothing too heavy.

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?


27 replies so far

View nkawtg's profile

nkawtg

204 posts in 717 days


#1 posted 07-03-2015 11:57 PM

For just the occasional lumber run, Tractor Supply, Lowes, Home Depot, or Harbor Freight would be fine.
Shoot, depending on your car, getting a hitch installed might cost more than the trailer :-)

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#2 posted 07-04-2015 12:06 AM

I can’t imagine not having a truck… it must be brutal!!! :)

I don’t have a small trailer (I have a 20’ flatbed), but I know several people who have those small utility trailers like mentioned above, and they seem to be well suited for what you are looking for. HF sells one that folds up for storage, which will let you keep it in a garage when not in use, and you can get a 25% off coupon on their web site to get the price down around $200 (Coupon is good for Saturday, July 4th only though).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3695 posts in 1731 days


#3 posted 07-04-2015 12:11 AM

look around in all the classifieds in your area, craigslist and what ever the hell you have. Utility trailers are a dime a dozen. Your trying to make this harder than it truly is1

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2156 days


#4 posted 07-04-2015 12:27 AM

Lots of those single axle trailers on CL well worth the money. Just beware of loading too much weight behind the axle as they will want to fishtail and can pull a small car all over the road.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Pezking7p's profile

Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1117 days


#5 posted 07-04-2015 12:32 AM

5×8 holds sheet goods without damaging the edges. I wish I had a 10’ trailer because a LOT of rough cut lumber in my area is cut to 10’ lengths and hanging it out the back of my trailer is impossible because it has a very tall back gate.

Anyway overall mine works excellent. I was in the exact same boat as you and I bought mine at southern states (kind of like tractor supply) for $500. It’s very nice for the price. Extremely lightweight. I use it constantly. Invest in some decent straps, too.

-- -Dan

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

844 posts in 2441 days


#6 posted 07-04-2015 01:50 AM

I have a 5×10 single axle trailer. It has the fold up ramp gate on it. I’ve hauled 12 and 16 foot stock on it buy letting it rest on top of gate. For the 16 ft stuff, I first put a couple of 2×6x12 on trailer to support the longer 1x and molding. Secured load and red flag on end of longest piece.

View rick1955's profile

rick1955

258 posts in 897 days


#7 posted 07-04-2015 02:26 AM

Start with trailer capacity of your car. Uhaul is good with hitches and will install.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2697 days


#8 posted 07-04-2015 02:41 AM

You might find a used boat trailer you could attach a few boards to to make a trailer. Stay away from any that have been in salt water. You can thank me later. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#9 posted 07-04-2015 11:05 AM

I’ll have to chime in here.

I’m not an expert on hauling but I’ve done a bunch of it in my life. I have a 3/4 ton Diesel truck that will pull anything you put behind it. On my flat bed trailer I’ve pulled vehicles, tractors, and loads of gravel. I’ve pulled 4 tons of hay and livestock and pallets of fence posts. I’ve had trailers come off the hitch, tires roll off, tires blow up. I’ve had the awful experience of not being able to stop because I underestimated the distance (no brakes on trailer). I’ve had a truck catch on fire pulling a heavy load because the transmission overheated (my truck but not me driving – they forgot to take it out of overdrive).

In my younger years when I was too dumb to be scared, I pulled a small travel trailer with a Ford Pinto.

IMO FWD cars are not good vehicles for pulling trailers with any kind of weight on them.

Furthermore, depending on the kind of car do you have I think there will definitely be safety issues. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it, I’m just offering some things to consider.

IMO the issues in order of importance are:

1. Braking capacity. This is directly related to the weight of the load.
2. Power related. Are you going to damage your transmission and/or engine by overheating?
3. Traction. A lot of weight on the rear reduces traction on a FWD.
4. Suspension. On a small car the struts are not designed for loads.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View dhazelton's profile (online now)

dhazelton

2325 posts in 1762 days


#10 posted 07-04-2015 12:14 PM

If you buy a 4×8 or 5×8 just take a tape measure along and make sure the ramp or side rails don’t eat any of that up. The Harbor Freight foldable 4×8 is fine, heavy steel, grade 8 bolts and come with 12 inch tires and tilts too and the coupon is usually for $279 or $299 depending on the circular. You won’t get a spare tire with that or and tie downs. Also the lights will suck and I’d replace them with an LED light kit. I see a lot of trailers on Craigslist, but most of them look cobbed together and need new tires or lights anyway, so I’d buy new.

View Dabcan's profile

Dabcan

252 posts in 2137 days


#11 posted 07-04-2015 01:16 PM

Thanks for all the advice! My car has a towing capacity of 1500lbs. so it should be fine with a small trailer. I’m in Canada so no Harbour Freight. Decent looking used trailers seem to go for around $600 but I’ve seen a few new ones that are not a lot more, so I might save myself some potential hassle and just buy new. I’m splitting the cost with a friend anyways.

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2697 days


#12 posted 07-04-2015 05:06 PM



Thanks for all the advice! My car has a towing capacity of 1500lbs. so it should be fine with a small trailer. I m in Canada so no Harbour Freight. Decent looking used trailers seem to go for around $600 but I ve seen a few new ones that are not a lot more, so I might save myself some potential hassle and just buy new. I m splitting the cost with a friend anyways.

- Dabcan

Standard or automatic?

Clutch or tranny problems could be escalated if you over do it.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)

bondogaposis

4035 posts in 1817 days


#13 posted 07-04-2015 05:12 PM

I’d go w/ at least a 10’ trailer.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2551 days


#14 posted 07-04-2015 06:01 PM

A lot of the newer cars are unibody, with no frame to put the hitch on. Be sure that the person
installing the hitch knows what they are doing. U Haul has a good record. Good luck with your
trailer adventure. Be sure to be very careful until you are used to pulling the trailer, rwe 2156 has
some good advice there.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 947 days


#15 posted 07-04-2015 08:37 PM

I’ll have to chime in here.

I’m not an expert on hauling but I’ve done a bunch of it in my life. I have a 3/4 ton Diesel truck that will pull anything you put behind it. On my flat bed trailer I’ve pulled vehicles, tractors, and loads of gravel. I’ve pulled 4 tons of hay and livestock and pallets of fence posts. I’ve had trailers come off the hitch, tires roll off, tires blow up. I’ve had the awful experience of not being able to stop because I underestimated the distance (no brakes on trailer). I’ve had a truck catch on fire pulling a heavy load because the transmission overheated (my truck but not me driving – they forgot to take it out of OD)

In my younger years when I was too dumb to be scared, I pulled a small travel trailer with a Ford Pinto.

Towing capacity and bumper weight are completely different. You’ve seen the commercials of a pickup pulling a train? Towing weight is just the maximum weight the vehicle can pull and it’s related to engine, transmission, and the weight of the car.

You put even 500 pounds on a trailer and if its a single axle 50 -60% of the weight is forward of the axle.
When you weigh down the rear, you take weight off the front of the car. For this reason FWD cars are not good vehicles for pulling trailers on hitch with any kind of weight on them.

Just a caution because a lot of guys (even with PU trucks) don’t know how to properly load or drive with a trailer.

I am cautioning you to be careful because depending on the kind of car do you have I think there will definitely be safety issues. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it, I’m just offering some things to consider. As far as Canada in the snow, well you’ll have to decide on that.

IMO the issues in order of importance are:

1. Braking capacity. This is directly related to the weight of the load.
2. Power related. Are you going to damage your transmission and/or engine by overheating?
3. Traction. A lot of weight on the rear reduces traction on a FWD.
4. Suspension. On a small car the struts are not designed for loads.

Don’t mean to be long winded but you should think hard about it.

Now I’ve said all this and I don’t know if you’re driving a Honda Civic or a 69 Ford LTD ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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