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Trucks, Trailers and Hauling for Shows

A "Christmas" trailer story...

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Old 12-03-2012, 03:54:32 PM
Tom Schaech Tom Schaech is offline
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Default A "Christmas" trailer story...


While waiting to report for duty at the fire station this evening, I wanted to share a story of patience and perseverance with you.

I've been fortunate in that a close friend of mine has graciously allowed me the use of his utility trailer over the last two years for various pickups and deliveries of lawn/garden and ag equipment in service to my customers. Being the original SMALL business (yes, I DID BUILD IT!!), I was making enough money to help get my son through college, but not enough extra to purchase the size trailer that I need to operate. Anyway, I continued to look for "deals" and old trailers that may have needed rehab of could be reconfigured for my operation.

I located an old horse trailer that looked like a good candidate for rehab, and the price was right (FREE), so a buddy and I went to get it from the farmer who wanted it gone. After scrapping the unneeded sheet metal, the base frame was ripe for modification. All I needed was some two inch angle and some time. However, this was only to be the start of a unique journey to my ultimate trailer!

In discussion with an old friend, he told me to call another friend who had recently donated a good quantity of angle steel to my old volunteer fire company. After contacting this fellow, he said that in the mid 80's, his father, an engineer, had constructed a trailer "frame" out of "surplus" steel he has acquired from God knows where (he was the original scrounge). He asked, "Did I want it? It needs to go...!" Well, thinking this through, I felt that it was worth the price of fuel to drive back to Maryland and look at this "frame"; at least I could probably use the steel to fabricate my "dream trailer" with the horse "buggy" frame I already had.

Well, after a few weeks of schedule conflicts we got together at his old homestead and got a glimpse of this "frame". all I could think of---almost 14 feet long and seven foot wide, built like a tank and designed to perfection with the ability to tilt from an exacting position of the axle! Even though this was sitting in a wooded lot for many years, it only suffered from surface rust. Sporting a mobile home axle and matching flat tires, I saw all sorts of possibilities. So, I decided to take ownership of this diamond in the rough and haul it the 180 miles back home on a loaner equipment trailer (you should have seen how we loaded that---right out of Sanford and Son!)

Got it home and began the restoration process. Axle---had to go---odd size mobile home tires and frozen left bearing made this a questionable use. However, scrounging again led me to an axle out of a disabled trailer that exactly fit into this one (again, FREE!). I replaced the bearings and added new wheels/tires from Tractor Supply. That issue solved, I visited a local steel distributor and purchased enough two inch angle to add a rail to three sides at twelve inches high (allowing me to practice my rudimentary welding skills), and reconfigure the coupler in front to a 2 inch standard. Added an LED submersible light kit (liked that as the rear lights are larger and more durable than conventional), wired, and primed/painted it black.

As of today, I'm eagerly waiting to return home on Wednesday to deck it and install "D" rings for equipment securing during transport. Last to install--a latch for the tilt option, a good tongue jack, and a winch to load those dratted non-runners that always seem to appear in the Spring.

Pics to follow when I get home and can load cash outlay of about $450...pretty cheap when you consider the cost of even a used trailer of this size...nearly $2500.

Now, hopefully business will be good again this Spring as to recoup my investment....

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Old 12-03-2012, 04:13:38 PM
HBurk HBurk is offline
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Default Re: A "Christmas" trailer story......

Now all you have to do is put new tires on your buddies trailer, check the bearings, return his trailer, and take him and his wife out to eat for his generosity.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:48:43 PM
Tom Schaech Tom Schaech is offline
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Talking Re: A "Christmas" trailer story...

Actually, I replaced the lights, harness, and bearings on his trailer earlier this year, in addition to fixing his tiller, 4 wheeler, skid steer, and other things. He says we're even.....

Last edited by Tom Schaech; 12-03-2012 at 07:49:02 PM. Reason: spelling
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