Trailer dovetail questions
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    68

    Trailer dovetail questions

    I was talking to a friend today and he mentioned wanting a 4' dovetail added to his gooseneck trailer. Now my question is how much drop is that going to have? Is there a standard drop for a 2' or a 4' dovetail? Appreciate your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    3,574

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    I think that it's going to be dependent on how tall the deck is, and how much ground clearance is desired one then tail is done.
    There are no problems. There are only solutions. It's your duty to determine the right one.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pine City mn.
    Posts
    2,217

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    I doubt you could come up with any type of "standard". You can do most anything you want. Loading angle should be considered, because too steep can make it hard to load or you may have trouble bottoming out on the bend depending on what is hauled. Also if they want fold over ramps with legs that make it flat for hauling hay and such you will want to make sure that the leg length and drop match so the legs both are flat when folded and work as legs when down. On a 4' beaver I think anything over about 6" or so will cause bottoming when loading cars. Too steep and traction can be an issue.

    Jon
    Yeah, I know, but it'll be ok!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hamilton Ontario Canada
    Posts
    225

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    I agree there is no standard. You need to take in to consideration what welderj brought up when doing the dovetail on any trailer too low and you will drag too steep and traction problems as well as car frames bottoming out. (had that once on a Olds with flat tires)
    Just my 2 cents worth!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    73

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    What kind of gooseneck? I'm assuming it's a flatbed and not a utility trailer. I've built several trailers and I never used a standard. The way I figured the drop was to combine the length of the dovetail and the ramps when folded out. Then, I measured from the top of the deck to ground level with the calculated length. Under normal terrain, the ramps should be in a straight line with the gooseneck. Just a thought.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    68

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    Its a car hauler with the deck tween the tires. He was saying he had to back the truck onto ramps to get a better angle on the trailer ramps(removable).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    152

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    Not a lot of vertical space between the ground and the deck of "deck between the wheels" for much of a beaver tail.
    The load's sound light like a low rider truck…. longer ramps?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pine City mn.
    Posts
    2,217

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    Make another set of ramps with legs on one end about 6" or so high and maybe 3 or 4' long so you can use the existing ramps for what they work for and when loading cars use the extra set to lengthen them.

    Jon
    Yeah, I know, but it'll be ok!

    Lincoln Square wave 255
    Miller Vintage mig
    30a spoolgun
    Thermal Dynamics Pacmaster 100xl plasma
    Smith mc torch
    Ellis 1600 band saw

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    4,600

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    I've done one on a car trailer. I don't think I have any pics. IIRC, the tail started shortly after the fenders, was only about 2' long and dropped 4-6". Prolly closer to 6" than 4". Underside was cut a bit to help with ground clearance.
    My name's not Jim....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    73

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    Several of those trailers have a 2ft dovetail. Believe it's about a 6" drop. Makes a huge difference. If it has an adjustable gooseneck, you could gain a better angle that way too.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    68

    Re: Trailer dovetail questions

    Just got back in town, I'll see the fella in the morning and tell 'em what yall said.

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