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Thread: Utility Trailer Repair

  1. #1
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    Utility Trailer Repair

    I fixed several rust through holes on a utility trailer for a friend and customer. The problem is that the the calcium chloride from the dirt road that he lives on holds moisture, which causes a lot of corrosion. Although I like the rigidity of tubing, I prefer open sections for trailers to allow all sides to be painted. My friend is trying to get a few more years of life from the trailer.

    Picture 1 shows the external rust on the frame.
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    Picture 2 shows one of the seven hole that I repaired.
    Name:  2. One hole in trailer.jpg
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    Picture 3 shows the bad metal cut out.
    Name:  3. Bad metal cut out.jpg
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    Picture 4 shows three tubes welded in.
    Name:  4. New tubing welded in.jpg
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    Picture 5 shows the back view of the three new tube welded in.
    Name:  5. Back view of new tubing.jpg
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    Last edited by Don52; 08-20-2020 at 10:58 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Picture 6 shows the repair primed
    Name:  6. Primed.jpg
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    Picture 7 shows the tongue of the trailer with the new jack, the straightened spare tire holder, the side boards replaced and painted.
    Name:  7. Tongue painted.jpg
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    Picture 8 shows the trailer all done.
    Name:  8. All done.jpg
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    I have mixed feelings about this repair. Although I repaired the seven holes that were requested, the metal of the tubing is thinned out from internal rust everywhere.

    What are your thoughts?

    -Don
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  3. #3
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Id say you did the best with what you had to work with. That repair and the paint will probably extend the lift of the trailer more than you think. As long as its not overloaded or abused. Just keep checking it for new problem areas.
    Lincolin Power Wave 450, Lincoln Powermig 255, Lincoln Pro Mig 140, Lincoln Squarewave Tig 275, Miller Big 40 G(with Hobart Hefty suitcase), Thermal Arc 95S and Esab PCM875 in an already full machine shop.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Looks like a good repair overall. Not much else to do. My trailer is mostly heavy angle iron which solves that corrosion problem. We don’t have much snow/ice anyway.

    I’m sure you gained him several years use!
    Burt
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  6. #5
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Your repair looks good not much else you can do... I run into that a lot of semi-structural railings and stuff in warehouse settings... it comes down to just saying to yourself "Where do I stop!!!" because although it really needs more TLC everywhere!! the customers usually don't want to pay for it and figure this fix will work for now

  7. #6
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Nice job, I've done similar.
    I take big channel locks and do a, squeeze test on tube. Same as checking exhaust systems.
    When there's one there's usually more and it will continue. Especially in winter climates.
    Sadly these cheap trailers use the thinnest materials in them.
    Most snowmobile steel trailers are throw aways.


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  8. #7
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Yep, you did good.
    I would have done the same, just weld it up and send it out.
    ....rust sucks...
    Dave J.

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  9. #8
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Thanks to everyone that commented.
    -Don
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  10. #9
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Good repair. Just a thought, could drill small holes in the tube for the condensation to drain and spraying cavity wax inside could be value added.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Nice work, and I'm glad to see that someone is fixing these old rusty utility trailers because I sure ain't doing them any more, I hope.
    ***********************

    CR

  12. #11
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    WTF? Is this opposite day? I fully expected for him to be taken down and beat so bad he would leave. Where did all the engineers and experts go?
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  14. #12
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by geezer View Post
    Good repair. Just a thought, could drill small holes in the tube for the condensation to drain and spraying cavity wax inside could be value added.
    Personally, I've seen the small holes plug up too easily, I'd drill some decent sized ones.
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

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  16. #13
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by Tbones View Post
    WTF? Is this opposite day? I fully expected for him to be taken down and beat so bad he would leave. Where did all the engineers and experts go?
    We only pull out the "nuns and puppies being killed" for every-other thread
    Dave J.

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  18. #14
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Looks good Don.

    don't worry about it...
    just think,, next year you will get paid again

    to fix the other side...
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  19. #15
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by CrookedRoads View Post
    Nice work, and I'm glad to see that someone is fixing these old rusty utility trailers because I sure ain't doing them any more, I hope.
    The problem with landscape trailer repair is you can't afford to put too much time into repair when a new trailer like this one only cost $1600.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tbones View Post
    WTF? Is this opposite day? I fully expected for him to be taken down and beat so bad he would leave. Where did all the engineers and experts go?
    LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by geezer View Post
    Good repair. Just a thought, could drill small holes in the tube for the condensation to drain and spraying cavity wax inside could be value added.
    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Personally, I've seen the small holes plug up too easily, I'd drill some decent sized ones.
    The vertical tubes are open on the bottom, so they are well drained. The horizontal tubes had holes in the side for wiring, so I added drain holes on the bottom.

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Looks good Don.
    don't worry about it... just think,, next year you will get paid again to fix the other side...
    Its funny, but I did work on this trailer five years ago to repair the ramp. Here is a link to the ramp repair project:

    https://forum.millerwelds.com/forum/...er-ramp-repair

    -Don
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  21. #16
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    That pig is going to come apart in front of a van loaded with nuns & puppies!

    Seriously, I wonder if your efforts were worth it. The portion you didn't replace is rusted near as bad as the other.

    Several years ago my son agreed to patch up a single axle dump trailer. Most of the trailer was replaced in the end. Wasn't much to save.

    Those designs I guess we aren't consulted for. I prefer trailers built from flat steel. Steel decking provides all the horizontal strength needed. If flat steel is placed on edge, there is the option of hosing the salt away. Square tube protects chloride, or salt deposits.

    Summer, all government agencies use calcium chloride for dust control.
    Winter, they once used rock salt to melt snow. Now they use brine every night 9 months to prevent any stray snow from sticking.
    Unless you live in inland Georgia, rust is a fact of life.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  22. #17
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    Re: Utility Trailer Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Seriously, I wonder if your efforts were worth it. .
    I agree. I believe that my customer would have been better off putting the repair cost towards a new trailer.

    -Don
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
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