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Thread: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

  1. #1
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    Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Has anyone mounted a crane on their welding trailer? I've got a Venturo 6'/10'/14' 2200lbs capacity crane with power rotation. I was going to put it on my flatbed but that truck is currently down and I'm building a trailer for mobile welding. Really just going after general repair and such. I get mostly equipment repairs and want to keep it away from the shop if I can help it. I just bought a Bobcat 225 and serviced it. Now it's time for a trailer build.

    I have a stripped frame with axle from a '76 Wilderness 5th wheel. It has a single 5k axle. What I like about it is it has a 4" channel frame and the two leg landing gear. I'm wondering if I mount the crane up front on a pedestal built into the landing gear bulkhead if the landing gear would be strong enough to serve as an outrigger. The manual only calls for a drop down style support. It's not really an actual outrigger I guess. My other worry is tongue weight. I would like to have the welder behind the landing gear as well with the control panel on the driver's side. The battery(s) and tanks on the front side of the bulkhead. I will build this trailer as a bumper pull. I have two bed side boxes and a couple trailer boxes for storage. I need space on the trailer to transport bulk items and materials. I would also like to incorporate a material rack of sorts but I don't like the possibility of interference with the cranes full range of motion. It will be a balancing act in need of a good floor plan. I need to be able to pull this trailer with an suv if I have to. Should be doable.

    Any pics out there of a similar build?

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    IMHO,, the crane, welder, trailer and a few tools are over the rating of the axle,,

    You need two 5K axles,, as a minimum,, then,, Hmmmmmmmmm,, it is too heavy for the SUV to pull it,,

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    A crane on a trailer is not worthless, but nearly so. You need more ballast. A 4” channel frame and single axle spell disaster with a crane on it. To utilize that crane fully you would need over a ton of available payload, that is after tool boxes, welder and leads. That puts the truck you are looking for clearly in the f500 and up arena. Then there is the training and test compliance docs that you will likely need if you ever have a problem on a job site. Oh and at least double your liability policy rates as well. Cranes are cool, but are a super huge pain to use legitimately.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    A crane on a trailer is not worthless, but nearly so. You need more ballast. A 4” channel frame and single axle spell disaster with a crane on it. To utilize that crane fully you would need over a ton of available payload, that is after tool boxes, welder and leads. That puts the truck you are looking for clearly in the f500 and up arena. Then there is the training and test compliance docs that you will likely need if you ever have a problem on a job site. Oh and at least double your liability policy rates as well. Cranes are cool, but are a super huge pain to use legitimately.
    Where I'm at a service crane being used for equipment repair is mostly ignored under a certain capacity,(2500# IIRC) but use that same crane for construction work and that's a whole new can of worms. Mostly it depends on the jobsite. I had a certified crane/boom truck so we never really used service cranes on jobsites. It will add to to the liability insurance costs one way or another. Certified operators are a requirement too.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    A stripped travel trailer frame is very weak because the living area box contributes a lot of stiffness.
    Just so you know.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Some food for thought for sure.

    First, let's consider that my qualifications and training are up to par. I have received formal training in overhead cranes, heavy wreckers, and rigging. Ive hauled heavy steel with B trains and sleds. Operated overhead cranes, mobiles and wreckers. A 2200lbs max cap service crane is a tinker toy for me. However I always respect equipment and use safe working practices. I will also properly balance the load out on this trailer. It will not be overloaded. My SUV can tow a max of 6000lbs. The welder is 600+/-, crane is 545, tool boxes are aluminum, I estimate no more than 200lbs in tools as I like to pick light. Then the oxy and fuel tanks. Max loaded should be around 2k. Trailer will be about 5x8-10. I think. So let's say 3k tare weight on a 5k axle. That leaves me plenty for material or whatever. As for being heavy enough for the crane, that won't be a problem. The crane sub frame will be built according to specs in the manual. No ballast is required when the proper rigging is deployed. Which in this case, the manual calls for a drop leg on the outboard side of the crane. No extended outrigger required. I'm trying to figure if the landing gear leg is up to snuff. The trailer is going to be cut down for the channel, axle, and landing gear. A new trailer will be built for the purpose. I would have elaborated in my first post but I didnt realize this forum was so technically qualified.

    Im hoping to make this a build thread if I can get my pics up. And if I have the time to keep it up. I've always wanted to share a build. I've been planning a mobile setup for years now. My truck is out of service needing a head gasket and cab swap. So a trailer is my best option. I have been very sick for about 3 years and am behind on everything. Trying to get back going now that I'm "on the mend" so to say.
    Last edited by liberty_metal_worx; 04-16-2021 at 10:11 AM.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    I work with several companies that have trailer mounted log grapples. The crane is usually mounted up front of the bed and has pedestal base with extendable outriggers. Many are 5 th wheel mount. Every one I've seen has been dual axle.


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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Those are very cool. The purpose of the tandem axle is for hauling capacity. The axles are not relied upon for crane capacity as the suspension and air filled tires can cause a stability issue. My trailer having a single axle is a non issue.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    I would be more concerned about keeping the trailer in place. A tandem axle with the brakes set will be much more stabile than a single axle in that aspect.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    How do you set electric brakes?

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Quote Originally Posted by liberty_metal_worx View Post
    How do you set electric brakes?
    One of those breakaway couplers would do it. Otherwise creative use of a rubber band would work on most truck mounted brake controllers.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    It was sort of a rhetorical question. It is not common practice to"set" electric brakes. We use wheel chocks.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    I wouldn't completely trust wheel chocks either. Even on the smaller bucket trucks using a Mico lock to set the front brakes was common. Adding a set of trailer tounge jacks opposite the " outriggers" would go a long ways.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    I don't really plan to use wheel chocks except when on an incline. The landing gear should serve that purpose. Powering the electric brakes for the duration of a job will eat up my juice for the crane. I plan to weld on swivel receivers for the several pin on screw jacks I have laying around. This will have the trailer supported on 4 corners if I need it. In all reality it would be rare to use the crane at full capacity as it will only lift 2200lbs at 2 1/2 feet from the swivel center. It's real world working range is around 750-1000 lbs. At 14' boom length plus the base height it should make easier work of installing my signs.

    Sent from my moto e6 using Tapatalk

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Well I wouldn’t do it on a trailer without extendable outriggers on all four corners I really think you are setting yourself up for a surprise when you least expect it to much flex not enough counterweight and pivoting on one axle with single tires

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  23. #16
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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    I would consider one on my welding trailer but would want a good set of outriggers as part of the package. My trailer weighs around 6,000 lbs with most of that forward of the axles, so I'd locate a crane on the back end of the trailer.

    I'd want to raise the trailer slightly so that the outriggers were carrying the load and not the axles.
    Last edited by scsmith42; 04-17-2021 at 02:15 PM.
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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Quote Originally Posted by scsmith42 View Post
    I would consider one on my welding trailer but would want a good set of outriggers as part of the package. My trailer weighs around 6,000 lbs with most of that forward of the axles, so I'd locate a crane on the back end of the trailer.

    I'd want to raise the trailer slightly so that the outriggers were carrying the load and not the axles.
    Do you have a pic of your trailer?

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  26. #18
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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Well, it looks like you’ve done it all, and don’t need any advice from guys that are currently licensed, bonded, and insured to do it.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    Well, it looks like youíve done it all, and donít need any advice from guys that are currently licensed, bonded, and insured to do it.
    What makes you think I'm not? Are you? And how does that legitimize anyone? I have seen countless contractors that are licensed, bonded and insured that are completely worthless. I KNOW men who do side work and are world class welders. I'm neither worthless or a world class welder. However I do have a business license and am insured.

    You go ahead and tell me your professional qualifications too so I can indirectly call you a know-it-all too.

    I enjoy and appreciate constructive criticism. We don't all have to agree and that's cool. You don't have to like what I do. Just like you don't have to post your pointless snarky little comment. Bring something to the table.

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  29. #20
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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Quote Originally Posted by liberty_metal_worx View Post
    Do you have a pic of your trailer?

    Sent from my moto e6 using Tapatalk
    It's nothing fancy; just something that I use around the farm.

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    I've added air and 120V AC cord reels to the cabinet after the photo was taken. The torch setup is oxy-propane.

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    The trailer is setup with a Miller Trailblazer Pro 350D, a suitcase MIG, carbon Arc, Oxy-propane, 60 gallon air compressor, Spectrum 2050 plasma torch, 200' of torch leads, 100' of gas and remote wire for the Suitcase MIG, C02, Tri-mix, and the usual grinders, clamps, etc. The Jobox holds ancillary equipment such as mag drill, sawzall, porta-band, metal cutting circular saw, etc. I'm planning to mount a drill press to the deck and also lower the deck above the axles to allow for a better working height. The back section needs to stay higher so as to not drag the ground.

    Total on-board fuel is 71 gallons so the generator portion of the Trailblazer (12KW) can run continuously for several days at a time.

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  31. #21
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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Okay I had a tandem axle welding trailer out of necessity because of cash flow but I will tell you a few things I learned the hard way
    1. Your going to overload the trailer your gonna throw a little bit more stuff on all the time and your gonna have bits and pieces and before long your overloaded .
    2. Your gonna run out of space before you add a crane don’t know how your gonna power it but batteries and cables all add up in weight and you have to carry rigging ?
    3. Outriggers sticking out ,walking around them bumping into them leads hoses etc getting hung up on them ?
    4. Your correct everybody doesn’t do things the same but having two outriggers and using the trailer jack for the third one doe trailer jacks are pretty flimsy and wobbly so I wouldn’t lift anything off the front half of that platform
    5.Sometimes things sound like they might really be a good idea but by time you get them to work correctly it is very time consuming save the hoist till you have enough cash to build a bigger more rigid rig mount it a go for it we all started out small and moved up just don’t get yourself or your equipment hurt or damaged

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Scsmith42
    Really? Nothing fancy? That is epic! Love it. Thanks for sharing. The reel cabinet is sweet.

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  34. #23
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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Quote Originally Posted by Leogl View Post
    Okay I had a tandem axle welding trailer out of necessity because of cash flow but I will tell you a few things I learned the hard way
    1. Your going to overload the trailer your gonna throw a little bit more stuff on all the time and your gonna have bits and pieces and before long your overloaded .
    2. Your gonna run out of space before you add a crane donít know how your gonna power it but batteries and cables all add up in weight and you have to carry rigging ?
    3. Outriggers sticking out ,walking around them bumping into them leads hoses etc getting hung up on them ?
    4. Your correct everybody doesnít do things the same but having two outriggers and using the trailer jack for the third one doe trailer jacks are pretty flimsy and wobbly so I wouldnít lift anything off the front half of that platform
    5.Sometimes things sound like they might really be a good idea but by time you get them to work correctly it is very time consuming save the hoist till you have enough cash to build a bigger more rigid rig mount it a go for it we all started out small and moved up just donít get yourself or your equipment hurt or damaged
    Some very good points indeed. Thank you.

    1. I am a load watching "nazi". I am a huge stickler on my weights. I even scaled my dad's motorcycle trailer when I hauled a John Deere AMT 626 with it. Yeah I'm a nerd like that. I will keep not of my tongue weight and axle weight.

    2. There are basically two concrete elements in my concept. The welder and the crane. Everything else will be placed according to where it fits. I am trying to keep it to two 12"x60" aluminum bedside boxes, a Delta Packer 45 which is a chest type box made of lightweight plastic, and a smaller trailer tongue type box. I just need to pack the basics. 95% of my work will be performed with tools I can pack in these boxes. I'm a simple man. As far as rigging goes, I don't need much for a ton capacity crane. Three different length loop slings, and a couple lengths of light and heavy chain. I already have a toolbox with this stuff in it including the pendent. 1 deep cycle battery and about 4' of cable.

    3. Some things are better to have than not. I cant fix a broken tractor implement or backhoe outrigger as easily without the crane. I cannot lift those big hydraulic cylinders by myself safely. I actually lose work because I need it to come to me. So having the crane is how I can get some of the work.

    4. I am currently trying to determine the capacity of the landing gear. These are not your typical tongue style jacks. I'm guessing they are 1500 or 2000 cap each. I should know soon. I will most likely make a removable outrigger to slide in at the crane's position.

    5. Thank you for having a general concern for other's safety. Some may think I am conceited or a snarky know it all. That may be the Marine in me a bit but it's mostly the veil of the internet. Most my working life has involved heavy cranes in some manner. So I have an ingrained safety man's mentality in me. If I do throw in the towel it will be because I tried like hell or got around to fixing my truck. But then again I don't want all this crap on my truck, so a trailer it is.

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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane





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  37. #25
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    Re: Mobile Welding Trailer w/crane

    Quote Originally Posted by liberty_metal_worx View Post
    What makes you think I'm not? Are you? And how does that legitimize anyone? I have seen countless contractors that are licensed, bonded and insured that are completely worthless. I KNOW men who do side work and are world class welders. I'm neither worthless or a world class welder. However I do have a business license and am insured.

    You go ahead and tell me your professional qualifications too so I can indirectly call you a know-it-all too.

    I enjoy and appreciate constructive criticism. We don't all have to agree and that's cool. You don't have to like what I do. Just like you don't have to post your pointless snarky little comment. Bring something to the table.

    Sent from my moto e6 using Tapatalk
    I have been working with heavy equipment and welding for over 30 years. I can tell you definitively that your plan sucks. Any trailer less than 10k is absolutely worthless for any professional purpose in the construction industry (no I am not talking about framers generators or cement mixers, I am talking about hauling stuff). You can make excuses all you want for it, but in the end you are going to do whatever you want to do. A little 4” TT frame is probably worthy of hauling a motorcycle or two, but will not tolerate having a crane mounted to it. At the very least your tongue weight is going to be a bugger to get anywhere near correct with no load or fully loaded. I can watch the bowing of doubled 6” channel on my 10k trailer bow when loading, you 4” won’t tolerate walking on it without deflection. Whatever you do, when it fails, just hope you are not on a commercial jobsite, because OSHA will be called, and their fines are huge.

    Really though, go ahead and do what you want to do, we need more material in the funny section as well as the welding fails section.

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