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Thread: trailer build question

  1. #1
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    trailer build question

    I am building a 6 x 10-foot trailer to carry a 600-gallon water tank plus hoses and pump. It will have dual axles and at least one of them will be braking if not both.

    Can anyone give me advice on axle location and Tongue length? I was thinking about a 4-foot tongue

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    Re: trailer build question

    I would build as flat trailer so use for things. I like tractor trailers as find so many uses including moving machinery and steel

    Mg self I like long tongues it give smooth ride and easy to backup.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Turrisi View Post
    I am building a 6 x 10-foot trailer to carry a 600-gallon water tank plus hoses and pump. It will have dual axles and at least one of them will be braking if not both.

    Can anyone give me advice on axle location and Tongue length? I was thinking about a 4-foot tongue

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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    I would build as flat trailer so use for things. I like tractor trailers as find so many uses including moving machinery and steel

    Mg self I like long tongues it give smooth ride and easy to backup.

    Dave
    I already have a car hauling trailer along with a 5 by 10 flat trailer The water trailer is going to be made for water hauling only as I have no interest loading and unloading a 5 foot wide 7 foot long metal tank

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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Turrisi View Post
    I am building a 6 x 10-foot trailer to carry a 600-gallon water tank plus hoses and pump. It will have dual axles and at least one of them will be braking if not both.

    Can anyone give me advice on axle location and Tongue length? I was thinking about a 4-foot tongue
    I've built a few and repaired a couple more trailers, but don't consider myself an expert in their design. I believe most here subscribe to the 60%/40% rule wrt axle placement. The length of the tongue is somewhat dependent on what you will be towing with, where you will be hauling it and on your need for turning sharply or backing up easily; a longer tongue makes both easier.

    BTW, you can ignore Dave; he responds to every thread, whether he has anything worthwhile to add, or not.

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    Re: trailer build question

    The trailer with water,, will out-weigh the pickup pulling it,, so both axles need brakes.

    As far as tongue length,, you would prefer that the tongue/trailer junction be past the corner of the pickup bumper when the truck and trailer is jackknifed.
    That will allow maximum angle when backing,, and not having the corner of the trailer dent the pickup bumper.

    I wondered how my pickup got a dent in the bumper,, I watched my daughter backup the trailer one time,,
    THEN,, I understood how the trailer dented the bumper.

    I think the rule of thumb is 10% of the trailer weight should be on the hitch??
    BUT,, do not exceed the tongue rating of the truck hitch.

    I have a 6X10 trailer,, it is a dump,, I have had it for 23 years,, It literally does anything I want a trailer for.

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    Re: trailer build question

    Check out a manufactured one for their details. They already did the engineering for you.

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    Re: trailer build question

    Built a couple 6x10, but decided to obtain plans to be safe.

    The plans indeed called for the 60x40 axle placement as aforementioned

    the tongue weight scoped 10 to 15% of trailer weight.

    600 gallon of water X 8lbs per plus tank weight and weight of trailer, the lbs add up quick.

    I also built an 18 ft car hauler and 14ft enclosed. Unless you are requiring some custom features or just want to build one, I would consider looking for a decent used trailer. I see them frequently at estate auctions far cheaper than the material costs plus your time.

    Just my thoughts.
    Last edited by geezer; 07-13-2022 at 11:11 AM. Reason: correct content
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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    The trailer with water,, will out-weigh the pickup pulling it,, so both axles need brakes.

    As far as tongue length,, you would prefer that the tongue/trailer junction be past the corner of the pickup bumper when the truck and trailer is jackknifed.
    That will allow maximum angle when backing,, and not having the corner of the trailer dent the pickup bumper.

    I wondered how my pickup got a dent in the bumper,, I watched my daughter backup the trailer one time,,
    THEN,, I understood how the trailer dented the bumper.

    I think the rule of thumb is 10% of the trailer weight should be on the hitch??
    BUT,, do not exceed the tongue rating of the truck hitch.

    I have a 6X10 trailer,, it is a dump,, I have had it for 23 years,, It literally does anything I want a trailer for.
    would you care to take some measurements for me?

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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Turrisi View Post
    would you care to take some measurements for me?
    Such as??

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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    Such as??
    Tongue length and centerline of the axles from the front of the trailer not counting the tongue

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    Re: trailer build question

    I can check and see if I still have the 6x10 trailer plans, if interested send a PM
    Geezer
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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Turrisi View Post
    I am building a 6 x 10-foot trailer to carry a 600-gallon water tank plus hoses and pump. It will have dual axles and at least one of them will be braking if not both.

    Can anyone give me advice on axle location and Tongue length? I was thinking about a 4-foot tongue
    Will this help?


    .
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  17. #13
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    Re: trailer build question

    I hope your 600 gallon tank has baffles.

    And what are you planning on using for a towing vehicle?

    I can see that sloshing load of water throwing your setup around quite nicely.
    :

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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    I hope your 600 gallon tank has baffles.

    And what are you planning on using for a towing vehicle?

    I can see that sloshing load of water throwing your setup around quite nicely.
    ^ this



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  20. #15
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    Re: trailer build question

    It doesn't but it will have I have the parts I just need to welded them in. As far as towing it will be either my 3/4 ton 4x4 truck or my sons 80 Chevy 1/2 ton 4x4 we don't have to tow it to far from the water source to where the water will be used maybe a 1/2 mile. I am no stranger to hauling water as I had a 300 tank mounted in the bed of my 3/4 ton truck I have also driven a tandem axle Mack water truck that had no baffles at all.

  21. #16
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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Will this help?


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    Yes thank you

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  23. #17
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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Turrisi View Post
    It doesn't but it will have I have the parts I just need to welded them in. As far as towing it will be either my 3/4 ton 4x4 truck or my sons 80 Chevy 1/2 ton 4x4 we don't have to tow it to far from the water source to where the water will be used maybe a 1/2 mile. I am no stranger to hauling water as I had a 300 tank mounted in the bed of my 3/4 ton truck I have also driven a tandem axle Mack water truck that had no baffles at all.
    That's always fun when you hit the binders Funny feeling to have that stuff slap you in the back after you've come to a full stop.

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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    That's always fun when you hit the binders Funny feeling to have that stuff slap you in the back after you've come to a full stop.
    For sure.
    Years ago I drove a water truck/straight job
    Back-and-forth to different quarries in the hot summer months.
    Water and rock quarries is very important to keep the dust down and also the crushing machines use it.

    Luckily the truck had a tag axle which is an extra set of brakes.
    Comes in handy when you need to stop quick with a full load of water.

    Also, don't dump the clutch on an incline hill with a full load
    Or you might pull the front wheels off the ground.
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  26. #19
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    Re: trailer build question

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    That's always fun when you hit the binders Funny feeling to have that stuff slap you in the back after you've come to a full stop.
    Yes, it is and I almost drowned a DOT cop one time from the sloshing. He pulled me over with a full load of water and wanted to weigh me. I told him I never had to drive on portable scales before and he would have to help me. He interrupted me with a smart @$$ comment and said YOU JUST DO WHAT I TELL YOU. I replied with yes sir whatever you say.

    As I drove up on the scales, he screamed for me to stop and I slammed on the brakes as hard I could, the water rushed to the front of the truck causing it to lurch forward and then when it rushed back to the back of the truck it splashed out of a 2-foot dia. opening in the top of the tank. He was standing by the side of the truck just below where the opening was and got a good bath. There was hundreds of gallons of water running down the roadside and parking lot where he stopped me. He said I was right at the limit I guess it was a good thing I sloshed all that water out. The only thing he found was one bad brake light and put me OOS my boss brought a bulb and fixed it right there in front of him. In the end he drove off soaking wet and I drove off laughing.

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  28. #20
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    Re: trailer build question

    Length of tongue is only relevant if you make/buy a custom coupler.

    A longer tongue won't accommodate the off-the-shelf 60* coupler. Mainly because a longer tongue results in a sharper angle. At this point, you're looking at an adjustable channel style hitch. Easy to fabricate, or you can buy them from just about any supplier.

    A narrow, long, hitch makes for easier jacknifing.

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