How To Build Sides For Utility Trailer?

I’m a trailer enthusiast. A dump truck would be ideal for heavy hauling, while a big box truck would be ideal for storing tools and operating as a mobile workshop. However, depending on the day, our projects can range from private bathroom renovations to Food Network bakery makeovers. We might also take on a weekend DIY job, such as transporting mulch and a mower to a friend’s home. This wide range of jobs necessitates the versatility that a trailer provides.

We can also leave a trailer at the jobsite and drive the truck alone, which isn’t doable with the vehicles stated. Our trailer, which is half FedEx, part garbage, and all workhorse, sees no end to its work… or play, for that matter. A utility trailer is also a fantastic vacation vehicle. Don’t bother trying to cram everything you possess into the SUV. Put the bikes, beach blankets, and Beanie Babies in the trailer and go.

You’re limited in how much you can get in and out of a modest utility trailer if all you have is a 16-inch height angle-iron trailer body. Unless, of course, you add to it.

You’ll obviously need a trailer. Mine is a two-wheel utility trailer measuring 5 by 10 feet. There’s nothing fancy about it yet.

2x material for the posts and materials racks, 1/2-by-3-in. galvanized through bolts, 3-in. deck screws, and 1x or 2x material for the walls are all required for the modification detailed in this article. To drill out steel, you’ll also need a drill and bits, as well as a saw to cut things.

Cut the poles or staves first. The walls of my trailer are roughly 40-1/2 inches tall. It’s the perfect height for everything I need to carry. The trailer framer is filled in around the wheel wells, then four 2x8s are stacked for the walls. I used to make the staves out of 24, but for this project, I went with 26 pressure treated wood because I knew I’d be strapping loads to the top of them. (I’ll get to that later.) Also, leave the vertical staves ‘wild’ for now and cut them to length afterwards.

To attach the staves, you’ll need to drill bolt holes into the trailer frame. Here’s a drill-steel tip that will make the job go faster. To begin, locate the hole. Next, drill a pilot hole with a small (1/8-inch) and highly sharp steel-drilling bit. After drilling the pilot hole, use the appropriate diameter bit, in this example a 5/8-in. bit to accommodate a 1/2-in. bolt.

Drill the holes with a drill, not an impact driver. Steel takes longer to drill than wood, so an impact driver might not be the best option. Some people grease the bit with oil to keep it lubricated and cutting smoothly.

After drilling the holes, square up the staves to the trailer body and secure them with a pair of bar clamps. Drill holes in both the steel and the wood. Install the through-bolts and hand-tighten the nuts before using a socket set or an impact wrench to sock them tight.

To make securing the planking to the staves easier later on, I center all except the end and corner staves on the trailer’s steel pillars. It also provides the through-bolts with the most flesh to grip for large loads.

Install the planking after that. I span the trailer’s wheel well with blocking on the inside of the trailer to make life easier, and place the boards flush with the staves. I use “no-jig pocket holes” to make the butt-joint connections between the boards that are arranged edge-to-edge. I countersink the screws by drilling angled pilot holes that are large and deep enough. This is far easier than any other approach I’ve tried for driving toe-screws. I utilized the Starrett ProSite Protractorlove that thingto lay out the weird angles by the wheel well.

Next, I begin at the back and work my way around the trailer frame, patching in all of the little pieces and ripping blocking to form a strong wall. When I’m carrying, well, everything, it offers me peace of mind.

For the planking on this trailer improvement, I utilized 2x pressure-treated wood, which is almost bomb-proof. However, because 2x is so hefty, moving the trailer by hand is difficult. That wouldn’t be a problem if I had a tractor or ATV, but I don’t. Another choice is to use 112 #2 pine. I used to have a trailer made out of 112, and it was not only significantly lighter, but it also survived nearly a decade of professional use. In the end, it’s your decision.

I used a couple of bar clamps to hold the parts where I needed them before putting in the screws to start the first course of planking on my trailer, which had interruptions from the wheel wells and corners.

I prefer to rotate the corners to make the look more intriguing. I believe it strengthens the corner, but I really appreciate the bespoke box-joint design.

A 3-inch deck screw point will occasionally make it through the laminated 2-bys (which is 3 inches thick). Unless you’re just pressing the heads into the wood and the points are really showing, it’s hardly a hazard, but I soften them with a hammer blow anyhow. Everything else has cut, scraped, and scratched me. What distinguishes these screw tips from the rest?

While most trailers, like mine, are designed to contain things inside the walls, there’s no reason you can’t stack them to transport lengthy items like ladders, lumber, or molding.

My trailer’s material rack is attached to the staves (which I didn’t cut level with the trailer walls) but kept 53 inches above the trailer deck to clear the tailgate. It’s a 28-piece T-bracket that connects the staves.

The rack’s end is similarly a T, but I made a pocket for it to sit in so it doesn’t get in the way.

T is detachable. The reason for this is that when moving tools, mulch, or plaster rubble, a horizontal rack gets in the way. To put it another way, if I made it a permanent fixture, I’d have to crouch beneath it every time I entered the trailer with a sheet of drywall.

So, whether I’m hauling for work or hauling out of town for vacation (who am I kidding, vacation? ), my belongings are safe and secure.

Mark Clement is the co-host of the MyFixitUpLife show, as well as the General Contractor on Food Network’s Save My Bakery and a spokesperson for Wood Naturally.

Easy Shelf Attachment

Attaching plywood shelves, racks, and tools is simple thanks to the thick plywood. The most obvious reason to utilize thicker plywood in your tool trailer is for this reason.

Almost everyone can get by with 1/2″ or 5/8″, but some construction trailers will need 3/4″.

Some tool trailer builders substitute thin plywood with thicker plywood when building a “new” trailer.

If your work style necessitates it, this is also an excellent time to install insulation.

More Stiffness

Some low-cost trailers may have fewer wall studs, fewer fasteners, or some other construction style that, well, allows them to be low-cost. Flexing and poor door fitting are two possible outcomes.

If you want to tow your trailer over a lot of difficult terrain and dirt roads, thicker plywood may be necessary.

More Weight

Many tradespeople overlook weight when creating a tool trailer, but a normal construction trailer may easily weigh about 7000 pounds with the trailer, plywood, equipment, and inventory.

Let’s have a look at a 7’x16′ trailer and see how the weight of various plywoods differs.

To begin, here are some common plywood weights that you can use to calculate the weight of your tool trailer:

The table below shows how much your two side walls and single front wall will weigh if they are skinned with various plywood thicknesses.

Smaller trailers will benefit from this in particular if you need a lot of tools and organizing, as well as being cautious of the trailer’s GVWR.

It’s worth noting that 1/2″ softwood plywood walls are 230 pounds lighter than 3/4″ plywood walls!

What is the best way to add sides to a flatbed trailer?

Metal pegs can be welded along the sides of the flatbed trailer, then wood panels can be screwed into pre-drilled holes. Metal stakes can also be used to fit into existing brackets or holes. Metal stakes are typically used for sides that will not be removed frequently. Wooden stake sides are simple to install and remove.

rubber instead of lumber means these products require additional trailer frame and cross bracing when replacing lumber decking. These dense rubber products also weigh significantly more than lumber decking which decreases the cargo capacity of the trailer assuming all other features of the trailer remained the same.

Another NATM member, Blackwood Lumber, offers a decking product that falls between the lumber and rubber categories, making use of both. Blackwood is manufactured using treated southern yellow pine (SYP) and industrial grade rubber. With Blackwood, the structural integrity of the board is maintained, and traction and durability are added through the rubber infusion. When loading and unloading a trailer with typical lumber decking in wet conditions, this flooring option offers improved traction, even in wet, slick conditions. The rubber infusion also helps protect the board from heavy impact and the sun’s UV rays.

Images provided by Logan Sartain of Blackwood Lumber displaying some common trailer flooring options, as well as illustrating some common trailer floor damage.

What kind of wood is ideal for a utility trailer?

handled under pressure In trailers, pine flooring is the most frequent type of wood flooring. Pine wood is abundant in the south, and its robust character makes it an excellent basic flooring option.

What kind of material do you use for trailer walls?

This is a less expensive option than composite plywood. MDF is created by gluing sawdust together and pressing it between two or more layers of wood veneer. The wood board can then be cut to the size and form you require. MDF is the most cost-effective alternative, and it’ll be lovely and light if you’re worried about adding weight to your RV. MDF, on the other hand, deteriorates quickly and may need to be replaced as soon as a year later, in a typical case of “you get what you pay for.”

How high should the sidewalls of a trailer be?

Diamond C UTILITY TRAILERS can be used for a variety of tasks, including hauling your ATV/mower/golf cart, moving brush/dirt from yard maintenance projects, and providing landscaping or construction trailers to experts. With this in mind, we’ve introduced the ability to personalize the sides of your utility trailer to meet your specific requirements.

/24 Tall Open Sides

The standard arrangement on most of our utility trailers has 13 tall open sides. It’s ideal for transporting toys or lawn mowers. Choose our 24 tall option for extra tall sizes. Adapt the style and material of your TOP RAIL to your specific requirements.

Expanded Metal Sides

When hauling equipment, tools, or material that you want to keep contained and avoid slipping out, this side option is ideal. For your trailer, choose between the regular height 13 tall or the extra-tall 24 expanded metal heights.

Solid Sheet-Metal Sides

Landscapers who want to ensure that all of their merchandise is safe, covered, and confined prefer the 14 solid side option. Available on utility trailer models PSA and GTU.

For utility trailers, what kind of plywood is used?

There are several varieties of plywood that can be used for the floor of your trailer, each with its own set of advantages. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common plywood types:

Marine Grade Plywood:

This sort of plywood is made for usage in the marine industry. It’s made of waterproof glue and has been treated to resist rust, degradation, and insect damage. Because it can survive the moist and humid conditions found in trailers, marine grade plywood is a popular choice for trailer floors.