16 ft Tandem Trailer

Spring 2014:

Boy oh boy .. I’m I distracted from the stuff I should be doing..  Too much to do .. If I was retired I could maybe get it all done .. Here I go with yet another project.  When this trailer was offered to me for a price that was hard to pass up I didn’t have to think about it long..  Especially considering that my good old utility trailer that has served me long is rusting badly..  And now when I pack some weight..  well twice now the spring shackles have broken from the frame..  Also I can’t carry my Kubota in the little 4 x 8 trailer.

No it’s not a car hauler.. It’s built from an old travel trailer.  So the frame is not strong enough for a car.. but it will work great for tractors.  It has brakes… something Dave’s trailer does not have.. It’s nice and low ..and balanced.. tows great..  The deck is treated 2×6 and measures just over 5 ft between the fenders.  And 16 ft long.  Those wire hubcaps are only on one side.. so I’m removing them. It needed a new safety chain.. and then you could use it.  Lights and brakes work good.   However there is no ramp for loading..  And the tires are old..  but they are just common size car tires.

How to make it MINE..

I’ve had the trailer sitting in the driveway for a week now.. thinking of a ramp for the back..  And today I pulled those hubcaps off and gave the trailer a bath..  Then Dave showed up and said, ” hey we should pull the hubs and grease the bearings”.   So I lowered the front of the trailer to the ground and put some blocking under the rear.. then lifted the front up with the tractor till the wheels are off the ground..  If the tractor can do that then it must not weight more than 800 lbs.  Cool. While servicing the hubs.. and the trailer up in the air I wanted to have a good look under.. Yup I’m thinking that the wiring under the trailer is messy… Not surprised with that.. and to find some wasp nests.. too..  not surprised again.  Also a lot of the nuts were missing from the bolts that hold the deck on.. Hmm.   I don’t care much for the pipe structure on the front.. and there is no sides for mounting stuff..  So I’m going to spend a few days and make this trailer GREAT.

Starting by removing the floor & the pipe railings. Then I can add to the frame, paint the frame, and re-do the wiring.  Here’s the want list…

  •  Stake pockets for removable sides
  • Tie downs inside
  • Ramps for the back / or a wind gate
  • A front structure that will hold a winch

Here you see the work is started..  I have acquired four newish tires for a good price.. That will take the flat worries away.. I was given some heavy mesh that will make good ramps.  Dave & I have been debating the width of the trailer..  There doesn’t seem to be a good reason to have the trailer wider behind and in front of the fenders.. So we may just keep the 61 ” width all the way.. and we may trim 12 ” off the back..

I’ll sleep on the width thing.. In the mean time I sand blasted the rims and gave them a satin black paint job..

And they are unique.. notice the Four bolt pattern..  and the large opening..  These could be hard to find.. good thing I made them nice again.

Here you see the new tires on the rims…on the trailer..  Also you will see that we’ve stripped the wood deck off, fenders off..  and now it’s time to decide what to do..


The frame is very minimal as you can see.  and some of the cross members are very light.. I could bend them easily.  So after looking at all this weakness.. we need to beef things up a bit.   The first thing is to add a third frame right down the middle.   A 2×2 ” square tube would do nicely.  That would take a bit of the flex out of the frame.  Then we will replace the lighter cross pieces with more 2×2″ tube.  All welded to make a more rigid ladder frame.

Also we decided to shorten the trailer by a foot on the tail.  This will do two things :  First it will mean less stress on the back of the trailer when loading something heavy.  Second it will move the two axles back further and make the trailer handle better.   Sadly we will loose a foot in length..  but hey it’s long enough for me..

Here you can see the shortened frame, and the new 2 x 2 center frame plus cross pieces.

The 2 x 2 square tube runs the whole length and has stiffened the trailer a lot.  We added new outer frame pieces and there will be a 4″ deep plate on the outside.  When the 2×6 decking goes on this should be a strong but lite trailer.  And yes I decided to take the deck out to the outside of the fenders.  I have also forgone the stake pockets for a 12″ high wall on the sides..  sloping up to a 24″ high front wall.   No wind gate either..  just two 16″ x 48″ mesh ramps that will slide from side to side and fold up.

This has turned into quite a lot of work.. but the result is great.. You can see in the photo above the vision I had has taken shape.  A spare tire and winch mount on the front.  The 12″ high frame on the sides acts like a truss and stiffens up the frame.

Here’s a photo of the winch mount.. I have a new 2000 lb winch for the trailer..  At the bottom is of coarse the battery tray.   I also bought a new hitch & jack.  This will be a new trailer when done.. and it’s registered as a 2014 U-Build .  Prior to this photo we used the tractor to lift one side of the trailer and had it up on it’s side.  That allowed us to rewire the brakes.  Proper soldered connections & loom , all routed through the 2×2 center beam.  I also took the opportunity to give the underside a quick coat of grey paint.

June 29 2014:

Another case of “put aside”..  The weather has been ify for painting..  and other stuff got in the way of finishing the trailer.  But today with improved weather I got er done..

All the welding & grinding is done..  cleaned it up good and gave the trailer it’s grey paint job.  Once the paint is dry I’ll wire in the lights.  Then it’s decking time.

Here’s the lights all on.. took a few hours .  all the conections are behind the license plate..  The wires all run through the 2×2 square frame.  Clean !

At the front  they all meet here..  easy to get at and make changes..


2×6 treated lumber & 2″ heavy metal screws..  And lots of cutting.

Got the fenders back on too.. and they fit perfectly.  All that’s left to do is the ramps and wire up the winch.

I did not realize that at some time during our construction .. the shackles on the front axle got flipped around.. and this caused the tires to rub together.. it took me a bit of head scratching to figure out what it was that was wrong.  But I got it..

With the completion of these heavy duty ramps.. the trailer is getting closer to being 100% .  The ramps adjust for width and can be removed.  The Kubota fits with room to spare. It looks like I may have  a mowing job.. so this trailer will be used.  now we need to see how many quads we can carry !