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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am a long time DIY'r. Born with it in my blood.
I fix stuff to repair it or sometimes,to practice technique. Yes and some times I can use the $.$$.
Some times I do it to make it safer.
Among all the current projects, a cargo trailer has been thrown in the mix.
It was once used by a flight service company. I don't know what they hauled in it.
With a priority, hurry up, need it this week...It's going to be used again as storage until we move to Missouri.
Currently in California.
It's 19 ft long, plus a 4 foot tongue. 7 1/2 ft wide and 6 ft tall.
My brother bought it years ago too use as a tool trailer but found a better trailer after he purchased this one.
It was used as storage since then.
This trailer needs repairs, obviously. And keeping in mind that Missouri is humid and has rain, is a factor.
Starting with the rear door which is a ramp. 79" x 69". It is not lite/light, (less heavy) in its current state. (Not exactly square either...)
Tore off what was left of some 3/8 " plywood and trying to decide what to use, to cover it back up.This is where I have an issue with my brother.
Money is not really a main factor. It's weight.
He wants to only cover part of it. A 4 foot section down the center. Leave the rest exposed.
This will keep it "less heavy".
I insist that it's foolish because leaving the rest exposed is not safe.
Some one steps on the uncovered part for what ever reason, risks missing the frame and falling through.

His argument is, "Uhaul uses only a skinny ramp...

I figured using 3/8 " aluminum sheeting would add 103 pounds. And could do it with one piece 48" x 144"...with some left over.
I have tried to find some vehicle code/s to help but their methods of organizing are not intuitive.

Any suggestions on this first hurdle?
And I mentioned that he is liable if any one gets hurt stepping through that ramp and getting hurt. Even a thief.
 

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retired framer
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I would just do it again with plywood.
Have you put a scale under it to find the weight?
1/2" plywood would 50 pounds so you would be adding 25 pounds to the lifting end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would just do it again with plywood.
Have you put a scale under it to find the weight?
1/2" plywood would 50 pounds so you would be adding 25 pounds to the lifting end.
This was my thought. 7/16 OSB weighs 54 pound a sheet.
Covering just the 4 foot wide area would add 39 pounds.
Covering the entire door would add 64 pounds. This would require 2 sheets placed horizontally.
Use 2 x 4 underneath the seams.
Still I'm told only 4 feet.

" 1/2" plywood would 50 pounds so you would be adding 25 pounds to the lifting end. "
So then, covering the entire ramp would only add 32 pounds.
I'm going to have to test this. But thanks. This is exactly the kind of help I was hoping for.
 

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Big Dog
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How about going with steel mesh like that used on utility trailers? You could also rig a tailgate lift assist.

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How about going with steel mesh like that used on utility trailers? You could also rig a tailgate lift assist.

View attachment 664937
This was another thought and I started researching it.
It's actually expanded metal.
I looked into it and it is about the same weight as OSB.
Standard widths are 48 inches. It is not typical to weld seams due to... camber alignment? Lining up the raised angled edges and...Ahh! that would be a nightmare and I am not a seasoned welder.
I am still learning with a Lincoln wire feed and have graduated to a second size of wire.
I would attempt spot welding every diamond on a perimeter, but, not a seam.
A plus with the expanded is having easy access to the tail lights wiring.
I just remembered. This was another reason my brother doesn't want to go wider than 4 feet.
But then why do I need easy access to the wiring? I do plan to fix the wiring correctly before covering the ramp.
So, the compromise would naturally be access panels. Sheet metal would work fine if I used OSB.
I have some nice flat, round headed screws that would work nicely.

Flat, round headed screws?
Well, their not square.:rolleyes:

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Had to tend to a computer crash yesterday.
I mentioned it needing new hard drives back in April.
Thank fully I made a backup then, but its the recent stuff on the crashed drive, that was not backed up, that is time consuming.

So then, covering the entire ramp would only add 32 pounds.
I'm going to have to test this.
Put a scale under the lifting end of the ramp with the ramp lifted to a horizontal position.
This should be the point of about average weight. Only weighed 40 pounds.
Put a old 20 pounds, 6 foot piece of plywood on it.
This added 15 pounds. to the scale...:unsure:
With the ramp down the scale measured, more?
No, less. 36 pounds .
I thought it would weigh more, with it down. Weighed less with it 2/3 up.

We finally agreed with covering the whole ramp with OSB. 48 inches then 21 inches with true 1 inch by 3 inch backers under the seam.
If I do ever have to access the lights, I just have to remove the 21 inch section. Simple enough.

Now we just have to figure how to lift the walls off the water rotten 2 x 2 wood perimeter...actually just the left and right side...and the front...and the back. Well the back is open due to the ramp.
Yeah, this is an old trailer. The flat head screws kind of speaks its age.
 
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