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beefree

Flat deck trailers

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yesbut    3,152

This thread has reminded me of my lifelong allergy to spending up large on capital items.

Modest needs only need modest outlay. Which equals more time to play with the toys I do buy...

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Daley    2,435
Don't get me started on trailers. We had a trailer once for our bobcat. Arrived in the Bee yard to load bees one evening. Loaded the truck and as the driver tightened up the last strop he pulled a wheel and stub axle off the back of the deck that he had picked up on the road down from our place. Investigation revealed our trailer only had three wheels.

I lost count of how many times we snapped a stub axle on that trailer.

Then we had a Dog Trailer which we put behind the Old MAN .... I ended up owning most of the gates posts around the South Island with that , and despite the fact that we could haul an extra 60 hives it still meant an extra trip back to the bee yard to sort out the bent gate post. So we sold it.

The biggest thing with a trailer is the suspension. That dog trailer had springs as hard as heck and the bees were shaken to bits when they got to the secret spot. When we do it again we'll have airbags and a"pole" trailer that is easy to manouver in the dark.

I've heard of some Bee trucks where the deck is mounted on springs to take the hum and the wobble and shake out of the load ... imagine what happens to the larva in the brood as you are roaring down the road.

So Mr BeeFree .... get a trailer that is overengineered for what you want .... or a light truck.

I reckon giving them a good smoke up and picking them up on dusk is the trick to having them staying in and not trying to kill you.

You can bump them down some pretty dodgy roads without any onlookers if you load them early enough.

Unfortunately that's not always an option.

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Stoney    3

Try giving Zane at Premier Engineering in Ashburton a call.

He builds a mean tandem braked trailer and customs to suit your requirements (water tank, strop box etc)

Built all our truck decks, trailers and even our new "super dipper"

Diesel Paraffin dipper.

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M4tt    2,453
Iforwilliams

There are a whole lot sitting in a yard on Victoria road in Cambridge

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beefree    260
Posted (edited)
Don't get me started on trailers. We had a trailer once for our bobcat. Arrived in the Bee yard to load bees one evening. Loaded the truck and as the driver tightened up the last strop he pulled a wheel and stub axle off the back of the deck that he had picked up on the road down from our place. Investigation revealed our trailer only had three wheels.

I lost count of how many times we snapped a stub axle on that trailer.

Then we had a Dog Trailer which we put behind the Old MAN .... I ended up owning most of the gates posts around the South Island with that , and despite the fact that we could haul an extra 60 hives it still meant an extra trip back to the bee yard to sort out the bent gate post. So we sold it.

The biggest thing with a trailer is the suspension. That dog trailer had springs as hard as heck and the bees were shaken to bits when they got to the secret spot. When we do it again we'll have airbags and a"pole" trailer that is easy to manouver in the dark.

I've heard of some Bee trucks where the deck is mounted on springs to take the hum and the wobble and shake out of the load ... imagine what happens to the larva in the brood as you are roaring down the road.

So Mr BeeFree .... get a trailer that is overengineered for what you want .... or a light truck.

 

Are you able to comment on who made these trailers? Without some names I have no idea, plus I'm not even sure how you can tell if it's been over engineered without putting it through the test of beekeeping, so it seems to me someone in my position it's a bit of a luck of the draw, that's why I was going to go Briford, people say they are solid, can you comment on this make since they are in your neck of the woods?

 

This dog trailer, the issue was that it was simply too big? Not an issue with the trailer itself?

 

I asked Briford if they could soften the suspension or put in shocks and they said "Can't be done." So that was that.

 

EDIT: Just to add the Jamesc issues, I also heard of a beek up Oxford way who also has broken axles, lost wheels, bla bla bla. Perhaps any well used trailer with a full load with std axles/hubs down a off road track is going to be a bit risky, another option is to go the 3.5 ton option.

Edited by Guest

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jamesc    649

We had no issues with the dog trailer, except that it was a very rough ride for the bees on a gravel road, and required lotsa care and attention when in a tight spot.

To be honest, trailers get loaded to the hilt and sometimes that final 30kg breaks it's back. They put your skills to the test in a sticky situation, and ideally you need a big donk to pull them. The 2.8lt diesel gets it's ring thrashed and then you've got to replace or fix that. The other thing I noticed when doing a lot of towing is that either the tow ball on the ute or the thingy on the trailer gets sloppy and becomes a disconnect safety risk on a bumpy road.

IMHO ... I'd go with the small Nissan/Isuzu 2 tonne truck.

It's another cost, but the quality remains after the cost is forgotten.

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Philbee    1,250

Iforwilliams are to low in the tail gate area.

Their brakes are good though

There are photos in the media section of a trailer I built.

If you want some good advice on a proven design,

Download the pics and take them to a trailer maker for a price.

About 15k would stop it but like James said the quality and practicality will be there long after the cost is forgotten

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tristan    2,834
Also to confirm you believe a hydraulic single axle setup would brake as well as an electric dual drum? I know a hydraulic double disk would be better. But then the hydraulic setup can jolt the trailer when the ram bounces back or again is this an issue of a poorly maintained trailer?

single hydraulic disk performs roughly similar to dual electric drums. i would have to dig up the info to confirm.

prefer double axle brakes as you get double the traction for braking which is very useful as we tend to drive in wet, muddy, gravel conditions.

the jolting is down to the type of actuator fitted and its tuning. unfortunately NZ light trailer industry is still stuck in the past and using antiquated spring based actuators. why we don't have the good USA ones i do not know.

there is only one hydraulic dampened actuator on the market made by trojan. its smooth but its expensive. we originally had that, blew the dampener, they replaced it with a heavy duty version. it started leaking after a while, but they changed it to a spring type. i think the problem was lack of braking power (we had single axle braking back then) which causes excessive load onto the actuator.

the springs one are not to bad if you get the tuning right. the worse thing is that you stop and the trailer tries to push the ute up. so it pays to stop then roll forward a tad.

 

with override brakes, if the brakes don't brake well enough, the trailer just pushes the brakes on harder and harder. that will fry the brakes and damage other parts. thats why you want to make sure you have excess braking ability.

 

 

So @tristan how about this one? Titan Trailers

i can't see much on the site.

 

foldable head board so 8 bee boxes can fit length ways.

be carefull with that. keep in mind you need to keep the load balanced. while you need to have some weight on the front to give you tow ball weight, putting hives so far forward can give you far to much tow ball weight.

light trailers are meant to have the weight centered around the axles. the further away from the axles the trickier it gets and the more handling problems you can create.

 

The big plus is I have a trailer with a 3.5t GVM

to use a 3.5t trailer you often will need HT drivers license.

when you go over 2500kg you need break away brakes. that forces you to go electric braking (or electric hydraulic)

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tristan    2,834
I've heard of some Bee trucks where the deck is mounted on springs to take the hum and the wobble and shake out of the load ... imagine what happens to the larva in the brood as you are roaring down the road.

So Mr BeeFree .... get a trailer that is overengineered for what you want .

if they are having to put springs on for the deck then they have spring issues on the trailer.

thats often caused by over engineering the trailer.

simply have to higher rated springs. thats ties in what i mentioned before about crowds making trailers that you can overload. they fit such highly rated springs that they are so stiff they don't actually flex and transmit all impacts to the load.

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tristan    2,834
Tristan will probably disagree but if you want a Trailer that will absorb and dissipate shock over rough ground then the triple is the way to go with currently available components.

Often a trailer is the limiting factor regarding speed over rough ground, that is a good 4x4 will soak up the bumps when the trailer will be bouncing all over the place.

Triples are the opposite, there is something about them that flattens the bumps

yeah i'm not a fan of triples due to the reduction of travel before the wheels come off the ground which causes weight shift, which can put excessive loads on the tow ball.

@Philbee didn't you have tow ball and coupling issues ?

i suspect a triple will have slightly lighter rated springs, which may account for the reduction in vibration.

 

you have to keep in mind typical trailer suspensions are meant for on road use not off road. the springs do not have the travel to be able to soak up big hits.

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tristan    2,834
I asked Briford if they could soften the suspension or put in shocks and they said "Can't be done." So that was that.

shocks is interesting.

years ago i looked at shocks, the companies that make them overseas would not sell them here as kiwi trailers manufactures live in the dark ages.

however thanks to UK caravan imports shocks are now available as well as dampened couplings (thats another story).

 

shocks on a tandem don't actually work as proper shocks, it makes very little effect on the springs themselves. thats due to the equalizing suspension. however what they will do is control the speed of the equalizing (rocker) action. that can help reduce the suspension from oscillating back and forth, but its puts a bit more load on the tow ball. you actually only need one pair, fitted to the front axle for it to work.

 

with a single axle there is off the shelf trailer shocks made by a few companies.

 

i have a design for a suspension system that will use shocks properly on a tandem suspension. one day i might get around to building it.

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Daley    2,435
if they are having to put springs on for the deck then they have spring issues on the trailer.

thats often caused by over engineering the trailer.

simply have to higher rated springs. thats ties in what i mentioned before about crowds making trailers that you can overload. they fit such highly rated springs that they are so stiff they don't actually flex and transmit all impacts to the load.

I don't know if I would say a well built heavy duty trailer is over engineered. If you know how to drive you shouldn't need to push your trailer.

 

Some people in NZ need trailers like that, that can take a bit of a knock.

I think most of the people I know that use trailers regularly have over loaded them, off-road, when its necessary.

 

I've carted some reasonably heavy loads with a 2.5 D22 Nav and a Prescott trailer loaded up.

Never had anything bad happen and was always very gentle driving it, much better with the 3L one we got now though.

I don't do many moves now, and am not often in need of a trailer these days as I only move a truckload and make more trips so I don't break myself lifting without a bit of a rest.

 

I must say I love @Philbee 's idea of anti-backwards sliding brakes, I've been a passenger sliding down backwards and it's pretty freaky, not something I'd like to do again.

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tristan    2,834
Just to add the Jamesc issues, I also heard of a beek up Oxford way who also has broken axles, lost wheels,

thats generally caused by gross overloading or excessively stiff suspension. trailers do not have variable rate springs like vehicles do. you need to have the right suspension and load the trailer properly. they need to match.

however one issue now days is we have much more powerful and faster tow vehicles. so the trailer tends to get a hiding from the faster speeds.

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tristan    2,834
I don't know if I would say a well built heavy duty trailer is over engineered. If you know how to drive you shouldn't need to push your trailer.

 

Some people in NZ need trailers like that, that can take a bit of a knock.

I think most of the people I know that use trailers regularly have over loaded them, off-road, when its necessary.

 

I've carted some reasonably heavy loads with a 2.5 D22 Nav and a Prescott trailer loaded up.

Never had anything bad happen and was always very gentle driving it, much better with the 3L one we got now though.

I don't do many moves now, and am not often in need of a trailer these days as I only move a truckload and make more trips so I don't break myself lifting without a bit of a rest.

 

kiwi trailers are kinda well known for being over engineered and heavy. part of that is because people abuse them, over load them. they get away with it because they drive gently or have low powered vehicles that don't go very fast.

but there lies a problem. if you make a 2500kg trailer to handle 3000kg or more, its suspension is so hard it vibrates badly when you have 1500kg loads. especially if you make the chassis so stiff that it can't absorb the vibration.

then you have the issue of people know they are over engineered so they overload them even more.

but if manufacture makes a normal 2500kg trailer, people over load it, break it and blames the manufacture for a bad trailer. :confused:

 

part of the reason people are so bad with trailers, is sheer lack of enforcement of the rules by the police. which has generated a culture of overloading.

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tristan    2,834
The other thing I noticed when doing a lot of towing is that either the tow ball on the ute or the thingy on the trailer gets sloppy and becomes a disconnect safety risk on a bumpy road.

thats probably due to poor trailer suspension. tho longer loads on a trailer will also do it. the longer it is the more force it can put on the tow ball due to leverage effect.

light trailers are meant to have the load placed around the axle aera.

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tristan    2,834

Free Trailer Building Plans | Trailersauce | Designs, info & more

good site for basic info.

 

tips for flat deck. make it as wide as the ute towing it. it means you don't hit gate posts. try to have the wheels follow the ute wheel tracks.

you can keep the height down by using low profile tires. this makes the center of gravity lower and less likely to tip over with stacks of honey supers on it. down side is the tires don't soak up any bumps, need to have good suspension, and you can pop a tire off the rim if you clip trees etc with it. the 80psi or so tire pressure goes off with a bang when you do.

 

watch the tow ball height, some trailers are made for cars with low height. especially if your ute has raised suspension.

 

gussets on the draw bar to trailer weld points.

 

avoid super heavy strong draw bars.

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Philbee    1,250

The worn tow hitch is often a result of a non rotating coupling.

Been there done that.

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Philbee    1,250
Posted (edited)
I don't know if I would say a well built heavy duty trailer is over engineered. If you know how to drive you shouldn't need to push your trailer.

 

Some people in NZ need trailers like that, that can take a bit of a knock.

I think most of the people I know that use trailers regularly have over loaded them, off-road, when its necessary.

 

I've carted some reasonably heavy loads with a 2.5 D22 Nav and a Prescott trailer loaded up.

Never had anything bad happen and was always very gentle driving it, much better with the 3L one we got now though.

I don't do many moves now, and am not often in need of a trailer these days as I only move a truckload and make more trips so I don't break myself lifting without a bit of a rest.

 

I must say I love @Philbee 's idea of anti-backwards sliding brakes, I've been a passenger sliding down backwards and it's pretty freaky, not something I'd like to do again.

For me the risk of being dragged backwards down a slippery slope is a weekly occurrence and the potential disasters that the reverse capable brakes have averted are priceless.

Not only will reverse capable brakes save you many hours of down time due to being stuck in a jackknife but they will save your rig from certain destruction and sometimes your life.

Edited by Guest
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tony    1,833
Posted (edited)

this is my triple axle trailer it has electric drum brakes on four front wheels, this was built buy gibbons but it snapped the draw bar in the first year from memory, I think its about 7 years old now maybe 8, gibbons rebuilt it but several years later the deck fell off the chassis we took it upon ourselves to rebuild it no issues since then, I can cart 40 hives on 10 pallets 5 pallets each side, we don't do a lot of off road with this its mainly for hive transport, one thing I would change if I ever get spare money to is the electric drums to disc, drums really are a pain we have done two full rebuilds on them magnets and all and always need adjusting,in saying that they do get a lot of work, we have snapped springs over the years and have recently just put heavier ones in. IMG_20170728_141407066_HDR.jpg.3b080f9823758ebc431e1cd1e2eaf9d3.jpg

IMG_20170728_141407066_HDR.jpg.3b080f9823758ebc431e1cd1e2eaf9d3.jpg

IMG_20170728_141407066_HDR.jpg.3b080f9823758ebc431e1cd1e2eaf9d3.jpg

Edited by Guest

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dansar    3,952

Tidied up those missed posts @Philbee probably just a slight lag in the internet causing an issue for you.

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beefree    260

Thank you everyone for your input, especially Tristan, super effort writing all those indepth responces.

 

After more research and looking around I found nearly every 2m x 4m trailer is around 800-850kg, unless it's a Prescot trailer, their website claims GMV of 2500kg and load rating of 2000kg, would suggest the trailer is 500kg which can't be right, so I gather they are encouraging over loading?

 

I decided I will go with these guys central custom engineering, as the engineer there really listened to my needs and he has experience with electric over hydraulic and building a ton of flat deck trailers, some for beekeepers. I did find trailer places have been a bit arrogant, for exmaple, they seem to do the odd thing that was a bit strange and when I questioned them on it they get a little defensive, maybe it was just me?

 

So i ended up going for a trailer thats 4m x 2m (I hope that's not too big? rated to 3.5 ton, all these stories of broken axles, hubs and springs I thought it cant hurt to go 3.5 ton. But i told them I also had concerns with a lot of shock being transferred to the hives, so they opted for 3000kg suspension and 14inch with higher profile tyres, I'm not so concerned with height, as long as it's lower than a ute deck. Most of the time I will be running under 2.5 ton gmv, so the 3.5 ton rating on axles/hubs is a bit over kill, but when I get a better towing vechile I will certainly push it to 3.5 when transporting supers.

 

The brake setup I'm going for are 4 vented disc brakes, 11inch rotors with decent size pistons on them, 2.25 inches. Also they reccomended ceramic pads (not sure if this is a good idea?), anyhow I think this braking is certainly more than adequate, this was my number one aim was to have pretty damn good brakes. On top of this I opted for electric over hydraulic, the advantages are hard to ignore.

 

So I'm tossing up between the 1600psi Hydrastar system and the 1000psi Sensabrake system, the sensabrake has a much faster responce time (up to 1 second), but Hydrastar has been around for longer and can be fixed locally, plus Central Custom have have experience with them. They claim when setup properly I should not notice the weight of the trailer when fully loaded with this brake setup. Any one care to comment on the two systems?

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jamesc    649

Sounds good. What are you going to pull this unit with ?

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beefree    260
Sounds good. What are you going to pull this unit with ?

 

Nothing flash, just a Hilux. I need quite few more years yet to save up for a better vehicle, as it is I'm sharing the cost of this trailer with another beekeeper. :)

Edited by Guest

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Philbee    1,250
Thank you everyone for your input, especially Tristan, super effort writing all those indepth responces.

 

After more research and looking around I found nearly every 2m x 4m trailer is around 800-850kg, unless it's a Prescot trailer, their website claims GMV of 2500kg and load rating of 2000kg, would suggest the trailer is 500kg which can't be right, so I gather they are encouraging over loading?

 

I decided I will go with these guys central custom engineering, as the engineer there really listened to my needs and he has experience with electric over hydraulic and building a ton of flat deck trailers, some for beekeepers. I did find trailer places have been a bit arrogant, for exmaple, they seem to do the odd thing that was a bit strange and when I questioned them on it they get a little defensive, maybe it was just me?

 

So i ended up going for a trailer thats 4m x 2m (I hope that's not too big? rated to 3.5 ton, all these stories of broken axles, hubs and springs I thought it cant hurt to go 3.5 ton. But i told them I also had concerns with a lot of shock being transferred to the hives, so they opted for 3000kg suspension and 14inch with higher profile tyres, I'm not so concerned with height, as long as it's lower than a ute deck. Most of the time I will be running under 2.5 ton gmv, so the 3.5 ton rating on axles/hubs is a bit over kill, but when I get a better towing vechile I will certainly push it to 3.5 when transporting supers.

 

The brake setup I'm going for are 4 vented disc brakes, 11inch rotors with decent size pistons on them, 2.25 inches. Also they reccomended ceramic pads (not sure if this is a good idea?), anyhow I think this braking is certainly more than adequate, this was my number one aim was to have pretty damn good brakes. On top of this I opted for electric over hydraulic, the advantages are hard to ignore.

 

So I'm tossing up between the 1600psi Hydrastar system and the 1000psi Sensabrake system, the sensabrake has a much faster responce time (up to 1 second), but Hydrastar has been around for longer and can be fixed locally, plus Central Custom have have experience with them. They claim when setup properly I should not notice the weight of the trailer when fully loaded with this brake setup. Any one care to comment on the two systems?

You are putting some good gear into a trailer that is too small.

A 4x2 trailer doesn't need those brakes.

Mine is 2.2 x5.3 and it goes through the Te Awamutu KFC drive thru.

I also use a 4x2 tandem flatdeck with electric brakes just as you describe.

It is too small to be of any real use.

Remember that a flat bed trailer whilst being a transport tool is also a valuable work bench out on the job.

At some time in the future you may want to put a crane on and 4x2 tandem is a bit on the lite side for that.

No matter what trailer springs they fit to a 4x2 trailer it will still shake bees because it is too lite.

If it doesn't shake the bees it will be because its been built much too heavy.

A 4x2 tandem flatbed should weigh 560kg if well designed and a 5.3x2.2 should weigh 750kg if well designed.

Both should be built from 65 x 35 x 3mm box.

75 x 50 x 3 is too heavy and 100 x 50 x 3.2 is an overkill.

The coupling should be of a swivel type which will reduce wear on both the ball and coupling.

The deck height on 14 inch commercial wheels should be about 800mm and the lower edge of the drawbar should be on the same plane as the shackle mounts, not below

the suspension should be welded to its own sliding boggie which is clamped to the trailer chassis and should include scope for 150mm of longitudinal adjustment for trailer balance.

The hydraulic hoses that go from the chassis rail to the calipers should be cable tied to 3mm stainless wire ropes that connect from the chassis rail to the caliper bolts .

These prevent branches from taking out your hoses.

Lights are best to be LED and shielded

Deck is best fixed with self tapping countersunk deck screws.

Combing rail 25mm nb pipe.

Plenty more details to consider also

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tristan    2,834
So i ended up going for a trailer thats 4m x 2m (I hope that's not too big? rated to 3.5 ton, all these stories of broken axles, hubs and springs I thought it cant hurt to go 3.5 ton. But i told them I also had concerns with a lot of shock being transferred to the hives, so they opted for 3000kg suspension and 14inch with higher profile tyres, I'm not so concerned with height, as long as it's lower than a ute deck. Most of the time I will be running under 2.5 ton gmv, so the 3.5 ton rating on axles/hubs is a bit over kill, but when I get a better towing vechile I will certainly push it to 3.5 when transporting supers.

its not always a good thing to run a trailer lighlty loaded. if your going to run 2500kg then your better off with a 2500kg trailer.

tricky call to make as you never know quite what your use will be.

 

 

After more research and looking around I found nearly every 2m x 4m trailer is around 800-850kg,

thats very heavy. 500-600kg would be my pick.

 

 

The brake setup I'm going for are 4 vented disc brakes,

vented brakes would be over kill with double axle braking. we have fairly small solid disks and they work fine. granted we don;t have big hills here. normally i love overkill but i know how ridiculously expencive those vented disks are.

 

i havn't used the electric/hydralics so i can't comment on which one is better. tho i have heard some of the high pressure ones can have issues with some brake calibers.

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