Utility trailers are very useful for a wide variety of tasks, from transporting tools to work or instruments to a presentation. If you plan to build a trailer for your business or you only need it occasionally for a family camp, this article will give you the information you need to build it yourself!
Method 1 of 2: Before You Begin
Step 1. Determine the type of trailer you need
A utility trailer should be customized to your specifications. You will have to decide the length, the weight capacity and whether or not it will be open, for example:
- If you are going to use the utility trailer for lumber or building materials, you will need a strong suspension and larger wheels. To facilitate loading and unloading, especially of wood, it is probably best if it is closed. It should also be long enough for the wood and sheets.
- For valuable machinery and tools, it should not only be sturdy, but also closed and secured to prevent theft.
- The vehicle with which you will be towing the utility trailer will also help you determine the dimensions. For example, a utility trailer for hauling groceries behind a bicycle will necessarily be much smaller than a utility trailer for a Suburban, built to haul a table saw.
Step 2. Decide on the construction method
You can build the utility trailer from scratch or assemble a kit. Either way, the right tools and materials are essential. Look for websites that have plans for utility trailer kits, or visit a home improvement store or tractor supply dealer for ideas.
Step 3. Analyze your skill level
In the planning stages it is important that you are aware of your mechanical and construction knowledge and skills. Building a utility trailer from scratch requires welding skills, carpentry skills, and electrical skills to install the taillights. It also helps if you are comfortable lifting heavy things.
Method 2 of 2: Assemble the Utility Trailer
Step 1. Gather your tools and supplies
Working to a plan will help you put together the right components. Once you've found where to get your materials, check with your customer service representative to arrange delivery. If you are a skilled welder and have the equipment you will need, follow the manufacturer's recommended safety and procedural instructions.
- Most designs consist of a frame, a hitch, a "tongue" (the wedge-shaped piece that extends from the front), an axle with wheels, taillights, and a license plate frame.
- Many of the utility trailer components (tongue, hitch, axle, hydraulic lift, and taillight assemblies) are also sold fully assembled, allowing for easier assembly.
Step 2. Build the trailer frame
The frame will consist of 4 iron bars with steel angles, 2 for the sides and 2 for the front and back. Depending on the length set for the trailer, the sides may be longer than the front and rear.
- Weld and join the iron bars with angles to shape the rack frame. Make sure the corners are square.
- Weld flat iron support beams in the middle, side to side.
- Attach the 2 x 6-inch boards to the frame with pressure-treated screws, parallel with the sides within the edge of the angle iron.
- Cut the wood with a circular saw. Drill holes in the iron angles with a variable speed drill and a bit designed for metal.
- Attach the boards to the rack.
Step 3. Assemble the axle and wheels
Use a hydraulic jack to lift the frame. Put 4 blocks in the corners to keep it elevated. Weld the shaft under the frame. On a rectangular frame, the axle must be supported with 60% of the frame in the front and 40% in the rear to distribute the weight.
Using the thumbscrews and nuts included in the axle kit, install the default tires
Step 4. Finish with all the other parts
Weld the hitch to the tongue and attach the assembly to the front of the frame. Mount the connecting cable behind the hook, on the tab. Run the electrical wires from the front to the rear for the taillights. Make sure the taillight connector is at the front.