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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    878

    Default Simple Tipping Trailer Conversion

    I've had the idea of making a tipping trailer for a long time, although it was always based on a hydraulic lift, the expense of which was hard to justify. More recently, I saw it could be done with a simple mast and winch setup, which is a much cheaper proposition.

    So I just got me this 6x4 off Gumtree

    IMG_2213.jpg

    And I think the conversion should be pretty simple - I cut off the drawbar and springs, build a simple sub-frame comprising 2 rails, 2 or 3 crossmembers and the previously-cut springs and drawbar.

    The rear of the sub-frame will stop about 300mm short of the end of the trailer, which will be the pivot point. Then I add a mast and winch on the drawbar to lift the front of the tub and I'm done

    7GBL-Resized640x480.jpg

    Existing chassis is all 40x40, so I'll use the same for the sub-frame.

    Only thing I haven't worked out yet is the hinge arrangement.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I've been going down the same track with my currently tilting trailer. A hydraulic lift would be ideal, but like you, I can't really justify the cost for the occasional load of mulch or concreting gravel. My trailer hinged on the axle and the tail hits the ground long before anything much will slide out (I hate shovelling stuff out of trailers as much as I hate shovelling the stuff in). The axle mounted hinge also means that the trailer hangs down at the back when loaded, so could do with a bit of conversion like yours. I have been saving pictures of all sorts of tipping trailers in the hope of getting some good ideas. The mast setup comes up quite a bit and seems to work well. Certainly a much cheaper option for occasional use and I am giving it serious consideration for my trailer. I have also considered a "scissor" style lifting mechanism under the tray and the hand winch mounted horizontally to pull the tipping mechanism to ovoid any obstructions that a mast might give. I have no idea whether there is any mechanical advantage to either tipping method.

    I have a ute crane stored in the shed and maybe that could be mounted at the front of the trailer and serve double duty for the tipping the trailer and lifting heavy stuff into the trailer. There was a tipping trailer advertised on Gumtree I saw the other day that used an exhaust jack to tip the trailer, so that could be an alternative too.

    I look forward to following your conversion. It will be interesting to see how well your mast and winch tipping setup performs and how much winching/winding force is required to empty a trailer load. Keep the pictures coming.

    Simon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,430

    Question

    [QUOTE=RustyArc;1935063
    And I think the conversion should be pretty simple - I cut off the drawbar and springs, build a simple sub-frame comprising 2 rails, 2 or 3 crossmembers and the previously-cut springs and drawbar.
    The rear of the sub-frame will stop about 300mm short of the end of the trailer, which will be the pivot point. Then I add a mast and winch on the drawbar to lift the front of the tub and I'm done
    Existing chassis is all 40x40, so I'll use the same for the sub-frame.
    Only thing I haven't worked out yet is the hinge arrangement.[/QUOTE]

    For the hinging, use a couple of 10 mm plates either side of the subframe, use a piece of hollow bar welded in a notch cut into the centre of the RHS. Instead of the 40 X 40, I'd use something like 75 X 50 for the main frame, the reason being that the 40 won't bend is because it has the sides of the trailer to support it, whereas the 40 on its own will bend because the weight will be on both ends of the frame with the main load supported/pivoting on the axle.
    Using the 75 X 50 will allow you to have the drawbar and chassis in one, have the coupling bolted to a plate under the drawbar, with a gap of 100 mm, with a 45 degree slope from the top to the bottom, just looks neater.

    XJ90X, Your idea will work, you'd need to make the scissor lift approx 200 mm wide, using probably 25 X 50 X 2 RHS, to make it stable. Framing will need to be 50 X 50 X 2 underneath on the scissor section, otherwise it'll bend.
    To make less effort winching, mount a pulley onto the point of < and run the cable back to a point in front of the winching point, it'll halve the effort required to lift the load. If you think that there'll be a few loads of heavy stuff to tip out gravel, loam etc. design the system to accept an extra pulley on top and one below. Similar to Grandads rope pulley block. It'll take longer to unload but, the grand kids will be able to unload the trailer.
    Use a winch that has a brake built into it, NOT the ratchet type boat trailer winch. They are unreliable on the downward movement!!!
    Hope this helps,
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    204

    Default

    If you are interested in alternatives
    This is my slightly different version of a tipping trailer. The pivot point is close to the point of balance so not too much effort is required to tilt it. It has the added benefit of being able to remove the drawbar for storage. I actually store this trailer vertically behind my gate, using a block and tackle to hoist it up.58E9232D-5EAC-4743-AF9A-5809DC47C8D6.jpg
    Due to the drawbar being removable, l made it longer than l normally would have, which makes it easier to reverse.
    Pete

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    878

    Default

    Thanks for the responses. I'm after a 45 degree or steeper dump angle to ensure material dumps completely. I've found another commercial example to work off:

    Premium Off Road Winch Tipper Single Axle Trailers - Caravans & Trailers - Dubbo
    1770-img_4764.jpg
    Which looks even simpler than others I've seen. They give specs too, including 50x50x2.5 SHS for the frame, which I find interesting in light of Kryn's comment about load. They use a telescoping mast, which I might copy, an Ark brand 1150kg boat winch with 3 gear positions and a "launch control brake system", which I've gone and ordered, and I've ordered 4.5" keel roller to go atop the mast for the 65mm winch webbing to run over.

    I thought I had a heap of 40x40 SHS lying around, and, again in light of Kryn's comment, was considering laminating two pieces to make 80x40 side rails, but it turns out I've got a lot less than I thought, but enough for cross-rails and the mast. I did, however, discover some 65x35 RHS, so I think I'll use that for the sub-frame side rails and see how it goes. I'm keen to try and do all this using stuff out of the steel rack, although I think I'm going to have to replace the trailer floor due to rust, and I'll probably buy some 2mm galvanised sheet.

    For hinging, I don't quite get Kryn's suggestion above, but I've ordered some spring hangars that might do the job.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wimmera
    Posts
    78

    Default

    RustyArc.
    I converted my standard 6x4 into a tipper, simply by hinging the draw bar about one third of the length from the front. Then welded two pieces of 50mm x 4mm flat sticking out the underside of the trailer by about 50mm. Pointed down at a slight angle.
    To empty, just remove the tail gate, make sure the trailer is weighted slightly to the rear and undo the latch at the front so that the rear tips down to the ground.
    Hop in the car and reverse. Trailer goes upright and load is dumped.

    I don't have the trailer here at the moment, otherwise I would attach photographs.

    Hooroo.

    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    878

    Default

    In the spirit of making build threads (which are handy for me, as I have a terrible memory) here's where I'm up to - I had a bit of time the last few days, so decided to drag the trailer up to the workshop and start doing some proper damage.

    IMG_2217.jpg

    So here's the victim. First thing I did was trim off the front and back gates, partially to allow me to clean up the cross-members, but also with a mind to remounting them a different way.

    IMG_2233.jpg

    Then onto it's back, removing the axle and springs.

    IMG_2234.jpg

    Then the drawbar and spring hangars.

    IMG_2235.jpg

    I spent a while thinking about the wisdom of this, but in the end I decided to cut out the floor, not only because it was full of rust, but also because I really wanted to check out the condition of the cross-members, some of which showed significant rust. This is a project where in one respect I've tried to go cheap in terms of getting a donor trailer off Gumtree, but on the other hand, I'll be putting a fair few hours into converting it, so it seems short-sighted to ignore structural issues, which are pretty easy to address when the thing is in this state.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,430

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RustyArc View Post
    For hinging, I don't quite get Kryn's suggestion above, but I've ordered some spring hangars that might do the job.
    Hi Rusty, just did a quick sketch of my suggestion, which by the sounds of the spring hangers will do the job.

    DSCF0604.jpg
    Use a couple like this, but heavier, to keep the tipper section locked onto the chassis.
    Over centre catch.jpg
    Hope this helps
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    878

    Default

    So while Canberra isn't as bad for rust as places on the coast, trailers still rust, and a couple of the cross-members were particularly bad, including the front one, which I'll be lifting from, so I decided to cut the bad bits out...

    IMG_2236.jpg

    And put in new steel. Pretty much all my steel collection is Duragal, mainly because I do not have the skill nor patience for painting. That said, I do plan to try and give this thing a decent paint job, although with temperatures starting to drop, probably not the ideal time for paint.
    IMG_2237.jpg

    So having done with removing and repairing, it was on to adding stuff. First was the hinges:
    IMG_2238.jpg

    I used spring hangers made from 8mm stock, and added 5mm flat bar to the 3mm wall RHS on both sides, so the hinge bolts, which will probably be 12mm bolts in 1/2" holes, are riding on a total of 16mm of steel. A bush would probably be a nicer option, and I can add one in the future, but the actual tipping action will occur so seldomly, and at so low a speed, I don't think wear is going to be problem.

    Then it was on to welding up up the new chassis:
    IMG_2239.jpg

    And attaching the original spring hangers:
    IMG_2240.jpg

    Next is a bunch of wire-wheeling while it's on its back to clean up the old paint and rust, and then attaching the original drawbar, which should be pretty straightforward, then it'll be time for paint, although I'm going to have a go at the very rusty bits with phosphoric acid first.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    878

    Default

    Just remembering why I hate painting

    After running over everything with a wire wheel, then phosphoric acid to convert the old rust and etch the new Duragal, then washed off, more wire wheeling, acid, washing, then compressed air to get water out of the gaps, then turps all over. Way above and beyond the prep I normally do.

    My plan was to spray on primer using a Wagner airless spray gun - I'd had good results with it previously, but hadn't run primer through it. Shouldn't be a problem, just thin it down until it runs through the little funnel in the correct time.

    So I get some Rustguard "True Bite" or something primer, pour it into the sprayer's pot - it's thick as custard, so pour in some thinners. Except it doesn't mix. For some reason I assumed all the metal paints would be oil-based

    So I manage to pour off the thinners, and start adding water. A lot of it. It doesn't mention thinning, or spray application at all on the can. Probably for a reason. However it was 13 degrees, heading for a top of 15 and this was my chance to get some paint on while it was remotely "warm".

    Turns out you shouldn't thin this stuff, especially not with water. And you shouldn't try and spray it. It went on, but not happily - well, it looked OK just as it was applied, but dried with streaks looking pretty dreadful

    My current plan is to go get some oil based primer, which *does* allow for thinning and spraying and try and go over what's there and hope for the best...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    878

    Default

    Nothing like a long weekend to get on and make some progress.

    After the last episode of paint nightmares, I got me some proper Dulux primer, which thinned nicely with acetone and went on a treat. The only catch is that the solvent caused some of the previous dodgy paint jobs to soften and ripple, requiring some more remedial work.

    Anyhoo, trailer was back together for fabricating the lifting components.

    IMG_2243.jpg

    I quite like these locally made "Resort" trailers as both the front and back gates can lay flat, which is very handy for carrying long stuff. I had kind of imagined/assumed I could keep this functionality along with the added tipping feature. Having got to the point where the lifting bit has to be fitted, I realised the front gate would need to be fixed, for, among other things, spreading the central lifting force to the sides.

    So I tacked on the front gate, and fitted a roller for the post to go against as the tub was lifted.
    IMG_2244.jpg


    Then there was the lifting point attachment to sort out. I used a high-tensile M14 bolt that goes through the 40mm cross-member, but more importantly, is against the underside of the now-welded front gate.
    IMG_2245.jpg

    Back of the front gate which is stitched in place, and the end of the bolt welded to the SHS.
    IMG_2246.jpg

    Skipping over the mast fabrication to show the finished assembly. It works
    IMG_2247.jpgIMG_2248.jpgIMG_2249.jpg

    It lifts to a 60 degree tip angle, which should be more than enough to ensure everything dumps.

    Only real concern is the geometry of the lifting hook on the bolt head when at maximum height - I don't think it can slip off, but it doesn't look great.

    Remaining steps are to re-fit the rear gate, add a floor (I'm thinking 1.6mm gal sheet) and give it it's final paint.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wimmera
    Posts
    78

    Default

    I think you will find the 1.6mm sheet will be far too light. Will dent very easily.

    Regards,

    John.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    66
    Posts
    3,430

    Default

    I agree with John, I'd go for a 2mm floor, particularly if stuff gets dumped by FEloader. Operaors don't care, it's not their trailer.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    878

    Default

    The floor I cut out was 1.6mm, so it seemed appropriate to replace with the same, although 2mm won't make too much difference to the weight or price I guess.

    I had planned to have a sheet of sacrificial ply on the floor to deal with the impact of rocks etc - I've used the same on ute trays, and it works well. In this application, though, I need to work out how to stop it rusting out the floor, as I think even with galvanised sheet, the coating would fail pretty quickly from moisture trapped between it and the plywood.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wimmera
    Posts
    78

    Default

    "would fail pretty quickly "

    Yes.

    John

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