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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Geelong, Australia
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    54
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    Default Recommendation for trailer deck material

    A friend who is downsizing has donated me his old 3.6x2.1 flat deck tandem trailer.
    He previously used it to carry flooring and plaster sheets and just had a couple of sheets of yellow tongue screwed to the top for a deck. He removed that a while back to re-deck it, but never finished.

    My intention is to use it mainly for picking up longer lengths of steel and timber, but I can see that it will end up getting used for other general things like helping family members move house, maybe the odd machine for the workshop etc.
    I don't need to worry about gravel and soil etc as the old landrover ute has a big tray and plenty of capacity - its not not so convenient for long lengths or things that are ugly to get up onto the tray (about a metre off the ground).

    So, what would you recommend using for a deck? I'm thinking either steel sheet, or perhaps something like construction ply.
    Ply would need to be kept oiled/painted or it wouldn't last too well - but 3 sheets of 17mm flooring is only about $250 and with a little bit of maintenance should last pretty well.
    Steel sheet is a bit more complex to choose. Flat or checker plate, bare, painted or gal. Good thing is being a flat deck its not going to collect water and sit full of last months green waste so shouldn't be too bad as far as rusting goes.
    I guess the likes of diamond mesh would also be a possibility? Maybe mesh front and rear and a solid sheet across the middle??

    Any thoughts?




    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
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    68
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    4,780

    Default

    Hi Steve, personally I'd go for Galvanised sheets in 3mm thickness, I'd also put in extra cross members, as they appear to be about 600mm centres. Ideally floor cross members need to be about 300mm centres.
    The reason I prefer the Galvanised over the others, is that it's basically maintenance free, once its welded in place, and a couple of coats of cold galv over the welds and that's it.
    Power wire brush the welds before painting, to get rid of the furies, and help with adhesion of the paint. You could weld the joins in the sheets as well if you wanted to, weld about 100mm miss 300mm and repeat the width of the trailer, by that time your first welds should be cold enough to start again, repeat till its totally welded. A gap of approx 2mm will maintain penetration without getting too hot, underneath welds only require about 50mm every 300 - 400mm and only on one side, the joins should be welded both sides at a similar distance.
    HTH
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,258

    Default

    I agree with Kryn, don't go with checker plate it can be a real pain if you want to slide stuff about once it is on the trailer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Norwood-ish, Adelaide
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    56
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    5,720

    Default

    Open mesh is fine when the road is clean and dry, but at times when it is not, even if you tarp the top of the load it will still get wet/ muddy from underneath.
    Agree with Bob on checker plate if you want to slide things around. Guy I used to work with bought a new trailer and had them install the checker plate floor upside down so he could slide bales of hay etc when he needed to (farming background).

    Michael

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Geelong, Australia
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    54
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    Default

    Thanks guys - good info. Kryn - really appreciate the welding advice too.

    Yes, the supports are currently at 600 centres. Its still around at his place at present so I'll have a good look over it once I get it home.
    From some quick calcs it looks like a 3mm floor and additional supports would be around 250kg total.
    Not sure what its actually rated at now but only override disc brakes on one axle so definitely won't be over 2000kg - I'm mindful of my normal tendency to overbuild things and end up with it so heavy there's no load capacity

    Steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    8,686

    Default

    Its not my money. How about some weather resistant steel?(looks like BHP call theirs XLERPLATE)
    $198+gst for a 2440x1220x3mm sheet.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Geelong, Australia
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    Default

    No worries - I'll go you halves in the cost
    I was thinking you meant Corten, but looks like BHP call theirs REDCOR.

    Steve

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default

    Yeah not cheap, at least where I shop, but thought I'd put it out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by OxxAndBert View Post
    I was thinking you meant Corten,
    oops Actually that is what I meant but the name wouldn't come to me and it looks like google let me down
    The price is for something along the lines of Corten. Something like 30% dearer than gal at the steel joint I use but they don't carry 3mm gal so that's a guess based on 1.6mm sheet prices so could be way out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lebrina
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    1,593

    Default

    In my view, galvanised sheet is not the best choice for trailer or truck tray floors. I would choose black sheet painted with the likes of Rust Guard paint (just use a roller). In a previous workplace we built hundreds of truck bodies, many of them flat trays and tippers for local councils. When they were traded in, the rustguard paint was found to have held up really well in all cases and was easily recoated if required. Galvanising is attacked by many substances such as green grass and cold galv paint does not hold up terribly well as a top coat when subjected to abrasion on a galvanised substrate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Geelong, Australia
    Age
    54
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    Default

    Well I picked up the trailer last night, and lets just say there are a few other structural jobs to do before getting the deck on.
    No rust or cracking, but there are a few welds (including critical ones on the drawbar) that were obviously done by robot seagulls, and some interesting construction techniques that I'm sure are not good practice, let alone best practice.

    Brakes and lights need sorting out too, but I knew about that.

    I'll get some photos and start a separate project thread as there will be a few things I could do with some advice on.

    Steve

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