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I inherited a dump trailer and it is in need of some work. Well quite a bit and figured I would look for advice around here.

As far as use, the trailer sees very little. If I use it for anything it is normally running to get mulch or dirt from a buddy who has his business less than a mile from my house. So, that means it sees 2-4 miles on it a year..

Worst case, I just call my buddy and have him drop a load of what I need with a dump truck. Some years that is easier so it doesn't see use. Where it is really nice is when cleaning stuff out we will haul it out to him but that is less common as I compost more now.

Here are the issues.

The hydraulic pump is pretty weak. There are many times I am helping it up to get it to dump much of anything with the FEL on my tractor. So, that should be replaced.

The Hydraulic Rams leak but could be rebuilt as they have been in the past.

All electrical should be redone.

Yesterday I went down there to get 4 yards of top soil as I am getting ready to plant grass. Well on the way home, or maybe when my buddy dropped 4 yards of top soil in it, a spring broke. I didn't notice it was broken and we blew out a tire on the way home.

The axles are not set up right on it. If pulling an empty trailer at any speed, it will start to sway. If fixing the springs, the right answer is to put new axles under it and set them up right sliding them back about 5". This will also mean that we can ditch the wheels we have now that are an odd size and difficult to find tires for. That will mean new brakes and might as well fix/replace the hydraulic pump.

The right answer is probably to scrap it because for how much work it needs and the amount of use it sees it doesn't make much sense. More so when you consider he doesn't charge me for dirt/mulch because I maintain all their computer systems and never charge them. That is "free", delivered or if I pick it up. Basically I will never save in delivery charges what I will spend on fixing it even if you just consider materials. For what little I use it, even if I needed a trailer,

I could go with a nice set of Dexter EZ lube but again, is that total overkill with the amount of use? What would the most economical solution be with this use case? The furthest I can see going is every now and then going to get some landscape rock which would be about a 10 mile each way trip. Maybe once every 5 years. Even if I had to have a trailer for that, I could rent one for less than $100 for 1/2 day.

I guess the main reason I am thinking about actually fixing it is that it is a reason to use my welder, it would be a fun project. However, I don't have a ton of time to mess with it. I have no time now to deal with it, maybe next summer at the soonest. The garage build is first priority for all extra funds and time. Since I have no needed use near term it can wait.

A quick guess at materials, I am looking at $1000-1500 at least.

 

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Sounds like scrap to me. Double that parts figure at a minimum to cover your labor, so figure $3000-$4000 investment.

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Time to walk away, List it as OBO if you have a title if not a time for the metal recycler.
Just my 2$.

Doug
 

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​ Springs are cheap......fix it....probly 60 bux

pic of the whole trailer would be sweet....you know the drill
 

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Well, as you said, the real reason your are thinking about repairing the trailer is "you want to"!! This is really the issue, do you want to repair and do you have the abilities and equipment to do the repair.

If you want to, and have the prerequisite abilities and equipment, then the decision isn't so much about the cost of doing it, it is more about do you need the trailer and is it worth your time and effort to repair it.

It sounds like the trailer is in pretty bad condition, but pretty much anything can be repaired, it just a matter of "want to", money, abilities, equipment and time, generally in that order.

I'm not sure about Minnesota law concerning trailer state inspections. In PA, any trailer licensed over 3000 lb. GTWR has to be state inspected annually, so the trailer has to meet all of the normal requirements and be in relatively good condition. Things like these are checked every year: brakes on all wheels; brake break-away switch; lights must work; tires, suspension, floor, frame, coupler in good condition; etc. So, if you were in PA, you would have to make sure your trailer is in pretty good condition so that it would pass state inspection, albeit, it isn't a bad idea to have your trailer in good condition anyway, after all you are taking it on the highway.

So, I think it comes down to, we many times buy and have stuff that we don't need or we buy it just because we want one.

So, again it really comes down to, do you want to fix it. IMO, if you do, bring it back to like new condition which will make it safe and something to be proud of. If you don't want to fix it and bring it back to a safe trailer and something you will be proud of, then get rid of it.
 

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I think I’d put a new spring in it and a tire and sell it. E-trailer and Amazon have good prices on trailer parts. Used trailers always bring good money.
What size tires are you running?
 

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I'm not sure about Minnesota law concerning trailer state inspections. In PA, any trailer licensed over 3000 lb. GTWR has to be state inspected annually, so the trailer has to meet all of the normal requirements and be in relatively good condition. Things like these are checked every year: brakes on all wheels; brake break-away switch; lights must work; tires, suspension, floor, frame, coupler in good condition; etc. So, if you were in PA, you would have to make sure your trailer is in pretty good condition so that it would pass state inspection, albeit, it isn't a bad idea to have your trailer in good condition anyway, after all you are taking it on the highway.
In Minnesota, there is no vehicle inspection of any kind for non-commercial vehicles or trailers.

The OP's trailer....hard to tell what the rest of the trailer is like based just on that one picture of a broken $30 leaf spring, but the mounts look ok, and if the axles and hubs are OK then maybe rehabbing suspension, hydraulics, brakes, and lights wouldn't be that hard. My problems in such a scenario would be time (especially with winter approaching) and where to store the thing. Trailer parking around my lot is already at a premium, as is time to begin a major project like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds like scrap to me. Double that parts figure at a minimum to cover your labor, so figure $3000-$4000 investment.

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I might be shy on my estimate cost because I didn't factor in wheels and tires. So I might be close to that number just in parts. I don't think I would factor labor in this case. Some times I do. For instance if this is something I don't want to do. I have been looking for a welding project. This would be a good one. Or if it was a needed thing to where I have to put other things off and maybe take time off work. None of this is true. I could put it in the back yard for the winter and shop Craigs list for the next few months to save some money. Then once I get stuff, put it in the shop (pole barn) and work on the axle swap as I have time here and there. I don't think it would take all that much time to address.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
​ Springs are cheap......fix it....probly 60 bux

pic of the whole trailer would be sweet....you know the drill
Here is one from my album with about 4 yards of mulch.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, as you said, the real reason your are thinking about repairing the trailer is "you want to"!! This is really the issue, do you want to repair and do you have the abilities and equipment to do the repair.

If you want to, and have the prerequisite abilities and equipment, then the decision isn't so much about the cost of doing it, it is more about do you need the trailer and is it worth your time and effort to repair it.

It sounds like the trailer is in pretty bad condition, but pretty much anything can be repaired, it just a matter of "want to", money, abilities, equipment and time, generally in that order.

I'm not sure about Minnesota law concerning trailer state inspections. In PA, any trailer licensed over 3000 lb. GTWR has to be state inspected annually, so the trailer has to meet all of the normal requirements and be in relatively good condition. Things like these are checked every year: brakes on all wheels; brake break-away switch; lights must work; tires, suspension, floor, frame, coupler in good condition; etc. So, if you were in PA, you would have to make sure your trailer is in pretty good condition so that it would pass state inspection, albeit, it isn't a bad idea to have your trailer in good condition anyway, after all you are taking it on the highway.

So, I think it comes down to, we many times buy and have stuff that we don't need or we buy it just because we want one.

So, again it really comes down to, do you want to fix it. IMO, if you do, bring it back to like new condition which will make it safe and something to be proud of. If you don't want to fix it and bring it back to a safe trailer and something you will be proud of, then get rid of it.
No inspections of anything here in MN. Vehicles, trailers or anything.

I have pretty much everything I would need. What I don't have is knowledge as I haven't built a trailer before, I can weld. I had Oxy Acetylene torch, metal band saw, drill press, grinders and pretty much anything else I could think of and know how to use them. I have a work space in my pole barn where this would be out of the way for messing with as time allows.

The knowledge part is going to be setting up trailer brakes, never done that before and selecting and installing axles. That would be new to me. Tandem axles at that. It would also be nice to convert from surge brakes to electric. We have brake controllers in our trucks because of the campers.
 

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I just used my 20 year old dump trailer this weekend to haul 4,000 pounds of river stone,,



Even with the stone all the way forward, the hydraulics will lift the bed easily

My opinion on MY trailer is that I would spend $4,500 without thinking if repairs were needed,,
BUT,, I use this trailer at least once a month.

In my opinion, if you have a tractor with a loader, you need a dump trailer,,

:dunno:
 

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Most trailer springs and hardware are now manufactured in China. With that comes the usual china quality or more accurately, the lack thereof. I built a trailer for primarily hauling motorcycles in the early '90s. I've replaced the springs once so far, as they broke. So your issue is not uncommon. As another stated, I sourced affordable replacements from etrailer.com.

As to your hydraulic issues, I'm not sure what you have, whether it is re-buildable, size, etc.

Typically, trailer sway issues are from it being tongue light and tail heavy. Many manufactured trailers I see today have the axles positioned extremely aft. While this certainly eliminates sway issues, it also creates excessive tongue load---far in excess of what most hitches are rated for. In your case, while you're hankering for a welding project, I would think moving the axles is more of a project than what you're looking for. If you have or are going to add a spare tire, build a mount on the tongue for it. Perhaps adding a steel tool box on the tongue to store chains in. It probably will not take a lot.

One other thing I've seen on trailers from time to time, they don't pay attention to what is the front side of the axle and install it backwards. I suppose this is because they come assembled and the manufacturer does not mark which is front or rear. You don't know until you pull the brake drums off. With brake shoes, there is a front (primary) and rear (secondary). The secondary shoe has more lining on it, as it does more of the braking from what is termed "self-energizing action". I won't get into all the theory, as you probably already know it. If not, do a web search.

Based on your career skills, the wiring should be easy-peezy for you. There is a company located in the metro, waytekwire.com , that will have everything you need at decent prices.

Lastly, as you also live in the state of rust and corrosion, mainly attributable to all the salt they apply in the winter as a de-icer, what kind of shape is the box and frame in? The trailer I built in the early '90s is having major rust through issues. The fenders are rusted through and the rear opening gussets are rusting through. I'll run it till it is no longer safe or structurally sound, but then it'll go to the scrap yard. I'm already eyeing up an Aluma aluminum trailer as the replacement. I'm fairly impressed with the build and quality of their trailers.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think I’d put a new spring in it and a tire and sell it. E-trailer and Amazon have good prices on trailer parts. Used trailers always bring good money.
What size tires are you running?
I will have to look at the tire size. Don't remember off the top of my head. I just recall when I last needed to change a couple it was hard to find options.

In Minnesota, there is no vehicle inspection of any kind for non-commercial vehicles or trailers.

The OP's trailer....hard to tell what the rest of the trailer is like based just on that one picture of a broken $30 leaf spring, but the mounts look ok, and if the axles and hubs are OK then maybe rehabbing suspension, hydraulics, brakes, and lights wouldn't be that hard. My problems in such a scenario would be time (especially with winter approaching) and where to store the thing. Trailer parking around my lot is already at a premium, as is time to begin a major project like that.
I don't have time to mess with it, we are in a more rural area so not a big deal just parking it out back where it normally sits for the winter. It isn't getting any worse. We did throw a spare tire on it for now. No matter what we do, it won't be this year.

I just used my 20 year old dump trailer this weekend to haul 4,000 pounds of river stone,,



Even with the stone all the way forward, the hydraulics will lift the bed easily

My opinion on MY trailer is that I would spend $4,500 without thinking if repairs were needed,,
BUT,, I use this trailer at least once a month.

In my opinion, if you have a tractor with a loader, you need a dump trailer,,

:dunno:
I want to say top soil weighs 2-3k per yard and we had 4 yards. It was fairly dry so probably closer to that 8000K in the trailer.

To unload it since it wouldn't dump, I pulled the tailgate, and pulled out dirt to make a ramp and drove in it and hauled all the dirt out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Most trailer springs and hardware are now manufactured in China. With that comes the usual china quality or more accurately, the lack thereof. I built a trailer for primarily hauling motorcycles in the early '90s. I've replaced the springs once so far, as they broke. So your issue is not uncommon. As another stated, I sourced affordable replacements from etrailer.com.

As to your hydraulic issues, I'm not sure what you have, whether it is re-buildable, size, etc.

Typically, trailer sway issues are from it being tongue light and tail heavy. Many manufactured trailers I see today have the axles positioned extremely aft. While this certainly eliminates sway issues, it also creates excessive tongue load---far in excess of what most hitches are rated for. In your case, while you're hankering for a welding project, I would think moving the axles is more of a project than what you're looking for. If you have or are going to add a spare tire, build a mount on the tongue for it. Perhaps adding a steel tool box on the tongue to store chains in. It probably will not take a lot.

One other thing I've seen on trailers from time to time, they don't pay attention to what is the front side of the axle and install it backwards. I suppose this is because they come assembled and the manufacturer does not mark which is front or rear. You don't know until you pull the brake drums off. With brake shoes, there is a front (primary) and rear (secondary). The secondary shoe has more lining on it, as it does more of the braking from what is termed "self-energizing action". I won't get into all the theory, as you probably already know it. If not, do a web search.

Based on your career skills, the wiring should be easy-peezy for you. There is a company located in the metro, waytekwire.com , that will have everything you need at decent prices.

Lastly, as you also live in the state of rust and corrosion, mainly attributable to all the salt they apply in the winter as a de-icer, what kind of shape is the box and frame in? The trailer I built in the early '90s is having major rust through issues. The fenders are rusted through and the rear opening gussets are rusting through. I'll run it till it is no longer safe or structurally sound, but then it'll go to the scrap yard. I'm already eyeing up an Aluma aluminum trailer as the replacement. I'm fairly impressed with the build and quality of their trailers.
As far as rust. The trailer has never been on the road in the winter as far as I know. Like I said. It doesn't get used much and hasn't been for the last 15 years that I can speak to. It sits in the back of the lot. It was my In Laws and is now ours as they have no use for it.

As I kind of mentioned, we have a camper so I have been around the tongue weight, sway and mitigation issues. We bought our weight distributing hitch (Blue Ox) from ETrailer as they had the best price. Before posting this thread I had been on there and Northern Tool just starting to get an idea of what it would take for new axles. Really the reason for considering new axles is then I can easily go with new (used) wheels that might be in a more common size for a better selection of tires. I don't know that I would mess with a spare. Like I said 99.999% of the use is within less than a mile of the house. It doesn't see much use and dry rot is the bigger threat to the tires than miles of use. Well other than this one that we lost to the tire rub.

The biggest area that I don't know being I have never built a trailer is getting the right size axles, I don't want to go too wide but I also don't want too narrow and have rub issues. That is if I even go to that level. Maybe I just throw a new spring or replace all the springs and leave it be. Fix the hydraulics and go from there. I do get sway but again, less than a mile. I was curious, and just looked it up. 0.8 miles from my house to his business. It isn't so bad that I have had major issues. I can just feel it but I can also take it slow.

Electrical is a cake job for me. I addressed some of it a few years ago. Got tired of the battery being dead everytime we went to use it and with all our trucks having 7 pin and campers that need the 40A connection, I wired the pump so the battery is in line with the wiring harness so the truck can help power it.

Really the only concern I have is access. The trailer sits pretty low and I can't get under it. I could jack it up and put it on stands but it is heavy. A perfect world would be to pull the box and just work on the frame and then put it back on when done. No way my X585 and CTC FEL could do that. However one neighbor has a couple skid steers or another neighbor has a 2039R so between them, I think I could get something to help lift it enough to pull the box off the frame. Then the hydraulics and everything could be addressed top side and then put it back together later.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have been thinking about this a little more this morning and after some comments debating on what direction to take this.

A bit more details on some longer term plans and how this might all might come together.

Currently I have 2 trailers (well 3 if you also look at the camper). The first is the dump trailer that is part of this conversation. The other is an Alumna Utility Trailer. The 12' version of this trailer.

We have the mentioned X585 with FEL and other attachments. On rare occasions I load it up and transport it with the Alumna. No issues there. We also have a Z950R, like with the X585, on rare occasions we use the Alumna to transport it. It is quite a bit more weight than the X585 (more so if the MCS is on it) but no issues. Once the Z is paid off I would like to upgrade the tractor next. If I were to buy something today, it would be a 3025E. No way the 3025E could go on the Alumna. Even if I went with a 1025R or 2025R for some reason, I think it is starting to be too much for the Alumna. Granted I really don't have anywhere to take it. It isn't like we have land up north and every weekend we are hauling the tractor up there to do work. A neighbor has a 10K car hauler or I could just have the dealer deliver the bigger tractor. Also a family friend has a bobcat trailer. I just don't like being in a situation where I am borrowing trailers even though there isn't a huge need for transporting a tractor.

So, one option would be to sell the Alumna and get something bigger but I would probably be looking in the 10K range for that. I really like that small, light utility trailer though and use it a lot.

What about fixing this trailer, springs, electrical, hydraulics and anything else that needs addressing. Keep the odd size wheels/tires and just get it going. I have been looking at what is out there for used dump trailers and there isn't a huge selection. However, once I get to the point where I am getting a new tractor and know what that will be, sell the dump trailer and get a bigger one that can be used to transport something around the size of a 3025E.

Maybe something along the lines of this would work.

14 ft HH DUMP/ Skidsteer/bobcat trailer - business/commercial - by dealer - sale

Then I could keep the light duty Alumna for runs to Lowes and other places where I just need to have a little more room that what we can get in the back of the truck or want the ramp/lower load height.
 

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No inspections of anything here in MN. Vehicles, trailers or anything.

I have pretty much everything I would need. What I don't have is knowledge as I haven't built a trailer before, I can weld. I had Oxy Acetylene torch, metal band saw, drill press, grinders and pretty much anything else I could think of and know how to use them. I have a work space in my pole barn where this would be out of the way for messing with as time allows.

The knowledge part is going to be setting up trailer brakes, never done that before and selecting and installing axles. That would be new to me. Tandem axles at that. It would also be nice to convert from surge brakes to electric. We have brake controllers in our trucks because of the campers.
Around here, two hours north of you, a new 5x10 dump trailer 7000GVW goes for a little under $6000 and I see that Absolute in Inver Grove Heights has a single axle 5x10 dump trailer 5000GVW for around $5000. If it was me, I'd be judging the trailer rehab against those numbers, factoring in need in terms of weight typically carried and frequency of use. I'd also factor in the satisfaction of doing all that heavy restoration myself.

For me, although I'd enjoy the project if I had the time, it would be hard to justify. My son works for an upscale landscaper around here and if I ever need anything, he shows up and drops it off with a BADT, sparing me the hassle and delivery fees.



 

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Discussion Starter #17
Around here, two hours north of you, a new 5x10 dump trailer 7000GVW goes for a little under $6000 and I see that Absolute in Inver Grove Heights has a single axle 5x10 dump trailer 5000GVW for around $5000. If it was me, I'd be judging the trailer rehab against those numbers, factoring in need in terms of weight typically carried and frequency of use. I'd also factor in the satisfaction of doing all that heavy restoration myself.



Something like this might be big enough to get a 3025E in it... Close to 7000# cargo capacity.

https://www.absolutetrailer.com/2019-midsota-82x14-nova-dump-trailer-10k-UUFg|MEd.html
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Tires are ST225/75 R 15

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You might be able to just change out the brake drums, verses the entire axle, to resolve your odd wheel size.

If you decide to scrap it out, keep me in mind before you do. It might be something that I would considering tackling if I could get into right.
 

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You might be able to just change out the brake drums, verses the entire axle, to resolve your odd wheel size.

If you decide to scrap it out, keep me in mind before you do. It might be something that I would considering tackling if I could get into right.
Like I said, not in a huge rush on any of this. I have the spare wheel on it and it is now out in the back yard most likely for the winter.

Today has been busy with yard projects and garage build projects. Installed a conduit out in the garage for internet to the house. Added another outlet in the laundry room. Spread that dirt that broke the trailer, seeded it and covered it with straw mats.

Oh and found the issue where we lost power in half the basement back when they did excavating for the new garage. They hit an abandoned hot wire in the ground. Somehow along with that one of those back fed outlets that just use spring tension lost connection with some wires. I stared going around pulling every outlet that was dead down there and the wires just fell out of it. It was hit going in that box but nothing after it. Replaced it with a new recepticle.

Oh and I will keep you in mind if we don't fix it. My thought right now is fix the broke stuff. Spring, hydraulics lights and any thing else we find along the way.

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