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Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently on the process of re-re-re-building my home made gooseneck into a tractor hauler. It used to be about three different campers, they were cobbled together to make a deck-over hay bale hauler, and then the deck was stripped off to mount dog boxes, and now it is a 6' x 18' bare frame with drop axles.

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So far I have 99% of the build sorted out and I even have most of the materials stashed away in the garage. The one thing (so far as I am currently aware) that I haven't figured out is how to build the ramps. They must be detachable and be able to support a minimum of 2000 pounds each; 3000 pounds of tractor + a 25% safety margin and divide that by 2. The good news is that the top of the deck should end up being about two feet off the ground or a bit less, so the ramps won't have to be very long. The problem is that I'm not an engineer and my usual solution of grossly over-building to compensate for my lack of engineering skills isn't really a good way to solve this particular problem.

I'm a welder by trade so I'm obviously willing to work with steel, however, I was wondering if wooden ramps would be able to take that kind of load seeing as how that would be much cheaper and easier? Maybe wood with some steel reinforcing?

Useful insight would be appreciated!
 

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I just picked up 2 pieces of red oak rough cut true 2x12's 5' long each haven't used them yet but they are a pretty serious compared to the 2x12 finished pine from the local hardware store.


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Steel vs wood

On a weight basis, steel and good wood have about the same strength. Wood is much bulkier and also softer so even though I'm in favor of using wood (more trees!) anytime, I would stick with steel for this use.

My flat bed trailer has fold down ramps. If needed, I can measure the dimensions but basically the sides are about 3" channel iron and the runs are 1 x 1" angle iron. A solid rod probably 1" runs across the back of the trailer. The channel iron is drilled and the ramps slide side to side on the rod. The down side is they aren't removable. The upside is that I never forget and leave the ramps behind.

My dump trailer has pull out ramps, somewhat lighter material. Those ramps have a lip the fits over a corresponding lip on the trailer. The lips are very short, probably 3/4" to 1" so they are fairly strong. I'm not sure whether I trust them for full tractor weight yet as I haven't used them.

It'll take a day or so but I can pull any measurements that will help. Just tell me what you need. I don't have any way of telling you what grade of steel was used.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'd bet good money that your ramps are made of 1018/A36 or similar mild steel. Anything else gets really expensive and tricky to work with. I know I wouldn't be able to work with anything high-carbon in my garage because of the special tools I would need to cut and weld it. However, any steel thicker than 1/4" is going to be really tough to weld with my little 110v buzz-box.

There is a 1/2" gap between the last two pieces of the frame of the trailer and I was thinking about making something on the ramp end which dropped into it. As convenient as attached fold down ramps are, I don't like the air-brake effect that they tend to have. Maybe if/when I get a newer/bigger truck, but right now it isn't an option. An 8' ramp which sits 2' off the ground means that the other end of the ramps would be 10' in the air.
 
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First thing I would do is rebuild the trailer with the deck ABOVE the wheels or everything is just going to fall off. :)


Seriously, though. Have a look at the fold-down ramps used on many equipment trailers for a design to start with. While they are removable, they are not intended to be removed "frequently". If you need to be able to put yours on and take them off regularly, you could modify the section that forms the "hinge" so that its open on the bottom and you can lift the ramps off.

All steel construction, has a bracing foot that's height-adjustable to suit your specific setup, ladder style build with angle iron type pieces, and will definitely hold some significant weight.
 

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http://loadtrail.net/images/gallery/GD14_14.jpg

http://loadtrail.net/images/gallery/GD14_8.jpg

I had this dump trailer for 2 years, this style of ramp worked really well for a detachable ramp and albeit slightly overloaded, I hauled a 10,000 lb skid steer in that trailer, trailer and ramps took it like a champ, so I wouldn't be scared of this style of construction. However, they are heavy to slide in and out of their holders and straddling them to lift them into place got old really quick. They were 6' long without a leg or blocking, they flexed as expected with the skid steer, but not with my tractor that weighs in at right around 6000 lbs.

I traded on a Corn-Pro 20+5 this winter as I needed more deck. ( I miss the dump body, but the flat deck is more versatile for my needs) This is the only picture I have at the moment, but I can get you some tonight of the tail and the ramp connections if you want. Effortless to flip over and they will pin vertical when you need the room or the adjustable beaver tail is up.


IMG_3068.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The axle on top is incase it rolls over... :lol:

I was thinking about building something similar to the ramps on the dump trailer that JD332 posted. I'm just not sure how beefy they need to be.
 

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I use 2x12 red oak planks 7'+ long for my 2520 w/backhoe.Never worried about it, never heard a creak. I am sure weight wise they are alot easier for one man then a comparable steel ramp. No paint either. JM2C
 
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