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  #1  
Old 01-22-2007, 03:27 PM
Harry McDaniel's Avatar
Harry McDaniel Harry McDaniel is offline
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What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

Dual axle? Single axle? Steel? Aluminum? Springs? Torsion axle? Wood floor? Metal floor? Utility? ATV? Enclosed?

Of course there is no perfect trailer; like anything, there are trade-offs, but I am curious what other sculptors are using. What do you like about your trailer? What annoys you?

I am particularly interested in opinions about which set-ups provide the best ride for the sculpture. A few years ago, I hauled a concrete sculpture along miles and miles of bumpy interstate in East Texas and Mississippi on my single-axle, 14" wheel, 4.5' X 10' landscaping trailer. BUMP-BUMP-BUMP-BUMP-BUMP (a joint in the concrete pavement every 20') By the time I arrived at the site, I had some repair work to do on the sculpture. Ever since, I have been thinking about getting a smoother-riding trailer.
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2007, 09:24 PM
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sculptor sculptor is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

hi Harry
size the trailor to your needs
no sense hauling around a dual axel 10,000# rated lowboy when a single axel 1 ton will do the job.
...
then there is preference---mine is for a wood floor, but they rot a tad faster'n steel
...
springs and a torsion stabilizer fersure

open is lots easier when loading/unloading heavy stuff
covered means you can park it and forget it-----at sculpture fairs, the seasoned vendors have box trailers with their show stuff loaded---they only unload and load at shows, and when (hopefully) replacing sold items

best utility trailor I ever owned was made from the back end of an old pickup truck---had springs and shocks, a removable tailgate and a bumper(great for us back-her-till-she-bumps guys)

my dual axel lowboy has electric brakes-which are darned handy, and a pivot point so the back end can touch the ground---great for dragging logs onto or driving machinery onto

happy trails
rod
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2007, 10:15 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

hi, I have a 16', dual axle flat bed trailer with springs, no brakes. It has a wooden floor which I find handy to bolt my sculptures to. It only cost me $1195. I get a lot of attention riding down the interstate with an 8-10' sculpture bolted upright on that thing. I too have had damaged sculptures due to rough roads. Stay away from I40 west of and in Oklahoma City, it's total WASHBOARD.
I think, well, I should get a trailer with better suspension, but I doubt if that would help much on bad roads.
I never had to transport my work more than 50 miles or so when I lived in NY, but since I've moved to NM, I've moved work thousands of miles. So now I give more consideration to bracing up certain parts, using heavier steel, reinforcing joints, etc., things I didn't give much thought to before. I do however consider aesthetics, first and foremost!
Maybe we should keep a "BEWARE, bad road ahead" list on this forum to alert others. I know, I'll NEVER ride that stretch of I40 in OC again.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:18 PM
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jsimms jsimms is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

I use a 16 footer dual axle with brakes and wooden bed. I got some heavy duty canvas covered pads at a surplus store that I place under my sculptures before cinching them down. Helps a lot to keep things together.
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2007, 12:21 PM
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Harry McDaniel Harry McDaniel is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

Now that a few people have responded, I will go ahead and state some of my likes and dislikes about my own trailer--

My trailer is a steel landscaping style trailer with 14" wheels, 2000# axle/leaf springs, a drop-down expanded steel gate/ramp, a 1" square rail that runs around the front and sides 10" above the floor.

Bed Size: My 10' X 4.5" bed has been OK, but the side rails don't allow me to overhang a sculpture. Since sculptures are often odd shapes I would like to have a slightly bigger bed and/or get rid of the side rails. I LIKE the fact that my trailer is not wider than my van. That means that if I can avoid a pothole with the van, the trailer will probably miss it too. It also makes it easier to back down my narrow driveway. I think the ideal bed, for my circumstances, would be about 6' wide, with the wheels bumped up through the bed, instead of set off to the sides. I like it that my current trailer bed is low to the ground (~15"), both for loading and minimizing the risk of tipping over the trailer with a tall scupture.

Weight Capacity: With a load of about 1,900# my wheels start to rub the fenders. This has not been a problem (yet) for my sculptures, but it has been a problem numerous times when I have been picking up gravel or sand for footings. I think a 3,500# axle/suspension would be about right.

Suspension/Wheels: As I mentioned in my first post, I would like better suspension. The options seem to be--dual wheels, torsion axle, and/or bigger wheels. Dual wheels seem somewhat excessive for the size trailer I need. They also make the trailer a little more difficult to maneuver. I will probably try a torsion axle on my next trailer. Bigger wheels would also offer a better ride. Matching the wheels on the tow vehicle eliminates the need for a seperate spare.

Floor: My trailer has a treadplate steel floor. I like the sturdiness of it. I have drilled numerous holes in it to bolt sculptures down. I can see that a wood floor would be good for that. It would be easy to replace when it gets too many holes.

Tailgate/Ramp: It is often handy to have a built-in ramp. There might be a better way to make a ramp--mine is quite heavy and the expanded metal sags between supports even though I added extra supports. The height of the closed tailgate/ramp offers a couple of advantages: It is handy to have a 3' tall tie-down position in the back of the trailer to keep tall sculptures from rocking forward with fast stops. It also increases the visibility of an empty trailer. (Though I still got gently bumped by a tractor-trailer at a stop light because he forgot that the trailer was there when the light turned green. )

Tie-Downs: It is great to have some sort of convenient tie-downs around the edges of the trailer. My preference would be a rail or rod welded to stake pockets around the edges of the trailer, just below the surface of the bed, so parts can overhang. My trailer has a hand winch welded to the tongue. I have used it frequently to pull sculptures, cement mixers, etc. up the ramp and onto the trailer. A ring welded to the tongue to attach a come-along would be equally handy.
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2013, 12:10 PM
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Harry McDaniel Harry McDaniel is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

Six years later . . . and I'm still thinking about this, and using the same trailer . . . .
On my most recent delivery I thought of a new addition to my trailer wish list: an extendable tongue. Most of the time a 10' long trailer is adequate for me, and I'd rather not haul a longer trailer if I don't have to, but there have been times when I have overhung the length of the bed by several feet. If I could extend the tongue by 3 or 4 feet, it would be a lot easier to haul long pieces safely. Utility pole trailers often have extendable tongues, so I know it can be done. I may build myself a trailer one of these days . . . .
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2013, 09:34 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

Sounds like fun.

I am very careful about building tools. It's too much fun. Once I get started I have a hard time stopping.

Richard
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2013, 10:41 PM
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Harry McDaniel Harry McDaniel is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raspero View Post
I am very careful about building tools. It's too much fun. Once I get started I have a hard time stopping.
Richard
I understand. I have a long history of building tools tailored "perfectly" for my needs, then, sooner than I would expect, finding that my needs have changed. I have limited these sorts of pursuits in recent years, but it is always tempting.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2013, 12:25 AM
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Harry McDaniel Harry McDaniel is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

Well, I did it. I made a trailer for myself. I haven't yet added up the hours and expenses, but I'm sure the tally will be depressing, when I get to it. Anyway, I think the trailer will serve my needs well.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2013, 08:43 AM
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bobcoon bobcoon is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

You Go Harry!!
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2014, 03:20 PM
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Harry McDaniel Harry McDaniel is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

I finally got around to making the long tongue for my trailer. This one is ~6' longer than the other one, so I will easily be able to haul something ~20' long. The two tongues can be switched in about 15 minutes.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2014, 07:25 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

That is a work of art in itself.

Richard
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2014, 10:14 PM
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Harry McDaniel Harry McDaniel is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

Thanks. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I am proud of it. It's a nice trailer and it's well-suited to my needs. On the other hand, I'm a little doubtful about the decision-making process that led me to make my own trailer. With the time and money I put into it, I could easily have made another outdoor sculpture (or two?) that could be be on exhibit now somewhere bringing me a ~$1,000 honorarium. In two or three years it could bring me enough to BUY a nice aluminum trailer (and I would still have the sculpture, unless it sold). Oh well, I got a little obsessed with the idea; I'll just enjoy the trailer now.
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:55 AM
Ryder Ryder is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

I to contemplated making my own trailer. But after seeing the time and cost of wheels and axles I got a lowball priced trailer for $750.00. 2000# rated 5 X 9 steel trailer. The drop rear gate is nice for rolling large bulky light objects up. Just hauled 8 horse sculptures 200 miles to my show and have had lots of comments while hauling the load and comments about the photos I took of the "horse" trailer.
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  #15  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:20 PM
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Harry McDaniel Harry McDaniel is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryder View Post
Just hauled 8 horse sculptures 200 miles to my show and have had lots of comments . . . .
Yeah, whenever I haul a sculpture on a trailer I feel like I am conducting my own personal parade. It can be fun.
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  #16  
Old 05-05-2014, 09:03 AM
Ryder Ryder is offline
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Re: What is the best TRAILER for hauling sculptures?

I smile and wave and then point at the magnetic signs with my phone number and web site stuck to the door of my truck.
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