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Old 06-21-2008, 07:35 AM
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Default Welding truck or trailer???

Hey guys! Been reading a fair bit here and I've seen a lot of trailers used by some of you.
I've only ever used dedicated welding rigs...mostly where I've worked but have owned two of my own in the past.
I've also had to use a few welders that where mounted on trailers.
I can never remember anyone here ever using a dedicated trailer type welding rig.
I have a one ton that I've been using this past year(new busines..too many irons in the fire). Just the regular box...nothing fancy..throw the stuff in the back in a big mess and go
I hate that. Am about to build what I need but now you guys got me thinking about a trailer. Todays gas prices etc...
The pro's that I see to a trailer..
Lower height than a truck deck... easy to lift bottles etc. onto.
Can leave it on site when you have to run into town quick for whatever.
Easier access to everything...again, the lower height.
Less wear and tear on a truck.. less fuel used packing the load around when not needed.
Don't really need a big a$$ one or two ton..
In really tight on site could unhook the trailer and shove the thing into the "hole" with a lil' skid steer.
The cons??
The only real downside I can see here is on the steep logging roads in the winter.
I've spent years on these and know that pulling a heavy trailer on glare ice roads is NOT a good idea.
Same thing.. turning the thing around on narrow icy landings etc.
The PITA trailer wiring etc that can haunt you after it's well used.
So... you guys who have used a trailer a lot...what do you say??
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:41 AM
greywynd's Avatar
greywynd greywynd is online now
I can dig it
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wainwright, Alberta
Posts: 6,399

Mount it on a skid with your tanks, leads, etc, having the skid sized that it will fit in the truck. Then, if you want, you can reload it onto a trailer as you see fit/need it to be. The whole unit can be carried into a construction site or factory that way too.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:49 AM
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LOL! I guess I made it sound worse than it is. I have the welder on a skid with all the leads attached etc.
The DOT Nazis out here are really anal about bottle mounting etc. By the time I build all the racks etc...the tool boxes...there won't be much room to move in the back of a regular box.
And it's a PITA loading and unloading the skid every time I need to use the truck.
And the 8mpg @ $6 a gallon doesn't help either.
My plow truck gets over twice the mileage.. I could pull a trailer with that.
Just thinkin..
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:27 AM
Bolt Bolt is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,267

I started building my 1 ton welding/service truck before I ever finished the trailer it was mounted on before. Didn't have enough room or weight to take what I needed, and it was too hard to maneuver into spots where I needed to go, and hard in the mud, etc. The only drawback is that when you need to go get something, everything needs to be rolled up and put away before you can leave. And sometimes I would set the trailer somewhere when somebody needed to use it for generator, now it ties up the entire truck. But I wouldn't go back. If I ever get to where I need 2 welders, I'll put the trailer back together and pull it behind the truck, that way I can have 2 guys welding fence, etc.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:57 AM
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jksweld jksweld is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Clay WV
Posts: 654

Bolt is right, that is the reason that I got a truck is not enought room and the weight. My trailer weights 3 ton and is 14' long tandem axle. I have really never had a problem on getting into places, just a few times that I didn't know if I was ever gone to get backed into them. I like my trailer rig pretty well its served me good for 2 years and I haven't changed that way its setup at all since I built it. Another good thing you don't have to pay insurance "full time" on a truck that is used "part time". I pull mine with an 02 Super Duty, 5.4 triton, auto, and just take my time gone to jobs.

Heres some links to my trailer
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When the weldin' hood drops the Bulls**t stops

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Old 06-21-2008, 10:35 PM
steelslinger steelslinger is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 122

Torker - I had the same dilemma last week. Finally got things ready to add mobile welding to my business and had to decide trailer or truck.

I really wanted a truck mounted rig, up until I started looking at the weight issue. Even with a bare bones rig, you're looking at 500 to 600 lbs of flatbed frame and decking, and that's being somewhat conservative. Then adding a 600 lbs plus engine drive, I had my truck maxed out before I even got the rest of my tools on there (Ram 2500 3/4 ton).

Though I hate pulling trailers. I always have this fear that its going to flip or swerve and be destroyed, maybe taking the truck with it. Not to mention the possible ease of stealing it.

I'm currently building a 4' x 7' 2000 lbs GVW welding trailer. The loss of using the truck for other types of hauling and the loss of mileage outweighed the rest.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:27 PM
Bolt Bolt is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,267

A trailer needs to be well balanced, it too will get very heavy.

My truck, a 96 F350, is a 2WD, with 460 gasser. 9 foot RK service bed, welder, compressor, torch bottles, tools, rods, parts, bolts, etc. it weighs 11,000 lbs. (max GVWR) real quick. But, for me fuel mileage is not an issue, I only go within a 2 mile radius, which is a good thing, as I get about 5 MPG! But my gas tanks on the compressor and welder need filling sooner than the truck does, so it's not too bad.
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:07 AM
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jk...That's the trailer that got me thinking. I really like that setup...low to the ground and lots of room.
I really didn't pay attention to the size of it though. That's almost as big as my car hauler...yikes!
Still trying to wrassel with the fuel costs issues we have now.
In order to be legal, hauling all the weight you get with this stuff...some of the guys here have gone to two or three ton trucks..
Now their customers are bichin about how much they charge for mileage.
And these two wheel drives don't really cut it up here in the mountains during winter.
But trailers in the winter sukk also.
Kind of a Catch-22 deal.
ss.. that's maybe the size trailer i should be aiming at if I'm going to do this. I'm hoping you post a thread on yours as it progresses.
Bolt.. Man I wish! 2 miles? I can easily pu on 50 to 100 miles one way in the bush.
Yup...yer heavy alright.
This'll need some outta the box thinking I guess.
I don't do enough mobile work to warrant buying a new diesel 2 ton... which is what the DOT almost requires here if you are properly equipped.
But then what do you do... always need bigger... bigger welder for goughing, more air..picker... it never ends.
Then the guy pulling the trailer with a (more)fuel efficient truck might be a few bucks ahead I spose.
Thanks for the info ya'll!
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:18 AM
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RogueWelder RogueWelder is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Pikeville, Ky
Posts: 147

For me, it was about cost. Thats the first thing. If you can afford a decent flatbed truck, and add a box for the tanks, thats the route I would go.

3500 being the smallest truck I would fool with. An F-250 or GM 2500 would last a little while I guess. But not much longer.

You can build a little trailer like mine for around 1k, or less. You won't get a decent 1 ton for that. These guys have listed just about all the pro's and con's I can think of. Just get what you can to start with.

I really couldn't afford a good truck, so I built this trailer. And I can see myself using it even after I have a good truck. Or even selling it to another upstart.

One other advantage to building a trailer is that everyone seems to want one. I've already had about 4 people ask me to build them one, for ATV's etc.
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I said to just Tac it!!
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:39 AM
Bolt Bolt is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,267

How about a gooseneck trailer? It should handle a bit better, especially off road.
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