Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It actually looks like a trailer

So after the second week of work it is actually starting to look like a trailer. We spent the weekend building the gooseneck. We decided to make the top piece of the gooseneck out of one piece to try and reduce the amount of welds seen on the outside of trailer. So we started cutting and bending the steel.

The cuts have been made and waiting to be heated and bent.

Bent and leveled.

We put the gussets up before putting the top channel on. They are a little big, but we think it helps the trailer actually look like a normal gooseneck despite the height.

Blake is obviously excited about the progress.

After the second channel got put up.

View from above.

Actually looks like a trailer now, with the gooseneck coupler on it and cross braced.

First Weekend of Work

The first weekend of work consisted of Blake and I cutting off the cab of the truck and getting all of the steel and equipment to turn it into a functioning gooseneck trailer. We cut the cab off and loaded up the trailer with the scrap and attempted to get rid of it, but suprisingly the scrap metal place is closed on the weekend. After that we headed to Gooseneck Trailers in Bryan. The guys there were super helpful and friendly, we spent quite a bit of time talking to them and they helped us realized that we could probably keep the rear axle from the truck and use it on the trailer instead of ripping it out and replacing it with two trailer axles. We were concerned with how we could make the hydraulic brakes from the truck work now it was going to be a trailer. We knew that we could use a vacuum over hydraulic system but that requires retrofitting all the trucks that would potentially pull the trailer, which is certainly less than ideal. They sold us an electric over hydraulic acutator that will allow us to save the rear axle and have a simple hookup to most trucks. In addition to that we picked up a gooseneck coupler and a few sidewinder trailer jacks to get us going. After a stop at a steel supply store we started work.

The trailer made it into the shop in College Station and is ready to go.
So we started cutting, grinding and welding.

Blake and his dad discussing the design.....

Blake doing some welding to put the jacks onto the frame.

The is as far as we made it in the first weekend as we ran out of wire for the MIG gun on Sunday and Tractor Supply Company was out of wire and no place to re-stock in the BCS area. So we called it a day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

And the Journey Begins......

So while sitting on a drilling rig off the coast of Africa, my friend and co-worker Blake and I somehow agreed that we should build a tailgating trailer so we can have a legitimate excuse to go to all home Aggie games and the proper motivation to get us up there now that we are out in the real world. Needless to say our thoughts and desires for the trailer quickly outgrew our desired budget, so we enlisted the help of two more of our co-workers and former classmates to help defer the cost. Once that was all said and done we decided that we should start with a former U-Haul truck to build upon. After many weeks/months of deliberating on what type and size truck to get we settled on the biggest truck that U-Haul makes. So we found a 2000 model 24' truck that had been wrecked and picked over by the parts department at U-Haul but still had a nice box. Here is the truck that we started out with:

Once we had our truck picked out and bought we inlisted Blake's dad Dennis to come down to Houston and pick it up with his 18 wheeler and truck it back to College Station to begin work. It was interesting getting a truck with only one axle onto a trailer, but we ended up getting done by lifting the truck up by the wheels using forklifts and having Dennis back the trailer up to get it on.

Once that was done she was off to College Station........