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Aluminum Trailers #8648573 07/25/22 04:33 PM
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Thinking about getting me a new utility trailer for hauling around the SxS, moving stuff at the lease, etc. and I've been really looking hard at aluminum trailers. The weight savings is key for me since my truck's suspension is too soft for heavy loads and it will work better when I tow feed with the SxS.

That said, I'm worried about popping welds, bent frame, etc. with an aluminum trailer when used offroad. Anyone have any experience or anecdotes they can share?

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8648576 07/25/22 04:40 PM
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I have no experience with them. I got pretty serious about buying a tandem until I priced them. I decided at that point my $900 pipe top tandem Bobo can't seem to break jumping curbs and medians was good enough.


Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8648684 07/25/22 06:39 PM
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We’ve been asked before about doing some. I can’t bring myself to do it with the amount of cracked trailers I’ve seen. It’s just too soft of a metal for that kind of stress. Some sort of hybrid would be nice, steel tongue and main runner but aluminum crossmembers and top rail.

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8648703 07/25/22 07:20 PM
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You bust a weld, brake a hitch, pull off a jack with Aluminum and it’s a bad bad deal. Do that with steel, and chances are you can have it fixed on side of the road pretty quick.

My .02 cents


Also the HD military trailers that are aluminum are riveted not welded for a reason.


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8648762 07/25/22 08:38 PM
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Aluminum trailers are not recommended for any kind of off road usage because they WILL fatigure crack under rough use. After that happens you have to go find a welder proficient in AL.


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8648868 07/25/22 10:09 PM
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My uncle has one he hails a kubota and feed on, it has been fine for him for several years but it’s not overloaded and the ranch he hunts has pretty damn good roads.


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: Ramball36] #8649077 07/26/22 01:54 AM
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Sounds like everyone is speaking the same language as the guy on my shoulder telling me not to do it

Originally Posted by Ramball36
We’ve been asked before about doing some. I can’t bring myself to do it with the amount of cracked trailers I’ve seen. It’s just too soft of a metal for that kind of stress. Some sort of hybrid would be nice, steel tongue and main runner but aluminum crossmembers and top rail.


Interesting thought. How possible would it be to do a 16' + 2-4' dovetail tandem, brakes, bulldog, LED lighting, etc. in that configuration?

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8649169 07/26/22 05:46 AM
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Weight savings doesn’t seem worth the cost.

When I was shopping car haulers, the salesman was really pushing me towards the aluminum trailers on the lot vs the steel which he would have to order. For an 18x83 dual axle, I believe he said was 400-500 pounds lighter with aluminum. It was also $8500 vs $4000 for steel.


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8649202 07/26/22 11:21 AM
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We have 3 Aluma Aluminum trailers at work and they are great. We have hauled ATVs, UTVs, mowers, and all kinds of stuff with no issuers. I hauled 2 sail boats to California and back on one of them with no problems. They are light and easy to move around the barn. I don’t have anything bad to say about them.


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8649226 07/26/22 12:12 PM
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The boat trailer folks seem to have it figured out, alot of high dollar rigs sitting on aluminum trailers. Although all of the critical areas are steel......and it's a lack of corrosion/rust deal more than a weight savings deal.

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8649631 07/26/22 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Sounds like everyone is speaking the same language as the guy on my shoulder telling me not to do it

Originally Posted by Ramball36
We’ve been asked before about doing some. I can’t bring myself to do it with the amount of cracked trailers I’ve seen. It’s just too soft of a metal for that kind of stress. Some sort of hybrid would be nice, steel tongue and main runner but aluminum crossmembers and top rail.


Interesting thought. How possible would it be to do a 16' + 2-4' dovetail tandem, brakes, bulldog, LED lighting, etc. in that configuration?



I can work it up on a formal estimate, but my gut tells me probably 50%-75% more than whatever a quality pipe top steel trailer is going for.

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8671272 08/22/22 08:39 PM
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For years have owned a 24 foot Livestock Tralier and a 8 foot flatbed, both Aluminum Featherlite's, Now called Universal Trailer Corporation (UTC). Buy a good built trailer by a Reputable Company and should be okay. The Livesytock Trailer has hauled a few loaded tons at a time. Never any problems. But if I do, I TIG Weld.

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8671527 08/23/22 01:50 AM
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If you are the kind of guy that doesn't take care of his stuff, and abuses the heck out of it - aluminum is not for you. They will give 15-20 years of very good reliable service if you take care of them. Look how good the boat trailers last. Carry 50-75% of the load rating, and never worry.

I had about a dozen at work the materials handlers used on a daily basis, and I can never remember a failure. The failure rate is due to companies making them, and not having good qualified welders who understand the overheating and crystallization problem with aluminum, NEXT to the weld. Don't over load them, or subject to beatings on rough roads with a load, and they last forever.

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: Blank] #8671785 08/23/22 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Blank
If you are the kind of guy that doesn't take care of his stuff, and abuses the heck out of it - aluminum is not for you. They will give 15-20 years of very good reliable service if you take care of them. Look how good the boat trailers last. Carry 50-75% of the load rating, and never worry.

I had about a dozen at work the materials handlers used on a daily basis, and I can never remember a failure. The failure rate is due to companies making them, and not having good qualified welders who understand the overheating and crystallization problem with aluminum, NEXT to the weld. Don't over load them, or subject to beatings on rough roads with a load, and they last forever.


This is what I'm trying to get to and quantify...how much of a beating will they take. Sounds like you won't know until you pop a weld which I don't want to have a problem with. Guess I'll stick with steel

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8672276 08/24/22 12:47 AM
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Our aluminum boat trailer is bolted together not welded.


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8672346 08/24/22 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Originally Posted by Blank
If you are the kind of guy that doesn't take care of his stuff, and abuses the heck out of it - aluminum is not for you. They will give 15-20 years of very good reliable service if you take care of them. Look how good the boat trailers last. Carry 50-75% of the load rating, and never worry.

I had about a dozen at work the materials handlers used on a daily basis, and I can never remember a failure. The failure rate is due to companies making them, and not having good qualified welders who understand the overheating and crystallization problem with aluminum, NEXT to the weld. Don't over load them, or subject to beatings on rough roads with a load, and they last forever.


This is what I'm trying to get to and quantify...how much of a beating will they take. Sounds like you won't know until you pop a weld which I don't want to have a problem with. Guess I'll stick with steel


I think you’re worried over naught. This isn’t a daily work trailer for you. Buy a quality trailer and I bet you never have a problem. Worried about welds? Didn’t they weld it to put it together?


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8672489 08/24/22 12:45 PM
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What truck do you drive? How much feed are you wanting to haul with the side by side?


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: redchevy] #8673400 08/25/22 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
What truck do you drive? How much feed are you wanting to haul with the side by side?


TRX with some soft springs which kills towing. Feed is usually 1-3 pallets. 1 is easy, put it over the axles...2 or 3 gets more difficult on tongue weight

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8698675 09/30/22 02:15 AM
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2000 ponds a pallet plus the side by side I say forget about aluminum, if your pickup can’t handle the steel trailer it can’t handle the 3 pallets of feed.


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TLew] #8698916 09/30/22 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TLew
Originally Posted by redchevy
What truck do you drive? How much feed are you wanting to haul with the side by side?


TRX with some soft springs which kills towing. Feed is usually 1-3 pallets. 1 is easy, put it over the axles...2 or 3 gets more difficult on tongue weight



Maybe new springs is the way to go?


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Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TXHOGSLAYER] #8698959 09/30/22 02:17 PM
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Maybe buy a set of air bags. Easy to install.

Re: Aluminum Trailers [Re: TXHOGSLAYER] #8700811 10/03/22 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TXHOGSLAYER
Originally Posted by TLew
Originally Posted by redchevy
What truck do you drive? How much feed are you wanting to haul with the side by side?


TRX with some soft springs which kills towing. Feed is usually 1-3 pallets. 1 is easy, put it over the axles...2 or 3 gets more difficult on tongue weight



Maybe new springs is the way to go?


To help with tongue weight I put some Sumo Springs on my Tundra and can honestly say they help alot. They replace the factory bump stop and do not engage unless a load is put on them. The spring itself is made of polyurethane and gets progressively denser, meaning as the load increases the more they push back. If you're not towing, they aren't engaged so you can enjoy the factory soft ride.

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