*originally posted in March 2014 (updates merged)*
To save money, I calculated what I could get out from the cheapest 3/16″ diamondplate sheets of various sizes. With my trusty calculator I decided on a 4′ x 8′ sheet. That meant that I could have 3 sections of 12.5″ x 8′ cut and then slicing one of those sections right down the middle to form 2 sections of 12.5″ x 4′. Adding those up with the 8 foots to form 12 linear feet (the length of my ramp frame). That left me with a 10″-ish x 8′ section for another use that I’ll reveal in a future update. Buying a 4′ x 12′ sheet would have left me with too many leftovers of an expensive material. Paying money for nothing, so to speak!
I decided to weld the ramp sections together for strength and ease of installation:
If you haven’t guessed, I’ve chosen to weld the underside part so the gap between the sheets can be barely seen from the topside.
I’m effing spent… it took me all day… my back HURTS… so imma let the pictures speak for themselves tonight… details coming later… enjoy!
Exterior shots with all the lighting completed too:
THE DAY AFTER
The details of yesterday’s work:
The day did not start as I’d hoped. Not much because of the light drizzle that turned into snow but rather that the lumber yard had left their 16 footer treated pine bundle sitting outside for the entire winter. Since it’s a wood not much in demand, the whole fucking bundle was frozen solid. Meaning that I could not choose the better pieces and had to get the planks that we were able to separate from the rest. Most planks were OK but 2 of them were warped from side to side. This created some uneven gaps in the flooring that I could not entirely fix. If anything makes the trailer look like a DIY job, this would be it. Anyhow, the price was more than fair so I’m still satisfied overall.
I did re-treat the planks that I’ve cut before installation. I had 210 three inch self-tapping screws and was left with only a small handful… so yeah… my hand and my back… ouch… gawd… but I feel better this morning!
As far as the aluminium checkerplates go, my original plan was to rivet them in, but since the rivets would have protruded into the slide-in ramp cavities I decided against it. I welded the plates instead even though that means it’s going to be tougher if I ever need to remove them for whatever reason.
I’ve also sourced the 2 LED lights and 4 reflectors that I was missing and quickly installed them. Looks good!
I cannot declare victory just yet, as I still need to reinforce the ramps, make removable tail supports, install the winch system, spare tire, specialized car haulage tie-downs points, and a tool / storage box. However, that will have to wait until my return from my next trucking run. Aye, I feel good enough to start haulin’ again. As we O/Os say: “if your wheels ain’t turnin’, you ain’t earnin’!”
As it was with Wabi~Sabi, when I look at the trailer I get a strange feeling of “how the heck did I do that?!” Yet, I did it, but I must thank my imagination for having devised the whole thing. It is no small pride for me to have found that powerful tool that lets me do what others say you should need a certain diploma for. Of all the personal hours I invest into my projects, I’m lovin’ every minute of it!
A late addition:
Did you notice a square aluminium plate in the middle? That’s a protective plate so that the winch cable doesn’t mess everything up. I’ve also added some theft prevention measures. It’s a secret… so thieves beware!