Small trailer out of pallet rack beams? -
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-05-2021, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Macon
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Small trailer out of pallet rack beams?

So I have a big enclosed trailer to haul my Jeep and I love it. However, for very short or very long hauls and/or hauls where I'm not sleeping in the trailer, a super small, lightweight trailer would be nice.

So I've been toying with the idea of building a super short 10 foot trailer. The front and back tires would hang over just a little bit but I'm not too concerned with that. However after playing with the idea of using both aluminum and steel builds, the metal costs would be upwards of $1000 plus some axles that I think I can source from a friend for cheap.

So with the metal prices in mind, I started looking at Facebook and Craigslist for scrap steel that might work and came across the pallet rack beams. https://www.repurposedmaterialsinc.c...ams-122-x-6.5/ In my quest to find information on these beams, I found this link that gives the rating. This specific beam is IB692 and at 120" long can carry 11430lbs per pair. The shorter IB496 is 5500lbs per pair. However, that's static loading in a warehouse and I don't know what kind of safety factor that has nor do I know how thick these things are and can't seem to find it.

So with that rambling out of the way, does anyone have any information on the thickness of the beams or have any votes for or against this? At this price, I was thinking I'd just double up the fore/aft beams underneath the tires. So 4 beams running front to back, 5 beams running side to side cut down of course, and 2 beams for the tongue. So even at 11 beams, the total cost is under $300 + axles which is very intriguing for a budget trailer build.

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post #2 of 2 Old 08-21-2021, 11:12 AM
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1993 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: SoCal
Posts: 362
With rack beams, they are roll formed, and it seems like a lot of their strength comes from the shape and height, as well as the thickness of the steel roll they were formed from.

Not sure if you've had a chance to check any out in person, but I think it would help clarify things for you.

I know that you know your way around a welding rig so that isn't an issue. From some quick reading, arc welding is the preferred method for this type of steel if that matters at all.

I used to run a warehouse, and all beams aren't made equal. Some just look more substantial than others. They all do the job, but for your purposes the thicker walled beams would seem to be a better bet.

You've had me thinking about this for a few days lol. Good luck if you do it!
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