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Old 12-10-2012, 11:25 PM
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Default Wood trailer decking.

I have an 18' flatbed trailer that has a 2x6 wood deck on it. I actually bought the trailer new, as I needed it for a delivery of an emergency job several years ago. (since then I have learned that all jobs are emergencies and have relaxed my response a wee bit). Anyhow, the trailer is aging now and some of the deck needs to be replaced. I specifically got the wood deck instead of steel in order to help keep things from sliding around. I can also screw on a cleat if I need to very easily. The dove tail in teh back is about 3'. I thin I am going to sheet that in steel now, as it seems to suffer the most abuse, but very few things actually sit on it for transport. The flat section is going to remain wood. i would like to get some better lumber for though. Most of the ones I see have 2x Doug fir decking. It is lousy for trailers and splits and splinters horribly. Most of the heavy equipment trailers with wood deck have heavy oak planks on them. I can't really find an affordable source for oak in that thickness though. I may just be hunting for the wrong thing, or in the wrong place though. Most of what I find is destined for furniture, cabinets, and tables. is finish sawn, and is too expensive. What is it that I am looking for, oak hearts? or something similar? Where would i look for it. I see the heavy duty pallets made from oak as well, so there must be a source of heavy duty lumber that is not furniture grade.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:53 PM
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I just redid my 16' equipment trailer and used pressure treated 2x6's. Replaced the oak that was on there. Another wood that is supposed to be god is apitong. Heres one place that I found. Not endorsing but will give you an idea. http://trailerdecking.com/
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:03 AM
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Just go to your closest wood mill. They will cut any thickness and width, within reason, you want. Many years ago I owned a trailer mfg. company and we used lots of oak and ash. Depending on the trailer's purpose I ordered 1.5" to 2.5" thickness X 6" or 8" width. We used to joke about the ash sometimes - that it would dull drill bits. If it was necessary I had a big industrial floor sander to finish the surface.

Some folks think that going to the mill is expensive but I found it to be just the opposite. You cut out the transportation, warehousing, handling, and sales costs when you buy from the source.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper Greg View Post
I just redid my 16' equipment trailer and used pressure treated 2x6's. /
The new cool "safe" pressure treat has a horrible reaction with steel. Any contact point must be insulated with a plastic membrane to prevent corrosion. In addition all fasteners must be stainless or a coating rated for pressure treated wood.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Most of the heavy equipment trailers with wood deck have heavy oak planks on them. I can't really find an affordable source for oak in that thickness though. I may just be hunting for the wrong thing, or in the wrong place though.

Oak or pretty much any other hardwood is what you want. Check out small sawmills or anyone with a portable bandmill to get what you are looking for. Just tell them you need rough cut 2x6. My experence with AZ is its not lush with hardwood forests so I am sure you will be paying a premium for this.

as a sidenote, I have had excellent luck using ITW Teks screws for decking
http://www.itwbuildex.com/gcs_tekswoodtometal.shtml
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:38 AM
JBFab JBFab is offline
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Elm would be great for decking as well.

We used tamarack on a trailer we built about 15 years ago. Still holding strong!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:00 AM
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Going direct to a sawmill works here. There is a massive difference in price.

I used to get pallet wood from an outfit that made and repaired them. They would throw out the damaged bits they had replaced. As some pallets are pretty long the useable section was surprisingly big.
I had no issue cutting out the good stuff and giving it a new life. Just some time for me.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:19 AM
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Too bad you aren't a little closer. My B.I.L. does custom sawing and is always making 2" x 8" or even 12" oak decking for area contractors. A little heavy when it comes off the saw green! He makes 3" x 12" oak for one guy. Better bring help for that.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:02 AM
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You can also use laminated lumber. Stronger than solid lumber.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:04 AM
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In this part of the world all the best trailers come with Keruing, it's a relative of mahogany I believe.

Expensive, but nothing lasts like it.
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