Trailers can be very helpful, albeit expensive, additions to any riding mower. If a trailer is out of your price range, don't worry. You can actually build one yourself. The following will provide you a guide to help you build your own riding lawn mower trailer.
Step 1 – Planning The Frame
It is up to you to decide how big you want your trailer to be. However, you should keep in mind that most riding lawn mowers typically have an engine with 5-7 hp, which is enough to haul about 1000 pounds. A 3’x5’ or 4’x5’ trailer will allow you to carry that much easily. If you build your trailer bigger, be careful not to overload it when hauling heavier materials like rock or dirt.
Step 2 - Starting
Start with your angle iron. You can weld your angle iron together if you have prior welding experience, but this isn’t recommended if you are new to welding. Your other option is to use a high power drill (or drill press, if you can) with high quality drill bits for cutting the angle iron. Ask around hardware stores and suppliers for advice on the best bits. When drilling, go slow, keep steady pressure, and use plenty of drilling oil.
Step 3 – Cut Your Angle Iron
If you can’t buy the exact lengths you need, cut your angle iron to the appropriate lengths with a cut off saw. You’ll need 4 vertical sides (between 1’ – 1 ½’), 4 pieces for your length, and 4 pieces for your width (or only 3, if you want to leave the back of the trailer open).
Step 4 – Drill Your Angle Iron
Use your drill to put 4 holes in each bar, 2 holes in each end (with 1 on each side of the L shape). For the 2 long bottom pieces, find the exact midpoint of each bar - this is where you will position your wheels. Measure from the middle to find where to drill the holes to attach your axis kit. It is very important to make sure it's centered.
On these long pieces, pick the side where the hitch will be and drill a pair of holes ¼ of the way from the end. Add a cross bar here for your tongue. Lastly, you’ll need one of the bottom short pieces (for the end with the hitch) to drill a hole in the center for the tongue.
Step 5 – Piece It Together
Bolt all your angle iron bars together. You should end up with a cube frame. Measure and cut a flat iron bar to place across the bottom, as described above. Drill another hole in its center, and bolt it to the frame.
Step 6 – Tongue And Hitch
Measure and cut the tongue. This is the metal bar on which you’ll attach your hitch. It should be long enough to reach from your crossbar to the front of the trailer, with at least a foot and a half to spare. Drill holes to match the holes in your frame, and attach the hitch to one end. Then, bolt it to the frame.
Step 7 – Axle And Wheels
Make sure the axle kit you buy is rated to take the weight you plan to haul. Bolt the axle to the frame and attach the wheels. To save money, you can try to cannibalize wheels from old wheelbarrows to save money.
Step 8 – Bottom And Sides
Cut your bottom piece of plywood to fit flush inside the bottom of your trailer. Cut the sides to sit flush with the side and upper pieces of the frame while sitting on top of the bottom piece of plywood. Screw L brackets into your bottom and sides to hold them firmly in place.
This is a tricky task at times, but building a basic trailer can still be a do-it-yourself project, if you have the right tools.
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