We’ve been working with the great folks at Johnson Trailer Parts for a while. Their business is primarily selling trailer parts, but they understand the greasy hands-on Do-It-Yourself paradigm! This is their video of building a trailer from plans — and we’re excited to say that we did the plans for them.
Mechanical Elements is a division of Synthesis Engineering Services specifically to cater to DIY creators. We love to help you by doing the engineering and providing awesome plans to build with. This is just one example of building a trailer from our plans, and I think they did an excellent job of editing the full build down to just a few minutes. We hope you enjoy the video too.
We always love hearing from our customers, and we love posting the work you’ve done to inspire other readers. (Visit our Customer Stories Page for inspiration.) This is just one example, and though this customer is actually a components outlet, we are excited to share their build. Enjoy this excellent video from Johnson Trailer Parts.
This trailer was built in a few days on the front drive at the home of one of the owners. Don’t read too much into what looks like super speedy construction. The video is edited, and put on fast forward, and you can certainly see the shadows of the afternoon each day.
I think they did a wonderful job of building the trailer and an especially good job of documenting it. Of course, they didn’t divide it all into steps, but you can definitely see the progress as it goes along. Measuring and cutting are largely off screen, but you can definitely see the welding as the trailer comes together. The choice of a MIG style welder is typical for a trailer build and it looks like he has lots of experience.
The trailer being made is a 6′ x 12′ – 3500# utility trailer very similar to these plans. Though the plans provided for Johnson Trailer Parts vary in several details, the primary difference is the V tongue as compared to the Straight tongue. You can see the V setup quite clearly in the video and on the final product.
For this trailer they chose the short sides option and the full hinged tailgate. These are an excellent choice together. They also chose the plank style deck, and you can see that clearly being installed in the video.
Other options on the build include Trailer Specific Tires and at the time of posting the video, they did not include a Spare Tire. I don’t know if that’s something they plan to add later or not. Seems like it would be a good option.
The axle is a Johnson Trailer Parts 3500#, leaf spring style, underslung. All the store components like the axles, tires, springs, hangers, lights, wiring, etc. for building the trailer are parts available from Johnson. If you’re building one of our trailers, it can pay to call them and have parts shipped directly to you. They have the knowledge to help you get just what you need, and they know about the plans to help answer questions. Tell them that I sent you, and they’ll treat you right.
Finally, they chose to finish the trailer by painting. Note that they used a good primer (the brownish color) before the finishing paint. That is really important if you want the trailer to last a long time — which we hope you do!
A couple of things I didn’t really see in the video: First, all the prep work reading the plans and figuring out the needed options (hard to video that anyway). Then Second, cleaning up all the welds in preparation for painting. I assume they did it, because it’s really important for a good finish when building a trailer. There was some grinding, and that can certainly be part of it. Anyway, just thought I’d inject that as a reminder. If you can, sandblast the frame prior to painting, then use a good primer. Optionally, powder coat is a great option.
Finally, there are not really words in the video, we we can’t expect too much, but I’d love to know how much the project cost to build. For that matter, I’d love to see a break-down of costs — materials, components, etc. — and to know the number of man hours. Anyway, that’s not the point of the video and I am happy just to enjoy it for what it is. I hope you enjoy it too.
Building Your Trailer
Do you have photos or videos of building your trailer? We, and many of our readers — just like you — would love to see what you accomplish. We sell a lot of trailer plans here, but we don’t get very many customers that send in photos and a story about their build. If you have something you could share, we’d love to see them, as well as other readers of this website. If you have some, please share.
Thank you so much for visiting and for watching. Good Luck With Your Next Trailer Build !!