What is a “Specialty Trailer”?

When someone asked “What is a Specialty Trailer?”, I had to really think about it.  Words are important in descriptions.  Certainly it does not mean “Special”, as in “Unique” because almost all DIY or handmade or homemade trailers are “Special” in that way.  So, how would you describe it?

I am actually interested in your comments, so feel free to let us know how you would answer.  What is a Specialty Trailer?

Mechanical Elements & DIY Trailers

Off Road Specialty TrailerPerhaps it’s just wordsmithing or a waste of time thinking about definitions.  Some people put a lot of focus on words and meanings, while others don’t care so much.  Just as long as communication happens.  I tend to be in the latter group, but I certainly understand the importance of communicating ideas with well chosen words.

At Mechanical Elements, we like the DIY concept of creating the things you need.  It’s bringing a part of you into the project, and there’s nothing quite like the way finishing a great project makes you feel.  Trailers, of course, and Shop Tools happen to be our favorites, so that’s what we’re about.  Yet, it’s more than that.  We love to see people successful.  Whether you get plans from us or not . . . If you find something in an article that’s helpful, then it’s worth it.

And, anything you choose to put your heart into, becomes unique and special.

So, if all these DIY trailers are unique and special in their own way, what is “Specialty”?

What is a “Specialty Trailer” Anyway?

For us, we define it on function.  Our 3 Trailer categories are:  Utility, Deck-Over, and Specialty Trailers.  (We should probably add some, but those seem to group pretty well.)  Utility Trailers are useful for dozens of purposes (non specific).   These are the Jack-of-all-Projects.  It’s similar for the Deck-Over Trailers except these are larger and taller.  Then there are the  Specialty Trailers with a design for a specific purposes.  (Accessories fall partly in the specialty category, but are not full trailers.)

Our “Utility Trailer” plans come with lots of options, and you choose what you like.  You can choose several, or none.  Or, you can mutate the ideas to best fit your application.  That will make your trailer unique and therefore special, but not necessarily “specialty”.

5' x 10.5' - 2 Place ATV Trailer PlansOur “Specialty Trailer” plans include design with options that enhance a specific purpose.  Again, there are options to support variations of the purpose.

For example, our ATV trailers have ramp options and tie-down options that help with ATV’s.  You can make one of our “Utility Trailers” and use it for ATV’s, of course.  But, if hauling ATV’s is the primary purpose for the trailer, why not get a design for that.  And, you can use it for the Utility chores too.  It’s kind of looking at it from the other end.

Another example is “Tiny House” trailers.  These are stiffer than you’d normally build for a Utility Trailer of the same length.  For utility functions a little trailer flex doesn’t matter that much, but you don’t want the foundation of your tiny house to flex.  The design is specifically to hold a tiny house — with all the needs of a tiny house — so we call it a specialty trailer.

The Super Extra Special Category

Then, there’s a whole class of “Super Specialty Trailer” or maybe it’s the “Unique” or “Rare” side.  For example, for those experiencing the Tiny House Size Quandary, may want something wider than traditional — like a 10′ width rolling foundation or even a 12′ width.  They require special permits on the road, and they don’t fit most towing situations.  Yet they are specialty trailers, so they’re worth mentioning.  Also, if you want them, we have the plans for you.  We have both the 10′ Wide Tiny House Trailer, and the extra size 12′ Wide Tiny House Trailer.  Please Contact Us for details.

Another style in this category are trailers with axles at both ends — like this Old Time Herder’s House.  As flat bed trailers, they are popular for farms because of stability at low speeds and the spread of the weight.  The Deck-Over configuration makes them nice for hauling a lot, but they aren’t on the highway much.

What About “Handmade” or “Homemade” Trailer?

Purpose Built Handmade TrailersHere is another set of words that sometimes come up.

These definitions are harder to distinguish.  And, actually they are often interchangeable.  Technically a “Handmade” trailer is one built without a lot of automation.  For instance, just one or a few built.  Contrast that to a factory trailer where they build them in batches with an assembly line.  It doesn’t mean hands are not in the building, it’s just a wordsmithing difference.  The “Handmade” designation implies it has a craftsman flair where the trailer is setup and made by hand.

The term “Homemade” usually means one of us building the trailer in your garage — at home.  But, it could just as well be made at the shop after hours or something.  It implies something less on the craftsmanship level.  (Yet, we know that’s not really the case.)  It also implies, legally, that there is no warranty or manufacturing company.  You see this “Homemade” designation on trailer titles frequently.

With these definitions, most every “Homemade” trailer is also “Handmade”, but not necessarily the other way around.  Anyway, it’s kind of splitting hairs.  Either way, it’s a great thing to do while escaping from COVID.

Specialty Trailer Plans Available

So, now you know how we define “Specialty Trailer” and how we distinguish it from our “Utility Trailers” and the “Deck-Over Trailers“.  It’s not that big of a deal, but it’s fun to knit-pick the words, and it’s a way of categorizing the plans.

If you think there’s a better way for categorization, we want to hear your ideas.  Sometimes we’re a little over analytical, so pitch us your thoughts.   Also, if you have something specific that you want, let us know about that too.  We’re always trying to serve you better.  Thank you.

Have a Wonderful Day!

guest
2 Thoughts
Inline Feedbacks
View All Thoughts

We Found These For You . . .

Article
Plans Download Screen
This is a Frequent Question about Downloading, and Saving the Plans after placing an order.  Please don’t worry, We’re here to help!  If you are not yet able to complete the plans download after your purchase, definitely, please read this.

Read The Article

Article
Fracture at Edge of the Welds
I love seeing failures.  Not that anyone wants things to fail, of course, we always try to make things that last.  However, when a failure pops up, I love to look it over and understand the “how” and the “why”. …

Read The Article

Article
Replace Trailer Tires
Don’t mess around with your safety or unexpected trip interruptions.  The Best Reason to replace old or worn trailer tires is personal sanity, because who wants to deal with it on the side of the road?

Read The Article

Article
How We Make The Plans
What goes into the engineering of Do It Yourself Plans?  How do we make them?  When you purchase and download project plans from Mechanical Elements, you get a TON of work and information, much more than first meets the eye.

Read The Article

Article
Don't Look at the Mig Welding
I grew up with a fascination for metals.  My father was a woodworker, and taught me young, so I have always built stuff from wood.  Yet, metal is different, and welding beats glue in the fun department any day!  And…

Read The Article

Product
6 x 16 Trailer Plans

Sixteen feet length at 6 tons capacity is a good size for hauling heavy things -- from multiple ATV’s to UTV’s to large loads of building materials or landscaping products.  Fully engineered to take it all.

Product
6'10" x 16' Tandem Axle Trailer Plans

At full (legal) width and 16’ length, this tandem axle utility trailer has options for 7,000 lbs - 10,000 lbs capacity.  Configure it to your needs using the various options - all included in the plans.

Product
5x10.5, 2 Place, ATV Trailer Plans

Our smallest ATV and off road vehicle specific trailer plans.  Great for taking 2 ATV’s out, yet small enough for towing without a big truck.  The size also makes for easier storage between the fun trips.

Product
Mobile Gantry Crane Plans

Adding a crane is a game changer in the shop.  It’s perfect for lifting . . . anything.  Use the free standing mobile gantry crane - from plans - for pulling engines, to lift the boat, the car, or other…

Article
Analysis with Trailer Frame Materials and Design With Safety Factors
This post is a question from an engineering student wondering about trailer frame materials selection and safety factor.  His analysis shows a material thickness that “does the job” is much less than his welder associates recommend.  Wondering about why, he…

Read The Article

Article
Dies
While the Tap & Die go hand in hand as threading tools, they’re very different in the way they work.  There are also different tricks for success.  So, let’s talk success tips for making external threads with a die.

Read The Article

Article
JTP Building A Trailer
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!

Read The Article

Product
6x10-Utility-Trailer-Plans

6’ width trailers pretty much define the utility trailer market.  Wide enough to carry toys and for all the various chores, yet small enough for practicality.  These plans include a ton of functional options.

Product
Canoe Trailer Plans

Specialty trailer for carrying up to12 full size canoes or kayaks.  Designed originally for a Boy Scout Canoe Base, so it includes easy on/off, and options for on-board life jacket and paddle storage.

Article
Timbren Axle-Less Trailer Suspension
Customer Question:  “What do you think about the Axle-Less trailer suspension?  Is it good?”  Can I use it with the Mechanical Elements trailer plans?  . . .  You ask (actually a few of you are asking) and pointing to

Read The Article

Article
How Much Will It Cost To Build?
Before starting a project we always want to know — or at least have some idea — how much will it cost to build?  If you’re like me, resources are limited, so knowing how much you’re going to sink into…

Read The Article

Article
Do-It-Together
DIY is the common acronym for Do It Yourself, but there’s a misnomer in the expression.  In some things doing it by yourself is awesome, for sure, yet DIY does not mean

Read The Article

Article
Clamps and Drills Access and Storage Solution
Storage space is a high priority in my shop.  Maybe in yours too?  It’s not that there is not enough space, it’s the prime space where tools are super accessible for any moment

Read The Article

Article
Finishing or Trailer Frame Painting
(And finishing other DIY Projects.) Now you’ve invested all that time and effort into building an awesome trailer, how should you finish it?   Of course we don’t want it to rust.  And, we want it to last. 

Read The Article

Product
2-Post Shop Press Plans

Build your own awesome, simple, and super strong hydraulic shop press with these plans.  We've got them.  Plans have instructions, illustrations, parts lists, components, materials and options.  Just add the jack.