Introducing Plans For Deck-Over Trailers

More new plans, and even more coming.  You have been asking for robust Deck-Over Trailers, so that is what we are working on.  Now they are here, and we are not talking about another “Me Too” trailer. Though they are similar to many, because they fit the needs, yet the details and all the options set these deck over trailers apart.

Like all the trailer plans from Mechanical Elements, these designs are done by the engineer, and fully analyzed for superior service and a long life.  And, like most of our plans, these come with a bunch of things for you to choose — ways for you Customize — all in the plans.

Admittedly, this has not been quick.  With a ton of work going into both design and analysis, the new trailers take a while.  For us it is all about making sure they go together well, and perform at the highest level.  We will get into some details below, but let’s start with the easy stuff.

What Are Deck-Over Trailers?

The standard Deck-Over trailer has a flat rectangular bed, continuous over the wheels – hence the name “Deck-Over” trailers.  There are also other descriptive names too, but “Deck-Over” is a pretty common description so we say it too.

With the deck extending out flat over the wheels, it means the deck is usually higher than those of typical ‘utility’ style trailers.  That does not mean they are any less utilitarian, it just means the trailer deck is a bit higher so the full width is a broader load space.  Utility, in a different way, for a different cargo.

While we sometimes think of Deck Over trailers as the big ones, they actually come in a bunch of different sizes.  Check out this trailer rebuild story for a smaller one.  It’s cool.  And, he did a great job with it.  While the smaller ones are the exception, most Deck-Over’s are large.  Legal limit width is common, and sometimes they are pretty long.

Robust Trailer Plans

The standard at Mechanical Elements is a sturdy build, with both strength and functionality.  We believe the trailer needs strength, for sure, but also robustness for the many ways trailers see miss-use and sometimes even abuse.  Of course, we discourage abuse, and we hope you do not accidently back into a tree.  However, our trailer designs will take a certain amount of oops.

Like with our Tiny House Foundation Trailers, and with our Car Hauler Plans, we took a long look at the things Deck-Over trailer owners expect.  We considered many common options and ways the trailers are built.  We spoke with owners and examined existing trailers.  So many good things to see, as well as some eyebrow lifters.  Then, out of all that, we find a good balance of features, functions, and options.  And, of course, a design that fits for DIY.

Well, it is not ALL about features for Deck-Over Trailers – the engineering is an absolute, too.  All our plans are fully Engineered at Synthesis including FEA (computer stress analysis) to make sure you will end up with a tough, robust design.  After a lot of analysis and thinking, the next step is creating the most complete trailer blueprints available.  That is the way we roll, and that is why Mechanical Elements is the place people trust most for DIY Trailer Plans.

Trailer Plans Options

Engineering Design For DIY

There are not many differences between a trailer design for mass production and one with a design for DIY.  However, there are a few — some rather important.  These are always things we keep in mind through the design and the engineering.

For more detail about engineering with our plans, please read the article about What Goes Into The Plans.  If you need plans, these are at a 99% discount over a custom trailer design.

First – Available Tools

The DIY builder does not usually have access to big equipment like a 500 Ton stamping press.  When we fabricate, we need easily available materials to cut and fit.  Some light bending is usually OK, or something along those lines, but DIY has a hard time ponying up $50,000 for dies to form a beam, for instance.  Big companies justify it for high production because it can save a ton of assembly time and a lot of money over the long haul, but for one trailer . ? . ? . ?  Not so much.

That is not the whole story, though.  We do use flat metal bending because that is a great DIY thing.  And, if a bar is too thick for your equipment to bend, then just cut it, and weld it together again at the proper angle.  That is something DIY can handle.

Shapes work.  It is easy enough to get some fancy shapes cut from sheet steel – I prefer CNC Laser Cutting or Water Jet, but Plasma works too.  The fun shapes are not essential, but they do add a bit of class to a trailer.  Deck Over trailers like the ones shown here often have a shaped tail plate, with holes for ramps.  That and others are easy parts for water jet cutting.

To get the shaped cut parts, most cities have local suppliers for CNC cutting.  Just take them the files.  Or, some companies like Big Blue Saw (now Xometry) will cut it, then ship it to your door.

Second – Materials

With a ton of available possibilities in production, it is easy to specify certain lots of different materials.  Yet, for DIY, that is not so convenient.  The designs need to accommodate materials that are widely available and can be purchased in small quantities.  Standard angles, rounds, bars, c-channel, I-beam, tubes, sheet, etc. for example.

To go one step further, we think it is nice when you don’t have to buy 20 different beam shapes just because the plans call for a foot or two of a particular material type.  One focus with these new Deck Over Trailers is keeping the total count of different materials down.  The goal is to minimize the material left over.  While it is probably not possible to design a trailer with no scrap, we can certainly commonize materials to reduce the leftovers.  Hopefully that means you don’t have to purchase a bunch of extra.

These are just some of our philosophies with respect to designing for DIY.  That is how we design these new Deck Over Trailers, too.

For those interested, these trailers are USA standards, in structural steel.  If you are interested, read these articles for more about modifying for metric, and about why we don’t offer these trailers in aluminum.

Options, Choices, and Customizations

The plans provide many variations – we call OPTIONS, or CUSTOMIZATIONS, but they really boil down to choices for you to make the trailer uniquely fit your needs and preferences.

Options for the Deck-OverOne of the big differences between the Mechanical Elements trailer plans and those of our competitors is the options.  We build stuff too, and our idea of the perfect trailer is not likely the same as yours.  So, we give you a lot of choices and encourage you to customize things the way you want them.  It is a pretty simple concept that gets lost with many of our competitors.

For you it means we give extra information to help you get the trailer you want.  For us, it means a bunch of extra work to coordinate so everything works.  Yet, that is OK, because you are worth it.

Customization and options are ever present in these new Deck-Over trailers for sure.  There are a bunch of ways to customize and hopefully we have hit on a few cool things for you.  Don’t just look at the pictures here, because there is a ton more information in the plans.  We can’t really show everything on these pages.  And, we encourage you to add your own extras.  When you are finished building the trailer, we want you to be super excited, and glad you built it.

Deck Over Trailers Load Capacity

The “Deck-Over” concept works with all sorts of trailers in a variety of sizes.  Here is a good example where the original trailer was a deck-over in small size.

While the concept of deck-over trailers apply to any size, our plans here have a larger size focus.  And, with a spread in load capacity.  The new plans offer trailers with tandem axles starting at 7,000 lbs capacity.  We then have several sizes available at 10,400 lbs total trailer capacity.  Finally, we offer two with a choice of 14,000 lbs or up to 16,000 lbs trailer capacity.  (The plans show details for the choice.)

For all of these trailers, please make sure your tow vehicle and towing hardware meet at least the minimum Class ratings for trailer towing capacity.

See the list of plans below sorted by total load capacity, and by deck size.

What About Ramps?

Funny, but this is a question people ask a lot.  Do the ramps hook on the trailer back?  What about on the sides?  Answer:  Of course they do.

And, we have gone one step further.  Like many deck-over trailers, the ramps slide in the back for storage.  On the way out, they catch at just the right point so you can set the end down, then just lift up the caught end to place it on the trailer hook bar.

As mentioned, we will not tell you exactly how you MUST make the ramps.  We have a base design, yes, but we also tell you what can change if you want longer or shorter ramps.  Also, what to change if you want stronger or lighter ramps.  Changes to the design effect the load capacity, so we tell you the limits.  There is a loading capacity chart for the ramps in case you want them stronger, lighter, longer, shorter, or whatever.  We also tell you what else needs to change if you – for instance – change the length.

Plans For The New Deck-Over Trailers

Blueprints (or Plans, whichever you prefer to call them) from Mechanical Elements are all top notch.  They include the drawings (with lots of notes and dimensions), plus instructions with lists of material and components, step by step direction and more illustration.  These new plans for deck over trailers are no different.  They have about 50 pages of illustrations, directions, dimensions, hints, tricks, lists of materials, and advise to successfully build.  Much more complete than any of our competitors.

Well, enough about the design of these new deck-over trailers.  Here are the plans.  They are available for purchase now, then you can immediately save them to your computer right after payment.  Seriously, you can have the trailer plans in a few minutes.

All our Deck-Over Trailer Plans Feature 8′ 6″ Width (102″), Tandem Axles and Tons of Options.

Available Deck-Over Trailer Plans

Get your plans by selecting one of the links.  Build your trailer to take the loads without complaining, and keep on doing it as long as you ask.  We will get you the Deck Over Trailer plans, then you build the dream.

If you prefer something a little lower, we also have Equipment Transport / Car Trailer Plans including one design with drive-over fenders for wide vehicles.
Best of luck with your build!

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