Video – Trailer Test Ride!

When the rubber meets the road, that’s when the feeling of real accomplishment kicks in.  This is the first on-road trailer test with (with video) of our new frame and funky walking beam suspension design.

We have a lot to catch you up on with building the trailer, but for now, we’re going to jump ahead with video of the first trailer test ride.

Progressing To The Trailer Test

First Trailer Test RideAs you know from our previous posts on Economics, then on Trailer Build Progress and “How to setup a Trailer Frame“, we’ve been working on a new trailer design that has a few quirky design enhancements.  (Maybe we can stretch it to design innovations?)  Anyway, the garage is busy and there hasn’t been time to catch up on the posts.  Sorry, we’ll get to that in the coming weeks.

Since some of the features are new, we definitely want a trailer test before taking the parts in for powder coat.  And, we made a few adjustments in order to do the testing.  You’ll see in the video that there are large clamps holding the suspension on.  (Not a recommended technique, but fine for a quick test.)  We wanted to be sure it all worked as expected before finalizing the axle position and welding.

So, after testing the portions we could in the garage, we pulled it out and hooked it up.  You can see some of the unique things like the long tongue and the walking beam suspension with torsion axles.  Other than the clamps, loose wiring and magnet lights, we think it has a pretty nice look.  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Good thing the “wrong” people didn’t notice the lack of a license plate !!  Most would be pretty understanding, I think.  I hope, anyway.

The Test Ride Video

Here is some video from our first drive.  Unfortunately, with the truck moving and the trailer moving, you can’t really see the suspension motion in the video.  The camera shutter speed is just not fast enough to capture the action.  You can definitely see it with your eye, so maybe soon we’ll hook up the GoPro on the trailer and see what we get.  I’m sure that camera will give a more accurate view.

Anyway, here are a few short clips of the first trailer test drive.

The video is not too impressive, though the “rubber” frame rails are kind of funny looking.  I think the refresh rate of the camera compliments the motion of the trailer just enough to make the frame rails look like jiggly rubber.  🙂  Good thing it’s not about the video quality, so we can focus on the test instead.

Update:  Check out the GoPro video taken of the suspension.  It’s better quality video for sure, and placement of the camera lets you see a bunch more.  That trailer test is a lot more demanding as well.  And, it shows the torsion axles on the walking beam much better.  Much better video, for sure.

What Did We Learn?

The big takeaway from our first trailer test drive is the smoothness of the ride.  Over about 40 mph, the trailer just disappears — meaning you can’t feel a thing from the drivers seat.  (With the exception of big bumps and potholes, of course.)  Smoothness is one of the objectives we set out for, so I’m pleased.  The suspension helps with that, and so does the long tongue.  The long tongue is probably too long in many practical ways, but it fills a need for this trailer, and it’s a great experiment.  In this simple trailer test, we definitely feel the stability contribution.

The folding portion of the tongue is also an experiment, but that doesn’t really apply to this test.  It certainly helps with storage space, but we’ll need to test that with regular use and much higher loads.  That’s a different kind of trailer test.

Need more?  Here are more posts about how the walking beam suspension works, and how the long tongue folds.  Sometime soon we’ll also write a follow up about how we like each of these features (or not), including the weight balance.  Check the Mechanics Post for a lot more information about this trailer, about building this trailer, and more.  There’s even a good article on what we’d do different if we did it again.  Worth thinking about even if this trailer doesn’t exactly apply to you.

By the way, If you want to build this walking beam suspension, plans are available.  We have two sizes (two capacity versions) in the Mechanical Elements plans store.

Thanks for watching the video with us.


Inline Feedbacks
View All Comments

We Found These For You . . .

DIY Drilling Steel
Need a hole?  Many of our plans require drilled holes, so here are some Tips about drilling in metal, like steel, as well as in wood, and other materials.

Read The Article

May Is Build Month - DIY Plans Sale
May, the time of new flowers after April showers, is also the time for building that project you’ve been stewing on over the winter.  Spring has sprung, so it’s time to make it happen.

Read The Article

6x14 Utility Trailer Plans

DIY projects designed for you.  These plans show how to construct a 6 ft x 14 ft tandem axle utility trailer with 7000 lb total capacity.  Use the trailer for work or to haul your big toys.

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

There's More To Just Mounting Trailer Axle Springs
As with many things, there’s a lot more to mounting trailer axle springs than first meets the eye.  Here are 2 tips to make your trailer frame stronger.

Read The Article

6x16 Tandem Axle Trailer Plans

Build a great tandem axle, heavy duty utility trailer from these 6x14 trailer plans.  Blueprints are fully engineered for 12,000 lb. total capacity.  The trailer you build will be tough and ready to work.

Trailer Design Sketch
It looks easy.  Trailer design is not like building a rocket, but it’s also not as easy as putting a few pieces of metal together.  Good trailer design includes meeting goals and ending up with something that will tow well,…

Read The Article

Nuts and Bolts Project Fasteners
Ever wonder why fasteners like nuts and bolts are so expensive?  You would think something so standard and manufactured in such high volumes would be cheap, but in most places, they’re actually pretty expensive.  Why?

Read The Article

Overslung or Underslung Trailer Springs
Because you asked . . . What are the advantages of Overslung – OR – Underslung trailer springs?  They both have a good purpose, so let’s discuss it.  The concepts are pretty easy to see with some good graphics.

Read The Article

Gussets At Beam Intersections On A Trailer Frame
I have a great trailer, but it feels a bit flexy, maybe even rickety . . . How can I strengthen a trailer frame?  How can I stiffen it?

Read The Article