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Saw an interesting trailer once

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  • Saw an interesting trailer once

    My recent Bridgeport moving experience reminded me of a trailer I saw once.

    It was many years ago, before I was bitten by the machinery bug, didn't have an application for it, and I can't remember details, but...

    It was very unusual in that it was an open frame type, fabricated with "U" shaped frame rails somehow. The wheels were mounted independantly to these rails, meaning they didn't have an axle all the way across.

    It could be backed up to, and "straddle" whatever you wanted to move. It contained an integrated crane of some sort to pick up the load. Might've been just an I-beam oriented "fore/aft", with a trolley.

    You needed only to hoist the load maybe 10-12 inches or so, then slide some "slats" under the load, lower the load to the "slats", then strap it down and drive away.

    Reverse the process at the destination end.

    It was relatively compact but very stout as I recall. Could be towed by a pickup or SUV. I don't think it was a homebrew, had a "commercial look".

    I think a man could move a Bridgeport or a decent size lathe solo without even breaking a sweat. They would have to be on the flat, of course, or nearly so.

    I thought it might be a Bil-Jax but I looked around the web and haven't seen one like it.

    Anybody seen something like this?

    Would make a great project. Wheels might be kinda tricky.
    Last edited by jmarkwolf; 02-11-2013, 10:37 PM.

  • #2
    Look to commercial boat trailers. They look like what you describe. Wayne


    • #3
      I've seen a unit like that for moving propane tanks. It is backed in around the tank, the tank is picked up and a couple cross pieces put in and part of the weight lowered onto the cross pieces. I think they move the tanks empty, but I wouldn't think they would leave a partiel tank just sit if they had another user that wanted to pay...

      For a heavier load the cross pieces might want some form of alignment to keep the frame from spreading under load.


      • #4
        There's a photo of one being used to move a 4' diameter tree stump at this link:,21328.0.html

        Not sure it would have the height for a Bridgeport. Weight wise it was capable:

        " I have lifted a 4' diameter oak 9' in length sopping wet. Im guessing it weighed in at between 6000 and 8000 lbs. "


        • #5
          The one in the attached video certainly isn't what you are speaking of but it would make a fine machinery moving trailer.


          • #6
            Originally posted by kf2qd View Post
            I've seen a unit like that for moving propane tanks.
            Yup, I think you're right.

            The more I think about it, it would be perfect for moving lathes, but not so much for taller machines like Bridgeports, at least without some mods.


            • #7
              Is this the one you're thinking of?



              • #8
                These worked pretty slick on the farm for larger(wide) implements. Drop the bed on the ground,
                load sideways, slide the wheels back under.




                • #9
                  Originally posted by firbikrhd1 View Post
                  The one in the attached video certainly isn't what you are speaking of but it would make a fine machinery moving trailer.
                  JLG drop deck trailers are the ticket! Made short work of loading/unloading my Sheldon R15.



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by QSIMDO View Post
                    Is this the one you're thinking of?

                    No, but that's a cool trailer too.

                    See the attached doodle.

                    The trailer was more elaborate than I've drawn it, but the basic "gist" is there.

                    Simply back over the machine to be moved (no axle in the way), hoist it up a foot, slide some slats under it, lower it to the slats, lash it down and drive away.

                    This trailer, or one like it, could be the cats a$$ for moving moderately size machines when none of your buddies can be found.

                    Last edited by jmarkwolf; 02-12-2013, 05:13 PM.


                    • #11
                      Those trailers remind me of marine lifts , which move over a boat and lift it from above using straps under the hull. Some lifts roll on rails , some on tires. Adapting the idea to move machinery is an interesting idea , if you often move machines within a predictable range of sizes and weights.
                      Last edited by Bill736; 02-12-2013, 08:52 PM.


                      • #12
                        I had a trailer where the whole deck could tilt backwards. The tongue, frame, wheels, springs- that was one frame, and the deck was a completely separate frame. I ended up modifying it so the rear section behind the axle was lower than the rest of the deck. You wouldn't have to tilt the deck as much to lower the rear edge to the ground, but you also wouldn't be able to drag anything up onto the main deck without rigging up some planks or something. It was useful as it was, but I do like the idea of the deck being one flat piece and the rear lip being able to lower to the ground. You could leave the hitch connected and have a means of raising and lowering the rear suspension links. That way you have just one fixed frame.

                        Raise the wheels, the rear edge touches ground. Lower the wheels and the deck comes up level. You might insert a pin when it's at level height, so the suspension is secure and the raising and lowering mechanism doesn't have to take road shocks.
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                        • #13
                          Like this? It's the one in the previous post by Wheels17.



                          • #14
                            It looks like it would be an ideal setup for delivering/installing septic tanks.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by johnnyd View Post
                              It looks like it would be an ideal setup for delivering/installing septic tanks.
                              ...or maybe caskets!