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Thread: Rebuilding My Livestock Trailer

  1. #1
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    Rebuilding My Livestock Trailer

    Today I decided it was time to rebuild my 16' bumper pull livestock trailer. I've owned it for a few years and it was starting to look a little ratty and I was becoming concerned about the brakes.

    In addition to putting on new brakes, a new trailer jack, rewiring, patching holes, and repainting, I'm also going to put in a new floor using pressure treated wood. I intend to roll the lower half of the inside of the trailer, the mid-gate, the sides, the inside of tail gate and the floor with truck bedliner material similar to the Line-X material that I have in the bed of my truck.

    The bedliner material in very durable and non-slip. Also, it I'm thinking it will hold up better to urine and manure than plain paint. In the past, I've tossed some hay or straw on the floor before transport and then removed it after hauling livestock when washing out the inside of the trailer.

    Has anyone here used bedliner material on the inside of their livestock trailer? Also, do you think I can get by not using any bedding material?

    Thanks,
    Ed

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Rebuilding My Livestock Trailer

    I think the traction will maybe be OK for a while. If the liner holds up well you shouldn't need bedding for brief trips. All day runs would be way better handled with bedding.

    Remains to be seen if the liner traction is sufficient after the stock coat it well with manure. You may need to put down a welded wire cattle panel.

    I intend to make a sectional removable stock trailer top for my HD car hauler utility trailer. My deck is 18 ft 3 inches and is diamond plate. I will use cattle panel to get sufficient footing. I will build a center gate to subdivide the length. One of my motivations is to avoid another 4 tires on the ground, trailer light system and brakes to maintain.

    Hooray for a transformer toy trailer.

    Pat
    "I'm not from your planet, monkey boy!"

  3. #3
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    Re: Rebuilding My Livestock Trailer

    Hi Pat,

    The Line-X bedliner material in my truck has held up very well over the last three years. I frequently wash out the bed of my truck and plan to do the same with my refurbished cattle trailer. Will probably use a pressure washer. I try to keep the trailer fairly clean if for no other reason than it makes it less messy when working inside.

    I think you're probably correct about using bedding material for long hauls if only to keep down windshield splatters on the vehicles following me down the road. The guy driving his new Lexus behind me might not appreciate being speckled with cow flop.

    If the bedliner material begins to lose its non-slip feature I'd probably use something like a cattle panel on the floor. I've debated with myself about not putting the bedliner coating on the floor and just leave the pressure treated wood uncovered. Any thoughts on that?

    Making a sectional removable stock trailer top for your HD car hauler utility trailer sounds like a neat project. How would you put the top on and take it off?

    Later,
    Ed


  4. #4
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    Re: Rebuilding My Livestock Trailer

    [img]/forums/images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] Pat, we did that same trick with one of our 14-foot flatbed trucks. We built a unitized cattle hauling enclosure and had it set up on four short posts to where we could back under it and drop in a few strategically-placed big bolts. It took less than a half hour to install it. The only real cost penalty was that since it was a unit we had to do a bit more bracing in the corners and so forth. [img]/forums/images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]
    CJDave

  5. #5
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    Re: Rebuilding My Livestock Trailer

    Ed, I am familiar with Line-X, have it on my Ford PU bed, and think it is good stuff. I don't have any experience and have heard no reports on what happens when you coat one side of a board with it. The underside of the board will get wet and the water will penetrate the board. Pressure treat is there to prevent the board from being "eaten" by living organisms NOT to waterproof the board. I'm thinking moisture induced bubbles that might get snagged and torn open. Also when properly lubricated with "bovine ejecta" I'm not sure if the anti skid will be sufficient.

    Regarding my "transformer trailer" in stock trailer mode...

    The sides will install into the stake pockets (and be pinned OR locked.) Each section will be light enough for one guy to put on/take off. I haven't fully worked out the details of the top yet but current thinking is wagon bows across the top laterally, cross braced with tubes running fore and aft. The lateral ribs and the fore and aft (longerons) will be attached with pins at their intersection.

    Pins will let things work a bit and rattle some but are so much easier to use and faster for assembly/disassembly than bolts. A canvas/tarp cover is a consideration but not metal skin.

    The above is the "fancy" version. Alternatively the top can be a welded cattle panel type gate sections. If the total weight stays as low as I think it should (no numbers yet, just vague notions) I should be able to install/remove the entire assembly intact. There are a couple ways. One is direct lift. I have a jib crane with a traveling car on the swinging I beam with an electric winch to make hoisting and lowering the assy easy.

    A low tech way to swap it is to assemble the "box" on a couple beams which are supported by stands (drums or ...) above the height of the trailer's fenders. Back the trailer in place and lower the box with a floor jack or other easily controlled means.

    Pat
    "I'm not from your planet, monkey boy!"

  6. #6
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    Re: Rebuilding My Livestock Trailer

    Pat,

    My original thoughts were to roll the bedliner material on the bottoms and sides of the pressure treated lumber before putting the floor down and then roll of the top of the boards after the front, sides, mid-gate and tail gate have been rolled. Sorta roll my way out the back gate as it were. That way all sides of the boards would be covered. On the other hand that's a little extra work and I'm just wondering how much advantage I'd gain by rolling the bedliner material on the floor in the first place. With all sides covered, I don't think bubbling would be a problem and I might not even need to us pressure treated wood because each board would be individually sealed.

    Yes, I like the Line-X bedliner material. It has held up very well and when working in the bed of my truck when its wet I never worry about slipping. The slip resistance is very good. But, like you say when the bedliner material bcomes coated with bovine residuals, the slip resistance may be much less. I know from experience that wet and frozen bovine ejecta can be very slippery on wooden decks too and can be somewhat hazardous when working behind unruly bulls. That's why I was hoping somebody on this site had actually coated a livestock trailer in this manner.

    Your transformer trailer project sounds interesting. How many 500 lb calves do you think you could haul versus a regular trailer of comparable length? How high would a loading ramp have to be? Or, would you be able to use some modified version of, or adaptation to, your existing ramps?

    Later,
    Ed



  7. #7
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    Re: Rebuilding My Livestock Trailer

    I have a 1/2 dovetail at the rear of the trailer. I have a very stout tongue jack. I think I can add cleated wooden ramps (cartried when not used on the side of the cattle box) on top of my standard ramps and with the tongue raised a bit load easily with calves (adults will probably not need the tongue raised to lower the ramp angle.

    The cattle box will be about 18 feet long. The trailer is rated for 12,000 lbs gross. I would be legal with a useful load over 9,000 lbs which is 18 each 500 lb calves. My weight capacity exceeds the space to contain the calves so I will not be over weight when full to capacity. I will have at least one interior gate if not two to separate the load into specific zones. This way in a quick stop I wont have a humongous tongue weight nor calves flying 18 ft when only transporting a couple.

    I am literally guessing (rough approximation) that 12-15 calves might be a load for trips under an hour. I don't like to keep animals in a trailer any longer than I have to.

    Pat
    "I'm not from your planet, monkey boy!"

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