How hard is it to build my own trailer?
In order to build your own trailer, you’ll need the ability to accurately measure, cut, and weld steel. Our trailer plans are very easy to follow; however, some experience reading fabrications drawings is preferred though not essential.
Please note that each country and city has different (and sometimes conflicting) road rules and licensing regulations for trailers. Please ensure that you follow your particular region’s road and licensing rules. Also take note that some region’s rules require that trailers over a certain load capacity need to be inspected prior to licensing, you can find more information on this below.
How do I get my trailer licensed?
The Licensing process is slightly different in each state of Australia, but is normally a straight forward and pain free process.
You will need to attach a Manufacturer’s plate that show's general information about the trailer including it's capacity, builder, date of fabrication and wheel size ect. and request a VIN number from your local licensing department, some states will let you do this online.
You will find more information relevant to your state using the following sources.
What is included in the plans?
All of our trailer plans include a number of “General Arrangement” drawings, which outline the main assembly and every sub assembly within it. For example, our Hydraulic tipping trailer plans contain a bottom chassis with its own drawing set and general arrangement, a top chassis with its own drawing set and general arrangement and so on for everything to be fabricated within that set of trailer plans, including the toolbox!
The “General Arrangement” also catalogs and labels every part you’ll need. Every one of the build’s parts features a separate drawing, detailing every cut dimension, hole detail, and all other relevant information you need for a successful build. Our plans also include a parts list, which outlines all cut lengths and material quantities, which is useful for taking stock and ordering parts in.
Most important, all of our plans feature a helpful instructional aid. This aid provides a comprehensive explanation of the terminology, abbreviations, and symbols you’ll see throughout our plans. We provide this document in an effort to empower and educate the fabricator to read and navigate the plans at their own pace.
Standard with all of our plans is the inclusion of .DXF files for each plate and sheet metal part. These come in handy if you’re looking to have a fabrication shop cut your parts for you. We’ll also be with you every step of the way. Everyone who purchases our plans receives helpful email support throughout every stage of your build if you need it. We’ll even help you source the parts and materials you need.
What do I use the .DXF files for?
The .DXF files included with each set of plans can be used by fabrication shops to laser cut, profile cut, or water-jet cut the sheet metal and plate parts for your build. If you’re not prepared (or you lack the time) to cut your own parts, a fabrication shop can be very helpful. Having them fabricate your parts can be both cost- and time-effective. Plus, you’ll also have the luxury of working with accurate, machine-cut parts, which can really boost the quality of a self-built trailer.
You can view the .DXF files with some free software like “DXF Viewer” or “Autodesk Design Review”.
What kind of axle do I need?
Your axle selection will be determined by your trailer’s capacity and the type of wheels you choose. You can use your wheels dimensions and hub offset to determine the axle size, length, and brake specifications. Once you have chosen your wheels, use the axle selection chart below to get the exact axle measurements you need.
Our axle selection chart is included with all trailer plans and can also be downloaded as a PDF for free here.
Do I need to install brakes on my trailer?
If your trailer is under 750Kg ATM (total mass including load), most countries won’t require your trailer to have brakes. However, if you’re required to (or simply choose to) install brakes on your trailer, it’s a good idea to check with your region’s local road licensing department or department of motor vehicles. They can help ensure that your brakes will comply with their standards and regulations.
How much will it cost to build a Trailer?
The cost of certain builds can vary greatly depending on your local steel prices. If you’re a first time builder, you’ll also need to factor in the tools you already have vs. the new tools you’ll need to buy.
Each of our plans feature a detailed Bill of Materials (BoM), which is used to price and order the material you need. However, before ordering any material, it’s a good idea to shop around and show your BoM to different suppliers to see where you can get the best quote.
What tools will I need?
A set of general metal fabrication tools, reliable safety gear, and a welder is all that’s generally required to build most of our trailer plans. Please also see below for some typical workshop tools that you’ll also need.
✗ 8m tape measure
✗ Safety gear and welding helmet
✗ 5” angle grinder
✗ Cordless drill or pistol drill
✗ A collection of F-clamps or G-clamps
✗ Combination square
✗ 2ft. square
✗ Engineers chalk
✗ Welding machine
Where can I get information or help during my build?
You can contact us at any time during your build. We’re happy to offer support for fabrication, welding, and even reading our plans.
If you’re looking for some casual tips on welding and fabrication, take a look at these great resources below. They’re great for learning new tricks or even just brushing up on your existing skills.
- Weldingtipsandtricks.com has a great range of instructional welding videos for all welding processes.
- Some very handy general fabrication and welding tips at advantagefabricatedmetals.com
- diymetalfabrication.com has a good range of useful fabrication tips and resources