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Wood Deck or Steel Deck Trailer??

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 90blzr, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Those of you who have trailers or have had...wood deck or steel deck?

    The price difference is only $150 so thats not a huge deal.

    But wondering if you liked what you had, or would have rather gone another way.

    Most I see are wood decks...but the steal seems more durable to an degree.

    So what would you recommend and why?

    Thanks
     
  2. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    Steel is more durable and wont get chewed up by dragging axles, tranny's ect across it. Steel also doesnt absorb oil that leaks on it.

    I have a steel flat bed on the back of my truck and love it compared to the wood ones I have had. Only thing is parts need to be held down good or they slide around. But on a trailer you would need to do that anyway.
     
  3. unick

    unick 1/2 ton status

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    We bought a wood floored trailer. It was nice but then the wood started rotting. Now its almost useless untill we redo the floor. Id go for the steel if I were you.
     
  4. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    yeah thats true...I guess steel would hold up better to everything. I was originally gonna go with steel, but then saw a couple wood decks and they look nice too. Also wont get rusty when the paint chips off. But then I thought, hell I can just paint the floor again when it gets all fawked up. Better than replacing the wood deck.
    Mostly gonna be used for car hauling, but I do haul other 'crap' once in a while too.
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Other problem with wood is that when you try and drag stuff across it, the edges bite into the wood and really chew it up.

    I go for steel deck as well. I'd like to see expanded metal used for the deck surface though, so it would never be slippery, and dirt and crud would just fall through to the ground. Never seen that on a trailer, but I think it would work out well. Just have to brace it pretty well.
     
  6. mudskipper

    mudskipper Registered Member

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    pick up a can of herculiner from the car parts store. then the metal deck is non slip, won't flake or rust. also a company called durabak sells basically the same stuff but in lot's of colors. if you felt like being creative /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  7. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Well, I gotta be the odd one out. I say wood.

    Steel: Had one, hated it. Ever tried to lay on a steel trailer to tie down a truck/buggy/car in the summer sun? Try loading in the rain or wet tires? You'll need something for grip or you can't even load. Same for walking on it wet, especially if you ever got any oil on it and haven't washed it off (with detergent). Working on a busted truck with oil/anti-freeze dripping? Yeah, lots of fun sliding around in the puddle. Also, tends to swag between supports for that washboard effect, or if not, be so heavy that it's silly. Sounds terrible too with stuff that's not completely immobile drumming on it...

    Wood: Yeah, it can rot, but pressure treated lumber lasts a LONG time, especially with wood sealer like Thompson's or something. Not bad in the sun, at least it won't take skin off. Yeah, oil soaks in, but who cares, I've got a few spots on mine. At least it's not a nice slick on top to slide and lay in. Detergent will take off the worst if it gets too bad, but may need to reseal depending. Has a nice deadening effect too.

    At the same price, I would take wood. If I did get steel, I would run wood runners down each side at least, or maybe marine plywood... JMO...
     
  8. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    My dad built a trailer something like 20years ago and used pressure treated wood. We use to have jet ski's and a little pontoon boat we use hauled on it so there were several times the trailer was completely submerged in water. About 10 years ago it started getting used to haul things like motors and such. Other than when we had the engine hoist sitting on the back yanking a 351 and one of the feet broke threw a board. We still have the same trailer with the same wood (minus a edge of plank 4or5 in from the left).

    other than the little wheels its still a great trailer that huals small JD tractors around /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    [​IMG]
     
  9. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    even though the wood is still holding up really well we are thinking of stripping the wood off (basically just to replace the one board without having one new board). We are going scuff down the frame of the trailer and paint it again. I almost have dad talked into trying the plastic "wood" decking material /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Anyone use that stuff on a deck or maybe even a trailer? /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  10. DBLAZER

    DBLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    I love my wood!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. BIGJ

    BIGJ 1/2 ton status Author

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    Another vote for wood, for many of the same reasons Bad Dog listed. I've had the pleasure of borrowing a "slightly used" steel deck car hauler to haul a tractor. The trailer was only a few years old, but the deck was already rusting from mild use, and everywhere that the chains had rubbed the floor it was in need of re-painting. It was the middle of the summer, and the steel got <font color="red">HOT</font> and was a total PIA to load up that evening. Not to mention, you could see where cars were regularly loaded based on the steel being bent in those areas.

    I used wood for mine, and I have no regrets. It's cheap to replace and I can do it a board at a time if I need to. Here's a pic...

    [​IMG]

    BIGJ
     
  12. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Anyone use that stuff on a deck or maybe even a trailer?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I looked into it, but it was WAY more expensive that I expected. Come on, it's plastic, and it was so expensive I forgot the price right after they told me.

    Could be only one brand I got the price on, or the store was just unusually expensive, but I kind of doubt it.

    Looks like it would work really well for a trailer, short of the slippery with oil problem.
     
  13. OL14BLAZ

    OL14BLAZ 1/2 ton status

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    That is one SWEET trailer. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif



    Eric
     
  14. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    I'm sure the ladies do too...but what about your trailer? /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  15. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Pressure treated lumber...hmmmm....is that exactly what its called? May check into that.

    I can see what you guys are saying, both have there advantages and disadvantages it seems. Hmmmm....

    Crawlin73 from the board has a trailer like I am getting (mines a little longer and some different options though), but I cant remember if his is wood deck or steel?

    As far as the steel sagging between the crossmembers...I'm sure that would have a lot to do with the way its made and materials used, on center of crossmembers, etc.

    Rust on the steel deck is what I figured. can repaint it, but dont wanna repaint it all the time. Especially places like Pismo...there for two nights and anything metal that is bare...INSTA-rust /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    The wood, as far as it chipping up, etc. How is yours BigJ?

    I would think that would have alot to do with the quality of wood also. I mean all wood CAN be chipped up if you try hard enough. I am sure cheaper quality stuff you could damage quite easily too.

    What kind of wood did you use BIGJ? Any sealers on it or anything?

    Decisions, decisions...
    Keep the replies comin/forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    To get a steel deck not to 'sag' between the crossmembers would make it so stupid heavy as to not be worth it. I used to build heavy haul low bed trailers that were rated up to 400 tons. Even those used wood decking...obviously a lot heavier wood, but it took more abuse for longer than the steel, didn't rust and was easier to replace.

    I'd definitely go with wood...

    Rene
     
  17. ramjet gmc

    ramjet gmc CK5 Staff Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    Pressure treated lumber

    that is what they call it in nj


    i like the steel /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  18. mudskipper

    mudskipper Registered Member

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    We just finished herculining a buddies trailer that he hauls logs on.Don't slide, nice. But i guess i have to agree with the woodie lovers. But if all your going to do is haul stuff on tires. /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  19. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    That is a good point on the heavier trailers...I was just thinking about the time you posted....all of the heavy equipment trailers and big gooseneck trailers I see are wood deck too. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
    Hmmmm....also has to be a couple hundred lbs lighter overall.
     
  20. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    I haul all kinds of stuff. Not just vehicles.

    My old trailer was lin-x'd. EVERYTHING. It was cool...but slippery and it started to peel. I dont think it was prepped right.
     

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