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Author Topic: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?  (Read 1322 times)

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Offline shinnlinger

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Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« on: June 29, 2018, 09:39:57 PM »
Hello,

I have  a vintage reefer trailer I would like to lower to the ground.  Where it currently resides is fine.  A few years ago, I moved it around by shoehorning the front of into my dump  truck with a piece of RR track and winching it with my tractor, but that effort wasn't for the feint of heart and it  now sits on ledge.  The standby dig a hole and bury the wheels isn't an option and moving it isn't much of one either as I jackknifed it up against a fence line.

The running gear is adjustable and in theory should slide  out the back if I can jack it up or take the tires off for clearance.  Plan B is of course the old "hot wrench".  The tricycle gear is gone and the front rests on the remains of a 275 gallon oil drum.  

I have some "house jacks" and was thinking dunnage and lower but my jacks are protesting mightily so it gives my pause.

I would like to create a few level pads and set it down and was curious as to ideas you all might have about how to go about it.

Dave
Shinnlinger
Woodshop teacher, pasture raised chicken farmer
34 horse kubota L-2850, Turner Band Mill, '84 F-600,
living in self-built/milled timberframe home

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2018, 12:23:06 AM »
Harbor freights biggest bottle jack has picked up everything ive tried with ease.  Once it was my gooseneck overloaded with white oak.  Theyre fairly cheap.  One per side staggering down on dunnage steps?
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Offline LeeB

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2018, 05:10:16 AM »
I'll need to do the same thing soon once I get mine moved to it's new home. 
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2018, 08:54:41 AM »
When the barn restoring company wants to lift a building to put in new sills, the make a cribbing stack with some 6x7 timbers. They stack them with the 7" dimension being up and down. Then they can roll some over and slide them in between the rows and put in a jack. Like this:


 

You could make up a stack like this to support your trailer, and remove the wheels and axles, then slowly lower it to the ground by removing one layer of timbers and lowering it down to the next set. Just an idea to keep the trailer stable while lowering it.
Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 02:34:45 PM »
Heavy equipment is sure the nice easy solution if you have it.   ;)  I can say our skid steer (JD 250, no weight kit) won't pick up the front of a semi trailer, at least not with the trailer wheels all the way back.

Ditto all the info on bottle jacks.  One of them made lifting my 8k lb moulder onto pipe nearly effortless.  People that set mobile homes use them to do the leveling as well.  The trailer you have probably weighs in the neighborhood of 10k lb.  The hardest part will be setting and moving the dunnage.

As for pads...  Do you want to keep things pretty level or just keep the trailer from sinking?  Concrete piers every 8-10' dug below frost line will give you a lot of stability.  Best to dig them now when it's up on the axles already.  The back side will suck, but an E-tool will make it a little easier.  A backhoe or mini-ex would sure be nice...  Otherwise cinderblocks will keep it levelish without a lot of work.  How many and spacing depends on your soil..., but better too many than too few.  You can always jack it back up again later, but I'm more a fan of "done right once (or over done once)" than redoing.



Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2018, 07:33:02 PM »
Thanks for the drawing and explanation Jim.  I have 3 to drop when the weather cools down a bit.  Banjo
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

Offline celliott

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2018, 08:08:59 PM »
Ive used the technique Jim described but not to lower but pick back up a 6500 gallon trailer tank (sap tank tipped over 1/2 full) it works well. Think itd be just the ticket if your jacks are rugged enough.
Chris Elliott

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Offline Iwawoodwork

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2018, 10:22:46 PM »
I dropped a 45' with sliding rear axles to the ground, used 4x4 cribbing to hold up the front while cutting (torch) off landing gear.  Then later lowered to rxr ties using 2 HF 12 ton jacks, The rear axles were removed by cutting off the safety bar in back and cutting the ends of the slider rails. Blocking/cribbing just in front of front rear axle and jack up to take weight off  and hooked a chain on axle  and pulled axles out from under. then lowered using jacks and cribbing. Now have it setting is rxr ties using as a shop.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2018, 10:30:46 PM »
I use free campers with no tires for storage right now and i set them on junky timbers or phone poles which keeps them from sinking, and makes rolling them pretty easy too if needed later on, just hook a chain.  Im kinda spoiled tho



  


Good sized dozer blade will lift one end of a box.  Maybe a skidder blade?  Winch ought to do it.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline OntarioAl

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2018, 10:48:27 PM »
I used Jim"s method to raise a cottage 9 ft. and then lower it on a new preserved wood basement (8ft).
Use a plumb bob to keep it on target.
cheers
Al
Al Raman

Offline nopoint

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2018, 10:32:36 PM »
I have heard of people using blocks of ice of ice to get safes and other heavy objects off of skids. Jacks will work ok till you want it right on the ground, unless you have toe jacks.  Be safe.

Online florida

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Re: Lowering a semi trailer to the ground?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2018, 09:45:41 AM »
Lift the axle end with a front end loader, slide the wheels out, lower to the ground, repeat on the other end.  No fuss, no muss.
General contractor and carpenter for 50 years.


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