Aluminum vs Steel Trailers: Trailers  -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum and Review Aluminum vs Steel Trailers: Trailers -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum

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 11-01-2004, 06:53 Post: 99609
lbrown59

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 Aluminum vs Steel Trailers

Aluminum vs Steel Trailers

Which is best?






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 11-01-2004, 08:08 Post: 99616
Murf

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 Aluminum vs Steel Trailers

That's like saying what is the best thing to eat for dinner.

There is a lot of personal taste & preferences involved.

There is however, certain facts you can't get past, like requirements from a strictly functional point of view. Aluminum is not good for highly localized loads since it needs to carry the load across a larger area because of it's relative softness. When you have something like a CUT which transmits virtually 100% of it's weight into 4 small tire contact patches, it is hard on an aluminum trailer.

They are also considerably more expensive for the same functionality.

Best of luck.






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 11-01-2004, 08:25 Post: 99617
yooperpete



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In addition to Murf's comments about strength, aluminum trailers using tread plate look good cause they are nice and shiny. In the beginning. When you weld the joints an oxide is produced which looks like corrosion. If you drive the aluminum trailer on winter salt covered roads it will oxide fast and look like sxxt! I'd go for steel and repaint as necessary.






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 11-01-2004, 08:25 Post: 99618
lbrown59

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 Aluminum vs Steel Trailers

That's like saying what is the best thing to eat for dinner.

There is a lot of personal taste & preferences involved
Murf.
***************
I know

That's why I posed the question.






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 11-01-2004, 08:32 Post: 99619
lbrown59

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But isn't their lighter weight an advantage when it comes to reducing GVW.?






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 11-01-2004, 08:54 Post: 99621
ScooterMagee



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 Aluminum vs Steel Trailers

Speaking in very, very general terms, the aluminum typically found in these types of applications will have a yield strength somewhere in the magnitude of 1/2 to 1/3 that of steel. Therefore to attain the equivalent strength (and GVWR) the aluminum trailer would utilize 2 to 3 times as much aluminum, which tends to offset any weight savings.






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 11-01-2004, 08:57 Post: 99622
yooperpete



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 Aluminum vs Steel Trailers

Aluminun is 1/3rd the weight of steel but is also 1/3 the strength. Shapes of it like channels and I-beams make a big differences since that increases stiffness. So it depends on how and where you use it.






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 11-01-2004, 10:06 Post: 99625
plots1

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 Aluminum vs Steel Trailers

There are different grades aluminm, surely they use one of the higher grades on the trailers.There is a company named alumina light that builds trailers that can haul most anything.better have a fat wallet when going to buy one though.






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 11-01-2004, 10:17 Post: 99626
Chief



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 Aluminum vs Steel Trailers

For uses such as hauling and launching boats where corrosion and rust resistance is a factor; aluminum has its advantates. The weight of a is distributed over a much larger area as opposed to a tractor. The cost of an aluminum trailer is about 1/3 more the cost.

Aluminum does not stand up to fatigue cycling nearly as well as steel. Aluminum flexes much more than steel. I recently learned this the VERY HARD way when a 110 gallon truck bed diesel fuel tank (full of diesel mind you) cracked a weld while crossing a stream on my farm and I was 120 miles from home. Fortunately the crack was only 6 inches long and near the top of the tank and it did not leak fast. We didn't notice the leak as such until I got home. We thought what appeared to be steam from crossing the creek when in actuality it was smoke from the diesel dripping on the muffler.

Get the steel trailer; you will be very glad you did.






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 11-01-2004, 10:55 Post: 99628
Murf

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 Aluminum vs Steel Trailers

As an example, an aluminum trailer manufacturer near here shows some spec.'s on their website.

An aluminum 16' 7k# utility trailer weighs 1175# according to the maker.

A steel trailer (Big Tex trailers) that is of comparable size & capacity weighs 1,740# also according to the maker.

That is a net difference of 565#, but at nearly double the price.

A local car dealership bought a tilt'n'load wrecker for doing dealer trades, it was a 19' aluminum deck. After 3 years there were so many cracks in it they replaced it with a similar unit but with a steel deck, no problems after that.

Best of luck.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Trailers Forum

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