Introduction: How to Make a Trailer Maneuvering Dolly
Sometimes its just not necessary to use a tractor or car to move the trailer around my property. Especially if its got a light load on it or I want to squeeze it in a tight spot. I saw these trailer movers but there were way too much money.
I was heading home one day and noticed a tractor on the side of someones house that didn't look right. It was sitting crooked and the hood was way off from where it should be. The more abandoned and tattered it looks the better chance you have of getting it for free. I rang the bell and asked if he wanted to get rid of it. The guy said he hit a stump and broke the axle so it's worthless. He already sold the motor but said I can have the rest if I can drag it out....
Step 1: Donor Tractor
You'll need the front axle from a garden tractor. Only one pivot bolt holds these in but sometimes there are stop bolt on the bottom you have to take out too.
It doesn't matter if you get one with greaseable steering joints since you're going to weld it solid anyway. Do grease the wheels themselves it makes moving heavy stuff easier.
You can get rid of the arm that goes to the steering box but keep the one that connects the wheels together. This one was missing but I found it in the weeds.
Step 2: Welding Up the Handle Bars
I took a piece of 1in square tubing about as long as I am tall. This seems to be a comfortable length. I had a pair of handlebars I scrounged off an old exercise bike. I welded them to the end of the tubing. I didn't even bother to remove the screws first. I just lopped it off the bike with a saws-all and welded it right on the end of the tube.
Step 3: Attaching the Handle Bars to the Axle
I cut the end of the tube at a 45o angle. I welded the tube to the side of the axle so it was resting on the steering link. Then I straightened out the wheels and welded the steering shaft to the tube.
To make this do double duty as a cross brace I also welded the steering arms in position right where the steering arm touches the axle. Be careful. there's a lot of grease in there and it will run out and light on fire.....
Step 4: Adding a Ball
I had an old 1 7/8 ball lying around. I just welded the nut to the top of the axle and screwed the ball into it.. Most of my trailers are 2" hitches but that's OK. It holds just fine when moving it by hand.
Step 5: Using It
Make sure when loading the trailer you load the front first. you need to keep plenty of weight on the hitch.
I have transferred a loaded trailer to this dolly from my car many times BUT BE CAREFUL. If you loaded your trailer heavy on the rear of the axle the tongue will jump up and hit you when you unlock it from the cars hitch. You might end up with your jaw wired shut, or worse......
I got these 150 bricks for free on Craigslist yesterday and brought them home in the rear of my Blazer. Rather than use my golf cart to pull the trailer behind the house I just used the dolly and walked them around back.