Instructables
Picture of Lawnmower Utility Trailer
IMG-20120602-00398.jpg
I have been a follower of Instructables for about a year, and have learned some interesting and handy things here. This Lawnmower Utility Trailer is my first contribution. This thing measures 3'x6' bed, 8' total length, perfect for hauling leaves and yard trash, but has many other applications. Based on tire rated capacity (and experience), I recommend it for up to 400 pound payloads (each tire is rated at 300 pounds, so 400 pound payload PLUS the trailer weight of 100+ pounds).

This is my second Lawnmower Utility Trailer build, and is a step in the right direction. It all started when my wife was struggling to move chicken manure from the chicken coop to my father-in-law's garden late last summer. He said he really needed to get a trailer, and I volunteered to build one if he would buy the materials. I went to the computer and was surprised at how hard I struggled to find anything like I thought I could use when I looked over the Intructables website, so I set out to design and build my own.

If you are like me, welding is not an option. I wasn't worried about building the deck or the sides, but really had to concentrate on how to come up with some type of axle and some type of tongue-hitch combination.

I spent about a day getting mine built, but think it could be done in about five hours. Total investment for me was about $140, maybe a little less.

Materials needed:
  • 12 ea 2x4x12 Pressure Treated
  • 1 ea 2x10x8 Pressure Treated
  • 2 ea 10" Tire and Rim with 5/8" axle hole (Harbor Freight special, $5 each)
  • 1 ea 48" 5/8" Cold Rolled Steel (came from a local welding shop)
  • 2 ea cotter keys
  • 4 ea 5/8" flat washers
  • 8 ea rafter ties
  • 3 lb 2-1/2" Coarse Thread Deck Screws (at least 150 ea)
  • 1 lb 1-1/2" Coarse Thread Deck Screws
  • 1 ea 10" Gate Hinge Strap(perfect one at Tractor Supply)
  • 3 ea 2-1/2"x3/8" Hex Bolts
  • 3 ea 3/8" Flat Washers
  • 3 ea 3/8" Lock Washers
  • 1 pc Uni-Strut 48" long (available at electrical supply houses)
  • 1 ea 3/8" Hitch Pin

Tools Required:
  • Circular Saw
  • Drill-Driver
  • Deck Screw Bit
  • Tape Measure
  • 1/16" (small, anyway) Drill Bit
  • 3/8" Drill or Paddle Bit
  • Square
  • Wood Chisel
  • Hammer
  • 9/16" Wrench plus Pliers Socket Wrench
  • Jig Saw
  • Pencil
  • Safety Glasses
  • Drill Press (recommended, but optional)
 
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chobbs1957 (author) 2 years ago
In the materials list, I forgot to add 3 ea 5/16" nuts for the bolts that hold the gate strap hinge to the tongue to make a hitch.
familymulcahy3 months ago

love this trailer! my whole street borrows it! so many uses!

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can you please send a pic of how u set up the axle

the trailer is currently being used by a friend so I don't have it with me, but I used the same method as this instructable just I used a 4x4 instead of a 2x4. I also used a trailer ball and hitch for more strength and easter then a pin. I used cold steel rod, u-bolts and a 2x4 as Axel with wheel barrow tires each 500lbs weight limit.

I'm not sure exactly how familymulcahy did his, but he did use a higher quality tire and rim assembly than I.

Take a close look at Step 2, and all the pictures there. Also, see the upgrades I added later to Step 4. Drilling the holes in the cold rolled steel axle was the hardest part, getting them the precise distance next. That's the most detail I have recorded anywhere in a picture. The unistrut works really well, and was easy to secure to the cross member 2x4 with about 4 or 5 pairs of deck screws. Pre-drill all your holes in the unistrut for them.

If you are going to use those cheap Harbor Freight Chinese tires and rims, either go with the tandem design like I have in the update at the end or make a longer axle and go with duals. Either way, buy a spare wheel/tire assembly or two. They don't last, but are so cheap I use them. The cotter key plus flat washers makes changing them fairly easy.

I love my trailers. I have two of them, one at each house, and one or the other gets used every weekend.

loved this build, I just finished mine, changed a few things, made it for a bigger pay load and added hangers and tool box and a few other things! I also put a trailer coupler on there instead due to it being a 1000 limit... if you want to see some pictures just let me know! thanks again for the idea!!
chobbs1957 (author)  familymulcahy1 year ago
Great! Yes, put up a pic! I've wanted to add a rack for trimmer, edger and blower. The tool box idea sounds great as well. I'd love to see a pic of your coupler too. I have two of these things, one at each home. I wear them out on weekends doing yard work. The low bed level and six ft length together make it really handy and versatile.
mroseman821 year ago
how heavy is the trailer without a load?
chobbs1957 (author)  mroseman821 year ago
Around 125 lbs +/- is an honest estimate.
ok thanks i need a home utility trailer too thanks for instructable
how much does this weigh? been looking for the same trailor idea but was looking for mine to be highway safe. thanks for the instructable
chobbs1957 (author)  kdf.inc19691 year ago
I would not recommend that this design be used on anything larger than an ATV or garden tractor. My goal was to have something to pull behind my lawnmower for yard trash, chicken litter from the coop to the garden, and hauling a few supplies when I drive the lawnmower to my church a few blocks away to do the yards there.

Thanks for the comment.
Check with these guys for springs and axles and you can do double duty towing by car & lawn mower ^_^
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/NTESearch
storeId=6970&Ntt=leaf%2Bsprings

jj.inc2 years ago
That is a very impressive trailer, but I would get some bigger wheels so I can haul more, because that trailer is very heavy duty.
chobbs1957 (author)  jj.inc2 years ago
Yeah, bigger wheels would not be a bad idea. The trailer design is simple enough that it would not be hard to put a bigger axle wheel combination. Thanks for the comment.
Is it back heavy at all, or is it fairly balanced. Our trailer is made with a large amount of metal with a lot of weight on the front.
chobbs1957 (author)  jj.inc2 years ago
I had a goal to be sure it was not back heavy. It's about right. On the assembly, I set the axle to be about 1" toward the back, 2 or 3" would be fine, I am sure.

Use common sense when distributing the load, making sure is not loaded back heavy. Have a clip pin in the hitch pin for added protection against the hitch flying into the air.
l8nite2 years ago
thats a LOT of lawn trailer ! really nice build, thank you for sharing
chobbs1957 (author)  l8nite2 years ago
Yeah, it may be a "LOT", but I wanted something that would handle a big pile of pine straw, a lot of leaves, chicken manure, or limbs. With denser materials, it would be easy to overload.

I sometimes go to my church a few blocks away to do the yards. This is an easy way to haul edger, line trimmer, rakes, and other things with the lawnmower in one easy trip!

We used the first one I built last fall for my father-in-law at the family Christmas gathering for a "feature ride" for the children. We had a blast loading up about five little ones and riding them around the yard in the "wagon"!