2.0 is an updated and rebuilt version of the original project which I posted 18 months or so ago. The first version that I threw together lasted for the better part of 5 years, so I anticipate this 2.0 version to last even longer. Cheap, easy to build and extremely useful. The 2.0 steps begin after version 1, so scroll on down and view the 2.0 version.
I hope that you like my work. :)
I built this pallet wagon several years ago before I found Instructables, so you will see the end product and not a detailed step by step construction process. I will endeavor to explain what I did and it is quite simple really.
I obviously used a pallet...assorted hardware and parts from a dead big wheel mower.
The total build time was an hour or so. I am a retired man, so I take my time and I don't hurry anymore.
You can see from the mismatched hardware that I just used what I had available to do the job and you most likely have these types of hardware lying about. If not, it might cost you a couple of bucks for the assorted hardware.
The trailer is quite strong. I have loaded it up with 6 or 7 pallets at a time, so there is little worry about its load capacity.
Oddly enough, the trailer/wagon backs up like a regular trailer when I have it hooked up to my lawn tractor.
Thanks for looking at my very first ible and I hope that if you need a very cheap trailer/wagon that you will use my design.
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Step 1: The Wagon/trailer
Here you see the pallet wagon/trailer...the big wheels and the handle for pushing a mower.
Step 2: Wheel Axle
This shows the axle for the big wheel that I removed from the dead mower. The axle was secured to the pallet by drilling through the 2x4 outside brace of the pallet and attached with a lag screw/bolt. You can also see a couple of nails on either side of the axle plate and these prevent the axle plate from rotating.
Step 3: Handle/towbar
This shows the attachment of the mower handle which became the tow bar. It is attached to the centre support for the pallet. I first bent the lower part of the handle so that it would match up with the centre support. Be careful when bending the handle tubing, so that you don't kink or break the tubing. I then drilled through the centre support and through bolted the ends of the mower handle tubing to the support. For a bit of added strength, I used cable clips around the tubing and through bolted them on the first board of the pallet.
Step 4: Towing Attachment
Here you see how I attach the trailer/wagon to my lawn tractor. I used two links of chain which I secured to the handle/tow bar with another cable clip and one link has a bolt through it which attaches to the lawn tractor. The para cord is used for moving the trailer around when it is not attached to the lawn tractor.
Step 5: Step 2.1 ~ Find the Center Line and Place "tow Frame" Center Along It.
For the 2.0 version of the "Pallet Trailer", I used a sailboard sail control bar for the "tow frame", which I had used in a previous project, and with no projects in mind that would require its usage, I put it to work.
I selected a newish pallet and marked its center line on the bottom of the pallet.
I then stretched a string at the fore and aft center points of the control bar and aligned the string with the marked center points of the pallet.
If you don't have a sailboard control bar handy, I would think that just about any sort of frame would do, even an old lawn mower handle assembly like the one that I used in the first or 1.0 version. Were I to build another one using the lawnmower handle, I would attach it on the bottom of the pallet as I did with this 2.0 upgrade.
Step 6: Step 2.2 ~ Secure Tow Frame to Pallet.
I secured the frame to the pallet with 6 brackets....two on each of the 3 boards on the bottom of the pallet.
I used a C - clamp to hold the brackets in position while I drilled pilot holes for the fasteners. I would have rather used 1/4 x 1 1/2 carriage bolts with nuts and washers but none were available at the time of construction, so I went quick and dirty with drywall screws which will be replaced if necessary.
Step 7: Step 2.3 ~ Locate Axle Location.
I placed two bricks under the pallet with one on either side to find a balance point for the axle placement.
I drilled 3/8 inch holes in the side braces of the pallet and arranged the axle bracket to give me optimal ground clearance.
I secured the axle bracket with 3/8 inch carriage bolts with washers and nuts and placed the wheels on their axles.
Step 8: Step 2.4 ~ Tractor and Trailer Attachment.
To secure the trailer to the garden tractor, I used a 3/8 inch carriage bolt with washers and a nut through a hole in the tow plate on the back of the tractor.
I used a length of "bull dog" chain to wrap around the plastic end of the control bar and secured it with a through bolt and nut, leaving 1 link loose, which slides down onto the bolt on the back of the tractor. I then run a washer and nut down onto the link and she's ready to go.
Step 9: Step 2.5 ~ Go Haul Somehing.
The trailer tracks very well and backs up fairly well.
Add a plywood top if you want to keep your load from spilling through.