How to Build Your Own Contractor Tool Trailer

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Many contractors require a tool trailer to transport tools and equipment from job to job. The trailer provides a secure, weather-resistant space for the tools of the trade. The interior design of the trailer may vary depending on the trade, be it plumbing, electrical or carpentry. However, the construction of the outer shell follows the same building methods regardless of the use.

Chassis Preparation

Find a pull-along trailer with a chassis that has the desired width and length for the trailer. Purchase the trailer from a manufacturer or find a used trailer at a local auction or in classified ads.

Weld corner gussets in each corner of the chassis. This component provides a solid surface for the ends of the subfloor components to tie together. Weld 16 chassis tabs around the perimeter of the chassis. This step may require hiring a welder.

Measure the length and side of the chassis. Cut four pieces 2-inch-by-6 inch lumber for the subfloor framing — the front, rear and sides.

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Mark the position of the chassis tabs on the boards and drill the holes for the bolts. Secure the boards to the chassis with 3 1/2-inch-long carriage bolts.

Cut the floor from 3/4-inch exterior-grade plywood. Waterproof both sides of the plywood with water-resistant epoxy applied according to the product’s instructions. Secure the plywood the to the subfloor frame with galvanized screws, 1 1/2 inches long.

Shell

Cut the four top and bottom plates for the side walls from 2-inch-by-6 inch boards. The plates function as the horizontal components of a wall section. The vertical parts, called the studs, fit between the plates. Turn the plates on edge. Place a measuring tape at the end and mark lines on the boards every 16 inches.

Cut the studs for the wall sections. Make the length of the studs the total height of the wall minus 3 1/2 inches, which equals the thickness of both plates. Secure the two end studs between the bottom and top plates with 16d nails.

Fasten the remainder of the studs in place, using the 16-inch center lines for proper spacing. Construct the door opening as you build the wall section. Follow the door manufacturer’s instructions for framing the door opening.

Cut 3/4-inch exterior plywood for the walls. Fasten the plywood to the frame. Complete the other wall sections.

Fasten the first side wall section to the top of the subfloor framing with 2 1/2-inch-long galvanized wood screws and brace with a two-by-four board. Lift the other walls into place and secure them. Connect the corners of the wall sections with galvanized wood screws.

Frame the roof from 2-inch-by-6 inch boards placed at 24-inch intervals. Secure the joists to the top plate with galvanized screws.

Cut the roof sheathing from 3/4-inch exterior-grade plywood to the joists. Fasten each end to the top plate with galvanized screws.

Completion

Install fiberglass siding on the exterior walls. Fabricate the roof panel from fiberglass. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for gluing the panels to the walls and roof.

Install the insulation in the wall and ceiling cavities. Sheath the interior ceiling and walls with 1/2-inch plywood.

Complete the layout of the interior as designed. Install bins, racks, hooks or cabinets directly to the studs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the tail lights, interior lighting, door, lock and other accessories.

About the Author

John Landers has a bachelor's degree in business administration. He worked several years as a senior manager in the housing industry before pursuing his passion to become a writer. He has researched and written articles on a wide variety of interesting subjects for an array of clients. He loves penning pieces on subjects related to business, health, law and technology.

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