Clive & Mark’s Tri-Axle Flatbed
We just love it when people send us pictures of the trailers they’ve built from our plans. It’s always interesting to see how the real thing turned out and what unique features or changes the builders made along the way. A father and son team, Clive & Mark, from Western Australia built this fantastic tri-axle flatbed trailer, to help Clive (a true blue Apiarist) to cart his bee hives around.
The trailer was designed to their own specifications as a 5400×2000 (about 18×6½ft) 3.5T ATM tri-axle with a full width bed to make the most of the available load area. As a custom plan, the design was based on one of our existing flatbed trailers and modified to suit. They wanted to use large 4WD wheels and tyres as the trailer would be spending a fair bit of time off-road. The chassis was designed with sufficient strength and height to enable the wheel to fit under the floor with enough clearance for suspension travel. We specified and detailed the tri-axle suspension from a Perth based trailer parts supplier to enable the guys to source parts locally. They ended up fitting a heavier 4.5T suspension, expecting that it would a better job off-road.
One of the things that impressed us the most was the great standard of finishing on this trailer. All the cutting, preparation and welding that we could see was of a very high standard. But it was the paint job that really grabbed our attention. Striking blue paint on a well prepared surface and professionally applied. The chassis assembly and axles were completely painted before any of the assembly commenced.
The guys incorporated a number of changes that tailored the trailer to suit their needs. This of course is one of the advantages of building a trailer yourself. The spare wheel was positioned at the rear under the trailer bed using an automotive style winder to lower it to the ground. They also did a great job recessing the tail lights into the rear cross member of the trailer and installed reverse lights – a sensible option for any trailer. They also installed yellow work lights, which we’re told, do not attract the bees at night.
There were a number of unique touches that we thought were pretty cool too. The front headboard corners were angled/chamfered and a full width panel covered the underside of the chassis . A step was built into the headboard on both sides of the trailer making it so much easier climbing on and off the trailer. The guys also installed an alloy toolbox on the drawbar. Mark made provision under the trailer bed for storage of spreader bars that “go over top of the bee hives so the straps pull down and not in”. All very technical this beekeeping.
Very well done guys. You have built a magnificent tri-axle flatbed trailer and we trust it will serve you and those West Australian bees well for many years to come.