Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DarkMantle

Trailer advice please

Recommended Posts

I have the opportunity to purchase a steel tri axle with 3500 pound axles.  These are made locally by a welder and metal worker, not a trailer company.  I have two options.  One is to get it with a data plate and paper work, pay too much tax and have it registered - or - I can get it for cash and register it as a home built and avoid a bunch of fees.  If I were to choose the latter route, I'm guessing I'd be on the hook should the trailer explode or something and the boat went careening down the street.  If I were to take it to a mechanic for a cert, who would the onus be on then?  It looks quite well built and I'm not foreseeing any problems, but as the saying goes "Sh!% happens"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many deer will this trailer normally carry? That would influence my trailer decision. Anyway you slice it the cost of the trailer is small compared to the cost of the load.

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Making a trailer is more than just weld metal. Axles, weight distribution, braking system, winch, a lot of aspect the guy probably don't know about because ... he is not a trailer company. Don't know what kind of boat you have but it is a pretty risky gamble... Personnaly, I would pass. Just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My parents had a trailer made at an "off brand" shop for their 330 Sundancer.  Probably one of the best built trailers I had ever seen.  Since the guy wasn't hammering them out over and over again, he really took his time and made it pretty custom. It was one of the biggest boat trailers he had made (boat weighed in at 13,000 lbs dry). Sea Ray sent us a print of the hull and where the chimes were, stringers, through-hulls, center weight, etc. so that helped with is planning and design.  Towed about 3,000 miles in the first 2 years of having the trailer and never had an issue.  I wouldn't write the guy off yet, but check about registration/insurance.  I was too young at the time to know what the deal was with that, but in terms of quality, I know my dad was more impressed with that trailer than the current Trail-Rite he has now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice enough looking trailer, but are you salt or fresh?  If salt, I'd say don't bother with it.  It'll be junk in a couple years at most.  As others have said, what's the value of what it's carrying?  A tri-axle is probably carrying a heavy load that can do a lot of damage when things go wrong.  Personally, I wouldn't want to register it as a home-built and bear that liability.  It's not worth the few herd of deer savings.  Good boat trailers are cheap compared to what they're carrying, what's towing them, and what they can and damage on the highway.  It's not the place to skimp, in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hence my dilemma. I have no issue bringing it for a cert, but I don't know if that matters when it comes to liability. It's two axle electric brakes as well. Its fresh waster. Carrying a 2007 Sig 270

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good question.  That one may be best answered by an attorney who specializes in that kind of thing.  What kind of savings are we talking on this versus a manufacturer-built and certified similar trailer?  The small cost of legal advice may be very worth it compared to the savings, and help you be sure you're properly covered in the event of an accident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another consideration is the coating. Factory built galvanized trailers from the major players like Sea Lion and Load Rite are hot dipped galvanized that affords a coating on the box tubing interior also.  Fenders and bolt on hardware are electroplated.      W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's basically tremclad coated steel. I would LPS 3 the snot out of it of course.  I'd be saving a good 3000 to 4000 dollars.  It's also weight. It's claimed to be an 1100 pound trailer. I'd put it on the scale first. The "pro" one is 1800 to 2000 pounds empty.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure on the liability but you probably want more than the 2 bunks it currently has. Not just to distribute the weight better but also when loading it. My dad previously had a trailer with only 2 bunks and never could get the boat to load straight or level.  Would always be a process trying to get the boat back on the trailer.

If your the one driving you would be liable, the question would be if they could also sue him for building it if you registered it as home made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you're saying the data plate, paperwork and taxes add up to 3-4k??   That must be one expensive trailer for the "fees" to be that much. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 1980 ?   Loadrite is hot dipped Galvanized trailer is rust free.  Every year out side. Fresh water only.

ALL punched, drilled holes & welding     MUST   be done before any coatings are done.

 

Any later things you add or change  to the trailer ?   MUST / SHOULD NOT have drilling holes.  Find bolt on  items if at all possible.

Drilled holes   RUST OUT from the inside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You seem to be asking if getting it legally registered and looked over by an inspection station will transfer liability to them.  No, they aren't liable for a product they didn't build but inspected if the product fails.  Imagine you got state inspection on your car and on your way home you got into an accident and the takata air bag went off and killed you.  The shop wouldn't be liable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think when you look at liability you have to look at insurance.  Which in most states as soon as you hook something to the tow vehicle the item being towed is covered under whatever the tow vehicle, then a lot of people have boat insurance but boat insurance usually covers issues on the water and comp claims while the boat is sitting.  Get into accident on the road the boat insurance is going to point at your car insurance to pay up. 

But say your boat trailer goes haywire and runs of the road and kills somebody, its very doubtful that somebody is going to track down your trailer manufacture and go after them, just wont happen regardless of who made the trailer.  The liability is going to rest upon yourself either way.  So worrying about who an how made the trailer I think is moot because soon as you buy the trailer and hook up its on you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd respectfully disagree.  Insurance companies are in the business of trying to not pay claims.   If you get into a big accident because of a defective trailer you can bet the insurance company will go after the manufacturer.   That's why most trailer companies carry product liability insurance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, crvtt771 said:

I'd respectfully disagree.  Insurance companies are in the business of trying to not pay claims.   If you get into a big accident because of a defective trailer you can bet the insurance company will go after the manufacturer.   That's why most trailer companies carry product liability insurance. 

I agree.  But end of the day when you have insurance the liability you take on is backed by insurance, they very well or most likely will try and pass the buck but that's not on you.  I just don't see your insurance company going through you to get to them, in the end your insurance is on the hook to pay or fight with somebody else.  You have to remember in order to sue you have to sue somebody that has money.  Big companies are easy pickens because they carry the insurance, and other insurance know that.  Some small time shop just wont have it, and I don't think it would be worth their time. 

 

I think there is some over thought on this personally.  For one your insurance company would have to spend the time and money to verify your trailer was defective.  Most likely course is the other peoples insurance, police, etc will look to see that your trailer was properly registered, met specs, and tow your vehicle was within spec for the load. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure you can get insurance on the trailer just like you can on home built 'experimental' aircraft.  You probably need to find the right policy/company. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your state grants the trailer a title and registration you should not have any problem insuring it. What was said above is true, that while on the road your towing vehicles Liability insurance is primary. Make sure you carry adequate liability limits. If something catastrophic happens while towing everyone involved will be sued, you and the builder. Make sure you have enough coverage to cover yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Chap243 said:

If your state grants the trailer a title and registration you should not have any problem insuring it. What was said above is true, that while on the road your towing vehicles Liability insurance is primary. Make sure you carry adequate liability limits. If something catastrophic happens while towing everyone involved will be sued, you and the builder. Make sure you have enough coverage to cover yourself.

That's the thing car crashes are not investigated by the NTSB here.  The police will assign fault, issue tickets.  Then insurance sorts it out.  Most insurance will go for your liability maximum which is 300k, because its easy, game over at that point.  The real issue you have on the road is A. Being insured, that will take care of 98% of your issues. B. Is that your not found gross negligent as in being drunk, driving wild, etc. in that case good luck with your insurance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×