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Old 02-29-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
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moving a 34' trailer sideways

Strange as it may sound, I have the need to move a 1989, 34' Excella sideways. Has someone else done this? If so I'd love to chat.

By being able to move the trailer sideways ,for storage, we can get one more trailer in the building. The trailer would be pulled into the building, unhitched, lifted onto dollies of some sort and rolled sideways. The trailer would sit against the wall for winter storage.

Any ideas?..
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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Many of the car restoration companies (Eastwood for example) sell dollies which cradle each wheel. They make it possible to easily roll cars at any angle you wish. They should make them sturdy enough for your application.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
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Brad I've seen this type of jack on the TV show "Operation Repo".
They are called GO-JACKS. They are multi-directional jacks that go under the wheel.

GoJak 6200 Vehicle Moving Jack | AW Direct
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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I've seen a trailer pulled onto heavy plastic, put down some soapy water and push it sideways. May not work with a 34' though
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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Look at these wheel dollies - there are cheaper models available.

Amazon.com: Allstar Performance ALL10135 5000 lbs Aluminum Deluxe Caster Wheel Dolly, (Pack of 2): Automotive
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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One other alternative that I can think of is using compressed air. I was once on a tour of a diesel pusher moho manufacturer. They use 4 heavy panels placed on the ground before the coach was driven on to them. Attached to these panels was an air hose and the panels had air jets exiting through the bottom. Once air pressure was applied it lifted the coach an inch off the ground. Then two men could very easily just walk the heavy coach sideways on the assembly line to the next build station. Turn off the air and it just sits down again gently.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
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You might look at these.

Wel-Bilt Wheel Dollies — 3000-Lb. Capacity (Pair) | Dollies + Movers | Northern Tool + Equipment

You can put a wheel on your tongue jack, or use a floor hack under it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
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Slider pads

I've used two sheets of sheet metal with axle grease smeared between them to move cars and trucks around. Jack up a wheel and then put a sheet metal sandwich under it and lower the wheel back down. The trailer will still be heavy but if you have a block and tackle and a place to anchor it you should be able to pull it sideways.

Another way that I've used getting large mobile homes around corners that they couldn't be driven around is a technique called tip jacking. Jack up the hitched trailer completely off the ground using hydraulic bottle jacks with a 1x4 under the jack on the side opposite of the way you want the trailer to go so that that jack leans slightly. After you get the trailer wheels off the ground you can push sideways on the trailer forcing it to fall off the jacks as they tip over. The trailer bounces on the suspension a little bit but no harm is done and the trailer will have moved up to 2' in the desired direction. This can be repeated until the wheels are where you need them to be. This technique can also be used with a single jack under the differential of your car when you get blocked in by other cars and can't get out of a parking place.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
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Remember with any of these ideas that you MUST have a way to stop it. A 34 footer will have some momentum if the ground is not perfectly flat (a slope either direction will be a problem either when you store it or retrieve it).

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Old 02-29-2012, 11:52 PM   #10
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Remember with any of these ideas that you MUST have a way to stop it. A 34 footer will have some momentum if the ground is not perfectly flat (a slope either direction will be a problem either when you store it or retrieve it).

-thomas
I've moved lots of high tech equipment into semiconductor fabs. We use the air pads commercially, but they need a LOT of air at about 100 psi, I think we were supplying about 20 cfm. The casters under the wheels are the best approach, but, as noted above, plan how you will stop it before you start moving it. I've seen a few damaged walls, almost squeezed someon who decided he could step in and stop the 16,000# of moving mass. Go slow and plan it all out.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:02 AM   #11
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Marine/boat pier bumpers will provide a cushion at the wall and prevent dents.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:17 AM   #12
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Wow Thank you for the ideas. Tim and I have tried wheel dollies to move it but we couldnt get it to go. We put a dolly under each wheel, three per side, and gave it a try. Im thinking that 12 casters per side were to many. each wheel seemed to point in its own direction and they seemed to resist each other.

I am considering laying out several 10' pieces of 4" pvc as rollers, putting a plywood platform on top of this and pulling the trailer onto the platform. Any thoughts about this idea? We are on a concrete floor, although its about 80 years old so its not smooth as glass.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:22 AM   #13
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Got a pair of these to move the boat and Ford, they work very well and hold the wheels securely, BUT....the concrete must be smooth.
Make sure that whatever you decide on will support the weight of the 34.

Bob
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:32 AM   #14
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Brad the difference between the go-jacks and the other type of jacks suggested here is that the go-jacks do not require you to jack up the vehicle(trailer) first to place the dolleys under the wheels. That's why repo guys use them, they are fast and easy.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Brad the difference between the go-jacks and the other type of jacks suggested here is that the go-jacks do not require you to jack up the vehicle(trailer) first to place the dolleys under the wheels. That's why repo guys use them, they are fast and easy.
These jacks look interesting. In many cases fast and easy would be great. For our move, its Tims trailer not mine, we can take all day to move it if that is what is needed. Using a cart under each tire will involve 24 casters total. Trying to get all thoes casters pointed in the same direction for the move seems like herding cats. Part of my quest is to help Tim, the trailer owner, feel comfortable with what is happening. Ive used tip jacking to move heavy objects before but I dont think Tim will be comfortable with that method. We all know how precious our trailers are to ourselves so I need to come up with an economical gentle effective method of moving the trailer. My reward is that I will be able to get one more of my precious trailers into the building.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:34 AM   #16
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Any possibility of getting a smaller one in that spot? I.e., does it HAVE to be the 34'? It's not that hard to tow the 34' out of the way if you have to move the one in the pocket.

If the casters are really the issue, try using fewer dollies, if they can support the weight - leave one wheel on each side hanging. I wouldn't do this for long. The casters are part of the problem, sure, but the other part is that you're trying to move at least 7,000 lbs of trailer and it's not going to go easy no matter what you do.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:38 AM   #17
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Brad,

I emphasize again how important a smooth rolling surface is, our parking pad has seams that are 1-2" high/low that can stop me in my tracks when moving the boat, (less than 2500lbs), I'm able to work thru it only because it's so light.
The casters do work very well and I'm able to handle the move without help... unless I roll onto the grass.

Bob
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:28 AM   #18
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I'm sure all you experts will be hiding grins as I ask this in my ignorance, but we also have a 34' and a building and may need to know all the answers here and to this question: once you have figured out 1) how to move, 2) how to stop, then 3) what do you safely push against to avoid damaging the 34'? Seems like it will take some force to get the thing in motion, so how do you avoid damaging panels in the pushing? Pushing on the ribs, considering the weight and inertia, seems like it might damage the ribs?

Thanks!

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Old 03-01-2012, 11:33 AM   #19
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:08 PM   #20
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"Seems like it will take some force to get the thing in motion, so how do you avoid damaging panels in the pushing? Pushing on the ribs, considering the weight and inertia, seems like it might damage the ribs?"

Iv'e found when moving our Ford it's easiest to push directly on the wheels.
Have also used a come-a-long to move the front end over when in the garage.

Bob
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