Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: trailer boards

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    cleveland,tn.
    Posts
    377

    trailer boards

    On my 20 ft dovetail trailer I am kinda tired of using pressure treated pine just to have it break at a knot when loading something heavy. I was thinking about cutting some oak for the floor, my question is what can I use for a rot preventive , I have seen copper sulfate but they suggest soaking anything about 2 inches thick, well I need to cut at 16 ft. do not have desire to make a trough and fill with copper sulfate at what a cost. Do you guys got any ideas. I want to stay away from paint , to slippery, but I guess I could add sand to it. thanks Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
    Posts
    469
    Good quality white oak is fairly rot resistant...
    Put 2 coats of water seal of some type on ALL FOUR sides before installing..
    It will last for years if the wood was air dried to 12-15 percent before coating.
    Be sure to allow it to soak into wood, especially the sides and bottom.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    20,718
    Pulled a lot of medium weight stuff on a trainer with white oak boards. I'm on the weather friendly left coast but still, I think we replaced one board in many years.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,394
    For trailer decking, if you plan to treat the lumber with an oil based preservative red oak is a better choice than white oak. The reason why is that the open pores in red oak allow the preservative to penetrate deeper into the lumber.

    The tyloses in white oak pores prevent most preservatives from going more than 1/16 to 1/8" deep into the lumber. If you do choose to treat white oak, if you wait 9 months or so after installation before applying the preservative, it will soak in deeper.

    In terms of preservatives, one of the best that a lay person can buy is copper napnathanate (CuNap). A lot of the pole treatment products sold at farm and ranch supply stores use it as their base ingrediant.

    If you want to use a recycled product, used automatic transmission fluid soaked into the boards well in advance of installation works better than engine oil, and is much less nasty in terms of the surface.

    If you are going to fully dry the boards before installation, plan on some losses due to wood movement.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,404
    Dave, Going to Oak will mean you can use thinner material but it's going to cost more and be a little harder to source. Also Oak will develop thousands of small checks in the sun so it will benefit from repeated treatment.

    You might benefit from better quality pressure treated Pine (less knots)

    A lot depends on how you keep your trailer. If you keep it in a rot inducing condition (full of 10 year old firewood) wood might not be the best choice.

    Scott, The closed tyloses in White Oak make it rot resistant. Not sure what the tradeoff would be using Red Oak well treated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,394
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Dave, Going to Oak will mean you can use thinner material but it's going to cost more and be a little harder to source. Also Oak will develop thousands of small checks in the sun so it will benefit from repeated treatment.

    You might benefit from better quality pressure treated Pine (less knots)

    A lot depends on how you keep your trailer. If you keep it in a rot inducing condition (full of 10 year old firewood) wood might not be the best choice.

    Scott, The closed tyloses in White Oak make it rot resistant. Not sure what the tradeoff would be using Red Oak well treated.
    Tom, we did some experiments several years ago with trailer decking here at the sawmill and determined that treated RO outlasted untreated WO. The key is renewing the treatment every year or so. We tried several different things and had the best results with CuNap mixed with diesel, or used automatic transmission fluid. We saturated all sides of the dry lumber and subsequently only retreated the top surface.

    The other thing that is important is to use lumber that doesn’t have any sapwood present, as it will rot more quickly - treated or not.

    While the tyloses are responsible for the rot resistance in *most* species of white oak, they also prevent preservatives from penetrating deeply into the wood. Hence my recommendation. As you probably know, chestnut white oak does not have tyloses present and is not rot resistant. It sure makes pretty quartersawn though!

    Very good advice re the pt pine. It weighs less than Oak too thus increasing net trailer capacity. The key thing here is to use ground contact rated material for maximum longevity.
    Last edited by Scott T Smith; 10-01-2020 at 10:05 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    6,790
    Up here in NY people often use hemlock or larch (call Tamarack in some locales) to redeck trailers. Both are pretty low cost and come in long, clear lengths. Treated, both last a good long time.

    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    cleveland,tn.
    Posts
    377
    I have a lot of red oak here that is dying so wood is not a issue , and I will cut it to dimensional size , yes it will weigh more than pine but I would think max. 400 lbs difference it is a 6 ton trailer so what I put on it I believe I got wiggle room. And I keep it under cover so uv and water damage should be kept at a min. Now it is just finding the time to do it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    7,278
    Blog Entries
    1
    Cyprus is another good outdoor wood.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •