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McGrath trailer 08 May 2022 18:27 #234914

  • 67mustang
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Hi All

I have a 34 ft McGrath strap trailer and will be sending to paint shop shortly

Need to start to look at the floor and keen to re timber, unfortunately the trailer will need to sit out side as such a couple of questions?

Whats the best timber to use?

What the best sealer or oil to use?

Is there any special secret to getting the boards in behind the coming rails?

Thank in advance

Mark

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McGrath trailer 08 May 2022 19:08 #234917

  • Lang
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I think there has been a lot of discussion on this in the past.

I have had a quick look back through the forum and this seems to be the best advice from our members.

Whatever wood you use it has to be dried and aged for a done-once job. If you put in new sawn timber or even recently kiln dry you will finish with up to 2 or 3 board width total gap after several months requiring replacements to be on hand. If they are screwed you will have a pencil width gap appear between boards.

If new (and even older timber) is just trapped in the edge coaming or screwed on the central runners with a screw in the centre of each plank it will curl up on the edges owing to the top drying and shrinking and the bottom remaining moist and swollen. It must be pinned across the board with two screws near the edges at each fastening point.

There are many good Australian timbers that can be used for strength but lots of them will produce splinters and cracks as they age while still retaining sufficient strength.

The recommended timber is Tallowwood which is the timber of choice for heavy government projects such as bridges and wharves. Red/Blue Gum, Box and Queensland Ash are also acceptable for strength and there are others but none as good for cosmetic weathering stability.

I personally have found at least an annual good paint with Selleys Aquadhere decking coating keeps external timber sealed and in good condition while retaining its original nice colour rather than going grey.

Finally the length of the boards make it pretty easy to just swing in under the coaming with a couple of hammer taps to get the corners past the square. If you cut them about 10mm short you will probably be able to swing them in by hand. The last few boards will fit in under the coaming on top of the existing ones and just slid down into the gap. Doing a flush deck is a bit more of a pain with the coaming locking board under the deck instead of on top. I had a neighbour get around it by leaving the locking board and centre bearers about a metre short at the front, sliding all the deck boards into the gap then just getting underneath and sliding the last locking board and centre bearer lengths in, lifting the half dozen planks up to the top.

Lang
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McGrath trailer 08 May 2022 19:33 #234920

  • 67mustang
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Thanks Lang

Best i start looking around

cheers

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McGrath trailer 08 May 2022 19:58 #234922

  • Mrsmackpaul
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My 20 cents for what it isnt worth

Red gum, Box, Jarrah and the like are no good for trays because they are so slow growing their grain is very fine or tight or what ever the proper name is and these tend to break rather than bend

Blue gum or Ash that grow quick have a long grain that flex's a lot more

Chuck all the boards in before the board around the combing rail, this allows you to twist the last few boards and still get them in

I reckon bolting them in is the go rather than screwing them as when they get wet they swell and pull screws out fairly quickly

I'm no expert at any of this but only telling you what I have learned which as we know is 2 tenths of bugger all

Deck oil probably is a good idea although I have never tried this on a tray

Final thoughts, wood is only good for keeping you warm in Australia and I would use checker plate, however this probably isnt in your plans so carry on with wood

Paul
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McGrath trailer 08 May 2022 20:10 #234924

  • Lang
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Here is Tallowwood, very pretty with the logs being nearly white up to 3 inches deep and nice red inside.

The stability of tallowwood makes it the timber of choice for genuine hardwood parquetry blocks and real timber flooring in houses and public buildings.

Some Australian Timber Organisation quotes.

An easy material to work with, Tallowwood looks great once it is polished and stained, making it a very popular choice of hardwood timber flooring. It is also very resistant to moisture, decay and insect infestation – making it ideal for use outside.


Prized for its beautiful blonde-brown to slightly olive green colour, tallowwood (or tallow wood) is an excellent option for decking timber and a flooring material both indoors and out. For a number of reasons, tallowwood is a particularly good choice for decking.


Construction uses range from unseasoned framing to dressed timber cladding, internal and external flooring, linings and joinery. Tallowwood is also used in fencing, landscaping and the construction of retaining walls. Decorative uses include outdoor furniture, turnery and joinery.






You will recognize this tree as it grows all over the East of Australia. Soft spongy but stringy bark. Eucalyptus Microcorys



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McGrath trailer 08 May 2022 20:22 #234926

  • wee-allis
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Thanks Lang. I just learnt a new word, "turnery".
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McGrath trailer 08 May 2022 21:45 #234931

  • 180wannabe
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I'm afraid i can't help with the flooring, but i will suggest trying to get hold of some used grain bag plastic (the big long white temporary grain storage bags you see out in paddocks).
Once emptied, the bags are not reusable, and in my experience readily available free of charge. The plastic is quite thick and very strong, and makes an excellent covering.
I use it for covering machinery from dust inside the shed. I think it would be ok outside so long as you left the ends open to get airflow so that it didn't sweat underneath.
If you found a regular supply it could be replaced every 12 months.

Just a suggestion, to help preserve your hard work.

Brett.
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McGrath trailer 09 May 2022 19:47 #234953

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Thanks Gents

Some things to think about, the Tallowwood isn't cheap even goes up when you start talking about lengths all the same at 2.4?

Mark
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McGrath trailer 09 May 2022 19:50 #234954

  • Mrsmackpaul
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I wonder if these trailers had tounge and groove floors

I remember some brands, maybe Fruehauf or Freighter had a special type of board, pretty sure it was Freighter that sort of overlapped
The adds were in Truck and Bus magazine of the 70's
Floors were rivited down
Fruehauf ran their boards length ways from what I can remember and the chassis rails were through the boards level with the top of the boards

Only McGrath trailers with boards I have had anything to do with were just normal boards cross ways

Sorry Im getting off topic but I figure if someone is going to all this effort they might like to get it right

Paul
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McGrath trailer 09 May 2022 20:05 #234955

  • hayseed
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Fruehauf ran their boards length ways from what I can remember and the chassis rails were through the boards level with the top of the boards

Paul


The 3 Fruehauf's I've had over the Years (Still have one in the Yard) Were as you say Paul & Running Lengthways They weren't tounge & groove though.. I think the Term is Shiplap.. Held Down with Self tappers. I used to use a Ramset Gun to fix replacement Boards..
I've also had a McGrath , a Freighter & a Loadmaster with tounge & groove hardwood running crossways.. Up until about 15 yrs ago Freighter Still offered a Timber Floor as an Option.. !!
In My Opinion If you're carting a lot of Steel, A wooden Floor is far better than a Steel Floor..
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