Team trailer height

We’re looking at trailers for our team, and have generally converged on a 5x8 with a V front. Is there a consensus on the height of the trailer? I looked at this thread but no discussion on height there. Opinions?

Be sure that the height of the opening is big enough so that a tall robot can fit through. Also, having ramp door is very helpful for loading heavy items.

We did a custom-built 6x14 tandem axle rounded nose with a 7 foot interior height. Being 6’2" myself, I really enjoy being able to stand up inside of it. The whole back folds down into a ramp, and we have a side door.

I pulled it from California to Indianapolis and back, through I-40/I-44 out and I-80/I-70 back with a 1997 Chevy Suburban 2500 with a 454. With this tow vehicle, it’s no trouble at all to drive, but I wouldn’t pull it with anything much smaller. We estimate we’ve had it loaded up to about 6000 lbs a couple times. We’ve hauled our team’s stuff plus one other team’s stuff and that pretty much fills it.

If you have a vehicle to pull it with, I’d recommend going 6x12 or so if you can afford it.

The size of trailer really depends on how much stuff you have, and even more so, what vehicle you’re pulling it with. What is your intended tow vehicle? Mid 1990’s Suburbans are great and can be had rather cheaply around here.

either take the maximum robot height that games haves allowed(at starting point) or your biggest thing you would be putting in a trailer. What ever that measurement is, make sure the door is at LEAST that height.

Our tallest thing ended being our custom tool box (which ended up needing to be cut 2 inches).

Side note we have never strapped anything down! Everything with wheels that we have has breaks and in addition sometimes we bungee things together. Usually the weight of the item is enough, or pushing a heavier object against it is.

As Chris said, you’re going to want a trailer with a ramp. Our trailer is (I think?) somewhere around 7 or 8 feet from floor to ceiling. I’ll measure it at our meeting on Monday. You’re welcome to stop by and see if our is similar to what might fit your needs.

Do you have a robot cart? If so the height of the opening should be height of robot cart + 60" + a couple of inches for clearance. To short of a opening for the ramp door is the thing that annoys us the most about our trailer. When going to outreach events it would be soooooo much easier if we could roll out the robot strapped to the cart. As it is we roll the cart up to the ramp take the robot off and then put them in the trailer separately. The robot will fit in the trailer on the cart but just won’t fit through the door.

Of course as soon as you buy it watch FIRST change the rules to a girth limit and for it to be advantageous to have a robot with a starting configuration of more than 60".

I also highly recommend installing E-Track tie downs on the side. It makes it easy to change load layouts.
Also, be sure to invest in high quality locks. My team had our trailer broken into. The cheap locks that came with the trailer were cut. We have since bought shrouded pad locks. All locks can be broken, but the harder you make it to break into, the less likely it is that the thieves will risk the time to try.

Ours is a standard trailer with a ramp door and a door height of about 70". We would find it nearly impossible (and quite unsafe) to push the robot ON the cart up the ramp because of the weight.

Be sure to get a spare tire! And learn how to maintain the trailer - the wheel bearings need regular re-greasing.

It’s interesting that folks on this thread are big ramp supporters. The older thread I linked to in the original post had a strong anti-ramp flavor:

. takes too much space

. weight constraints limit ramp usefulness

Thanks for the reminder on the locks – I do want to get a set of locks like this.

I would caution you not to rely on brakes or weight to keep the items secured. Wheel brakes on carts are not designed to hold the object in the event that you need to stop suddenly. Heavy objects have a lot of inertia, and as such, don’t like to stop suddenly. They will keep moving. In addition, bungee cords are not design to strap things down as they are designed to stretch. Invest in some good tie-down straps.

Ours has a six and half foot tall opening with a ramp, a max height robot in a bag on a movers dolly goes in no problem. The ramp also means no lifting of toolboxes either.

We just got our trailer this past year, just in time for the post-season, and I was as happy as I could be. It’s a Wells Cargo, 5x8 v-nose. We were going for the 6x8, but I was able to get a 70" high 5 x 8 for several hundred less than the 60" 6x8.

It took a little while to plan the packing, but if you know exactly where everything’s going to go, loading up doesn’t take much time at all.

And the extra 10" in height really means a lot if you are 6 feet tall.

I would not get anything less than 70" high.

And in an earlier thread, it was cautioned that whatever size trailer you get, you’re going to fill it up!

Yes, the ramp has weight limits, but it’s better than having to pick up most objects.

I also recommend using combination locks, so there’s no keys to get lost. You will need two locks, one for the door and one for the trailer tongue.

We have six: Rear ramp/door, side man door, hitch, wheel boot lock, lug nut, and hitch pin.

Having a tall trailer is very helpful. We have a trailer that isn’t tall enough for some of our robots and it is a absolute pain to get them in and out because we have to tilt them in and out. It takes at least 2 people and to be safe you should really have 3 people.

Also having a door that hinges at the bottom and allows the door to be used as a ramp is a great idea. Utilizing simple machines is always a great idea. :smiley:

We have a fairly small folding ramp on are machine shop trailer. We have no problem getting are 450lb diesel and gas generators in and out of the trailer. You need a bit of a run up though.