Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bucking social consumer truisms

With 5 days since my last entry you would think I would have a lot to say and I suppose as I get used to sharing more personal information my entries will pick up in frequency. But for now I will stick with the things that I find new and interesting. As mentioned in a previous entry I created some additional storage with the use of a “toy box trailer” which took some of the pressure off my overloaded garage. The only problem is that since the trailer sits off the ground 2 feet getting things up and down the ramp is not always easy, especially a 1200-pound boat. Anyone who knows me will tell you I have always been a big proponent of modifying existing systems to meet an otherwise expensive alternative. In this case my plan was to raise the entire trailer off the ground, remove the tires and the lower the entire trailer, which would allow the ramp door angle to drop dramatically making loading much more easily. Using the industry standard of installed electro-hydraulic jacks at a cost of $1500-$3000 was out of the question so I had to come up with an effective and cheap alternative. So I decided to order 4 mechanical “scissor” leveling jacks that are designed to do minor leveling of the chassis and not lifting the frame as the warning implies on the product. However the difference here was I would use 4 jacks instead of two and with 4 times the required load rating of 5000 lbs each, designed to level a small house, total cost $150 including shipping. I figured that if these oversized jacks could level 5000–pounds each, there combined load capacity x 4 would easily lift and lower a fully loaded 10,000-pound trailer safely. So I fired up my reliable Lincoln arc welder and welded each jack to the main frame and on the following morning with no wind, raised each jack until the trailer axels were suspended, removed the tires and the lowered the trailer axles to the ground on top of wood planks. As expected it worked remarkably well and was very stable. Now the lower trailer ramp angle made boatstorage a breeze and pushing my motorcycles up the ramp possible rather then driving them up. Once again a little unconventional thinking with consideration toward the laws of physics saved me a bundle of money bucking the social rules consumer truisms (see pics).