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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 05-08-16, 09:25 AM   #1
andychrist
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Need good bin for flatbed

So took my old Burley Nomad with the cracked frame and worn-out canvass, converted it to a flat bed. Oak dowels purchased as replacements for lower members came 36" long, didn't bother to cut them down to match the old trailer's 32", figured the extra 4" would be useful. But now I've got a 3' long bed but no really suitable bin for hauling loose items such as recyclables. Sterlite "Halloween" container have now kinda top heavy and doesn't utilize the full bed; would like something as wide (or a even a bit wider on the bottom if it tapers) but longer while more shallow.



Can't seem to find anything with the appropriate proportions for sale in the USA; closest is Rubbermaid's 35 Gallon ActionPacker which is about the right length and width but too tall and at 18lbs way too heavy. Though if the bottom is rugged enough I might be able to make do without the bed's floor, resting the container just on the dowels and end pieces — this would save a lot on weight. Still would prefer a bin no taller than 12." Anybody here know of one like that?
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Old 05-08-16, 10:45 AM   #2
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There is a companty called "Container Store". I buy bins, boxes and stuff from ours regularly. The key thing is that with a selection of, well, just containers, you will probably find something pretty close to what you want.
I don't work for them. I don't own stock. I have no skin in this other than to see a trailer work as intended.
Myself, I'm about to have to build an off road trailer capable of hauling 6 foot sections of one foot diameter logs as we cut down trees. So trailers, wagons, heavy lift capacity is interesting to me.
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Old 05-08-16, 11:59 AM   #3
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It looks like you are fairly handy with your woodworking. So, you might consider making a box out of door skins (1/8" plywood) of the exact size you need.

I had initially stripped the top off of a kid's trailer, then realized that the stock fabric is lightweight, and I needed something to protect the wheels, and a bit of a bin shape to the trailer was nice, so I've been using it with floor and sidewalls (and a bit lower in the front/rear).I don't currently use it covered, but will snag a heavy duty large thick plastic bag as needed.

Beware of balance. The trailer will tow best with moderate tongue weight. I've towed with negative tongue weight, and it will fishtail, especially on descents.

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Myself, I'm about to have to build an off road trailer capable of hauling 6 foot sections of one foot diameter logs as we cut down trees. So trailers, wagons, heavy lift capacity is interesting to me.
My heavy hauler would handle that. I do run 3x16 tires which seem very strong, but ground clearance may or may not fit your needs. On the road, 500 lbs is about all I can pull, and hills are killers. I need a tandem+stoker to tow it!!! There are some commercial electric assist trailers that would be worth considering. My goal was to add fenders and fully opening front and rear tailgate, but I never got them finished.



Maybe a new thread if you wish to discuss ideas.
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Old 05-09-16, 07:14 AM   #4
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I use a recycling container. My Freedom Carry Y frame has a flatbed with no raised sides. the surface is covered in a non-slip material, like skateboards. There are 4 holes in the bed for lashing down stuff or fitting plugs to affix containers or anything else.
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Old 05-09-16, 09:00 AM   #5
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Well I couldn't find a container from among those suggested any closer to 36" in length than the 35-Gal Rubbermaid ActionPacker. Walmart 's price of ~$60 was lower than any place else's and free delivery by this Thursday.

If the AP is strong enough, then I won't even need a full floor to the trailer, just rest the footing on the perimeter frame or even drop it down over the axle and support it from the underside of the remaining carriage. Will have to see once it gets here what the foot print is like though before designing anything further.

Meantime gonna move the wheels back a few inches to match the original Burly's placement. Works fine as is so far but haven't tested it under a full load and don't wanna find out how stable it is the hard way — my property is right on the highway.

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Will post back with pics once I get it all set up, so y'all can criticize. Ummm... constructively, of course!

Last edited by andychrist; 05-09-16 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 05-09-16, 06:59 PM   #6
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does it need to be one container? maybe you could find two smaller ones that sit sideways and fill the space better. also might see what pops up around Christmas. I see a bunch of Christmas ornament and wrapping paper containers that show up then. never used one, but I've noticed the sizing is a little different than what you see normally.
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Old 05-10-16, 01:03 AM   #7
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Well I originally was gonna go with two separate containers, but it's sooo difficult to find accurate measurements of anything online and couldn't come up with a combo that was sure to fit as well as the 35-Gal ActionPacker. Then I tested out a couple different vessels together that I had stashed around here, and on a test run the smaller of the two fell off the trailer right away. From my experience in general it's always easier to secure a single item, takes fewer tie downs so faster and also cheaper. Plus a single tub that utilizes the entire area of the trailer bed can be packed with larger items than any two separate units (am on occasion shopping for landscaping supplies and such which can run rather long.) Yeah that's a good idea about the Christmas specials but I can't wait that long, have half a year's accumulation of recyclables to haul to the transfer station and my storage shed is overflowing.

Measurements on the ActionPacker which I ordered from WallyWorld are supposedly around L36"X W18"X H16" so should utilize the bed of my freshly converted trailer pretty efficiently. Fingers crossed these specs prove true.
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Old 05-10-16, 10:15 AM   #8
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29x16x15, L,W,H, Here.. Rubbermaid.. seems they changed some since..

24 Gallon. similar: ActionPacker® | Rubbermaid
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Old 05-10-16, 10:21 AM   #9
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Old 05-10-16, 11:02 AM   #10
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29x16x15, L,W,H, Here.. Rubbermaid.. seems they changed some since..

24 Gallon. similar: ActionPacker® | Rubbermaid
Ordered the 35-Gal, not the 24. But the specs online are all over the place.
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Old 05-10-16, 11:16 AM   #11
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Mine has a hole in each Corner to secure it's lid to the body and, be tied down with Para Cord without putting any new holes in it .

maybe add some cleats , on the deck of the trailer, to facilitate Tying all sorts of things down?
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Old 05-11-16, 05:05 AM   #12
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Yeah, picked up some screw eyes to go into the side lips. There are seven parallel grooves on the 35-Gal Action Packer's lid but I don't think that many bungee cords will strictly be necessary to tie it down, would be a real PITA too. Am actually hoping there will be a way to secure the bin to the trailer bed just from the bottom or at least without interfering with the lid, so I can open and close the thing on the fly like a car trunk.
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Old 05-11-16, 08:51 AM   #13
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a suitcase?

i have flatbed project buried in the garage, so i can't get to it to measure and can't remember the measurements, but one of the use ideas was a hard shell suitcase that fit the dementions pretty well. found it in a thrift store with the key, so there's a bit of security too. not too heavy i think, and the lower profile you want, if you came across one that fit your flatbed. my 'net time is kinda limited now, but i'll try and dig through photobucket later 'cause i have a few pics of it.
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Old 05-11-16, 10:54 AM   #14
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Thanks guys for all your responses, think I got the trailer pretty well dialed in, just needs either a couple inches off the rear or maybe a narrow tool caddy to fill the void.



Cause as you can see from the pic, the 35-Gal ActionPacker fits like a glove from side to side but there's a little room left over at the back. Guess I could simply screw in a divider from the remaining scrap material that my contractor left behind. Then I'd have a good place to store all those 4oz bottles of chain and cable lubes in an upright position, as well as spare 16" tubes that don't need to stay with the bike.

Also was lucky the other day at Lowe's's: went to get some lighter weight ply to replace the ridiculously heavy T-111 I'd temporarily thrown in for the trailer's bed, and found a cracked board of 1/4" maple that they let me have for only $5, all cut up too at no extra charge. Will save a few pounds over the 111, the maple weighs next to nothing.

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Old 05-11-16, 05:35 PM   #15
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Eh, just trimmed the length by 2" as had to take it all apart anyway to install the new maple ply bed.



The 35-Gal Rubbermaid ActionPacker fits snug now, whew!
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Old 08-11-16, 01:59 AM   #16
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Nicely done!
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