How to drop frame onto dollies?

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How to drop frame onto dollies?

Postby les45 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:05 am

I'm dropping my pop-up conversion project down onto four car dollies in order to keep it inside my garage during construction. I plan to remove the wheels and axle and drop it by about 10". I'm estimating that the weight is still about 600-700 lbs. My question is how to safely lower the frame to the dollies? I plan to use two scissors jacks alternating from front to back and dropping it in small increments onto wood cribbing. Anyone have any ideas or experience doing this?
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Re: How to drop frame onto dollies?

Postby Woodbutcher » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:12 am

I had a similar problem. The trailer I was building would fit in my shop with wheels on it but not out the garage door. So I made a plywood wheel that was just slightly larger then the hub. This allowed me to move the trailer while building and still get the trailer out the door. I used a roll around floor jack to pick the trailer up to put the tires on for the final time. Jacking off the frame I raised one side and blocked it. Went to the opposite side and did the same. Then back to the first side where I was able to get a jack stands under neither the frame. Then to the other side. It was kind of a pain but being able to work inside made the extra work worth while. I did not have to pull the axle. Harbor Freight make some very moving dollies that would work nice to set the frame on while working. They run about 12 bucks each.
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Re: How to drop frame onto dollies?

Postby les45 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:01 am

I plan to use some heavy duty dollies that I already have (see pic below). They are a little slick on top so I plan to drill some small holes and fasten 2X4 cribbing to them with screws. The trailer frame will sit directly on the 2X4's near each corner. My current thought is to use concrete blocks and 4X4's and various thinner wood pieces to gradually drop the frame from about 14" down to the cribbing on the dollies. I would use two scissors jacks on the same end to lower the end uniformly to the next level down and alternate this process from one end to the other, possibly in 2" to 3" increments. Maybe I'm overthinking the whole thing but I don't want the frame to fall off the cribbing due to too much tilt.

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Re: How to drop frame onto dollies?

Postby Woodbutcher » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:07 pm

This is the best picture I have. Image

Since you have the small no brake hub, if you made a small plywood wheel, could you leave the axle on for your build? It sure would make the whole process easier. I just c-clamped the tongue to dolly in front. You will need to leave some space under the frame to be able to raise it back up when done.
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Re: How to drop frame onto dollies?

Postby les45 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:53 pm

Woodbutcher wrote:Since you have the small no brake hub, if you made a small plywood wheel, could you leave the axle on for your build? It sure would make the whole process easier. I just c-clamped the tongue to dolly in front. You will need to leave some space under the frame to be able to raise it back up when done.


Actually dropping the axle would be fairly easy as it only has four bolts and it falls right down onto my trolley jack (just the reverse of installation). I saw your wooden wheels in a previous post but they would limit my motion to just fore and aft. I need the extra side to side movement of the dollies in order to push away from the near wall to have room to work on that side. I just measured my dollies today and if I use 1X lumber (3/4") for cribbing I will actually be 5" off the floor. My scissors jacks drop down to 4" so they will easily fit under the frame on the dollies. Also, my tongue jack retracts far enough that I can leave it on to help raise the front end when I go to put the axle back on. I'm looking to drop it as much as possible as my garage ceiling is only 8' and I will need all the room I can get to work on the roof indoors. My only real concern is the sequencing of the lowering process to keep it safe.
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Re: How to drop frame onto dollies?

Postby les45 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:21 pm

Turns out I was overthinking with the concept of two scissors jacks being alternated from front to rear. I dropped the frame onto the dollies today by using the tongue jack to lower the front and a single trolley jack to lower the rear alternately in one to two inch increments. It went much quicker and easier than I thought it would. You can see the details of this phase of the work at my journal at: http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=70991&start=15
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Re: How to drop frame onto dollies?

Postby twisted lines » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:18 pm

Woodbutcher wrote:This is the best picture I have.


And a great one it is, Thanks for sharing it my shop door is only 7' :lol:
5.5 X 10 Flatback Benroy in a pile.
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