Trailer Work Complete

Yesterday I made the hike up to northeast Indianapolis to pick up my trailer from the guy who was working on it.  Here's the full recap on how I met these folks and why I didn't take it to a shop.  Turned out to be a fantastic decision!

Doors!  We have doors!  And two fenders!  And a legal license plate!

To say I am thrilled with the work he did is an understatement.  I had just asked him to do the doors as I originally discussed with his wife, then I thought I'd take it to a trailer shop for the rest of it, but when he saw it needed more than just doors, he offered to do more.   Full list of what he ended up doing:

- Rebuilt and re-hung upper doors, including new weatherstripping
- Hung new fender
- Inspected brakes and repacked bearings
- Re-riveted the roof back on where it was coming off the trailer
- Removed JenJ's Texas plate and added mine (we're finally legal!)
- Redid the corner weatherstripping on the ramp
- Caulked the gravel guard that caused the tack room leak

New doors!  He got the shiny grey inside skin from a friend at a semi-truck repair shop.

And that list was just what I asked him to do.  He also noticed some things in the course of working on it that he took it upon himself to fix:

- Tightened all of my loose bolts, and there were a lot of them. Butt bars, hinges, door locks.
- Wire brushed and sprayed the rusted rims with Rustoleum Gray.  Even the spare.
- Noticed my lug nuts were three different sizes and replaced the weird ones so they're all one standard size now.
- Probably greased my jack.  He didn't tell me he did this, but it goes up and down with about 1/10th the effort now.

Rims before
Rims after
As he worked on it, he sent me photos of consumable parts and progress, and when he inspected the brakes he even took it out for a drive himself to see how it pulled and how the brakes felt.

One of his photos
When I picked it up, he insisted on being there so he could show me a few things, including teaching me how to rivet.  He pointed out that entire trailer is held together with rivets, even the padding in the horse area is riveted on, so I should know how to rivet.  I always assumed riveting was tough to DIY, but it's just a hand tool you pump a couple of times to seat the rivet.

He actually left the back left light access panel off the trailer until I got there so he could both teach me how to change the lights (no replaceable bulbs in KB's, you gotta change the whole housing out) and teach me how to rivet.

Shiny new rivets clearly visible in the brown strip.
One thing he didn't do is replace the small rotted area in the tack room floor.  He started to, and then learned that the tack room floor actually goes into the frame and underneath the aluminum skin (and knowing that, the fact that the leak was actually the gravel guard makes even more sense), so replacing that section is a Really Big Job instead of a quick one.

But, that section is not rotted through, is very small, is in an area that won't see horse or human standing on it, and the rest of the floor is in great shape, so he advised me that it wasn't worth my money to replace right now, especially since we fixed the leak that caused it.

Shiny new fender  and finally legal plate.

Finally, he put my mind at ease about several things, including the ramp, which I had thought I would be replacing in the next year or two.  He knows, he's replaced his wife's ramp twice, and said I've got years of life left in that ramp, especially now that it has corner weatherstripping preventing water from getting into it.


And, when it came time to pay the bill, what he asked was more than reasonable, I'm guessing it was about half of what I would have paid the trailer shop.  Plus, he took the time and effort to go above and beyond with his inspection and work.  He definitely could have ignored the loose bolts, rusted rims and mismatched lug nuts, but he didn't.

An in-progress photo he sent me of one of the doors in his shop.

All in all, I'm thrilled with what he did and I'm so happy to have it back!  If you're local to the Indianapolis area and want to save money on trailer maintenance and repairs, he's taking new customers, and I'd be happy to pass along his contact info.  Let me know in the comments!

Rig glamour shot.

20 comments:

  1. Wow, he did a fantastic job!! That was definitely a lucky break finding him!

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    1. For sure, can't believe what a lucky break that was. I am not normally the type to just run up to a stranger and start asking questions either!

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  2. If you have a compressor, you can also get an air riveter pretty inexpensively from Harbor Freight and those are pretty fun. ;-)

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    1. I do have an air compressor, nailing baseboard trim is like one of my favorite relaxation activities lol. Must try.

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  3. wow - how awesome to have every inch inspected and fixed up. And extra awesome that he took the time to show you a few things. I feel like you wouldn't get that level of detail from most shops, as they are just trying to move people through.

    And - side note - how amazing is it to have the skills to do all that work yourself? I really appreciate people that have those hands on skills.

    Happy hauling!

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    1. Definitely, not only the skills but also the professional tools and the shop to do it. I feel like I could learn more of this, but there's something to be said for the amount of money it takes to set up a shop capable of doing this stuff.

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  4. Wow! This is super awesome. All set for show season now! :) :)

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    1. Yes! Holla if you know of any locals looking for work done, he's great!

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  5. That's awesome. My trailer place charges a fortune; I wish I had a local guy to do work.

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    1. I can imagine, with all of what I needed done it would have been a fortune here too.

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  6. That's amazing! I wish he could come work on my trailer.

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    1. I wish all of you were close enough to use him!

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  7. My trailer needs work. Please send me his info.

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  8. Wow! It looks amazing and I really get the feeling reading this that he had your best interest in mind and really cared enough to do a great job :)

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    1. For sure. It was a huge leap of faith that could have ended badly, but my gut said they were good people, and they are. I'd recommend him to anyone in a heartbeat.

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