Semi trailer for a shop?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ed Norman, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Anybody used one? I would think an old reefer trailer would be well insulated and lock up tight, have plenty of headroom, and if we ever move, it could hold all our other stuff. Any thoughts? And where do you find old ones for sale?
     
  2. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    drop by your local truck stop and there are usually advertizing papers around.listing lots of local dealers or you can try ebay

    Better yet how about an army surplus shop trailer? Pre built for what you havein mind
     

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A used reefer will cost $5000.00 More than A dry van. Try to find one listed for Storage use they can be had for under $1000.00 In most cases. And they have vents in the front. Also some have side doors. What size are you looking for?? A 45 footer will be cheaper than a 52 footer. Of course A 40 footer will be cheaper yet.
     
  4. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    No local truck stops, nothing is local here.

    53' would be great, 45 would work, 40 is getting kinda short.

    I saw a guy delivering milk the other day, it was a 53' reefer with a rear and a large side door, that's what got me thinking.

    Are the dry vans insulated? I don't want to scorch in summer and freeze in winter, I want to do just the oppostie.
     
  5. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    Lot of construction crews build "sorta a shop" to leave at the construction site.
    Always thought this would be a good idea myself, just haven't done anything about it.

    Should be pretty reasonable and portable.
     
  6. neal68

    neal68 Well-Known Member

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    ed, another option is a sea container buried in the ground so the doors are exposed. being under ground you don't need to worry about the heat or cold as much. the only 2 things that need to be done are; make sure you have good drainage and tar the outside of the container before burying it.
    they are 20' and 40', if 40' is not long enough get a 20 and a 40 cut the nose out of 1 of them and weld them together . they are usually around $400 to $700 sometimes cheaper. i will try to get a truck and trailer "penny saver" if you want me to. pm me if you are interested.
    neal
     
  7. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    The closest sea containers I have found are about 300 miles away, and our land is dead flat. I wish it was different.

    There is a place near here with two dry vans on the ground and a peaked roof built over them with end walls. Looks like a great shop.

    How much would delivery be for someone to drag a trailer here from 2-300 miles away?
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We bought two 45 foot trailers one for storage one for a craft room for my wife. They were not insulated, but I will finish insulating hers this year. You're correct too hot to AC without insulation too cold to heat on all but 25 F and up. (hope I did my conversion right, just below freezing) I tore off teh roll up back door and installed double glass french doors (now they wouldn't be good "shop" doors) and built a porch. It is easier to get in and out with full hands though. Our storage trailer has steel steps and a deck but the rool up door, and it's a pain to open. Also installed a double hung window. You want a window of some sort, if for no other reason than a fire escape! Obviously you'll want it secure of you're not able to watch it 24/7. Ran power in a conduit to a pony panel, water is next, and I'll sort out the heat AC insulation thing as funds permit.
     
  9. neal68

    neal68 Well-Known Member

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    the 300 mile X2 trip cost would be a real killer espically with the fuel cost not to meniton a semi only gets 4 to 5 mpg. i hope something works out for you. good luck. neal
     
  10. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With A M T trailer A semi will get 7-8 M P G And you might find somebody(the sales company) to deliver for A few hundred. Or figure that delivery into your purchase price.
     
  11. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We had to have ours towed by a tow truck as the trailers were not certified or licensed for the road. It was expensive but the trailers were cheap so it evened out. Somethign to consider, though, even with only a 25 minute drive the trailers still cost $1900 (trailer+ towing) each delivered! That's still $600 each less than the next cheapest we could find locally.
     
  12. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    We have a local 'bone yard' for semi-trailers and cargo boxes. Elderly neighbors purchased a semi-trailer (don't remember size) for storage for a daughter moving back home to care for them. Paid $1,000 delivered. In VERY good condition.

    I've seen several used school busses made into shops. Nice entry door. Rear door for long stock. Windows for ventilation. Might be possible to butt two rear-end to rear-end.

    Another option you might want to look at is 10' and 12' wide trailers being replaced with 16' or double-wides. We have a local hauler who will haul off the old one for a fee, then strips them out of any salvable materials. Might be someone in your area. Likely many would come with central electric heat and possible with an outside A/C unit for central air. Already wired for 110 & 220 volts. At least one bathroom. Say you put $3K in one completely set up. Not bad for say a 12' x 60' shop.
     
  13. GREENCOUNTYPETE

    GREENCOUNTYPETE Moderator Staff Member

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    where do you get sea boxes from at that price we always thought that one would make a good cabin very easy to lock upwhen not around and could be put together then brought out and set up and they looked easy enough to weld to i figured a long weekend with a torch and welder and i could have a few windows with shutters made from the steel cut out and hinged so they could be locked shut

    a freind used to have a place on the reservation if it wasn't welded down
    well it grew legs

    things have gotten better now that they have a casino
     
  14. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try this link http://www.govliquidation.com/ it's for military surplus and they do have quite a few reefer type trailers. If you could find one close enough it might pay to hire a trucker to haul it to you.

    Bobg
     
  15. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. The school bus won't work, I started hitting my head on the roof way back in high school and haven't shrunk any.

    I'm wondering for the same money how one of those fabric covered arched buildings like Farmtek sell would work? We live in a very low crime area so the fact that you can break into one with a pocketknife isn't too much of a concern.
     
  16. neal68

    neal68 Well-Known Member

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    pete,
    my father used to be able to get them from the piers in NYC when he worked down there. neal
     
  17. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I have a 40x60 cover-all, it's been great, but it is hot in the summer cold in winter. Guess you could insulate it.
     
  18. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    Ed, I have been on several long term, big construction sites where there were shops built with two dry vans and a truss roof. The trusses were roughly 36' and created a big covered yard between two lockable vans. It was a great way to make a cheap shop. Personally, if I had access to shipping containers at remotely reasonable prices, I wouldn't waste my time on dry vans. A sea container is 10X the structure a dry van is. I have rented nearly flawless containers for construction site storage. The driver assured me he could deliver one that looked new for around $1600. That is one heck of a deal. Good luck.
     
  19. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    I use an 8x24 truck body for my sap house. It works very well.