Pallet Bike Trailer

Pallet Bike Trailer

  • finished pallet trailer

    finished pallet trailer

    The trailer was designed using scrap pallets and inexpensive hardware. Wheels came from discarded bikes. Total cost around $20. Hours and hours of time, though, but count that as therapy!

  • connected to bike

    connected to bike

    This shows the pallet trailer connected to the bike. I made the hitch plate out of metal electrical junction box covers. The hitch arm is metal conduit, next time I may go up a size to beef it up a bit. The arm is the full length of the trailer to avoid any twisting.
    I used metal plumbing strap to mount the hitch arm, along with a couple of screws through the conduit.

  • hitch closeup. note the two holes for the eye bolt

    hitch closeup. note the two holes for the eye bolt

    The hitch has to account for the bike leaning or tipping without tipping the trailer. There are lots of designs on the web, and I was tempted to use a Burly mount but that would have added $40 to the cost.

    I used two eye bolts to provide that flexibility. One is solidly attached to the hitch plate using a plasti-nut to lock it. The other eye bolt has been opened enough to allow it to hook over the hitch eyebolt. I drilled a second hole in the trailer arm to allow the open end to firmly seat, so that when tightened it would not come loose from the hitch. My own design!

  • Axel mount for trailer. Doubled metal plate

    Hitch mount for trailer. Doubled metal plate

    wheel mount

    wheel mount

    Close up of hardware. I used metal outlet covers, a very handy and inexpensive material to work with. I doubled them up for the hitch mount, hopefully that will avoid any torquing from pulling heavy loads.
    The wheel mount shown is cut wrong, too deep and wide. I made the ones I’m using now to just clear the axle width.

  • Frame showing cut out joints (rabbits)

    Frame showing cut out joints (rabbits)

    I did use my table saw to make critical cuts for the frame. It is made from pine pallet boards to save a bit of weight (and that’s what I had!) I cut grooves in the front and back boards to receive the sides, and predrilled holes for #10 x 2 galvanized screws. No glue was used. I did have to disassemble the frame several times to get the wheel mounts fitted properly.

  • rough frame cut out to access wheel nut

    rough frame cut out to access wheel nut

    In order to reach the axle nuts I needed to cut out slots in the frame. This might be avoided if the axle plates were attached lower, but I think this design adds rigidity to the wheel mounting. Next one I’ll try having them lower to clear the frame.
    The wheels themselves came are front 24″ wheels, a mismatched pair. I’m on the lookout for a matched set with the same size nuts.

  • pallet board top, d-rings attached

    pallet board top, d-rings attached

    Almost done. The oak pallet boards for the top were cut and laid out. I needed to add a couple of support boards where the frame had forklift cutouts. I screwed the boards into the top, and then added D-rings. I used more plumbers strap to mount the d-rings.

  • trailer in use. Gabe (middle) is my motor!

    trailer in use. Gabe (middle) is my motor!

    My dogs love running while I ride. That’s my daughter’s dog on the trailer, he can’t quite keep up but he takes care of barking at everyone, “yah, we’re bad, we’re bad”. Gabe is my motor, he provides 80% of my forward movement. He dreams of being a sled dog.

    I think this trailer will be able to hold up under quite a bit of load. We’ll see and I’ll update as I make changes!