The Little Trailer That Could

One of the big projects Stephen took on this weekend was finding a way to address the seemingly never-endings supply of brush and debris in our yard.

What never-ending supply, you ask?  Aside from the fact that our landscaping keeps growing and constantly needs to be trimmed and maintained, we are still taking down trees and pulling out bushes to get our yard under control.

Here’s an example.  Back in the spring, my mom and brother helped us remove the wire fencing that was strangling our plants and generally being an eyesore.

Removing Driveway Fence

While it was a relief to get rid of the metal fencing, it left the bushes along our driveway looking a little ragged and top-heavy.

Bush Line Before

So over the past week or so, we pruned back the bushes to about half their original height.  We were left with these sad little stubbies, but hopefully they’ll grow shorter, thicker and stronger instead of tall and willowy like they were before.

Bush Line Cut

We were left with a huge pile of bush brush (say that 5 times fast!) and no way to haul it off.  We’d already paid somebody to come take away the huge trees we cut down when Stephen’s dad was here, so we really didn’t want to fork over more cash just to get rid of some bushes.

Enter: The little trailer that could.

My grandpa gave us this tiny little trailer about a year ago.  It’s been in our garage for the longest time, since the platform was only about 4′ x 5′ and there were no sides to contain anything we put on it.

Trailer Before

Stephen decided to buy some wood screws and 2x4s and build a frame on the platform.  I think he was most excited about getting to use his new Hitachi chop saw (a birthday gift).

New Miter Saw

I didn’t get many step-by-step photos because I was working on a project of my own, but there was lots of clamping and power-tool action involved.

Clamping Trailer

It didn’t take him long to have the frame looking like this.  The long 2x4s on the sides, the 6 vertical boards, and the brace across the front of the trailer were all added by Stephen. You can probably imagine how useless the trailer was before we started building this frame!

Starting Trailer

The beginnings of the frame were good, but it definitely needed some cross-bracing to stabilize it.

Bracing Trailer

After Stephen put on the finishing touches and made sure the trailer was easy to maneuver with our SUV, it was done!

Trailer Done Front

Now that’s a good looking little trailer, don’t you think?

Trailer Done Back

Here’s how it looked once we loaded up all the brush from those bushes and a few other small trees we cut down.

Loaded Trailer

The trailer was finished on Saturday – then on Sunday, Stephen wired up the tail lights from a kit he found at Lowe’s.  All told, the trailer probably cost $50 or so in raw materials, but we had a gift card so it was practically free.  Now all that’s left is to buy a license and this baby will be street-legal!

Tail Lights

What do you think of our DIY solution to our yard waste problem?  Could you use a little trailer like this at your place?

Thanks for reading!

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6 Responses to The Little Trailer That Could

  1. nora says:

    Love the trailer! We just used ours to bring home our Ikea couch (pictures up this week!)! Rob got a plain trailer base, put down some MDF, and finished out the sides in a similar fashion. It’s an eyesore in our driveway but very useful for removing brush, old furniture, and other random stuff. We saw them at Lowes and HD for $500-1000 for similar sizes so we were very happy to spend $100 on wood to build ours out!!

  2. Miranda says:

    Wow! I am always so impressed with how creative you two are. I just discovered your blog and it’s given me so much inspiration. We are fortunate to have a pickup truck and lots of free dump sites nearby but we could build the stationary version of this to house our ever-overflowing garbage cans. Thanks for the helpful ideas!

  3. Jenny B. says:

    That’s awesome! I love how he made it longer. Very useful!

  4. Morgan says:

    Wow! That is so cool that Stephen made that! Great DIY guys. =)

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  6. Cara says:

    Oh hey! Michael had to tell me because I didn’t even notice that your trailer is missing from my garage. I guess that now I know what happened to it. 🙂 Looks great! Way to go Stephen!

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