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Discussion Forum

Hydraulic Tailgate

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02-20-2012 08:34:48

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I have been looking for a way to power my tailgate for several years and couldn't find a good solution. I also wanted to make my tailgate full width to make it safer loading and unloading different tractors but then it would be pretty heavy. A couple of years ago I mounted a winch and battery on my trailer and that worked out pretty good. I saw some kits for powering dump trailers that had a small 12v pump with a reservoir built together that looked like would work. I got one of those, found a cylinder I thought would do what I needed and went to work on the geometry. I was going to use two cylinders but after studying it some it seemed like overkill as the cylinder was rated at 2500 pounds and it would slow down the lowering and raising process. Working the details out of mounting the cylinder so that it had the correct range and arc in the space I had available took me awhile. After I got that worked out everything went pretty smooth and the finished product works good.
I used it last summer and it sure was nice not having to wrestle with those ramps and I can just run up on the trailer without have to worry about ramp/wheel alignment.

(click on picture to play video)

This post was edited by DScott at 18:02:01 02/20/12.

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caterpillar guy

02-25-2012 03:55:01

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to DScott, 02-20-2012 08:34:48  
Looks good . Eric if you decide to run one off your hoist all you need to do is put a diverter valve in the pressure line for the hoist. Then run one line to the valve on your hoist and one line to your trailer for the ramps. There will be a knob on the diverter valve to push or pull to switch from hoist to ramps. If the hoist valve is not plumbed into the tank you could just come off after the hoist valve and the same valve that runs the hoist would work the ramps. Hope you can follow all this.

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02-23-2012 14:55:11

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to DScott, 02-20-2012 08:34:48  
I didn't get to go to the show. It was my son's birthday that day and everyone was at our house for his party. I'll see you at Auburn if not before.

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02-23-2012 09:35:27

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to jd b puller, 02-20-2012 08:34:48  
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Tim, A few weeks ago I was wondering if you had ever gotten around to working on that. I thought you might show up at the Bowling Green show back in January. I am waiting on parts to complete a couple of projects before the show season starts also.

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02-23-2012 09:20:14

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to DScott, 02-20-2012 08:34:48  
I still haven't converted my trailer yet. I have the cylinder you sold me still laying in the garage. My plan is to have it finished before this show season starts and also repaint the trailer.

I have personally seen Don's trailer working in action. It is a very nice set up. Hope mine turns out that well.

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02-23-2012 08:35:03

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to DScott, 02-20-2012 08:34:48  
Yes, I left the coil springs in place. I figured it wouldn't hurt anything and they would assist the cylinder. The cylinder is probably more powerful that I need but it was the smallest one I could find with the 36 inches of travel I needed. I had rather it be a little bigger than needed than a little too small.

ericlb, If you already hydraulic power on the truck I don't see why you couldn't plumb into it with a couple of quick disconnects and use it for the tailgate also. You would need some kind of valve to switch between the bed and the tailgate.

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02-23-2012 07:12:30

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to DScott, 02-20-2012 08:34:48  
man that is one nice trailer! got me wondering your power unit looks almost like what i have on my 1 ton flatbed dump, i wonder if i could run another hose and valve off it, to the back of the truck then a quick coupler and plumb the trailer and a cylinder to do that to my trailer, hmmm....

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02-22-2012 08:37:53

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to 730d se, 02-20-2012 08:34:48  
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Mine has the coil springs also and they helped but like you said they are still heavy. When I was 30 I didn't think much about this kind of stuff but at 59,,, I think about it.
Most of the material was steel I had laying around the shop. I fabricated the brackets from that. Go to Ebay and type in "12v hydraulic pump" and you will see units that come with the pump, reservoir and controls. I bought one with a two gallon reservoir which seems to be plenty and mounted it up under the trailer up out of the way. The cylinder had a 36 inch travel which I figured was enough for my case and it worked out good. The hoses I had made locally to my measurements.
Here is a link to my photobucket album that has some close up pictures where you might see more detail. Don't laugh at my welding, it isn't pretty but it's strong enough.

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02-23-2012 05:53:29

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to DScott, 02-22-2012 08:37:53  
Did you leave the helper springs in place? Just wondering if that would take some of the load off the cylinder so you wouldn"t need such a heavy cylinder. This is all new to me so I"m just trying to find out all I can. Thanks,

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Ray Heck

02-22-2012 05:40:47

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to DScott, 02-20-2012 08:34:48  
My trailer has full width ramps, but they are getting heavy for me to lift. Each half of the ramp has 2 coil type assist springs, but they are getting hard to lift as I get older. Could you share more details about the materails you used. Thanks

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bobs old iron

02-20-2012 15:23:14

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 Re: Hydraulic Tailgate in reply to DScott, 02-20-2012 08:34:48  
looks like you came up with a good set-up..that about the same set-up that the big constructions companies use on their flat bed equipment day i will do that to my trailer when i get ramp set-up on swing-ups instead of manual labor...

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