Author Topic: Utility trailer  (Read 346 times)

bigbad

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Utility trailer
« on: July 12, 2021, 11:28:41 AM »
I am really intrigued by the Lister!  I would like to build what many people call a utility trailer or a tool trailer.  It will be a flat trailer with an engine, generator, compressor, water pump, arc welder and a set of relatively high powered lights.  My property is in the high plains desert and beyond what you would simply call "off grid", so this trailer will be used for construction purposes but also for maintenance and survival.  The Lister engines are quite a bit heavier than more modern engines but I like the fuel consumption, the low noise and rpms and the dependability of the Lister.  My questions:
1. Will the lifespan and performance of a Lister be negatively affected by being put on a mobile platform (assuming the trailer is designed for the weight.  I am guessing that the weight of the whole thing - including some hand tools, chains, etc will be about 2,000 pounds). 
2.  Do you think it is better to have the lister turn a generator and have each of the other tools powered by electric motors, or have a series of pulleys and belts turn as many of the other tools as possible (direct drive).  I will appreciate your opinions.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 11:37:18 AM by bigbad »

cobbadog

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2021, 12:57:11 PM »
Sounds like a b eaut project and once set up will serve you for many years. Mounting the Lister on a trailer will do no harm to it but I certainly would consider a way to cover the engine from the elements when not in use and travelling.
Depending on which Lister you are considering as to what rating your trailer springs should be and if you only require a single or dual axles which would help us make a more informed reply.
There are many Listers already coupled to generators  of various sizes and would be perfectly matched engine HP to Kva. Ensure your arc welder is able to be run by the size generator you are thinking. Just meeting the specs of the welder will work but means that the generator will be working hard when your welding instead go a little bit bigger on the generator so it does not have to work hard and will last longer. Then all your power tools will work no problems. Even if you have air tools for the compressor depending on the size of the compressor, cfm rating, if the compressor can keep up supply.
There is a lot to think about and if you have all the tools then lay them out on the ground inside the size deck you intend for the trailer to see how and more importantly where they are best suited. A heavy engine and generator usually best over the axle then balance the load front and rear weight wise but still give easy access.
I would like to know more and see some pics about this project as it is an interesting one but sit down and do some sums on the amount of electricity you need to generate to make this rig work for you.
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bigbad

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2021, 01:25:26 PM »
Sounds like a b eaut project and once set up will serve you for many years. Mounting the Lister on a trailer will do no harm to it but I certainly would consider a way to cover the engine from the elements when not in use and travelling.
Depending on which Lister you are considering as to what rating your trailer springs should be and if you only require a single or dual axles which would help us make a more informed reply.
There are many Listers already coupled to generators  of various sizes and would be perfectly matched engine HP to Kva. Ensure your arc welder is able to be run by the size generator you are thinking. Just meeting the specs of the welder will work but means that the generator will be working hard when your welding instead go a little bit bigger on the generator so it does not have to work hard and will last longer. Then all your power tools will work no problems. Even if you have air tools for the compressor depending on the size of the compressor, cfm rating, if the compressor can keep up supply.
There is a lot to think about and if you have all the tools then lay them out on the ground inside the size deck you intend for the trailer to see how and more importantly where they are best suited. A heavy engine and generator usually best over the axle then balance the load front and rear weight wise but still give easy access.
I would like to know more and see some pics about this project as it is an interesting one but sit down and do some sums on the amount of electricity you need to generate to make this rig work for you.
Thanks for the ideas.  So you are of the opinion that the lister should power a generator and that all tools should be powered by electricity from the gen?

dax021

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2021, 02:14:22 PM »
I understand Cobba's reply to mean pretty much yes, or a combination of electric and air tools off an electrically driven compressor.  I think pulley driven tools will be a huge pain in the arse, not to mention limiting the distance you could work from the trailer.

mikenash

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2021, 08:04:01 PM »
FWIW I ran my CS6/1 on a trailer for a while before it went to its permanent home.  Because of the suspension it ran with a rocking motion that took over the trailer and even had the car it was attached to rocking a bit. That was just a single-axle car trailer

I'll see if I can dig out a video and post a link

I'd think you would need possibly a tandem-axle trailer PLUS some way to tie it down if it had a permanent spot to live?  Unless of course you have a heavy tow vehicle and can make a big trailer that weighs a couple of tonnes so that the Lister's mass is irrelevant to it

Cheers

mikenash

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2021, 08:22:15 PM »
See?  Probably be fine with a heavier trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63420EHuZ3g

cobbadog

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2021, 12:16:04 AM »
Yes, sorry for being so vague but I would run a generator off the Lister. Your choice as to if it is a Lister combination unit or a blended set up using a new model generator. Yes electric compressor and avoid line shafts and pulleys at all costs, too dangerous and can get stuff caught up in them. Of course you can run air tools as well when set up this way.
Mike, I can see why you had the rocking motion, it is because the flywheels are running forward and backward. If the engine was rotated 90' to have the flywheels facing across the trailer and over the axle then the motion would be very minimal, but this creates a slight issue in starting it up unless a starter is adapted whether it be friction drive or other.
I like your video Mike. One way of helping you steady up the trailer when in action is a set of 4 swing down caravan stabilizer legs. They can swing down then they are wound down via use of a crank.
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bigbad

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2021, 03:58:13 AM »
Thank you!  Is there some way to "like" a response on this forum?  Good discussion from all of you.  The trailer mount is likely to be permanent.  Trailer is a little misleading.  I want it to be a flat platform that is powered by low speed (10 mph) electric motors, and remote controlled.  The first two years will be used extensively in construction.  After two years or so, I may switch out some of the tools that are no longer necessary, putting a much smaller compressor on it, a couple of 48v alternators on it (for back-up charging of PV battery packs - maybe even putting a 250 or 500 gallon water tank on it for distributing water.  The point is, the little lister will have two lives :)  I can understand the potential nightmare of direct drive, but I also see the benefit.  If running directly off the motor, a tool will have much greater potential - only limited by the load on the engine.  If running off of an electric motor, the tool will be limited to the power of the electric motor, regardless of the load on the engine.  Also, if the generator dies, nothing will be useful.  If pulleys can be attached to both flywheels, if one side goes down, I still have the other side to power things.   One of the reasons for putting a water pump on the "trailer" is for fire control - it is desert property.  A belt driven high pressure water pump can run a large gamut of power ranges - devoting the whole engine to the pump would help more quickly put out a fire.  If tools are belt driven, I can buy more powerful tools for the same $$ as a tool with an attached electric motor.  Lights, on the other hand, require a fixed voltage and wattage - they have to be run off of a generator or alternator - or a battery pack.  More and more tools are coming out in cordless versions - charging these has to be a generator/alternator function and it eliminates some of the air hoses that come with a compressor.  At least, this is the theory behind what I am thinking.  I have used generators before (engine attached to the genset as a set) but never had the option for anything more creative.   I envision having 4 devices hooked up directly to the motor: a compressor pump; a water pump; a 48v alternator set and a bigger generator (110v and more) 

cobbadog

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2021, 07:07:16 AM »
No, need to have a thanks button or similar but by your replies it is obvious how you feel.
With all those items to be driven you could mount them up but not have the belts connected permanently, only when needed as each item will require HP to drive whether in use , under load or not.
So what size engine are you thinking of?
You have a good plan and as suggested once you have everything you feel you wish to have on the trailer then do some trial set outs to see if they will all fit plus do a good estimate of the weight involved. As you will be aware, water is 1kg/litre so a fire fighting tank will possibly be the heaviest if not 2nd heaviest. Just on these two items I would consider a tandem axle set up as a walking suspension so that all 4 wheels are equally carrying the weight at all times over rough terrain.
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mikenash

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2021, 08:24:48 PM »
Yes, sorry for being so vague but I would run a generator off the Lister. Your choice as to if it is a Lister combination unit or a blended set up using a new model generator. Yes electric compressor and avoid line shafts and pulleys at all costs, too dangerous and can get stuff caught up in them. Of course you can run air tools as well when set up this way.
Mike, I can see why you had the rocking motion, it is because the flywheels are running forward and backward. If the engine was rotated 90' to have the flywheels facing across the trailer and over the axle then the motion would be very minimal, but this creates a slight issue in starting it up unless a starter is adapted whether it be friction drive or other.
I like your video Mike. One way of helping you steady up the trailer when in action is a set of 4 swing down caravan stabilizer legs. They can swing down then they are wound down via use of a crank.

Hey, yes, that was just a temporary thing as I had (a) an old trailer frame lying around (b) a Lister undergoing a rebuild some 400 Ks from its eventual home (and c) too many years on my old bones to be trying to crank something that wasn't sitting in the right place at the right height

I reckon a heavy trailer and some feet would work well

Cheers

mihit

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2021, 10:41:00 PM »
OK, Well I'll just go against the grain and say, since your engine is rotating, power anything that rotates off that, via belts etc. You can shield/guard the belts, or just use the safety feature between your ears and not put yourself in harms way.

Next best/safest source is pnumatic/compressed air.
Depending what engine you get, you could pull the injector/pump to one cylinder and run that as a compressor - alternatively you can probaby pick up a belt-drive compressor head cheaply as they seem to be everywhere now.
There is a disadvantage in double or triple converting energy. For example an engine, reciprocating motion, giving rotation, to generate electricity, to rotate a motor, to drive a piston compressor (reciprocating again!)... Waste/conversion loss at every step.

If you can find an old Miller "roughneck" weld/genhead, that takes care of those two things in one go.

The advantage with pnuematic tools is that they'll generally be field servicable. If a rotor or stator burns out, it's a trip to town to order a part to wait a month...

cobbadog

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Re: Utility trailer
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2021, 06:35:22 AM »
So many choices to go with and I guess it will be down to what is at hand all air, all electric or a combination. They will work one way or the other.
Since I don't know the answer I will put a question up to see if I can learn something. I know that using air tools here in a temperate climate where the temps rarely get down to 0' I do know that air tools get very cold and can start forming moisture on the outside of them. Would this be a factor in cold climate where the temp does fall below 0'?
Can't remember where this is all happening climate wise but for me it is something to consider.
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