How To Choose the Best Trailers for Construction and Mining Operations

The mining and construction industries rely on construction trailers to haul heavy equipment from location to location. Heavy equipment is used in a variety of capacities from digging to moving earth. They are essential to construction and mining operations, but not all of the equipment needs to stay at a specific job site. The company then must move them to get the most out of these expensive pieces of equipment.

Determining the best heavy equipment trailer to use depends on a variety of factors. The right trailer has the right amount of space to perfectly fit the equipment transported. Using too much trailer ends up wasting money and not enough trailer doesn’t safely transport your expensive equipment. Not to mention that the federal and state governments regulate the size of the trailer used to transport specific equipment. A little preparation and understanding of the types of trailers, reasons to haul, and types of equipment can save you time and money.

Types of Trailers

There are a variety of trailer types you can purchase to haul your equipment. A removable gooseneck heavy-equipment trailer hauls your heaviest equipment. Equipment that is too large or heavy for a step-deck trailer or flatbed trailer can be hauled on the RGN trailers. Flatbed trailers are handy for smaller equipment such as forklifts and mini excavators. Push-Out trailers are perfect for dumping large loads of rock or debris. Step-deck trailers fill in the gaps between the smaller flatbed trailers and the larger capacity RGN trailers.

While smaller trailers such as flatbed trailers cost less to purchase, their size limits the amount of weight they can handle and the pieces of equipment they can haul. Larger RGN trailers range in price but are generally more expensive than the smaller trailers. However, with their larger hauling capabilities, they can handle the large equipment such as articulated trucks that the smaller trailers cannot support. RGNs usually have more axles to hold the weight of the heavier equipment over long hauls. The larger trailers cost more to purchase and haul than smaller trailers.

Reasons to Haul

Construction and mining companies need to transport their heavy equipment for a variety of reasons. A heavy equipment trailer allows you to purchase instead of leasing your heavy equipment. When not in use, the construction trailer provides a means to transport the equipment from the job site to a storage facility until it is needed again. The equipment can be maintained and cleaned in a place designated for that versus at the job site.

Owning your own heavy equipment trailer saves you money over time. Transportation services have their purposes, but if you use them frequently, the costs may outweigh the benefits. Having an experienced driver haul the equipment from one place to another on a dump trailer you already own saves money. Plus, you don’t have to rely on the transportation service company having space for your company. Relying on their schedule can cause problems with your own construction or mining schedule.

Types of Equipment

Construction and mining companies use similar equipment depending on the project. Using the right heavy equipment trailer to transport those large machines depends on the type of equipment. Smaller equipment such as mini excavators has become more popular because these types of equipment are versatile and easily maneuver around the job site. Here are some basic trailer recommendations for specific heavy equipment.

  • Bulldozers—step deck, RGN
  • Trenchers—flatbed, step deck, RGN
  • Pipe Layers—RGN
  • Street Sweepers—flatbed, RGN
  • Backhoe Loaders—flatbed, step deck, RGN
  • Wheel Loaders—step deck, RGN
  • Graders and Scrapers—RGN
  • Skid Steers—flatbed, step deck
  • Excavators—flatbed, RGN
  • Mini Excavators—flatbed, step deck
  • Forklifts—flatbed, step deck, RGN
  • Articulated Trucks—RGN

Your business may need more than one heavy equipment trailer depending on how many pieces of heavy equipment the company owns and needs to transport. While some of the heavy equipment listed above shows multiple trailers that can be used, ultimately the right dump trailer depends on the size and weight of the machinery. A large forklift needs more space than a smaller forklift. More space requires a larger trailer.

Plan to Haul

When handling the transport of your heavy equipment, plan ahead. Once you have the right heavy equipment trailer for the machinery, you need to establish a schedule for transporting it, especially if over long distances. The schedule can help you determine costs and ensure the equipment makes it to the next site on time. Planning ahead of time allows your company to determine and plan for any governmental regulations for hauling the equipment. The highways you plan to travel may have restrictions for height and weight. For tall equipment, you may need to avoid or go around certain underpasses to avoid the trailer becoming stuck.

As part of your plan, decide the personnel involved from start to finish. Go over the procedures and plan, so that everyone is on the same page. This helps create a smooth process from start to finish. Your equipment has a better chance of arriving where needed at the right time when everyone is on the same page.

Considerations Before Purchase

Choosing the right heavy equipment trailer for your mining or construction business depends on the type and size of equipment the company uses. A construction trailer offers the ability to use one piece of equipment at multiple job sites. The cost of the trailer is often outweighed by the ability to use the heavy equipment where your work demands it. Not having to constantly rent heavy equipment can offset the trailer purchase. Use these considerations for your next heavy equipment trailer purchase to make the most of your investment.

If you need a trailer for your construction or mining purposes, Uintah machine has many different types of trailers for various applications. Browse our products or contact us today and we will help you determine what type of trailer will best suit your needs.

Machine Tool Accessories

Steady Rests

To date we have built well over 1,100 steady rests, follower rests, and back rests for customers all over North America. We can build one for you! Our steady rests are constructed from heavy-duty steel plate frames. We build them for lathes of any swing and in any capacity possible for your machine. Jaws with rollers are our standard but we also build them with bronze, babbit, etc. as you require. We also build Steady Rests for CNC Slant Bed Machines. In addition, we build special rests for milling and grinding applications.

steady rest on a Daewoo slant bed CNC machine

Back Rests

Back rests are made to support long slender work pieces on a cylindrical grinder. Some are fancier than others, but all that we have seen consist of two “wear pads” on adjustable arms such that they can be brought to bear against the workpiece opposite the grinding wheel and directly on the bottom. The material for these wear pads can be bronze, teflon, delrin, babbit, or even wood.

Journal Rests

Journal Rests are usually much heavier duty than back rests. They are used to support heavy rolls by their journals while the roll surfaces are being re-ground. The range of adjustment is usually quite limited. It is sometimes necessary to have several rests in different size ranges.

Taper Attachments

We can make just about any type of taper attachment. Here are a few we’ve made before:

  • Standard taper attachments for engine lathes.
  • Extra long stroke taper attachments.
  • Taper attachments with gear reduced travel for extra long strokes.
  • Heavy Duty Taper Attachments.

Our taper attachments are designed for use with a telescoping cross slide screw. If there is a need to install one on a machine without such a telescoping cross slide screw, then it is probably best that the screw be altered in such a way that it will telescope. We do have a Taper Attachment Installation Guide, though the graphics leave much to be desired.

Clamping steel with arc welder

Taper Attachment Installation Instructions

As there are innumerable variations in the design and construction of engine lathes, it is evident that no one accessory can be made to fit them all. Consequently, only very general instructions can be given for taper attachment installation, and these may have to be modified somewhat to fit various situations.

This particular taper attachment is designed primarily for use with a telescoping cross slide screw, but it can be used with the regular non-telescoping type screw, though not without considerable inconvenience.

Determine Type of Slide Screw

Figure A

First, determine if you have a telescoping cross slide screw. If there is no cross slide screw anchor block or bearing on the rear of the lathe saddle, you almost certainly have a lathe with a solid type screw, in which case it will need to be modified if it is to be used as a telescoping screw. If when the screw anchor block is removed, the screw seems free to slide when the cross slide is pushed or pulled, then your screw is telescoping. If the cross slide stays stationary and the screw seems to move you have a telescoping screw.

Bolt the Taper Attachment

Next, bolt the taper attachment to the rear of the saddle in such a position that the cross slide screw would, if it were longer, pass directly through the center of the screw anchor block. This is the part which the machinist holds in his left hand in Figure C.

Drill the mounting holes a little oversize so that the taper attachment can be leveled accurately with the saddle using a pair of vernier calipers or a depth micrometer as shown in Figure A.

Scribe around the end of the cross slide screw or otherwise locate a point to drill a hole in the anchor block as shown in Figure B. If you prefer, or conditions require, you may elect to drill the hole in the anchor block first, and then bolt the taper attachment to the lathe in such a position that the hole lines up with the cross slide screw. After the taper attachment is leveled, put in a couple of taper pins to prevent it from ever-shifting, and to facilitate the reinstallation of the taper attachment if the lathe should ever need to be disassembled.

Figure B
Figure C








After locating the point for the hole to be drilled in the screw anchor block, remove it from the taper attachment in the manner shown in Fig. C. Drill the hole to the diameter of the end of the telescoping screw, or to some other suitable size that you determine. You may want to make it slightly oversize if you have made any errors in finding the point to be drilled. You may also wish to counterbore the hole on both ends to protect the thrust bearings, but this is not a must.

Telescoping Screws

The cross slide screw now has to be anchored to the screw anchor block (Fig. B). This entails making an extension for the screw if it is already the telescoping type, and in addition, making the screw to telescope if it is not the telescoping type. In either case, it is necessary to understand how a telescoping screw works.

A telescoping screw is designed to function with a taper attachment, but when there is no taper attachment present, the screw must be anchored to a block or bearing plate of some sort located on the back side of the saddle. The other end of the screw has a keyway milled in it. This end fits into a mating hole at the end of the crossfeed handle shaft (Fig. C) and is driven by a key when the crossfeed handle is turned.

Sometimes splines replace the key and keyways. When the taper attachment is in use, the screw is free to slide in and out of this hole. It may be well worth the effort expended to find and disassemble a lathe with a telescoping screw in order to gain a thorough understanding of the workings of this type of mechanism.

Making Alterations to a Regular Screw

If you have a regular type screw and wish to alter it, you must cut it in two at a point three to five inches in front of the power feed pinion as shown in Diagram A. Drill a hole in the unthreaded portion of the screw at point B to a depth of a least 4½ inches, and of a diameter small enough to leave a wall thickness of a least one eighth of an inch. Mill a slot in the side of this part of the screw one to three inches long by 3/16 inches wide. Note Diagram B.

Next, take a piece of round stock the diameter of the hole you drilled, and cut it to a length 1½ to 2 inches longer than the depth of that hole. Mill a 3/16 inch keyway in the side of this shaft, then turn one end down and thread it, and screw it into a hole you have drilled and tapered in the cut end of the threaded portion of the screw. Secure the threads with a roll pin, taper pin, lead solder, or some other means to keep them from coming unscrewed during use. When this is done you should have about 4 inches of keyed shaft extending from the threaded part of the screw as shown in Diagram C. This end will slide in the hole drilled in the handle end of the screw, and may be driven by either a T-shaped key inserted from the inside, as is pictured in Diagram D, or it may be driven by a piece of conventional keystock that has been arc-welded into the slot from the outside.

Attach the Telescoping Screw

Now that you have a telescoping screw, you will have to build an extension to attach the screw to the anchor block on the taper attachment as shown in Figure D. One end of a piece of suitably sized round stock is turned down to a diameter and length such that it will pass through the hole drilled in the screw anchor block, and still have space enough for a thrust bearing or washer on each end, and a self-locking nut to hold the assembly together.

Figure D

The other end of the extension is threaded onto the end of the cross slide screw itself, and pinned to keep it from coming unscrewed in use. Figure E shows this pin hole being drilled. The length of the extension must be such that the screw is not restricted in its telescoping action when the taper attachment is in use. This is best measured when the screw anchor block is positioned midway between the two extremes of its telescoping action. The idea is to prevent the screw from either bottoming in the splined or keyed hole in which it slides on the handle end, or from sliding clear out in the other direction, thereby becoming disengaged from the cross slide handle.

After it is reassembled, it should look similar to Fig. F.

Make Bottom Slide Clamp

The next step is to make a clamp to attach the bottom slide to the ways when the taper attachment is in use. Because there are so many different bedway configurations, this clamp must be manufactured on the premises. Often it is easiest to construct the clamp from three or four pieces. First, a piece is milled to fit the ways, and a hole is drilled in it so that a clamping strap might be bolted to it.

Then a three-inch section of round stock is drilled lengthwise to ½ inch. This sleeve is now bolted to the 1/2″ X 13″ tapped hole in the end of the bottom slide. A fourth piece of steel is measured and cut to fit the space between this sleeve and the part that is clamped to the ways. Cut it off and tack it in place with an arc welder, taking care to cover the ways so that the welding splatter will not cause any damage. (Fig. D) Remove the whole assembly and finish welding it together. Grind it and paint it and it is finished. Fig. G shows a clamp similarly constructed using only three pieces.

Calibrate Taper Attachment

Figure E
Figure F








When the installation is complete, you will need to make a mark on the bottom slide at each end to correspond to the calibrations on the top slide. This is done by using a dial indicator to find zero degrees of taper. Put a mandrel in the lathe, holding it between centers, so that it will measure any movement of the cross slide relative to this mandrel. Now, adjust the taper attachment so that the indicator shows no movement when the (Fig. E) saddle is moved lengthwise. (The clamp must be fastened to the ways and the bottom slide while this is being done, just as if you were cutting a taper.) When you have found zero degrees of taper, make a mark on both ends of the bottom slide to correspond with the zero marks on the top slide.

If you should desire to use the taper attachment without altering the regular type screw, you will have to make some kind of link to attach the screw anchor block to the cross slide when the pater attachment is in use. You will have to bolt this directly to the top of the screw anchor block. When this type of arrangement (Fig. F) is used, the crossfeed nut must be disconnected from the cross slide, thereby rendering it impossible to move the cross slide with the crossfeed handle. The compound is now your only adjustment. Needless to say, this is no small inconvenience. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you take the time to alter your cross slide screw if it is not already the telescoping type.

If you have done everything correctly, you are now ready to use your taper attachment. Fig. H. shows a taper of over 4 5/8 inches per foot being cut with the taper attachment pictured.

Please oil your taper attachment before each use, do not abuse it and it will give you years of excellent service.

Figure G
Figure H







Need help with any of your machining manufacturing projects? We’d love to help. Give us a call or fill out a contact form here.


Machine Shop Safety Rules

Heavy machinery can be a great benefit to any workplace. It allows quick and efficient task completion that can save your business time and money. Without proper training though, heavy machinery can be very dangerous.

Here at Uintah Machine, machine shop safety is one of our top priorities. We have compiled a list of machine shop safety rules to help guide you in operating any heavy machinery.

Please note that this list does not substitute formal trainings and should be used only as a supplement for established machine shop safety rules and guidelines.

Rule 1: Never use any machinery you have not been trained on

The first rule on our list of Machine Shop Safety Rules is to never operate any heavy machinery on which you have not been trained. Formal trainings are crucial aspects to maintaining machine safety.

If you attempt to operate a heavy machine without the proper training, not only do you put yourself at risk, but you put everyone around you at risk for workplace injuries and fatalities.

Heavy machinery is capable of extreme damage, so always know how to operate each specific machine before you begin. You will also want to be aware of anyone else that is operating machinery in your shop to confirm that they are qualified to be operating the machines.

Rule 2: Never use heavy machinery when mentally impaired

A major part of machine safety is to ensure that you are in a clear frame of mind before operating any heavy machinery. Being aware and alert is vital to machine safety. Many people believe this rule only applies to the use of drugs or alcohol. These are important- you should never be consuming alcohol or drugs while operating.

However, things like sleep deprivation, sickness, or even stress can also impair your judgement and mental state. Make sure you are always sober and alert before operating any heavy machinery.

Rule 3: Never wear loose clothing, hair, or jewelry

Another thing to remember in your shop safety rules is the type of attire you are wearing. You never want to wear loose clothing to any machine shop as it poses a greater risk of getting caught in the tools. Getting anything caught in heavy machinery that is attached to your body can lead to serious injury or death, so be aware of your clothing.

This also pertains to loose hair or jewelry. Always have your hair pulled back and secured by tucking it into a shirt or collar. You will also want to maintain long beards and remove any jewelry before operating the heavy machinery.

Rule 4: Never remove safety guards

Heavy machinery is manufactured with the inclusion of safety guards for a reason. If you remove or impede a safety guard you are putting yourself and others in danger and disrupting machine safety.

Any moving parts or sparks from a machine can cause harm to you and those around you, so make sure the safety guards are in place and properly working to protect yourself and other workers.

If you are experiencing any problems with machine safeguards, speak to your supervisor immediately to get the issue addressed and fixed. Do not try to operate the machinery before the safety guard is back in place and working.

Rule 5: Keep the work area clean

Never leave your workstation without cleaning the surrounding area of any scraps or liquids. Messy areas are not conducive to machine shop safety and can lead to accidents. Any scraps, sawdust, or solvents can be ignited by sparks and water can conduct electricity.

To avoid any fires or hazards in the shop, make sure each area surrounding any heavy machinery is clear of these objects. If you go to begin operating a machine and notice any miscellaneous items on the ground, clean them up before you begin working to avoid mishaps.

Also make sure you are not standing in water when working with electrical tools.

Rule 6: Report any broken equipment

Broken equipment can be very hazardous, possibly leading to injuries and fatalities. If you notice that a machine is not working correctly or has a broken part, please speak up.

Machine shop safety is extremely important for all those involved and any broken equipment needs to be addressed and fixed by those in charge. Immediately notify your supervisor when you notice irregularities and do not attempt to use the machine until the situation has been addressed and figured out.

Also, make sure the other workers are aware of the situation and also do not attempt to use the machine.

Rule 7: Report any questions or concerns

Last but not least, in order to maintain machine shop safety, always report any questions or concerns you may have to your superior. If you are unsure of how to operate a machine or have a concern about a particular machine or worker, speak up.

This may feel difficult, but in the end you may be helping to avoid a major accident. It is always better to pay attention and notify those in charge for even small matters.

This will protect yourself and others from potential harms and is an important part of shop safety rules.

Safety Matters

Overall, machine shop safety is one of the most important aspects of a business. Heavy machinery can be a huge helping hand for businesses by completing tasks more quickly and easily than exclusively with manpower.

However, without proper shop safety rules, accidents and fatalities are bound to happen. Protect your business and your workers by following these machine shop safety rules.

If any of your machinery is broken or outdated, don’t just wait for an accident to happen, discover how we can help you find the perfect tools and equipment for your business here at Uintah Machine.