Solar Job Trailer outfit

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Looking for ideas on what a well outfitted job trailer would contain. Also if anyone has any pics that would be great. Here's the ideas I have so far.

Job trailer setup

Electrical
Shore Power plug
outside outlet
2 inside outlets, gfi trip on inside
light switch to two ceiling lights with cfl's in them.

Shelf with battery chargers near inside outlets

Shelves length of trailer 1 foot wide on both sides so 48" pallets will fit easily

Shelves front of trailer 18 inches wide.

fire extinguisher near back doors

row strips for tiedowns at floor and walls

Top of right side shelf to hold alum railing
Top of left side shelf to hold conduit and 1.5 galv pipe

Front shelves to hold tools, tool bags, and bins for materials

All shelves have a min 1" lip to keep tools from bouncing out

shelves should be sloped to the wall a bit to help keep the tools in

Extension cord hangers near side door

site supervisor is the only one with combo to trailer and he is responsible for keeping the trailer stocked and tools in good repair.

NO SAWS TO BE RUN INSIDE THE TRAILER

Comments

  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    It's not clear what your question is. The purpose of the trailer? Are you planning on having some sort of solar power system?

    If so, what are you expecting to run off the solar? In general, power tools are big energy users with high start-up Amps and poor power factor which makes it difficult to come up with a solar set up that can run them. A good industrial-grade generator is probably a better choice.

    If it's for lights/radio/battery tool charger this would not be difficult to come up with.

    As far as other design considerations it's purely a matter of whatever suits your needs. :D
  • hillbilly
    hillbilly Solar Expert Posts: 334 ✭✭
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    "If so, what are you expecting to run off the solar? In general, power tools are big energy users with high start-up Amps and poor power factor which makes it difficult to come up with a solar set up that can run them. A good industrial-grade generator is probably a better choice."

    Actually that really depends on how many tools are being operated and for how long. I've been kind of suprised when I plug in all my tools to a kill a watt meter. While they do have a very high surge, demanding a lot of power very briefly, they are typically not running for very long and thus the overall draw is not that much. If you're talking about a big commercial construction site with a large crew running tools all day long I'd agree that a generator would probably work out much better. If you are talking about a two or a three person crew on a smaller job(or a homeowner doing a remodel project) then it may not take as much battery reserve as you'd think, the big thing again would be the surge when tools start up. Be very careful not to start a saw up for example when the air compressor is running.
    If we're misreading your intent here then disregard the above...
    To give better advice you really need to be a lot more detailed on power needs, surge power of tools, etc.
  • Green Building Solutions
    Green Building Solutions Registered Users Posts: 24
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    I'm referring to putting a job trailer together for doing installs. Any tools would be run off of shore power. I thought about putting a small panel on it with a charge controller, battery, and inverter, to run a light and the tool battery chargers. I think I read somewhere though that you shouldn't use cheap inverters on tool chargers because the waveform is bad for them.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,500 admin
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    The MSW inverters can ruin some tool battery chargers--for example, from what I have read, older Black and Decker chargers would pretty much go poof on a MSW inverter... Newer ones work fine.

    These two inverter faqs answer quite a few of the questions:

    All About Inverters
    Choosing an inverter for water pumping

    Generally, a small true sine wave inverter to power the "small stuff" and, if needed, a big 1kW+ to power the big stuff (corded power tools, etc.) can be a good compromise.

    Some old "This Old House" Episodes had some details on nice trick'ed out trailers and trucks for the contractors. Lots of big sliding drawers and slide out benches/work-spaces/material tables.

    Over course, it can go overboard.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • blackswan555
    blackswan555 Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    A vice, preferably mounted on a good solid workbench/Shelf with a light over?
    I do not like CFL`s my-self, I would go for a normal FL with digital ballast,

    Have a good one
    Tim
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    On my work trucks I always had both a bench vise and a pipe vise (chain type). These were mounted on a flat plate with a standard 2" hitch bar welded vertically to the underside of the plate. I had a 2" hitch receiver mounted vertically on the end of the bumper (curb side)(actually welded to a crossbar that was welded to the frame behind the bumper) and I could just drop in whichever vise I needed. These stored inside the bed, which was covered.

    One one of my trucks I also had a bench grinder on the same type of mount that I could drop in if needed. I didn't need it often, but when I did I REALLY needed it. I can sharpen drill bits by eye, and having that grinder was great for that as well.

    That truck had a generator, and if I were building a job trailer, I would definitely include a generator. Sometimes the site power is goofy or overloaded and having your own gen can keep you working while everyone else is fighting over the available power. I would recommend 3kw as absolute minimum for a worksite gen. 5kw is more like it. Mine was a 5kw Onan from a motorhome.

    Also, sometimes you have to disconnect the utility feed and you might need the gen while the feed is down. I had a small breaker box with a quad 110v and a 220v twistlock. I had feed wires coming out the top which I would just split-bolt to the utility feed whenever I had it disconnected, so I almost never needed the generator when doing a service upgrade or whatnot. I really only used it when there were too many other contractors on the job, or when I was working far away from the available power.

    For a trailer, I would choose a portable gen with wheel kit.


    One thing I see missing in the OP is ladder racks. Most of the ladders will be too long to sit vertically and will have to be stored horizontally.


    "shelves should be sloped to the wall a bit to help keep the tools in" - That's backwards. The lip keeps the tools in. The shelves either should not tilt, or should tilt toward the worker for easy visibility of shelf contents.
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    No job shack/trailer should be without a coffee pot! And a doughnut machine, nap couch, internet dish, (for job related work only!) Probably could think of a few more,,,

    Tony
  • Green Building Solutions
    Green Building Solutions Registered Users Posts: 24
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    Thanks guys for all your tips, actually I did put an old mini microwave in the trailer. I'll take some pics and post them shortly, we're still working on finalizing it. I like the vise idea and I am going to look into doing that.

    I ran into an issue when I got some panels this past week, I have shelves running along both sides of the trailer which leaves 54 inches in the middle for putting pallets of panels in the trailer. Well the Pallets are a little taller than my trailer and I had to remove the top three panels to fit the pallets. I could slide one along the sides of the pallets but not more because I had the shelves too low, so I"m going to set the lowest shelf height at 45 inches so we can slide more panels in the trailer on their sides. With the shelves I could only fit 56 275 watt panels in the trailer, with the bottom row of shelves removed I could fit 80 panels in it.

    Thanks again for all your help.
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    Your trailer has a payload capacity 2 tons? ( 80, 50 pound panels ), that one heck of a trailer!
  • Green Building Solutions
    Green Building Solutions Registered Users Posts: 24
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit
    Your trailer has a payload capacity 2 tons? ( 80, 50 pound panels ), that one heck of a trailer!

    Yes I got a tandem axle 7000Lb trailer. Trailer weighs just under a ton and I have about 1000 lbs of tools in it. I unloaded the heavy stuff and left it with the guys at the job site when I took it to pick up the panels. They also had the tools they needed at the site so I probably only had 400 lbs of tools and fitting left in the trailer when I took it. I love having a trailer and so do my guys.
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,004 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit
    BB. wrote: »
    The MSW inverters can ruin some tool battery chargers--for example, from what I have read, older Black and Decker chargers would pretty much go poof on a MSW inverter... Newer ones work fine.

    I've framed up a small 'A' frame and 2 smaller cabins with Dewalt battery tools charged off of MSW inverters. I read up(back in 2001) before I started and found only the earliest Dewalt chargers had issues with MSW.

    As to Black and Decker pod type batteries, I suggest tossing out your B&W charger and buying a Dewalt to charge your batteries. I now own 2 14v B&W drills and a 14vB&W circular saw since they chargers quit working. typically Dewalt chargers can be had through Amazon for less than $20!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • newenergy
    newenergy Solar Expert Posts: 291 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Solar Job Trailer outfit

    I get by with just the trucks, but I always have the panels and rails delivered.

    I've charged tool batteries with a solar panel hooked to a 12v charger through a charge controller as well as through an inverter and haven't noticed any problems either way. I fell out of the practice of doing that mainly as I had more and more batteries to charge and rarely have a problem getting power on-site.

    It sounds nice to have a big well equipped trailer on the jobsite, but also a PITA to drive around, but I'm in LA where it's always PITA to drive around.