Redecking without screws?

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by drew724, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. drew724

    drew724 Bobtail Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    Hey guys,
    I have an older all steel framed 48' trailer that is in good shape except the wood decking is old/rotted and needs to be replaced.
    At my old age and limited funds I was trying to come up with a creative way to replace the wood. I know what it takes to get the old wood and screws removed and I could also cut and lay the new wood- the hard part (I did it once before a long time ago) was screwing all the new wood down thru the steel.
    I know one option would be to buy a stand-up decking drill which might make it easier but was wondering if it would compromise the structure if I simply laid steal plates over the butt joints of all the wood and either welded the plates at the sides or drilled a couple holes on each end of the plates and bolted them down on the trailer sides. So you'd basically see an all wood deck with steel slats going across at all the wood joints.
  2. FLHT

    FLHT Light Load Member

    Aug 2, 2014
    I have seen a few people do what your thinking. The trailer flexes on these fine roads we travel and something has to give. The steel will stretch and pop the welds or bust the bolts.
    I have found a hammer drill works well to install new screws.
    Lepton1 Thanks this.
  3. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

    Apr 11, 2019
    Fairbanks Ak
    Maybe not all, but some trailers flex a lot when the deck is not screwed solid, The wood itself strengthens the trailer, if that makes sense.
    Lepton1 and NoBigHurry Thank this.
  4. Steve from hutch

    Steve from hutch Medium Load Member

    Only constraining the boards at the ends will allow them to twist and bow. As mentioned above, the wood actually stiffens the trailer as well.

    Lepton1 Thanks this.
  5. drew724

    drew724 Bobtail Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    It does make sense that the boards being fastened down at each end would over-all strengthen the trailer. Besides the advice about using a hammer drill for the screws does anyone have any advice about using a drill first for pilot holes or what brand/type fasteners to use? I've only used the one from Home Depot that are made to go thru wood and metal: in-Phillips-Flat-Head-Self-Drilling-Screws-40-Pack-21384/100145370
    but half the time they wouldn't penetrate the steel and it was really slow going..
  6. Razororange

    Razororange Road Train Member

    Dec 20, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    We've always used these to redeck trailers. Drill a 3/16 hole first and they have a built in thread cutter on the tapered tip. T30 drive makes them near impossible to strip out. A 1/4" impact driver is the correct tool for putting them in.

    IMG_20190814_145321573.jpg IMG_20190814_145337303.jpg
  7. FLHT

    FLHT Light Load Member

    Aug 2, 2014
    Thats the way its done.
    drew724 and Tug Toy Thank this.
  8. ABfish

    ABfish Bobtail Member

    Nov 8, 2017
    We just re-decked an Eager Beaver tag trailer. Eager Beaver uses 3/8" bolts and 2" diameter heavy fender washers for deck attachment. Drill through the wood, next to the cross member flange, maybe 1/8" off. Stick the bolt through the wood, and place the fender washer over the bolt from the bottom. The fender washer laps over the flange. Use nylock nuts.

    With the fender washer method, you do not have to drill through the metal, only through the wood. The disadvantage is that you have to get under the trailer to tighten the nuts.

    If you use oak decking, you'll need to hammer the bolts flush before tightening. Driving the bolt heads flush also keeps the bolts from turning when tightening.

    We used the self-tapping screws in a couple of areas that were difficult to reach.
  9. johndeere4020

    johndeere4020 Road Train Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    We used these last time, the pointy ends dig into the wood and the other end grabs the cross member flange.

    6wheeler and 1951 ford Thank this.
  10. kwswan

    kwswan Road Train Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    What are these called?
    6wheeler and johndeere4020 Thank this.
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