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Dump Cart Great For Spreading Gravel
Spreading gravel or dirt where it’s needed is tough to do, but Jeff Hoard made it easy. His low-cost solution was to repurpose an abandoned pickup box trailer with a tilt bed.
Hoard didn’t want to invest much in the project. Aside from using it to spread on his driveway, he saw little future use for it.
The first step was to fabricate a subframe from 3-in. pipe. He welded it into a T with the top bar hinged to the axle. The hinge was fabricated by welding slightly smaller pipe stubs in the ends of the top bar pipe. The stubs slipped into short lengths of 3-in. pipe that were welded to the bottom plates of the U-bolts that once secured the axle to the springs.
“The pipe-in-pipe hinge allows the trailer bed to pivot for dumping,” says Hoard. “The dump bed is slightly nose forward. However, placing a piece of plywood at an angle in the front of the bed shifts the load slightly to the rear.”
The “slightly” aspect ensures the bed doesn’t slam in either direction, notes Hoard. He also fabricated a simple bed lock with a rope release. He rested the old trailer tongue on the subframe tongue and connected them with a trip lever.
“I run a rope through the back of my driver’s window to the trip lever to release the dump movement,” says Hoard. “It works without any hydraulics or complicated mechanics. When the bed empties, it tips back and locks into place.”
One of the few negatives is that the tires offer the only suspension. The spring shackle on one side was damaged. Rather than fix it, Hoard welded pieces of angle iron from the frame to the U-bolts on both sides, creating a rigid connection.
“At the rear, I welded a length of pipe between the frame rails with two larger pipes around it to act as a roller when dumping on the fly,” says Hoard.
To ensure a smooth flow and a nice long spread of material when dumping, Hoard installed a porous rear gate. If he ever wants to haul a load with the trailer, he’ll temporarily insert a piece of plywood against the rear gate.
Another small negative to the project is the size of the pickup bed, notes Hoard. “Unfortunately, it was only a 1/2-ton truck, so I can’t pile on the dirt as I would like,” he says. “But it still works for fixing my road. Like all my projects, everything is welded with gussets and bracing.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, HM Ranch, HC 61, Box 6108, Austin, Nevada 89310 (ph 775-217-9264 or 775-427-6515; hmfgranch@gmail.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6