Home How-to Articles How-to: Blackwood Rubber Infused Lumber Trailer Deck

How-to: Blackwood Rubber Infused Lumber Trailer Deck

by Moses Ludel
A Blackwood Lumber infused rubber deck increases the functionality and stamina of our wood trailer deck. This is the cost-effective way to restore trailers that still have a good chassis. The unique rubber top is durable and permanently infused with the lumber.

How-to: Car Hauling Trailer Gets a Refresh with Blackwood Rubber Infused Lumber Decking…

Our mid-1990s car hauling trailer needed attention. Wooden trailers decking has a lifespan, and our trailer’s deck was done. In this how-to video coverage, we strip, paint and completely restore the Parker Performance trailer with Blackwood Lumber’s Rubber Infused Lumber decking.

The final winter for the Parker Performance Carhauler trailer…Wooden decks, subject to winter freezing and scorching summer heat, eventually succumb. At 4,400 feet elevation, the trailer faced UV and seasonal elements that finally took their toll. Despite regular mechanical maintenance, the paint and deck were done.

Like our 4×4 trucks and SUVs, mileage adds up. We bought the Parker Performance Trailer in the mid-1990s and put it to work. Hauling the Jeep® XJ Cherokee to Moab, the Land Cruiser FJ40 to the SEMA Show, moving vintage vehicles and our 4×4 compact diesel tractor, even our household, there was no end to the chores. With its wooden deck and our high desert environment, the time finally came to restore the deck and refinish this trailer.

At the end, the original deck was good for firewood. A Skilsaw made quick work of cutting up the boards. The “bones” of the trailer were still in top shape. Time was right for a trailer restoration.

We debated whether to re-deck the trailer with metal diamond plate. The added weight would cut into the net weight of the trailer and limit the weight on board. This trailer has two Dexter 3,500 pound rated axles. They have carried a 1951 Packard and a 1957 Chrysler convertible with its 392 iron hemi V-8. The Jeep® XJ Cherokee and vintage CJ-5 were light loads by comparison. So was our John Deere 4310 4×4 diesel compact tractor with a scraper box and skip loader. The heavier loads are behind us. A better wood deck will easily meet our needs.

After considerable research, we found the optimal solution in Blackwood Lumber’s Rubber Infused Lumber decking. Used by ranchers, farmers, contractors and utility companies, the product provides a durable, high traction surface with high grade lumber as its base. This is the best of both worlds: lighter weight than a metal deck with stamina way beyond the typical wooden trailer decking.

Restoring the frame was not difficult. The paint of choice: Martin Senour Industrial Coating in Safety Red. A water based paint, the paint’s drying time to full cure is longer than some paints, but this paint is rugged, durable and affordable. A high adhesion rate made this paint a wise choice for restoring a utility trailer. Clean-up is easy, though the HVLP gun did require nozzle cleaning a few times during the paint process. Here, the trailer frame is ready for installation of the Blackwood Lumber rubber infused planks.
Freshly installed decking has now been pressure washed, easy to do with the rubber infused deck. The new center post jack and fresh paint stand out. This trailer should easily be good for another quarter century of use. Wheel bearings, brakes, tires and suspension get regular attention, just like our 4x4s do!
We will install a new aluminum utility box for tool stowage and holding the battery that powers the removable, 2,500 pound capacity winch. Our choice was to restore this trailer rather than buy another one, consistent with our other vehicles. The Ram 3500, bought new, and the Jeep® XJ Cherokee are neck and neck for mileage, each has recently passed the 185,000 mile mark. This car hauling trailer’s chassis has less than 50,000 miles and could conceivably go another 150,000 miles with proper maintenance. It would be hard to wear out this trailer and Blackwood Lumber’s rubber infused lumber deck!

A wooden deck has always been the wild card on open deck trailers. While the frame, axles and suspension often last well over 100,000 miles, the wood deck always falls short of that mark. The introduction of Blackwood Lumber’s Rubber Infused Lumber now makes it possible to get maximum traction plus a long life deck.

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