I’ve always believed trailers are only as solid as their foundations, which in the case of my dry vans is their wood floor. The care you take of sweeping a floor prior to loading helps maintain a clean and secure place for your cargo to ride during transit. Some shippers and receivers don’t share the love and care that some of us have for our wagons though, in that they are extremely rough on them during the loading and unloading process. Sure we can inspect for trailer damage before and after each stop, but once the damage is done, it is there to stay. It is inevitable that if you have a trailer of your own, someone will damage it one day and it is best to be prepared to repair in a timely manner to maintain your box’s integrity.
Along with my stand-by items that I always carry, like zip ties and duct tape, I also usually have some JB Weld in either stick or self-mixing liquid epoxy form. You never know when a tube of quick setting repair goop may come in handy! When I heard about a gash in one of my trailer floors from one of my drivers, I began to see the importance of carrying something for floor repair as well while out on the road. Low and behold, with just a quick Google search I located just the thing for small and large repairs, which I will now be adding to my trucking arsenal of tools. For small wood floor repairs I am going to carry around and try JB Weld KwikWood. After quickly mixing, it will cure after application within one hour and has a 900-PSI strength rating once cured!
For this particular repair that my driver phoned in though, a little more work is going to probably be necessary. For this larger gouge I was able to find that my local trailer parts dealer carried a product made by Key Polymers called CrackFiller. Specially designed as a stand-alone solution to mix and fill large trailer floor cracks and gouges, it can also be used to seal in a new section of repaired floor planks as well. It can be bought by itself for under $50, or as part of a kit that I have priced in at under $500 that will completely restore and old worn floor. By watching their video, it seems easy enough that it can be applied and cured in the duration of a quick “pit stop” at the yard on a Saturday for me!
These two new items that I am adding to the small tool bag I carry in the truck will make a big difference in keeping my floors in sealed and ready condition. Since more and more emphasis is being put on trailer readiness by a lot of food grade shippers, it is important to be prepared in order to steer away from being rejected at a customer. Even if the trailer were not yours, if the $5 investment in a tube of JB Weld KwikWood saves you from being turned away due to a floor gouge or small crack, I would consider it a superior investment! Take the time to inspect, clean and repair your trailer floor throughout the course of your preventative maintenance to avoid more headaches on down the road!