Joe Cardoza debated buying a service truck for his dairy near Tulare, California. “But getting that truck out of wet lots or into tight spaces around the dairy would have been hard,” Cardoza explains. “Besides, I didn't want to have a vehicle tied up just for repair and maintenance.”
Abiding by the principle of KISS (keep it simple, stupid), Cardoza opted instead to employ a 20-foot-long single-axle trailer to create a virtual welding shop on wheels. Besides handling any welding repair or fabrication job his 1,200-cow dairy dishes out, the trailer can be pressed into field service for repair of machinery.
“The beauty of the trailer is that it travels everywhere,” Cardoza says. “Hook it to a half-ton pickup and I can be down the road to a field in a hurry. If I want to go into a wet feedlot where I might get stuck, then I can hook it to a tractor and not get stuck.”
Cardoza's trailer is a study in economy. On board resides a 10,000-watt welder-generator unit surrounded by an array of tools including an air compressor (with 75 feet of hose on a reel), oxy-acetylene torch (with a 50-foot hose on a reel), plasma cutter, drill press, and swinging jib crane. “The generator is under a roof. But the sides of that enclosure open using expanded metal to allow heat to escape in the summer,” Cardoza points out. “The air compressor, oxy-acetylene torch, and more valuable tools are kept in a fully enclosed lockable compartment up front.”
In addition to a metal storage area on the trailer's floor, Cardoza rigged the trailer with removable racks that can carry a wealth of metal. Those racks are stored in the front of the trailer when not in use.