There is some debate about the type of timber fitted to these trailer when they were manufactured, although “Eastern Hardwood” is generally specified, it is believed that most were provided with pine boards. Nowadays people sometimes fit Keruing (as used on lorry floors). This is generally available at a cost of around £12 per metre length for 6″ nominal width boards. Standard boards are 10 ft long and Keruing is routinely supplied with a half-lap edge.
This means that to completely re-board a top in Keruing will cost around £1100.
Other options available are American White Oak (approx. £900 per trailer) or a slightly less costly option is American White Oak in 8 ft lengths (approx £600 per trailer). American White Oak is usually supplied straight edged but can be machined to half-lap or tongue and groove for a small extra cost.
As the trailer is nominally 10 ft long, the standard boards will be a single piece end to end, whereas the 8 ft length boards will need to be joined above a crossmember. This is not considered to be especially detrimental (see 3 ton restoration pictures) although a little more time and effort is required at the fitting stage.
A very cost effective solution is to use Larch boards. Larch is a softwood but is recommended for external use (it is the timber of choice for fence posts). A set of Larch boards for a 3 ton trailer top will cost around £500.
As stated above, Keruing is usually supplied with half-lap edges. Other boards come with square edges as standard. Boards can be finished with tongues and grooves at a cost of around £175.
Feel free to contact us for more details and to check current prices and availability.