Structural Framework for the Trailer is Complete!

Click Here to View the Entire Slideshow of Week 1’s Construction of the Boiler/Grilling Trailer for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

R&R Construction Services’ sister company – R&R Rigs has finished Phase 1, the most important phase of building this custom cooking trailer.  The structural framework of the Boiler/Grilling Trailer is the most important part because it is the “tree” upon which the rest of the parts of the trailer are “hung.”  The structural framework for this 20′ trailer consists of 5 steel roof trusses that are individually fabricated by cutting 20′ pieces of 2″ steel into specifically measure lengths.  Small strut supports are also cut to create a triangular frame – similar to the wooden frame of a roof truss for a new home – for each of the 5 trusses.  Once all of the pieces are measured 3 times and cut once, the 8 pieces are welded together for each of the 5 trusses.  This measuring, cutting, fabricating, and welding process is very precise work.  If even one of the trusses is off by even 1/8″, the entire framework of the trailer could be completely skewed, and the trailer framework could end up being up to 1.5″ off from one end of the trailer to the other.

Why is this important?  Well, if you have ever worked with cutting and welding metal, there is absolutely no room for error in your measurements, cuts, and welds.  Unlike wood that you can bang with a hammer and “meld” it into shape if it is just the slightest bit off, metal is unforgiving in its structure.  Once a piece of metal is welded into place, and you notice that there has been a mistake in the measurement or placement; you have to cut it apart and re-weld it to correct this mistake.  Therefore, there are many man hours put into fabricating just the roof trusses.  Once all roof truss pieces have been welded together to create the triangular structures that are going to hold the “walls” of the trailer, the roof of the trailer and all of the components inside the trailer including the boiler pot firewall, the sidewalls of the grills and smoker, the back drop table, the control panel and sink area, and the propane tank and storage box area; then the outside steel supports are welded into place.

Because every trailer purchased has a different “floorplan layout” that defines where the tires and tire wells are placed, how and where the tongue of the trailer is in relation to the tires and many other factors, placement of the roof trusses also has to be carefully designed so that the support that this structure provides is balanced on all sides of the trailer.  Each roof truss is erected one at a time and firmly welded into place.  The outside steel supports for the roof truss go in-between each roof truss on both sides of the trailer.  These supports are the first part of the framework that is essential to supporting the galvanized metal roofing, as well as the 2, 24′ I-beams that will extend out of both the front and back of the trailer.  This support is critical because the electric hoists that will be installed on trolleys on the 2 I-beams will be lifting and transporting 100’s of pounds of food, so these steel supports are designed to tie the entire roof truss system together.

The next part of the roofing and structural support system to go on are the 2, 24′ I-Beams.  Because of the bulkiness and awkwardness of handling a 24′ steel I-beam, great care is taken in mounting the I-beams approximately 12′ off of the ground and at least 10′ off of the trailer.  Once the I-beams are in place, they are then welded precisely into place.  Many different types of levels are used to ensure that the I-beam is placed in an exact straight line, so that the hoists will move directly down the cooking line to the drop table or straight out of the front of the trailer to lift out the propane tanks for refills or maintenance.  The I-beams will also help with a weight balance for the trailer as it rides down the road.

Now that the roof trusses have been measured, cut, fabricated, erected, supported and the I-beams have been installed, the next part of the structural frame to be fabricated are the steel angle supports that go from truss to truss providing a top support to the roof.  These steel angle pieces are also meticulously measured and cut.  Upon completion R&R Rigs will have 4 sets of steel angle that will be welded evenly down the slope of the roof trusses from the peak of the roof.  Just like when you build a home and you install plywood over the rafters to provide a full support underneath the roof; these pieces of steel angle act as that secondary roof support for not only the roof itself but to tie the entire truss system together, and to make the structure immovable while the trailer is traveling down the road.

Once all of the steel angle has been installed, then the galvanized metal roof itself is screwed to the steel frame.  This roof has to be “wind resistant” and stay in place even during travel, so the roof itself requires many screws to ensure that it will stay in place.  This Boiler/Grilling Trailer is now ready for Phase 2 of construction – most of Week 2 will be spent cutting aluminum and fabricating the boiling pots, the boiling pot firewalls, and the grilling area.  Visit us next week to get an update of this construction progress.  To find out more about ordering a custom cooking trailer from R&R Rigs, Contact Us Directly at 985-377-9353 or Info@RandRCS.com.

Click Here to View the Entire Slideshow of Week 1’s Construction of the Boiler/Grilling Trailer for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Week 1 Continued…After Much Discussion

Click Here to View a Slideshow of Week 1

Well, after many, many measurements, evaluations, and discussions with the original trailer company and new trailer companies, it was decided that the trailer originally purchased by R&R Rigs to create the Boiler/Grilling Trailer for the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill would not have the structural integrity that Rick was looking for in a trailer.  After visiting a trailer company last Friday night, Rick decided to swap out the original trailer for a new trailer that did not have the roll bar around the sides of the entire trailer.  Because of the Boiler/Grilling Trailer’s design, Rick would have had to cut the roll bar in several places, and he was concerned that doing this would weaken the structure and balance of the trailer.

In searching for a 20′ trailer that did not have the roll bar design, Rick was pleasantly surprised to find the product he was looking for, for the same price, but that far exceeded the original trailer in quality and durability.  Not only would the new trailer have a similar design as the first Disaster Relief Boiling Rigs that were built by R&R Construction Service, BUT the new trailer is also 10 times the original trailer because it has a stronger steel structural frame, 6, 10-ply heavy duty trailer tires with sidewalls, and 2 rear outriggers.

The new trailer was delivered to the R&R Rigs’ warehouse on Monday, and Rick and his welder immediately went to work cutting the steel pieces that would be welded to create the steel structural trusses for the roof of the trailer.  This steel frame also will support the 2, 24′ I-beams that will be used to support the electrical hoists.  The electrical hoists will be able to transport the boiling pots’ food baskets up and down the cooking line, delivering food to the drop table at the rear of the trailer.  On the side of the Boiler/Grilling Trailer that has the 2 grills and smoker, the electrical hoist on that side will transport a custom-made meat rack.  The meat rack will contain aluminum sheets that can be pulled out to dump the meat on the drop table.  In addition to the meat rack and cooking baskets, the electrical hoists will also be used to lift the propane tanks off of the front of the trailer so that they can be refilled.  So, the steel frame and I-beam configuration is basically the framework that will support the weight of the trailer operations.

On Tuesday, the structural trusses were put together “on the floor” to make sure that all of the parts of the trusses go together and are perfectly straight and level.  Then, today, Rick started erecting the trusses on the Boiler/Grilling Trailer itself.  The erection of the trusses also is a very exact procedure in that they must be absolutely level with the trailer and with each other.  Tomorrow (Thursday), R&R Rigs will erect the rest of the structural trusses, weld the 2, 24′ I-Beams to the steel frame, and install the galvanized metal roofing panels.  This Boiler/Grilling Rig will be ready to be painted with heat resistant paint by Friday.  Stay tuned to see the completed steel structural frame and roof of our trailer.

Click Here to View a Slideshow of Week 1

On the Job, Week 1

So We Begin!

Starting a large boiler/grilling trailer is always a challenging task because the first 2 weeks of the project consist of an all-out shopping spree for materials for the trailer.  Because it is such a large-scale cooking trailer, the materials for the project are also extremely massive.  The first thing that you buy is your actual trailer.  R&R Rigs starts out with just a heavy-duty, 20′ trailer with up to 6500 pound axles, which is very important because this trailer is going to be sporting a heavy load of metal on top, and that trailer needs to support that weight.  We picked up our trailer on Wednesday after July 4th, and hauled it out to the shop.

The first action taken on the custom cooking trailer is cutting and welding the steel frame that will support the roof and the I-Beams.  Custom steel trusses for the roof are meticulously designed and leveled to ensure that the placement of the roof will be perfectly balanced for the trailer in transit.  R&R Rigs uses only the strongest, most durable steel material for both the framework and the I-Beams.  The I-Beams themselves are capable of holding up to 1 ton of weight. The I-Beams are attached to the custom metal roof trusses, giving the trailer even more durability.  The roof of the trailer is built high enough so that the heat from the boiling pots, the grill, and the smoker will rise enough to keep the cooks relatively cool (depending on the weather at the Gulf of Mexico, of course) and also protect anyone who works boiling or grilling food on the trailer fairly dry from the elements.

After the framework, roof, and I-beams are installed, then the entire trailer is painted with a heat resistant paint.  The heat resistant paint is designed to withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  The top of the roof is not painted, but the underside of the roof is painted to help handle the heat and to make it so that the roof will not rust underneath.

Because every trailer has a different configuration of styles – this 20′ trailer has a roll bar that goes around the entire trailer bed – exact measurements must be made and then checked multiple times in order to place the aluminum and aluminum diamond plate order.  The placement of the boiling pots, the grills, & smoker will be worked in around the two entryways at the front and rear of the trailer, so it is very important for balance and load that these units are placed strategically, also considering the tongue weight of the trailer.

Building a custom cooking trailer is all about precise measurements, accurate cuts, and clean welding as all of the metal pieces are fitted together.  R&R Rigs excels at making sure that the finished product is a cohesive piece of machinery that will last for many years.  Keep checking back to view our progress as we finish up Week 1.