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 985-246-4591 or [email protected].

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

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.

How and Where The Trailer Business All Began

The Inception of R&R Rigs

Beaumont, TX, was the site of the emergency relief site that was set up to help out local residents and workers that had been devastated by Hurricane Ike.  Rick Daniels joined the catering company LA Grill in assisting with the set up, take down, and running of the cooking site at their location in the middle of a Bingo hall parking lot.  With no water, electricity, propane, or gas, Rick was the project manager in charge of material acquisition, site maintenance and clean-up, and equipment maintenance.  Rick was also in charge of keeping the site’s busy crew performing tasks throughout the day that would provide clean cooking pots and pans, enough propane for the burners, and enough gas in the generators to cook up to 10,000 meals a day at lunch and dinner.

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This cooking/catering operation utilized a large cooking trailer and many portable pots for cooking hot meals.  The food arrived on refrigerated semi’s that parked around the cooking site and kept the food cold until it was ready to be served.  Food was packaged in bags, and the bags were placed in boiling pots and then boiled until they reached the right temperature to be served.  Then the bagged food was transported via an electric hoist to the end of the cooking line and dumped out on a drop table.  The food was then put into cambros to keep the food hot until it could be served to local residents and disaster relief workers in clam shells (styrofoam containers).

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While running the site, maintenancing the equipment, acquiring propane, gasoline, and other materials for the cooking/catering site, Rick had his eye on the cooking trailer that was used to boil the bagged food.  Because he is always looking to improve systems and structures to make them more efficient and durable, he came back from Beaumont, TX, with an idea for a cooking trailer that would cook more food, cook the food faster, and be made out of trailer material that would be more durable.  He got his chance to “build his theory” when he was contracted by an international company to build his boiling unit.

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The first unit he built had 4 large boiling pots and a smaller boiling pot that could be used to boil rice.  The boiling pots had the capability to cook 100 cases of food an hour, easily cooking food for up to 10,000 people a day.  The boiling pot system was specially designed with a double-walled pot system to bring the water to a boil quickly and then hold that temperature throughout the cooking process, efficiently using the 2, 100-gallon propane tanks so that they did not have to be refilled as often.  Rick installed 2 electric hoists on the trailer so that both cooking lines could cook and deliver food at the same time.  The most important aspect of this trailer is that it can “stand alone” at the emergency relief site with an onboard generator, an onboard water tank with a water pump, sink, and reservoir tank, an onboard gasoline tank, 2, 100-gallon propane tanks, and an electrical system that can either work off of the generator or work off of shore power (once the electricity is restored).  So, this trailer would be able to go into a totally devastated area (like Beaumont, TX, after Hurricane Ike), set up with water, electricity, gas, and propane, and cook food for people until destroyed utilities could be restored.

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Upon completion of Rick Daniels’ invention of a disaster relief boiling trailer, the goal became to design and build custom cooking trailers as well as offer repair and maintenance services for existing cooking trailers.  He accomplished that goal by restoring, maintenancing, and cleaning 3 cooking trailers and 2 smokers after his return from Beaumont, TX.  Rick also completely renovated a 28′ mobile kitchen for the same international company for which he built his first Disaster Relief Boiling Unit.  Rick Daniels with R&R Construction Services’ sister company – R&R Rigs – is now in the process of building another disaster relief cooking trailer for North America’s largest environmental services company.  This company is handling parts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill clean-up and waste disposal and will be using the cooking trailer to feed approximately 2,500 employees.  Stay tuned to this blog to follow the construction of R&R Construction Services’ newest cooking/catering trailer project.

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