Installation advice

Do you want to install your ATC custom-made floor yourself? Sound advice will get you well on your way. On this page you can read everything you want and need to know about installing your floor.

Installation advice

Important to know beforehand:
Wood is a natural product, meaning it is hygroscopic. This means that wood ‘works’. It expands and contracts depending on the varying weather conditions. As a natural product wood adapts to the ambient temperature and air humidity around it.

We particularly come up against differing air humidity during bodywork and trailer building. ATC can only provide advice when the vehicle is used in ‘normal’ conditions and when the floor is installed in ‘normal’ (weather) conditions. Extremities conditions must be avoided.

Cross bream distance
ATC floors are tested with a cross beam distance of ± 450 mm and have the ISO 1496/CEN 283 quality mark for this.

Floor parts laying plan

The ATC custom-made floor is supplied as a kit floor. It has been put together with care and experience to arrive safely and completely at the customer.

The floor parts are numbered on the ends. This numbering forms the laying plan (the ‘puzzle’) of the floor and works as follows:

We start at the back of the trailer with the A-row to the left rear, the board to the right of it is the B-row, etc. See an example of a cross-section below.

The first plank in A-row is the A1 board, the board before is the A2, the board before that the A3, etc. This is the laying plan for our ATC custom-made floors.

We advise first laying the floor loose using the numbering above. This is also to make sure that the floor is complete.

If the laying plan is all correct the floor can be installed. We advise taking the following steps.

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Clearance

The amount of clearance is part of our advice. This must be counted into the floor and now borne in mind. In general we advise:

With open trailers

Here we use AD (Air-Dried) wood with moisture percentage > 24 %. Depending on the weather/season we advise keeping 2 mm clearance and in any case 2 mm clearance for each floor section at side beams/main beams. This is an average value. The size of the clearance can change and depends on many factors.

  • in which season the floor is installed;
  • the trailer mileage;
  • geographic area where the trailer drives;
  • if the trailer is stored under a roof.

We will be pleased to discuss all these factors with you to determine the right clearance.

With closed trailers

Here we use KD (Kiln-Dried) wood with moisture percentage 18-24 %. Depending on the weather/season we advise keeping 1-2 mm clearance or, if the floor has to be laid tight, 3-4 mm clearance per floor section at side beams/main beams. We advise greater clearance if a lot of moisture arrives on the floor due to a sliding roof, for example. This is an average value. The size of the clearance can change and depends on many factors.

  • in which season the floor is installed;
  • the trailer mileage;
  • geographic area where the trailer drives;
  • if the trailer is stored under a roof.

We will be pleased to discuss all these factors with you to determine the right clearance.

Installation advice

Predrilling

Good predrilling is important considering wood ‘works’ and exerts pressure on the screw. The hole must be drilled through the wood and cross beam so use a steel drill.

We advise using a drill bit that is 0.6 mm smaller than the diameter of the screw. Once you have drilled through the board, we advise vigorously turning the drill bit around a few times to create extra clearance in the drilled hole before drilling through the cross beam.

We recommend fully galvanising the screw holes. You then reduce the likelihood of cracks in the screw hole.

For floors with ATC birch floor boards:

Lay with a space between of 1 to 2 mm. Birch plywood boards can work 1 mm per metre.

We advise using body rings with the right thickness as a spacer to keep the same amount of clearance across the whole floor.

We can also offer advice (by telephone) and consult on the amount of clearance to establish the right clearance for your particular floor.

We advise installing the floor within 2 weeks. How the floors are stored and keeping them for longer than 2 weeks is at always at one’s own risk.

If floors are stored it is important to always store them dry and in the same climatic conditions as the trailer to be laid.

Do you have additional questions about the installation? Contact us

Screws

Hardwood:
We advise fixing each board with two screws to each cross beam. This is certainly advised with open trailer floors. As an alternative with closed trailer floors, 2 screws can be screwed into the ends then staggered left/right. Never screw just 1 screw in the middle of the board. Cross beam distance ± 450 mm. Screw diameter at least 5,8 mm with a KD floor. Ideally more than 6,9 mm with an AD floor.

Good to know: we also sell high quality screws.

Boards:
Distance between the screws to the board edges 150 – 200 mm. Other cross beams 300 mm. Screw diameter at least 8 mm. Distance between screw and board edge at least 10 mm.

Finish

Hardwood:
A hardwood floor needs no finish. Should the floor be finished with a floor oil the wood will absorb moisture less quickly. It also gives the trailer an attractive appearance. We supply special hardwood varnishes for this, available as water-based or turpentine-based options in 5-litre cans. This is sufficient to coat approximately 25 m2 with one layer.

Plywood boards:
All processes must be finished with a moisture-resistant PVAC adhesive.

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Need any extra installation advice?

Contact us using the button below or phone +31 546 549700

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Sustainability

A solid, honest product

Thinking and acting sustainably is important at ATC. You can see that by our procedure and in our products. We have already been working with wooden materials for more than 25 years and we want to carry on doing so for a long time to come. This is why we take our wood from sustainably managed forests. We can also check that ourselves because we import ourselves.

With a floor from ATC you are certain that you have certified wood in your bodywork or trailer. And wood of the highest standard and quality to boot. ATC Trailer Floors is certified according to the standards and principles of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC-C012809).

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