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TM 9-2330-326-14&P
Fontaine Trailers 1-3/8 x 96 x 41' -0" MIL #M871A3 (Cont.)
Care of Wood Decking on Trailers
Platform trailers that are idle and parked outdoors for an extended period of time are exposed to
the elements where they may suffer weather damage. This damage results from excess sunlight
and/or moisture. The damage from sunlight may take the form of shrinkage to the top face of the
decking causing cracks to appear between boards. Often this will be accompanied by concave
cupping and season checks, i.e., (cracks). Such cracks may cause other problems. Cracks fill
with rainwater and absorption of water into the wood deck can lead to degradation as trapped water
penetrates the interior portion of the boards.
Prevention of weather damage can be greatly minimized by application of good water repellent
w/wood preservative to all visible surfaces of the decking. Cost of labor to apply the treatment and
the material itself is modest when compared to potential degradation from weather elements. It
takes less than an hour's labor to apply the repellent using a hand-held roller, or as preferred, a
hand-held, pump-up sprayer.
An ideal treatment is Woodguard produced by ISK Bioscience of Memphis, TN. Approximately 4
gallons (15.14 L) (or less) will cover 400 sq ft (37 sq m) (8 ft x 50 ft [2.4 m x 15.24 m]) of wood that
comprises the trailer deck. Forty gallons (150 L) or more can be ordered directly from ISK
Biosciences (telephone number: 1-800-248-7961). Fewer than 40 gallons (150 L) can be purchased
by calling a distribution center at 1-800-524-1093). Any product like Thompson's Water Seal with
UV protection may be used on an annual basis to protect the wood decking. The important thing to
keep in mind is that the wood decking should be protected against sunlight and moisture to insure
the longest life for the wood.
One of the most widely used terms in the lumber industry that many "non lumber" customers
have difficulty understanding is the unit of measurement called "board foot." We attempt to
clarify this nomenclature here as well as define other equally confusing terminology.
A board foot is the unit of measurement for most lumber items and is nothing more than a
measurement of the volume of wood. One board foot is equivalent to a piece of wood
measuring 12" x 12" square by 1" thick (144 cubic inches). Thus, in a block of wood 12" x 12"
x 12" (1 cubic foot in volume), there are 12 board feet.
Of course, not all wood is produced in nice, easy-to-calculate 12" squares, so conversion to
board feet from various sizes of typical lumber is needed to establish a common denominator
with which all can identify.
To calculate board feet, first state the dimensions of the width and thickness in inches, then
the length of the lumber in feet. Next, multiply the width x thickness x length and divide by
12. Thus, in a 2" x 8" x 12' plank there are 16 board feet, or 16 bf (2" x 8" x 12'/12) = 16 bf.
Other typical board foot measurements are:
1" x 4" x 10'0" = 3.33 bf
4" x 6" x 14' 0" = 28.00 bf
6" x 8" x 8'6" = 34.00 bf
12" x 12" x 32'0" = 384.00 bf


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