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Hidden in the nooks and crannies of the great big country of Canada, you’ll find modest geniuses quietly doing great work with their hands. Allan Hubley from Wileville, Nova Scotia is one of them. I discovered Allan online as I was looking for a trailer to haul things behind my four-wheel ATV. Trailers like this are useful for all kinds of jobs including harvesting firewood, collecting rocks, moving tools or anything else that’s heavy or bulky, especially from off-road areas. After researching reviews of online trailers made overseas, I was pleased to find Allan online. He’s the one and only man behind Atlantic Outdoor Solutions. Having used my own Hubley trailer now for months I know I wasn’t mistaken about my first impressions. Every outdoors-oriented person that comes around my place immediately walks over to the trailer, admires it and asks questions. It’s a head-turner precisely because it’s so much better than anything else they’ve seen.
Allan’s home and workshop backs onto forest and he doesn’t have a fancy shop. “The only tool I have that a home hobbiest might not is my stationary metal-cutting bandsaw”, explains the soft-spoken Allan. “I definitely don’t have a fancy setup.”
Allan’s trailers have three important attributes. First, they’re strong. You simply can’t overload them with firewood, no matter how much you pile on. I’m not even sure you could overload them with rocks, either. Second, the design is well thought out. Everything works just like it should. Although not all Hubley trailers can dump, mine can, via a hand crank. To make that happen Allan uses an effective method for connecting a winch and strap to the front of the trailer to lift the box. Crank by hand and it raises the box quickly, safely and simply. My biggest dumped load so far has been a bunch of rocks probably weighing almost 800 lbs. No problem.
The particular Hubley trailer I have has four wheels not two, and these work together in pairs in what’s called a “walking beam” arrangement. This makes it nicer to travel over the stumps, rocks and other obstructions you’ll often find off road.
Walking beams get their name because of the way each pair of wheels works together as they’re fastened to a single beam that swivels on the frame and “walks” over obstructions. When the leading wheel of any pair hits say, a log, the wheel is free to rise up and over that log as the beam below swivels. As you work your way over the obstacle, the leading wheel comes down off the obstruction just as the trailing wheel encounters it for the first time and goes upwards. Pulling a walking beam trailer over obstacles involves a lot less up-and-down movement of the trailer as each pair of wheels “walks” up and over the obstruction. The up-and-down travel of the trailer is roughly half as much as with regular wheel designs.
Every time I hook up my trailer to get ready for a day’s work outdoors, I’m reminded of one good part of Canada that’s easy to miss. We have more than our share of good people making great things in small ways for this great big country we live in. Allan Hubley is one of them.
Here’s a tip . . . since Allan builds each trailer from scratch, ask him about special features he can incorporate. One of the most helpful is the swivelling trailer hitch. It prevents damage if the trailer tips over. Instead of twisting the hitch and breaking something, the swivelling feature simply rotates. This has saved me twice, both times when a fully loaded water tank made the trailer too top heavy. Other than losing the water, no damage either time.
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– Steve Maxwell