Enclosed Utility Trailer Shelving Ideas

by K.K. Lowell

Enclosed utility trailers offer a great deal of security, protection from the elements, and with some planning, much more storage area than an open trailer. There are many ways to add shelving to the inside of an enclosed trailer; shelf brackets can be bolted directly to the sides or adjustable e-tracks can be mounted to the walls and provide the ability to change shelf height when desired.

Wood shelf Brackets

Two by four lumber makes economical shelf supports

Shelves can easily be added to the inside of a utility trailer using two by four lumber bolted to the inside walls. The advantage of this method is cost and ease of locating the necessary materials. The uprights are attached to the interior walls with screws. Chose screws about one inch longer than the thickness of the two by four upright and install them through pre-drilled holes in the upright. Bolt the horizontal two by four shelf supports to the uprights and finish the shelf by screwing a plywood floor to the shelf supports.

Horizontal E-Track Brackets

Horizontal E-track with bracket and two by four shelf support

Stamped steel E-track mounted horizontally on the trailer walls provides a fast means to mount shelving which also allows easy removal of the shelf. The E-track, which is a steel rail with evenly spaced rectangular holes, is attached to the walls using short lag screws. These screws are one quarter inch in diameter and approximately one inch long. Self tapping screws are a good choice for this as they can be driven in with a power drill and socket. It is important to buy the correct mounting attachment for horizontal E-track. Ask your supplier for shelf brackets for horizontal track. These brackets clip in to the rail and hold the end of a two by four shelf support. As in the all-wood shelf simply attach a plywood deck to the shelf support using deck screws.

Vertical E-track Shelf Mounting

Plywood shelves supported on vertical E-track

The most versatile of all the methods of constructing shelving in a utility trailer is using vertical E-track. When this method is used the shelves are easily adjusted for height and are also easily and quickly removed entirely when necessary. The E-track is mounted to the trailer interior wall in the same manner as the horizontal track. The difference is in the track itself; the holes in horizontal E-track are arranged with the long dimension running the width of the track. In vertical E-track the long side of the hold is along the length of the track. For this reason the brackets are not interchangeable and care must be taken to buy the proper brackets. To provide for shelf removal and adjustment keep the shelf deck the same length as the two by four shelf support. The shelf support should fit in the brackets without causing the bracket to be pushed tightly in to the E-track. Secure the shelf support to the bracket by installing a screw through the hole in the bracket and in to the two by four. The plywood shelf deck can be cut to follow the curve on the front of the trailer, or simply made out of a rectangular piece of plywood. Three quarter inch plywood makes a very sturdy shelf which will last a very long time.

About the Author

K.K. Lowell is a freelance writer who has been writing professionally since June 2008, with articles appearing on various websites. A mechanic and truck driver for more than 40 years, Lowell is able to write knowledgeably on many automotive and mechanical subjects. He is currently pursuing a degree in English.