It seems that many (not all, but many) of us are driving SUV's these days instead of pickup trucks. To meet the demands for hauling big cargo without a pickup bed, there are a number of hitch-mounted cargo carriers on the market.
Hitch-based carriers don't carry as much as trailers do, but they also don't have trailer-specific hassles to deal with, such as registration, insurance, big storage space, or the California 55-mph speed limit when towing a trailer.
I need a dirt bike carrier, so I decided to fabricate one. Easy enough, right? Based on designs I'd seen around the Web, I gathered materials and started the process.
The main carrier rail is made from angle iron and a strip of flat bar up the middle. One-inch square tubes are used as stringers that connect the main rails and the center flat bar.
As always, tack welding was the most critical part of the process. Measuring, clamping, and strategically placing the tack welds takes time, but results in a better final product when done right.
The adjacent photo shows the main rail ready for some finish passes. Note that the grey mill scale has been ground off where the welds are going to go. Mill scale doesn't mix well with TIG welding.