The drop plate also supports the trailer’s landing leg as well as providing a convenient place for locating battery boxes, propane bottles, spare tire, etc. Most manufacturers use 1/8” thick aluminum sheet to construct their drop plate. We build ours using a 3/16” thick aluminum alloy plate.
Tough enough to stop a .45 caliber bullet, our drop plate starts out as the largest plate available from our sheet metals supplier in this thickness. We cut the drop shape, including the gussets and top and bottom angles, in one large piece using a very accurate N/C (numerically controlled) plasma cutter.
The drop plate is then formed into shape using an N/C brake press which is able to perform large bending operations with extremely tight tolerances and repeatability. The result is a one piece drop, stronger than, and free from the problems intrinsic to ones constructed by welding multiple pieces together. Multi-piece drops are harder to keep square as the pieces are brought together for welding. They can also experience leaks in the welds where the gussets attach to the drop plate and trailer side.