People buy trailers for many different reasons. Whether you’re moving into a new house or you have to haul big things as part of your job, having a secure trailer can make the job exponentially easier. This trailer buying guide can help you make an informed decision and simply the process of choosing the trailer that’s best for you.
When shopping for a trailer, you’ll want to compare various manufacturers and trailer features before making a decision. One major factor is how you plan to use it. The type of cargo you plan to haul, and how frequently you plan to haul it, will determine the style and specifications that are most appropriate for your trailer. You should also consider the expected load weight, as different types of trailers have different capacities.
Here are some of the different types of trailers. . .
Open Flatbed Trailers
Open Flatbed Trailers, also known as Equipment Trailers, do not have any sort of walls or ceiling; they are literally flat surfaces on wheels. Open flatbed trailers are the easiest type of trailer to load with a forklift or pallet jack, and great for hauling heavy equipment. Everyone has different needs and specific uses in mind for their heavy equipment trailers which is why they come in various sizes, load capacities, and ramp options. Some options to consider are max ramps, hydraulic lifts, tilt beds, dual jacks, length of the bed, lockable toolboxes and more. Deckover Equipment Trailers can be used for floats in parades, or to build tiny houses on as well. Just make sure that trailer can handle the weight capacity of the house or equipment you’re hauling.
Landscape Trailer / Utility Trailer
Multi-use Landscape and Utility Trailers are built rugged to handle all of your various needs. These types of trailers are open air without any walls or ceilings. Most have a low railing or solid sides which help in containing your cargo. Many have slats or d-rings to secure your landscape equipment, ATV’s, motorcycles and more. All trailers are customizable to fit your needs as well. Most come with a ramp for easy loading and you can customize with tool boxes, extra tie-downs, cargo racks, solid sides, mesh sides, high sides, split gates and more.
If your looking for a trailer to haul your ATV, 4-wheeler or other recreational vehicles, a utility trailer will fit your needs. You might have a number of other uses in mind, from hauling landscaping equipment, firewood or even camping and kayaking gear. Utility Trailers can be constructed of steel or aluminum with varying carrying capacities. They vary in size from a single axle 4′ x 8′ to a tandem axle 7′ x 18′ or larger.
Enclosed Cargo Hauler Trailers
As opposed to flat-bed trailers, enclosed cargo trailers are well, enclosed. They have four walls and a ceiling to enclose your valuable cargo and a sideman door, rear ramp or rear double door to access it. They’re ideal for transporting equipment, cars or valuables that must be protected from the elements. Also, enclosed trailers can be locked and secured in the case that you have to park the trailer and leave it unattended.
Enclosed trailers come in many sizes from a small single axle 4′ x 6′ all the way to a large tandem axle 8′ x 24′ car hauler with electric brakes. They may not be as aerodynamic as an open trailer and will create more drag on your vehicle, but they will keep your property secure. Enclosed Cargo Trailers can be customized in many ways just like other trailers. They can have rear ramp doors, double barn doors, sideman doors, driver’s side get-out door, cabinets, custom flooring, cargo organization and more. Cargo Trailers are perfect for general contractors, electricians, plumbers and the like. Add a ladder rack and shelves to make the perfect contractor trailer.
Specialty Enclosed Trailers
If you have a very specific type of cargo, such as horses, cattle or other livestock, there are specialty enclosed trailers that are designed to accommodate your specific needs. These trailers provide ventilation, specific compartment styles and creature safety considerations. They can be equipped with swing-open rear doors for easy entry, or a fold-down rear-door to allow easy loading and unloading. Side access doors are another useful feature to consider with specialty trailers.
Single Axle Trailers
Single axle trailers can carry most common household or small business related cargo. They have one axle with a wheel attached to both sides and a fixed attachment to the trailer bed. If the trailer bed is attached by springs, you’ll have more shock absorption for each wheel and enjoy a smoother ride. If the trailer doesn’t have springs, you may have a stiffer ride with more road shock over bumps.
Dual Axle or Multiple Axle Trailers
If you’re expecting to carry more than 3,000 pounds, you should consider buying a dual axle trailer. The two axles are placed close together at the center of the trailer, helping to disperse the weight load of the cargo and provide shock absorption and increased maneuverability. Dual axle trailers commonly have fenders over the wheels, which are useful in adverse weather conditions and minimizing road debris from flying up into the wheel well.