If you plan to invest in a trailer, either as a rental tool or to improve your business transportation security, you have a lot of choices! You’ll need to determine your weight requirements and whether or not you need covered shelter or open.
Flatbed trailers are simply that: flat hauling decks that can be up to 53 feet long and haul up to 48,000 pounds. Flatbed trailers are easily accessible from the sides with the right lifting tools for anything that is 8.5 feet tall or shorter.
A step deck trailer is a flatbed trailer that drops down from the tongue so you can haul taller items. The hauling length and weight tolerances are the same as a flatbed, but you can haul items that are 10 feet tall off the deck.
A lowboy also has a lower shipping deck, but these trucks are specific to big weights. Because this truck offers two axles, a lowboy can handle up to 80,000 in weight. The well length will shorten your storage options; the base of the well will top out at 29.5 feet.
If you need to cover what you’re hauling, a dry van or dry trailer is a simple option. While dry vans offer coverage, they don’t offer temperature control or hygienic protection. The dimensions and weight tolerance are very similar to a flatbed trailer and the walls of a dry van don’t eat up too much square footage, but it does top out at 8 feet of height.
To transport food products or anything that needs a stable temperature, a refrigerated or reefer trailer will be necessary. Be aware that the interior of your reefer truck will need to be carefully measured to allow for your product packaging; the insulation will eat up square footage.
If you want the ultimate flexibility to cover oddly shaped products or to protect your stock from weather, a Conestoga trailer offers temporary tarping and a side kit trailer will allow you to tarp over any item that needs coverage. A Conestoga setup is ideal if you’re moving goods through rough weather or areas where rain is common.
Side kit trailers are an ideal cover for anything that’s extremely large and oddly sized, or again, an item that needs protection from too much sun or precipitation.
If you’re ready to build more security in your shipping process and don’t need to haul anything that requires temperate storage, a flatbed trailer may be an ideal investment. Experts with Hale Trailer recommend that “..you carefully review your decision by studying the repair and maintenance records of anyone offering commercial flatbed trailers for sale.” You want a trailer that will pass inspection and that has been well-cared for. These rigs are exposed to rain, sun and wind and may be at risk for corrosion and other long term, unseen damage.
Shipping your own product can be a game-changer for any manufacturer. Make sure that your trailer investment is an ideal use of your resources. Buy from a trailer supplier that knows the risks and provides proper maintenance.