Which Trailer Do You Need for Your Job? 5 Considerations

Car hitch.

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Trailers do a large part in helping the world go around. Whether it’s a utility, confined cargo or refrigerated, your next trailer will make your job much easier. The challenging part is finding the one best for you. 

With so many options, you may have difficulty narrowing it down. Read this article for five considerations before making that big purchase.

1. What Will You Use the Trailer For?

The first consideration is how you’re going to use the trailer. What line of work are you involved in? Professionals nowadays need trailers for hauling furniture, building supplies, live animals and more. This factor will be important in determining what type of trailer you need.

For example, say you need a trailer for moving furniture. The length and width of couches, beds, appliances and more will influence what type of trailer you need. Most states limit the width of vehicles, loaded or unloaded, to 8.5 feet. Otherwise, you’ll need a special permit.

2. How Will You Tow?

Your next consideration is the vehicle you plan to use for towing. Will you use a pickup truck or a semi for long hauling? Sometimes, all you need is a car if your load is light enough. The weight of your vehicle will affect how much you can carry, your fuel economy, the speeds you can travel and more.

The most critical aspect of your towing vehicle is the payload capacity. As the name suggests, payload capacity is how much weight your truck can hold and still function. Exceeding it means you risk damaging the suspension and potentially voiding the terms of your warranty.

Luckily, there is a way for you to calculate the payload of your vehicle. First, determine your truck’s gross vehicle weight rating or maximum weight. From that number, you’ll subtract the curb weight, which is the weight including a full tank of gas and the equipment you’re hauling. Your total will give you the payload capacity. This number will tell you how much you can tow, from lawn care equipment to a tiny house.

3. Will You Build or Buy?

Another aspect you should think about is whether you’ll build the trailer by hand or buy it premade from a retailer. Once you’ve read this list, you may have figured out your needs and how to proceed with the trailer. Sometimes, the businesses in your area have excellent trailers, but they don’t have what you need.

Building your trailer can be a worthwhile challenge if you have the tools. This do-it-yourself (DIY) project allows you to customize it however you want and you can use online guides for trailers to help navigate the process. DIY ventures can be cost-effective, but they may be more expensive with trailers, depending on your needs. Factories have access to raw materials at a lower price and have special tools to finish the job quickly.

4. Where Will You Store the Trailer?

When the workday ends, where you store the trailer will impact its size and other factors. Will you hold it in your building, storage, garage or outdoor location? Storage matters primarily because of your climate. Weather conditions can damage the trailer and your supplies even if you take the necessary precautions.

Thunderstorms are a concern for most areas. Heavy rain, wind and hail can all take their toll on your vehicles and the trailers they haul. Rusting is one issue some people don’t realize until it’s too late — water will erode the metals and cause structural damage over time. This process will weaken your trailer and look unpleasing with red and brown tints. 

5. Covered or Uncovered?

Weather can negatively impact your trailer and cost your business money, so you’ll need to determine whether you want your trailer to have a cover. You’ll see two types of trailers on the market — enclosed and open. Each has its pros and cons, depending on your needs.

You’ll get the best protection from an enclosed trailer. This hauler has a roof and walls to protect your supplies. An enclosed trailer means you’ll have peace of mind while traveling down the road because your belongings won’t fall out and the weather can’t get to them. However, these can be pricey and loading and unloading will be more difficult.

The other type of trailer you’ll find is an open-air trailer. The primary advantage of these is how convenient they are. You won’t need a heavy vehicle for towing because open trailers are lightweight. Plus, they’re more affordable. However, the openness leaves you vulnerable to dropping items on the road and unwanted animals and thieves can readily get into the trailer.

Buying a Trailer for Work

Trailers are popular worldwide because of their versatility. You can carry nearly anything as long as your payload capacity can support it. If you’re in the market for a work trailer, use this article to see five things you should consider before the big purchase.

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