If you’re in the market for a new trailer, it can be hard to know where to start.
There are various trailer types and sizes to suit different needs, so it’s important to do a bit of leg work to make sure you invest your money wisely.
Do you know the difference between a single or double axle trailer? Is it better to go for one with a cage or without? What size is best, and should it be painted?
In this blog, we answer all those questions and more. Read on to find out exactly what to look for when buying a trailer.
What To Look For When Buying A Trailer
Carrying Capacity And Size
First things first: get clear on what you’ll be using your trailer for. There’s no point spending more money on a larger trailer if you only plan to transport smaller bits and pieces. And how frustrating will it be if you get your trailer and realise that it’s too small for the job you need it to do!
When considering size, don’t just think about the physical dimensions of what you’ll be carrying. You also need to consider the weight – of the trailer and its contents.
The weight of the load affects how the trailer reacts on the road. Heavier loads will generally require a double axle trailer, while lighter loads are more suited to a single axle trailer.
Each trailer type has a different weight but may also have a different maximum weight limit, called a payload. Make sure you’re clear on these numbers so you can check that your towing vehicle can handle it.
You’ll want to check the ATM weight, which is the combined weight of the payload capacity and tare weight.
Tow Vehicle Capabilities
Keep your tow vehicle in mind when you are shopping for a new trailer. There may be limits on the load that your vehicle can safely handle. If you’re not sure, you should be able to find information on the towing capacity (aka the tow ball load) online.
Obviously, it is dangerous to tow a trailer that is too heavy for your vehicle!
Quality Wheels And Tyres
Don’t accept worn or shoddy tyres on a trailer. Strong wheels and good quality tyres are essential and enhance the sturdiness and safety of your trailer and the vehicle towing it.
The tyres even impact how much weight the trailer can bear, so make sure you are happy with their condition before purchasing.
Look for trailer frames constructed from steel or alloy. Paint isn’t a necessary component and will likely end up chipping off anyway. So bear in mind that a paint job isn’t essential (and may even be hiding damage).
Check that the frame is galvanised or powder coated to protect it from rust and other environmental damage. If you are considering buying a used trailer, then make sure to check the frame for any signs of rust.
Single Axle Vs Double Axle
A single axle trailer has one axle with a wheel connected on both ends. It is often attached to the trailer directly or through the springs.
A double axle trailer, sometimes known as a twin axle trailer, has two axles placed closely together. Therefore, it has four wheels. This helps disperse the weight of the load being carried.
Single axle trailers are lighter, cheaper, and easier to manoeuvre and park – although they tend to bounce and sway more in transit.
Double axle trailers can carry a bigger load, even if they are the same size. The load is also more equally distributed, meaning the tyres are more likely to last longer.
If you plan to transport heavy cargo more often, opt for a double axle trailer. However, if you will be moving lighter loads less frequently, a single axle trailer will do the trick.
Cage Or No Cage?
Should you get a trailer with a cage or without? Again, that depends on what you will be carrying. Caged trailers are great for bulkier items like furniture, while non-caged trailers are suitable for general purpose use.
Ease Of Use
You want your trailer to be easy to use. So, when buying a trailer, consider things like loading height, removable or hinged sides, ramps, or even hydraulics. Depending on the intended use for your trailer, these features can make your job a lot easier!
While you may think you are saving money by buying a second-hand trailer, you may be purchasing a trailer with a short lifespan, or one that is downright unsafe.
New trailers are more likely to last you a lot longer, comply with all the safety requirements, and require less maintenance.
Not Sure What To Look For When Buying A Trailer – Ask The Pros!
If you have a specific use in mind for your new trailer, make sure you opt for one designed for that function. Getting the wrong type may end up costing you more money, causing an accident, or damaging your property.
At Lucca Trailers, we have a range of trailers to suit any use – from boat or jet ski trailers to digger trailers or fully enclosed trailers.
If you’re not sure what trailer is right for you, chat with us and we’ll be able to point you in the right direction for buying a trailer.