How to Choose the Right Trailer for Your Hauling Needs

Photo courtesy of Bockmann Texas Trailers

For one reason or another, a person may find themselves in the position where they need to tow something that their vehicle alone simply cannot store. In this situation, investing in a trailer which can be towed can be an excellent and affordable idea. However, there are a number of different types of trailers on the market that can make it difficult to know how to choose the right option. That’s why learning everything there is to know about picking the right trailer for your needs is so important.

What is a Trailer?

Those unfamiliar with a towing trailer may not even know what this is to begin with. A towing trailer is essentially any unpowered vehicle that is attached to and towed by a powered vehicle. Depending on the type of trailer, it can either be as large as a stereotypical motorhome or as small as a U-haul open air trailer bed. This is why determining the exact type of trailer that a person needs is so difficult.

What Are the Primary Uses for a Trailer?

Generally, the primary uses for a trailer vary drastically depending on the person who is towing the trailer and their reasons. However, the following are some of the most common reasons people invest in a trailer:

  • Hauling oversized loads that do not fit in a standard vehicle
  • Hauling construction equipment
  • Moving scrap metal or recyclable material
  • Attempting to transport oil or gas
  • Attempting to move agricultural equipment and goods
  • Trying to carry landscaping items
  • General miscellaneous use for everyday purposes

Different Types of Hauling Trailers

With the actual definition of a hauling trailer outlined along with some of the most common use cases, it’s time to look at the different types of trailers a person can consider using:

  1. Enclosed Trailers
    As evident by the name, enclosed trailers are perhaps the broadest category on this list and include any trailer that has a covered roof and sides. These can be as small as a teardrop trailer or as large as a non-powered motorhome, but the common underlying trait is that they are enclosed. For moving goods, enclosed trailers tend to be the most popular choice, but they are also among the most expensive due to their stability and variable size.
  2. Open Air Trailers
    One the opposite end of the spectrum from enclosed trailers are open air trailers. These types are, as indicative by the name, completely open on the top and typically the sides. An open-air trailer is most often used for transporting landscaping material or natural materials.
  3. Car Hauler Trailers
    One unique type of enclosed trailer that deserves its own spot on this list is a car hauler trailer. While the purpose of this trailer can likely be seen from the name itself, a car hauler trailer is large enough for a vehicle to be driven in, which is the exact purpose. This type of trailer is meant to move a vehicle from one location to another without driving it at all, but it is also designed to withstand heavier loads as a result. This trailer typically requires a stronger vehicle to tow it considering what is being moved.
  4. Tow Dolly Trailers
    While it may be one of the smallest trailers on this list, a tow dolly trailer is actually designed to move one of the heaviest objects: a vehicle. For those who don’t want to use an enclosed car hauler trailer, a tow dolly trailer is another option. This type of trailer attached to the front or rear wheels of the vehicle to lock it in place and carries it exposed on top.
  5. Dump Trailers
    Finally, those who are moving or in need of getting rid of a large number of items will see the most use out of a dump trailer. This type of trailer looks to be a giant garbage bin on wheels, with the exclusive ability to lift up in order to dump a load directly from the trailer.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Trailer

Even after outlining some of the common types of trailers above, settling on a trailer that suits your needs can be difficult. That’s why taking note of the below considerations can help:

The Items Being Transported

First and foremost, consider the items that you are trying to transport and whether or not you are trying to match them to a specialized trailer that doesn’t suit that need. Assuming you are looking at a generic trailer, consider how much space you will actually need to tow the item(s).

The Stability and Strength of the Trailer

One of the biggest factors to focus on when choosing a trailer is the stability and strength that is required from the trailer itself. For towing a vehicle, as an example, greater strength and stability will be required, whereas towing smaller goods such as equipment may only require a small trailer.

The Length of the Trailer

Think about the actual length of the trailer you are looking at and the obligations that come with it. After all, cleaning a large trailer can be challenging and unnecessary in certain situations. Therefore, always choose a trailer length that matches the needs of your towing.

The Cost of the Trailer

Finally, above all else, considering the cost of the trailer(s) you are looking at. Breaking the bank just to tow certain items may not be worth it, and there may be companies that will actually do it on your behalf instead. Take the cost of your trailer into account before settling on an option.

The Bottom Line

The last thing anybody needs is to find out they accidentally picked the wrong trailer for their needs when it comes to towing. This can result in lost money and the inability to tow whatever it is that may need to be towed. Beyond simply being frustrating, this experience can lead a person to question their decision to tow an item in the first place. Rather than allowing this to happen, use the above guide as a reference for how to choose the right trailer for your specific needs.