Choosing the Right Trailer

A trailer is wheeled, non-self-propelled handling equipment designed to move any type of load efficiently and safely from one place to another. An industrial trailer can be pulled by hand or by a towing vehicle over suitable industrial terrain.

An industrial trailer offers users robustness, stability, and easy maneuverability.

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  • How to choose a trailer

    Before buying a trailer, you need to identify your needs and ask yourself the right questions. Here is a list of criteria to consider when choosing a trailer:

    Work environment:
    Will you be using your trailer indoors or outdoors?
    What type of ground will your trailer be used on (concrete, tiles, gravel, etc.)?
    How much working space will be available (length and width of traffic lanes, narrow passageways, etc.)?
    What kind of routes will you be taking? Will there be any slopes? Will there be any obstacles (sidewalks, rails, etc.)?

    Payload: This is the maximum load the trailer can carry (some trailers can carry loads from 1 to 2 tonnes, while others can carry up to 8 tonnes).

    The type of goods to be transported and their packaging: This information is fundamental in determining the size and type of trailer to choose.
    Would you like to tow a single item?
    Or is the merchandise broken down into several pallets, for example?

    Number of axles: Depending on the type of goods to be towed and the degree of maneuverability you require, you can choose a trailer with 1 or 2 steered axles.
    One axle means 2 wheels, while 2 axles means 4 wheels.
    Note that with two steered axles, your trailer is easier to maneuver and more stable than a single-axle trailer.

    The type of hitch: You can choose between different types of hitches.

    The type of braking: Several types of braking are possible for your trailer, including:
    Parking brakes (handbrake, wheel chocks, drawbar braking)
    Service brakes (hydraulic, pneumatic, or inertia braking system)

  • What are the different types of trailers?

    There are many different types of industrial trailers on the market. The type you choose will depend on your needs.
    Here’s a list of the main trailers available and their main applications.

    REMORQUES ROLLAND dump trailer

    Dump trailers:
    These are for transporting bulk goods on construction sites or mining sites, for example. The goods towed are often sand, ores, or rubble.
    The main advantages of these trailers are their speed and ease of use. All you have to do is tilt the trailer using a jack system, then load and unload the goods.
    Some dump trailers are equipped with a moving floor, enabling rear unloading without tipping. These models are dedicated to transporting large quantities of goods, for example in the agricultural or timber industries.

    MORELLO GIOVANNI flatbed trailer

    MORELLO GIOVANNI flatbed trailer

    Flatbed trailers:
    These are suitable for tall goods or goods high in height.
    Please note that these trailers are not equipped with tarpaulins. This means you need to make sure that the goods you’re towing are safe from harsh weather conditions, as there’s no way of adding protection.
    Depending on the goods to be transported, you can choose the material of the bed (wood, aluminum, steel). You can also add anti-slip elements for better grip.

    Vlastuin Group BV semi-tank trailer

    Vlastuin Group BV semi-tank trailer

    Semi-tank trailers:
    As their name suggests, these trailers are equipped with a tank for transporting liquids and granules.
    Different types of tanks are available depending on the goods to be transported:
    Powder tanks are ideal for transporting flour, grain, or polystyrene beads.
    Chemical tankers are dedicated to products that may pose a significant chemical risk in the event of a leak. The tanks are therefore made of steel or aluminum to withstand particularly aggressive chemicals.
    Oil tanks are used to transport fuel oil, bitumen, or gasoline. Special authorization is required to use this type of tank. Safety equipment such as fire extinguishers is also mandatory.
    Food tankers are often divided into compartments to carry different food liquids (milk, juice, oil, etc.) at the same time.

    Container trailers:

    These are used for multimodal transport, to move heavy but not fragile goods. They can carry a wide range of different goods.Broshuis BV container trailer

    Van trailers:
    These protect and secure the goods being transported with armored, watertight walls.

    Reefer trailers:
    These are used to transport goods, usually fruit and vegetables, while controlling their temperature.
    Temperatures range from around -20° to +30°.

    Extendable trailers:
    These are practical for transporting very long parts, as they can be extended.

    Tautliner trailers:
    These are equipped with a bed and a tarpaulin on the top and sides. These trailers need to be tarped and untarped.
    However, there are straps already installed, which simplifies tarping, making these a good compromise for protecting your goods from bad weather, without investing in a more expensive 100% tarpaulin solution.

    Curtainside trailers:
    These trailers are equipped with a tarpaulin-covered platform and can be used to transport all types of goods. In addition to their versatility, their main advantage is the fact that they are already tarpaulin-covered. Unlike Tautliner trailers, you don’t need to tarp/untarp.

  • Hand or vehicle towed trailer?

    Trailers can either be towed either by hand or by a vehicle. The choice of one or other type depends on the nature of the goods to be transported.

    Hand towed trailers

    With hand-towed trailers, towing is done manually, simply by manipulating the trailer’s drawbar to move it forward or backward. Transportable loads are therefore lower, up to 1500 kg. Some manufacturers offer models with a load-bearing capacity of up to 3 tonnes.
    These trailers are ideal for indoor transport on smooth, flat ground. They must also be free of obstacles and slopes.

    Jakob Thaler GmbH cable drum trailer

    Jakob Thaler GmbH cable drum trailer

    Vehicle towed trailers

    Industrial vehicle towed trailers are designed to handle much heavier loads (up to 8 tonnes depending on the manufacturer) which are impossible or too dangerous to move by hand. They are also suitable for very intensive and frequent use.

    These trailers are more robustly built than hand-towed trailers.

  • Single- or multi-axle trailer?

    A trailer can have one or more axles to support its load. The number of axles affects your trailer’s maneuverability, and the amount of maneuverability you need depends on the nature of your merchandise. Here are the main differences between a single-axle trailer and a double-axle trailer to help you make your choice.

    ECIM Remorques single-axle trailer

    Single-axle trailers
    These are equipped with a pivoting front axle and two fixed rear wheels.
    They have several advantages:
    They are lighter and easier to maneuver.
    They are less expensive.

    Their main drawback is that since they are on two fixed wheels, they are less stable and don’t offer good load distribution or roadholding.

    DTA double-axle trailer

    DTA double-axle trailer

    Double-axle trailers
    These are equipped with four wheels, making them more stable than single-axle trailers. They offer better load distribution and improved roadholding. So they’re the right choice if you’re moving large, heavy, or even delicate loads.

    On the other hand, they are less easy to maneuver than single-axle trailers and are often more expensive.

  • What are the other criteria to consider when choosing a trailer?

    In addition to the main selection criteria outlined above, there are other factors to consider when choosing a trailer.

    Wheel size: Depending on the type of load, its weight, and dimensions, wheel size can be an important factor. For heavier loads, you’ll need to choose trailers with larger wheel sizes.

    Storage: A trailer can be bulky, so you’ll need to find a place to store it in your workspace, factory, or warehouse.

    Accessories: Depending on the goods to be towed and the type of trailer, you can also fit other accessories, such as a structure for placing a tarp.

    Bed material: wood, steel, or aluminum.

    Side panels: Fixed, folding, or removable.

    Power of the towing vehicle: The vehicle responsible for towing your trailer, especially if it’s a very large and heavy load, is also important. Please refer to the vehicle manufacturer’s manual to find this out.

  • How much does an industrial trailer cost?

    The price of a new industrial trailer depends on the model chosen.

    • Hand-towed trailers are very inexpensive. Prices generally start at around €700.
    • Vehicle-towed industrial trailers are significantly more expensive. Prices range from €2000 up to €8000.
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