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How to Decide Between a Light-Duty and Heavy Duty Dump Trailer

How to Decide Between a Light-Duty and Heavy-Duty Dump Trailer

When you frequently work with heavy loads, the right dump trailer can make a world of difference in your overall speed, efficiency, and labour costs. Using a dump trailer makes loading, hauling, and unloading much faster and easier than working with a traditional-style trailer. There are countless different uses for dump trailers, and not surprisingly, there are many options available when choosing a dump trailer. Some are better suited for light- and medium-duty projects, while others are rated for heavy-duty jobs. Before you go looking for a dump trailer for sale, you need to figure out which type is right for you. There are a few factors you should consider.

Your Anticipated Load Size

One of the most important considerations in choosing a dump trailer is how much weight you need your trailer to carry. Do a little research to figure out your normal load weight, so you have some numbers to compare to the trailer’s stated load-bearing capacity. If you find yourself hesitating between light- and heavy-duty, keep in mind that you’re better off under-using a heavy-duty dump trailer than over-using a light-duty dump trailer. Light-duty trailers are generally less expensive upfront but adding too much weight to a light-duty dump trailer can ruin your axles or hydraulics, and you’ll end up spending more on repairs.

The Materials You Expect to Haul

Another key factor in selecting the right dump trailer is what types of materials you anticipate hauling. If you’ll be hauling equipment with wheels, such as mowers or carts, and the terrain is not an issue, you may be better off with a drop-axle setup, in which the trailer bed sits lower and between the wheels. If you frequently need to maneuver your trailer in tight spaces, you’ll want to keep trailer height and length in mind. If you tend to haul a wide variety of different materials, or if you expect to sometimes need to haul oversized items, you should consider a model with removable sides. This will allow you to haul objects that are longer or wider than the trailer bed itself.

Your Work Environment

In addition to what types of materials you’ll be hauling, it’s important to consider the environment in which you’ll be moving them. Most light-duty dump trailers aren’t designed for use over rough terrain and could end up seriously damaged if misused. If you expect to use the trailer on rocky or uneven surfaces or frequently haul over gravel, a heavy-duty trailer is probably a wise choice. For maximum ground clearance, opt for a model with axles that are straight and in-line with the tires, with a higher bed position. Keep in mind that higher ground clearance often means lower maximum load weight.

Your Towing Capability

Even the dump trailer of your dreams won’t make it very far if you don’t have the capacity to tow it. All dump trailers have a listed gross vehicle weight. The GVW is the weight of the empty trailer itself, plus the maximum load weight for which the trailer is rated. Compare this number to the towing capacity of your intended towing vehicle (you can find this number in your vehicle’s owner’s manual). A high-quality aluminum dump trailer is a great choice to maximize your load capacity without overwhelming your towing vehicle instead of dump trailers made from steel, which weighs considerably more even when empty.

Find Your Perfect Dump Trailer for Sale

Depending on your circumstances and how you intend to use your new dump trailer, there are likely many other factors to consider to ensure that your investment delivers the maximum returns in terms of convenience and savings. Browse our standard dump trailer builds, or contact us to find out how we can customize a trailer to meet all of your specifications.