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4 Things to Know When Deciding What Size Trailer to Buy

4 Things to Know When Deciding What Size Trailer to Buy

You may feel equipped for a heavy-duty job if you already have a truck or SUV. However, you need to understand four crucial factors before hitching up to a trailer— the loads you’ll carry, types of custom trailers, your hitch system, and your towing vehicle capacity.

Without expert guidance in selecting your trailer, you could cause expensive damage to your vehicle and cargo. Millroad Manufacturing works with a network of partners around Ontario to provide the perfect transportation equipment to haul your gear confidently.

1. Requirements for Your Load

The items you’ll tow are crucial in deciding which trailer you need. Are you bringing horses or motorcycles to a show? Are you carrying equipment to a job site or pulling another vehicle? Determine the size of your load by weight and dimension. Trailer specs are measured using the imperial system, so calculate weight in pounds. Figure your required deck length and width in feet and inches.

Always err on the side of caution by overestimating the measurements. For example, suppose you’re bringing horses to an exhibition. You’ll need space for daily care items, feed, water, bedding, riding gear, first aid, and emergency equipment for the truck and trailer. If you only have the capacity for the animals, you’ll be in a tight spot.

2. Types of Custom Trailers Available

Millroad Manufacturing crafts sturdy trailers for every conceivable purpose. The following options meet the varying size requirements for work or play:

  • Goosenecks and fifth wheels: A fifth wheel or a gooseneck trailer can handle the heaviest loads with superior stability. Installation and hookup are convenient, making these trailers ideal for commercial transport.
  • Deckovers: As the name implies, the deck sits over the trailer wheels for wider loading space and higher ground clearance. Deckovers are excellent for bulkier loads.
  • Flatdecks: A flatdeck is the deck overs versatile little brother, suitable for lighter loads and easier to pull.
  • Landscape and utility trailers: If you need something light and maneuverable like a flatdeck but require more convenient equipment storage, a utility trailer can fill your needs. Landscape trailers make lawn care efficient.
  • Tilt trailers: Tilt trailers offer a powered deck to aid you with heavy loads when the ramps don’t function or fit. Deckovers with tilts accommodate the largest capacity loads.
  • Dump trailers: Heavy-duty hauls are no match for the powerful hydraulic system in Millroad trailers, making collecting and emptying material a breeze.

3. Towing Vehicle Capacities

Your truck’s payload capacity is the maximum weight of passengers and cargo you can safely carry. The figure is expressed in your vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). For example, a 4,500-pound truck with a GVWR of 7,000 pounds can bear an additional 2,500 pounds.

The payload capacity in GVWR includes the tongue weight, which is the force exerted where the vehicle and trailer are connected. Tongue weight is roughly 10% of the total trailer weight when full, so a trailer with a gross weight of 5,000 pounds would add 500 pounds to your vehicle’s payload.

Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR) allows you to determine how much weight a vehicle can pull. Suppose a truck has a GCVWR of 22,000 pounds and a curb weight of 7,000 pounds. If the vehicle is carrying 2,000 pounds of payload, the towing capacity is 13,000 pounds.

Use these calculations to decide if you need a different truck for your required load.

4. The Correct Hitch System

A weight distribution hitch must be suited for your trailer’s tongue weight. A hitch that is too heavy makes for a bouncy trailer and rigid ride, but one that is too light can’t do the job and is dangerous. Determine the tongue weight of your trailer when fully loaded. If you use the unloaded weight on the trailer spec sheet, you’ll come up woefully short.

You can find and design the perfect trailer with Millroad Manufacturing. Check out our website to view your options for custom trailers at a dealer near you in Ontario.