Our goal is to make sure that you find exactly what you need, when you need it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
That’s why it’s so important to understand the essential rules to choosing the right utility trailer for your commercial or personal vehicle. Let your team at Camco Wheel & Axle provide you a few pointers to ensure you make the right decision.
1. The Towing Vehicle
Knowing your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the most important factor to keep in mind. This number specifies the maximum weight of cargo and passengers that can be carried safely by your vehicle. Your commercial vehicle’s GVWR is determined when it is manufactured and takes into consideration the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, fuel, fluids, and cargo.
On top of that, you should keep in mind the tongue weight of the trailer, which is the downward force that the tongue of the trailer applies on the hitch of the towing vehicle. Tongue weight can vary as a percent of the gross trailer weight but is essential to keep in mind for safety reasons.
2. Keep In Mind What The Trailer Will Be Used For
In order to determine what size of utility trailer you need, you need to consider exactly how you will be using it for work. A towing vehicle that is hauling only a medium-sized piece of lawn equipment and some tools may require a 5’ X 10’ Wood Floor Trailer. If your commercial truck and trailer are going to be used to carry small tractors or construction vehicles, you’re going to need a much larger bed with a higher load capacity.
But those aren’t the only things to consider including:
- What types of tools will you hauling?
- Do you need to protect your haul from the weather?
- What are the legal limitations where you live?
- Do you have sufficient storage space for your vehicle and trailer?
- How easily do workers need to be able to take tools off and put them back on?
- Does your tractor trailer require a tailgate? Ramps? Sides?
3. Determine The Right Hitch System For You
A utility trailer hitch system can consist of a number of components that work together to attach your utility trailer to your tow vehicle. Generally, a trailer hitch system will include a ball mount which acts as a mounting plate to hold the trailer ball (also known as the hitch ball).
Additional connections and components typically include a trailer coupler, a hitch pin and clip, safety chains, as well as trailer wiring and lighting.
There are a number of different hitch systems made for a variety of purposes and capacities to accommodate different trailers and needs. Some of the more prominent utility trailer hitches include:
- 5th Wheel Hitch – These heavy-duty hitches mount into the bed of a truck, generally over or a few inches in front of the rear axle.This style of hitch mimics the design used by commercial tractor-trailer big rigs, and can generally tow 16,000 to 25,000 pounds. 5th wheel hitches typically have “pivot” capability which helps to absorb bumps in the road.
- Gooseneck Hitch – Similar to a 5th wheel hitch, the gooseneck hitch mounts into the bed of the truck and allows for easier access to the truck bed when the trailer is not hooked up. Gooseneck hitches are used for a variety of trailers, flatbeds, and commercial and industrial needs as they can tow about 30,000 pounds of gross trailer weight on average.
Be sure to research what type of hitch your commercial vehicle is capable of using and ask questions to your local parts dealer to ensure you make the best decision.
4. Consider The Bigger Picture
In your search for the right utility trailer, you may be tempted to just choose the largest utility trailer that you can. Even if your commercial vehicle is able to haul a large utility trailer safely, this option isn’t always the best economical choice.
Keep in mind that a larger trailer is going to require more fuel to haul it. Additionally, if you’re only hauling around a few small loads, you may simply be wasting space, gas, and money.
Beyond that, you should also consider the cost of upkeep and additional expenses such as:
- Trailer tires and spare tires
- Lighting accessories
- Brake controller
- Hitch hardware
- Utility rack
Also, be aware that large utility trailers require plenty of room to maneuver and access certain areas, including parking space. Who will be the primary driver of the vehicle towing the utility trailer? Are they experienced handling large hauls? Do they have the right license if necessary?
Overlooking some of these “big picture” questions can end up costing you time and money to correct. Take them into consideration to make the best decision right off the bat.
Camco Wheel & Axle has all the parts and services to deliver the best utility trailer you can ask for.
Camco Wheel & Axle has hundreds of brand name trailer parts and accessories to meet the needs of all our clients in the McAllen area and greater Rio Grande Valley. We are able to fabricate parts as necessary and our service technicians have the skills, experiences, and certifications to make sure your utility trailer parts work perfectly.
Camco Wheel & Axle offers the expertise to help you design the right commercial vehicle to fit your needs. Contact us today at (956) 781-4800 to find out more about what we can do for your fleet.