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Heavy haul trailers are specifically designed for transporting a variety of heavy and large equipment and freight. The name “heavy haul trailers” is quite self-explanatory—they are built for the purpose of transporting heavy objects on the road.

Selecting the appropriate tractor-trailer is crucial, particularly when moving equipment from one job site to another.

Therefore, it’s essential to hire a reliable trucking company that understands the best trailer to use in these critical situations. Here are some of the best trailers to use when engaged in heavy hauling.

Flatbed Trailer

Just as the name suggests, the flatbed trailer is an open-deck trailer with a flat surface and no roof or sides. Typically used for transporting industrial commodities, its design without a roof or sides facilitates quicker and easier loading and unloading of cargo.

Flatbed trailers have the capacity to haul heavy objects weighing up to 48,000 pounds, with lengths ranging from 48 feet to 53 feet. They are particularly suitable for transporting items such as steel beams, bricks, scaffolding, and lumber.

Due to its flat surface, unloading cargo is both easier and faster. It’s important to note that the flatbed cannot be lowered, requiring the use of a forklift, crane, or loading dock for cargo unloading.

Lowboy Trailer

If you have seen a trailer with two declines in deck height, then it is a lowboy trailer. The first deck can be found at the gooseneck, while the other one is located just before the wheels. Also known as a semi-trailer, it differs from other types of trailers because of its extremely low deck.

Typically used for transporting heavy machinery and equipment such as bulldozers, excavators, and other large construction equipment, the lowboy trailer is the ideal option for hauling such enormous equipment. This is crucial because such equipment is usually wide and tall, likely exceeding standard weight and height restrictions.

The maximum capacity of a lowboy trailer is up to 150,000 pounds, and it can be extended up to 65 feet with over 20 axles. Furthermore, the lowboy trailer is specifically designed for transporting oversized construction equipment.

This makes it essential for projects that involve heavier, larger, and taller objects. Due to its drop-down capability, it can smoothly pass under power lines and bridges.

Walking Floor Trailer

With walking floor trailers, unloading heavy materials becomes a hassle-free task. These trailers are equipped with a moving-floor system controlled by hydraulics, ensuring safety during the unloading process. This allows the driver to oversee the unloading of objects from a safe distance, eliminating hazards or strain.

The hydraulically controlled moving-floor conveyance system ensures the smooth movement of cargo or palletized products, making it highly beneficial for semi-trailers, loading docks, or warehouses.

The automation of loading and unloading processes eliminates the need for a forklift to access the trailer. Walking floor trailers are an ideal choice for transporting and unloading bulky equipment or various loose loads.

Moreover, they require minimal human intervention, making them essential for unloading recyclable, waste, or agricultural materials. Their capability to dump the load slowly also makes them excellent for transporting packaged goods, chips, and mulch.

Step Deck Trailer

Choosing the right type of vehicle for freight shipping is crucial. When dealing with challenging cargo, step deck trailers prove to be a valuable choice.

Also known as drop deck trailers, they come with two deck levels – the higher deck near the truck cab and the lower deck extending towards the back. This layered design is specifically tailored for transporting challenging cargo like vehicles, construction materials, and heavy equipment.

The lower center of gravity on the trailer enhances stability, making step deck trailers ideal for long-distance transportation.

Difference Between Lowboy and Step Deck Trailers

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Due to the similarities between lowboy and step deck trailers, many people find it challenging to make the right decision, often getting confused. Despite these similarities, it’s important to note the key differences between the two.

  • Decks:
    • Lowboy Trailer: It features a single deck.
    • Step Deck Trailer: It has two decks – the front and the main.
  • Height Capability:
    • Step deck trailers are suitable for tall freight. However, if you need to transport extra-tall shipments, the lowboy trailer is the better choice.
  • Load Capacity:
    • Lowboy Trailer: It has a load capacity of 70,000 pounds.
    • Step Deck Trailer: It can carry up to 48,000 pounds of cargo.

Understanding these distinctions can help you make an informed decision based on your specific shipping needs.

Benefits of Step Deck Trailers

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There are many benefits that step-deck trailers can provide, making them different from standard flatbed trailers. Here are some of these benefits in detail.

Enhanced Forklift Efficiency and Safety

With step deck trailers, you can always be assured of improved forklift efficiency and safety. Due to its lower height, step deck trailers minimize the lifting and lowering needed when handling challenging cargo. Forklift operators don’t need to raise their forks higher during loading and unloading, reducing strain on the forklift and enhancing its efficiency and safety.

Improved Load Accommodation

One of the primary advantages of step deck trailers is their ability to transport taller items without requiring additional permits. Unlike conventional flatbed trailers, step deck trailers have a unique design that allows difficult cargo to be placed on the lower deck. This lower height enables shipping companies and businesses to avoid delays and detours caused by height limitations, ultimately saving both time and money.

Versatility for Different Loads

Step deck trailers are so versatile that they have the ability to transport various types of cargo. With their unique design, you can guarantee that transporting vehicles, construction equipment, and other challenging loads can be done safely, regardless of whether there is a significant difference when it comes to the weight and height of the items. Additionally, this versatility allows you to transport several units of the same items, minimizing the shipping time and costs.

What are the Various Models of Step Deck Trailers?

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To meet the various transportation needs of companies and businesses, step deck trailers come in different configurations and sizes. Here are some of the models of step deck trailers that are available on the market right now:

Double or Single Drop Deck

Double- or single-drop deck trailers come with a lower deck that can be dropped down right after the front portion, providing more space for taller loads. This unique design offers better stability and weight distribution while transporting the cargo.

Extended Double or Single Drop Deck

As the name suggests, extended double or single drop deck trailers offer an extended length to accommodate longer cargo. Typically, this type of trailer is ideal for moving machinery, construction materials, and other lengthy objects.

There are several benefits that step deck trailers can offer when it comes to hauling challenging and tall loads. Their distinct design enables improved forklift safety and efficiency, enhanced load accommodation, as well as versatility for different types of cargo. Choosing step deck trailers allows businesses and companies to streamline their shipping processes and transport their items more efficiently. That is why it is recommended to work with a reliable supplier.

Van Raden offers high-quality step deck trailers and other types of heavy haul vehicle trailers to meet your specific requirements. Aside from manufacturing vehicle trailers, we can also repair them. For more information, you can contact us at 503-288-7878 or send us an email at