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Trailer Selection

Old 06-10-13, 07:47 PM
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Trailer Selection

Hello,

I just bought a small farm and the need to move/haul the coming tractor, ZTR mower, and occasionally pick up a few tons of hay justifies the need for a trailer. And of course it has to fit the FD. I did some searches here and found no discussions in the last 4 years; this surprised me.

I'm thinking of an open 18' long car hauler with stake pockets all around and a solid deck of some sort. Probably 2x 5k or 7k axles to support a heavy load of hay. It will be stored outdoors and pulled with an F-250 diesel.

I would really prefer a trailer that does not involve an elaborate process to load/unload the car.

First, any concerns about the above?

Aluminum vs. Steel? (I figure I'll keep it for a number of years)

Tilt bed vs. ramp back?

Wood vs. metal deck?

Any brand that's not crazy expensive but made from quality components?

Thanks,

David
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Old 06-10-13, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post
Tilt bed vs. ramp back?
I'm already leaning away from the tilt bed style. Flat beds with ramps are more versatile in terms of loading and are a simpler design.

David
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Old 06-10-13, 09:59 PM
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When I was looking for a trailer to haul my FD, I did a bunch of research. Here is a list I compiled based on reading I did. Not answers, just more questions for you to consider:

What to consider if wanting to buy...
tilt vs. ramp
torsion vs. leaf springs <-- torsion seemed to be preferred but cost more
availability of spare parts
painted vs. aluminum
number and type of brakes
wood vs. steel floor
solid floor vs. just runners <-- solid was better since it keeps rock and road debris from damaging the underside of items on the trailer

Some data:

Tilt
Manufacturer Model Length Weight Price
Sloan Kwik Load 18' $4095
MSI Trailers
H&H Tilt Back
Aluma Trailer 8218 18' 3500# $6000

Ramp
Manufacturer Model Length Weight Price
Featherlite 3110
BigTex Trailers 70DM 18' 2200# $3000
Kaufman Trailers 17' $3090

Enclosed
Manufacturer Model Length Weight Price
ATC Concours 16' or 18'

Like everyone else, I was looking for most features for least cost. I ended up renting a trailer for a week instead. Would not have used on frequently enough to justify the expense.

I found many, new and used, on craigslist.
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Old 06-11-13, 10:19 AM
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we've got an open steel wood decked trailer, and its two axle, but pretty small (its Rx7 sized, a BMW is really tight) and its great. its easy to park, you don't need a giant truck, car is easy to load/unload etc. the only thing that we could improve is aluminum ramps vs steel, it would just make it that much easier.

the other trailer is a steel enclosed, and its nice at the track, but its HEAVY, and packing it up on sunday its like reorganizing your house, its heavy so you need a big truck

a friend of mine has a tilt, and basically you just drive up, pull a pin, and its loadable, seems really nice
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Old 06-11-13, 08:39 PM
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Thanks.

What about an Aluma 8218?

Tandem or Two-axle Aluminum Utility Trailer

The ramps are 6' long and light. The fenders remove, and the deck is all aluminum. The axles are Dexter Torflex. While it might be nicer than I need, there is a 5 year transferable warranty and the resale value should be excellent.

David
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Old 06-11-13, 10:35 PM
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You could always get some race ramps to help out on the ramps if needed.

Aluminum trailer are harder to recoup your expenditure. Open trailer seem to hold their value pretty well - at least out here in SF Bay. So do open trailers for that matter.

Trailer w/ wood decks require that the wood be maintained else the wood eventually requires replacement so $$. I'd prefer a steel deck. I would skip the tilt. Not worth it imo.

I'd check your region SCCA web site to see if they have links to a local trailer co and also check craigslist to get a feel for pricing on used trailers.
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Old 06-12-13, 07:38 AM
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Aluminum trailers are lighter, hold up better over time/weather, and hold their value well (at least where I'm at). The only downside to them at all is cost...they're expensive.

steel trailers rust (surface; just looks bad) and are heavy as crap, but they're cheap and last forever.

If you can justify the cost, then aluminum are better. If you're going to be using it on the farm and beating it up all the time, perhaps you'll feel less bad about doing it to a cheap steel trailer.
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Old 06-13-13, 08:05 PM
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Well I committed to buy an Aluma 8218.

Tandem or Two-axle Aluminum Utility Trailer

It's basically all aluminum and the sales guy there said mostly the same things you guys said. It was definitely more expensive but aluminum is not getting any cheaper to make and around here I'm told it's even possible to sell it for what you paid if the trailer is in good condition. Not that I intend to but that's a good thing.

While it's true I'll use it on our farm, it shouldn't see rough service. I'll either be moving the tractor, ZTR mower, RX-7, or some hay. It will hardly ever leave the gravel driveway or asphalt roads.

Next step: determine how best to strap the car down.
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Old 06-14-13, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post

Next step: determine how best to strap the car down.
Have the trailer dealer or some shop weld in tie down rings front and rear on the trailer. Then use these thru each wheel to strap it down.

4 Car Trailer Straps Flatbed Ratchet Tie Down Straps BK | eBay
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Old 07-26-13, 03:48 PM
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Look into E-track. I have three rows on the interior walls and three rows on the floor on my enclosed hauler. It allows me to strap any thing anywhere, quickly and easily and you can get an amazing variety of tie down accessories pretty cheap.
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Old 08-07-13, 12:39 PM
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I'd vote for an 18' full deck with two axles, and a big enough gross weight to handle the tractor. Not knowing how big the tractor is I can't say how big the axles need to be. It'll probably need brakes on both axles.
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Old 08-09-13, 07:18 AM
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Aluminum trailers often appreciate rather than depreciate. Especially open and lower market enclosed ones.

Aluma makes great trailers. 2nd probably only to Featherlite.

I have an all aluminum H&H speedloader that i hate. The only good thing about it is that it is aluminum and i should be able to get more than I originally paid for it in this area. It is way past time for an enclosed trailer for me...
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Old 08-09-13, 11:26 AM
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Torsion axles are the only way to go. Your cargo will ride much smoother and you don't need a jack to change a flat. Just 3 2x6's stacked under the adj. tire.
I would also suggest going with 5k brake axles on both if you can justify it. In many states you have to have brakes on both now and it only makes sense for safety and a better ride/stop experience.
Adjust you hitch/load bars (for bumper pull) to make sure your truck and trailer both ride level. If your trailer tows nose high, you'll ruin your rear axle and brakes.
Also shouldn't have to say it but make sure you have a good brake controller on your tow vehicle and adjust it every time you hook up.

BTW we used to be a Featherlite Dealer before we sold our RV business to Camping World.
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Old 08-16-13, 01:39 PM
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looks like you got the trailer figured out, but wrt tie downs, get some e-track and some tire baskets. this allows you to haul any car, even ones like my elise that do not have any tie down points. It also allows the car to float on its suspension, making the trailer ride smoother and keeping the straps from chafing anything on your car.

They make lots of neat attachments for e-track too, so you can tie down all sorts of other stuff as well.

also for anyone else who reads this:
most everything else is subjective, but DEFINITELY get brakes on both axles. Not only is this obviously safer, but in many states it is a legal requirement, and you don't want to have to deal with a ticket just for driving through a state with different laws than yours.
Also take your car to the trailer dealership and make sure it will load onto the trailer without scraping and the doors will open without hitting the rails/fenders.
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