Trucker Zone

What is the Right Trailer to Haul Your Construction Equipment?

March 22, 2021

red trailer

So, you’re thinking about transporting some construction equipment. A common question asked is, “what is the best trailer to haul my construction equipment?”

It makes no sense to transport your valuable machinery on an overloaded trailer, so selecting the correct trailer for the job is important.

In this article, we cover the right trailers to use when hauling compact, mid-sized, and very heavy hauls.

Flatbed Trailers: Perfect for Compact Equipment

flatbed trailer

Flatbed trailers are great for transporting small pieces of construction equipment.  They can haul loads that weigh a maximum of 48,000 pounds, and there are height restrictions. Cargo on a flatbed trailer can be up to 8 ½ feet tall and as much as 8 ½ feet wide. Flatbed trailers generally range between 48-feet long and 53-feet long.

Flatbed trailers don’t drop down, so you’ll need a viable method to load your equipment on board. Ramps will not work because flatbed trailers are too high off the ground. Loading docks are the most ideal. You can also use a forklift, a crane, or even a small work crew, to lift your equipment aboard the flatbed trailer.

Flatbed trailers are better suited for shipping the following construction equipment:

  • Small backhoe loaders
  • Small forklifts
  • Mini excavators
  • Small skid steers
  • Single-operator street sweepers
  • Walk-behind trenchers
  • Wheel loaders

Step Deck Trailers: Perfect for Mid-sized Equipment

step deck trailerStep-deck trailers can haul much more than flatbed trailers and are more adaptable to your construction equipment’s dimensions.

While they typically can transport a maximum of 48,000 pounds like flatbed trailers, cargo on a step-deck trailer can be up to 10 feet tall and as much as 8 ½ feet wide. Step-deck trailers are generally 48-feet long, which includes an 11-foot deck and a 37-foot well.

Step-deck trailers allow you to drive or tow your equipment aboard using ramps. However, machinery with little ground clearance is difficult to load because the ramps can be pretty steep.

Step-deck trailers are better suited for shipping the following construction equipment:

  • Small to mid-sized backhoe loaders
  • Small to mid-sized bulldozers
  • Construction forklifts
  • Mini excavators (easier to drive onto a step-deck trailer than load onto a flatbed trailer)
  • Skid steers (that are too tall for flatbed trailers)
  • Trenchers
  • Small to mid-sized wheel loaders

Removable Gooseneck (“RGN”) Trailers: Perfect for Heavy Equipment

RGN trailer

RGN, or removable gooseneck trailers are less standardized than step-deck trailers and are great for carrying long and tall freight.

The basic RGN carries a maximum of 42,000 pounds, but cargo weighing up to 150,000 pounds or more can be transferred on a specialized RGN trailer. An RGN hauls equipment as tall as 11 ½  feet and as wide as 8 ½ feet wide. The trailer well generally is 29-feet long though the largest RGN trailers have more than 20 axles and stretch to more than 65 feet.

The front of an RGN detaches, allowing the trailer to be lowered to the ground to create a ramp, so you can drive or tow your equipment on board. RGN trailers offer more clearance and convenience as they sit a foot-and-a-half lower to the ground than step-deck trailers.

For transporting heavy equipment, RGN trailers are the best chose.

RGN trailers are better suited for shipping the following construction equipment:

  • Articulated trucks
  • Backhoe loaders
  • Excavators
  • Forklifts
  • Graders and Scrapers
  • Pipelayers
  • Street sweepers
  • Trenchers

Anything that’s oversize must travel on a specialized RGN trailer, like a lowboy or a multi-axle trailer.

Choosing the right type of trailer to ship your construction equipment is the first step in achieving a successful haul. You want the best option for the least amount of money. To recap, flatbed trailers are best for compact equipment; step-deck trailers are great for mid-sized equipment; and RGN trailers are best suited for heavy or oversized hauls.