Compact Equipment

JUN 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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MATCHING THE RIGHT TRAILER TO THE JOB Choosing the right trailer for the job is a matter of what exactly you plan to haul. How heavy your equipment is and the total length of your machinery dictate the type of trailer that is geared for your operations. "Those are the two parameters that are going to drive a conversation with one of our dealers," says J.D. Schmid, technical product expert at Big Tex Trailers. "We want to make sure we match the anticipated load to the trailer's capacity and include a safety margin of error." Accounting for this safety margin is often what gets some contractors in trouble. They don't take into account the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of the tow truck and machine they are hauling as well as add-ons like fuel, extra equipment, attachments and utility boxes to arrive at the total capacity their trailer can haul. "The trailer will be marked with its gross vehicle weight, so you have to look at the tow vehicle and trailer in com- bination to know what that rating is," says Butch Hughes, sales representative at Car Mate Trailers Inc. "That will determine a lot of how that vehicle has to be licensed and what the driver's requirements would be to tow that equipment." In addition, contractors need to consider the type of hitch used to attach the trailer to their tow vehicle. A ball hitch attaches to the frame of the vehicle while still providing access to the bed of the tow vehicle. A goose- neck hitch secures to the bed of the truck with a regu- lar ball pull off the bumper. Both hitch options can be used in similar applications but are driven by the type of tow vehicle — gooseneck with dually trucks and ball hitches with standard capacity pickup trucks. For big- ger jobs, the fifth wheel hitch is a heavy-duty hitch that mounts into the bed of a truck right over or just forward of the rear axle. A RANGE OF TRAILER OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM Trailer options are just as diverse with options for dump- ing, equipment hauling, landscape operations and utility flatbeds to name a few. In these configurations, the trailers are constructed with steel channels to handle the support of the machine hauled and are equipped with a variety of ramp styles for easier loading and unloading. A popular option that many contractors are gravitating towards as of recently is dump trailers. These nimble units offer the ability for a contractor to carry a material load along with the equipment needed to spread, grade or move it. "Dump trailer sales have exploded over the last few years," says Hughes. "It's less expensive to register and in- sure a trailer being hauled by a pickup rather than insur- ing a small dump truck itself. With a dump trailer, you are looking at a double-duty trailer that hauls small equip- ment but gives you that dump trailer capacity as well." Also, a favorite with small contractors is the utility trail- er. This trailering option provides a lower hauling capac- ity usually under 5,000-lb GVWR but offers just as much function and convenience with storage for tools and ac- cessories. These trailers are ideal for small walk-behind machines and landscaping equipment. More dedicated trailer options include landscape mod- els and equipment trailers that are both designed to haul the exact equipment of the trade. Landscape trailers are packed with features, allowing landscape contractors to haul additional equipment such as blowers, trimmers and weed eaters. There are integrated boxes designed specifi- cally to hold these often-lengthy outdoor power tools. "Sometimes folks use these landscape trailers for a vari- ety of activities that involve compact equipment because the storage features and the type of ramps associated with it," says Schmid. "There are boxes built in to hold equip- ment, and those boxes may also serve for attachments and other small equipment." For compact equipment such as skid steer loaders, mini excavators and compact wheel loaders, an equipment trailer provides a solid solution to haul more weight with- out sacrificing on flexibility. These trailers include fea- tures such as wider ramps in a flatbed configuration. KEEPING SAFE WHEN TRAILERING While matching the right trailer to your specific appli- cation can provide contractors a safer way to haul equip- ment, if they don't take the proper tips to stay safe when trailering, it is all for naught. There are several common trailering mistakes that arise with novice and experienced contractors each season. According to Holthaus, "Safe trailering starts by con- ducting a walk-around safety inspection of the trailer. This should occur every time the trailer is used, even be- 40 Compact Equipment JUNE 2018 For bigger jobs, the fifth wheel hitch is a heavy- duty hitch that mounts into the bed of a truck right over or just forward of the rear axle.

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