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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The trends in trailers are changing with a new emphasis placed on appearance to garner attention while also maintaining pride of ownership. Long gone are the days of a typical black trailer with no flash or appeal to sell it. Contractors are getting savvy to the use of paint, lights and cus- tom wheels that are meshed with all the convenience and features one would want in an equipment trailer or utility model. "The trend is for trailers to look better and be better equipped, improving the long-term durability," says J.D. Schmid, technical product expert at Big Tex Trail- ers. "By having the tow vehicle and trailer looking good, there's a pride in owner- ship. It gets the crew that's working on it to take care of it better." There are a few factors driving the new demand for customized trailers, according to Colin Holthaus, technical director at the National Association of Trailer Manu- facturers. "We're seeing strong growth and good consumer confidence. It has evolved quite a bit," he says. "It's really come a long way. People are more interested in how things look than the pure function- ality of it as it was in the past." With a typical trailer having a lifespan that ranges from 10 to 15 years, it is not uncommon for contractors to invest in that splashy paint job or to chrome out their wheels. "Custom wheels are very common — chrome or black — just to make the trail- ers look better," says Schmid. "Customers are demanding that." Big Tex Trailers even offers an upgrad- able option for the flooring of a trailer. Gone is the traditional wood, and in- stead Blackwood rubber-infused lumber is used. "It's really durable," says Schmid. "It's not as slippery as wood when it gets wet. You really end up with a cool look- ing deck and a very durable deck." There are even phone apps available to control the lights on a trailer which may be for function but may also be a part of that cool factor to turn heads as they roll through neighborhoods and communi- ties to drum up business. fore hitching up. Towers should always follow the trailer manufac- turer's owner's manual regarding proper hitching procedures, loading and cargo securement." Attaching the trailer to your tow truck before loading can also decrease the possibility of an incident occurring. This prevents a runaway trailer and makes it easier to secure the trailer before it is weighted down. Weight distribution of your equipment is also key to maintaining proper control when driving the tow vehicle. Loads that are too far to the front can create a whipping effect as oscillation and articulation of the trailer and vehicle are restricted. Too far back and you have a recipe for a machine to tip. "It is important that you get the load centered over the axles com- pletely, so you don't get too much or too little tongue weight," says Schmid. "Tongue weight is the amount of trailer load that is being pushed down on the tow vehicle. Getting the load properly balanced on the trailer is important to not create too much tongue. However, it's also important that you don't have too little tongue." To achieve that perfect weight distribution on your vehicle, Hughes suggests backing equipment with heavy backends onto a trailer. "Those machines typically need to be backed on to the trailer because what can happen if you're going up a ramp grade with all the weight on the back of that unit, it might have a tendency to flip back over," he says. Securing with the right equipment straps is also imperative to safe trailering. Chains and straps need to be used with machinery and at- tached at an angle to properly keep the machine secured. Dawn Geske is a freelancer writer for Compact Equipment . MY TRAILER

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