Trailer Types

This web page will help you through the process of selecting your ideal trailer by providing information about several categories of trailers commonly sold through Hostetler Truck Bodies and Trailers.

We also provide a trailer FAQ and links to related vendor websites. If you have any unanswered questions along the way, please reach out to our sales team via the Contact Us or Get a Quote pages.

ENCLOSED TRAILERS

Intrepid 2' vee nose-1

An enclosed trailer is defined as a “dry box” on wheels that is road legal, usually has an aluminum exterior, a side and rear access, and is of sufficient height to stand up inside. Carrying capacity varies widely depending on the trailer model and manufacturer.

In terms of trailer styling, in recent years, the "V-nose" has become the preferred nose style, although a traditional radius front is still better suited for many commercial applications. 

Enclosed trailers are generally constructed with a steel frame and an aluminum exterior.

UTILITY TRAILERS

IMG950972Utility trailers are lighter, open trailers that are available in a large variety of sizes and prices.

Depending on the towing application, these trailers can be customized with numerous accessories provided by individual manufacturers. There is certainly a utility trailer available to fit each tow job and budget. 

Work with your Hostetler sales representative to find the ideal blend of functionality and styling.

LoPro-10K-equipment-trailer

DECK-OVER TRAILERS

f8-8-inch-i-beam-deckover-trailerA deck-over trailer is usually designed with the wheels underneath, permitting the greatest possible unrestricted loading width. Deck-over trailers are ideal for loading small excavators and backhoes, rollers, pallet material, tractors, and other larger cargo.

Deck-overs are usually sold in single-wheel configurations for loads under 16,000 lbs or twin (dual)-wheel configurations for loads up to 24,000 lbs. Common loads include:

  • Backhoes
  • Larger Bobcats
  • Mini-Excavators
  • Pavers
  • Pallet Materials

A Word About Towing

What's your GVWR?

Manufacturers will provide a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) for the vehicle you are using to pull.

This number is not its towing capacity, but rather represents a maximum value of what your vehicle can safely weigh including payload. This would include the tongue weight of the trailer, which is the amount of the trailer weight that is distributed to the tow vehicle. The remaining trailer weight rests on its axles.

For example, your truck may have an 'empty' weight of 5,500 pounds (often called a “curb weight”) and a GVWR of 7,000 pounds. This means that you can safely add an additional 1,500 pounds of passengers, cargo, and tongue weight without exceeding the GVWR.

Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR)

The GCVWR is how automakers list the maximum allowable weight a vehicle can tow, and is defined as the maximum weight of a loaded vehicle AND its attached loaded trailer. And like the other weight ratings, the vehicle’s manufacturer calculates this number.

For example, if a truck’s GCVWR is 14,000 pounds and it has a base curb weight of 5,000 pounds, that means the vehicle can safely handle an extra 9,000 pounds of cargo and trailer weight. However, it doesn’t matter (to a certain point) where that cargo is placed. If a passenger weighing 200 pounds sits inside the truck, that 200 pounds has to be subtracted from the truck’s then-available GCVWR. Owners must be mindful not to exceed the GVRW and/or the GCVWR. 

Automakers usually publish tow ratings that account for a driver and one passenger, each weighing 150 pounds, and a full tank of fuel. So, if you’re going to tow a trailer that weights exactly what your vehicle is rated to pull, you’d better leave the family and their luggage behind. Continuing with the example, if a truck has a 15,000-pound GCVWR and it weighs 6,000 pounds empty, plus it’s loaded with 4,000 pounds of cargo and passengers in the bed and cab, it can pull a trailer weighing no more than 5,000 pounds.

SKID LOADER TRAILERS

belmont-skid-steerer-trailerMost skid loader owners are looking for a trailer that is low to the ground with room for attachments and is extremely durable. Skid loader (or skid steerer) trailers come in a variety of shapes and sizes to conform to the specifications of the loader and the required level of stability.

Gooseneck Dump-1

Regardless of trailer type, for larger loads, gooseneck hitch configurations like the one pictured above are recommended for towing stability and improved turning radius, and are most common in 25-32' lengths.

Belmont tilt trailer

A popular category of skid loader trailer is the tilt trailer, which is designed for rapid off-loading of its cargo through the use of a tilt mechanism. Skid loader tilt trailers are commonly available in lengths from 16 to 24 feet. This style of trailer may include a cushion cylinder, allowing it to tilt more smoothly.

 

 

DUMP TRAILERS

A dump trailer is defined by the presence of an electric hoist which will tilt the trailer bed up to a 45-degree angle, quickly and easily removing the contents without the effort and time customarily associated with unloading. 714HX_Black__19__dump-trailer

Dumps are becoming more common as they can also perform tasks similar to an equipment or utility trailer, making a dump the closest thing to a universal trailer.

Dump trailers mainly come in two styles:

  • Deck-over
  • Low-profile

A deck-over (DO) would be a dump with the wheels tucked underneath the bed, saving the approximately 18" width of a set of fenders, and making the overall width about a foot narrower than a low profile, and sitting up about 4-6" higher. This is nice for parking in the street or negotiating narrow clearances. It can be a bit more tippy or top heavy, but does a better job dumping on piles, and has the advantage of being lighter (and often cheaper) than a low-profile dump trailer.

A low-profile (LP) dump trailer refers to a dump with the wheels outside of the frame, making the trailer lower to the ground with a wider stance. This makes the trailer very stable, and its low stance makes it ideal for loading equipment. A low-profile dump is generally about 18" wider overall than the box size.

LIVESTOCK/HORSE TRAILERS

213SG - two horse slant load Stallion Horse trailer2

Horse trailers vary in size depending on the number of animals to be transported, although two-horse trailers are the most common. A horse trailer is typically 7' in height.

gooseneck-livestock-trailerLivestock trailers usually feature a center slam gate, typically dividing the trailer into 7’ or 8' sections. The most common size is 16'. Livestock trailers are generally 6'6" in height.