The hotshot trucking sector is a very crucial part of consumer goods reaching the retail shelves. Self-employed drivers and hotshot trucking companies carry about 70 percent of all products arriving on our shelves. Although many companies use semi-trailers and semi-trailers to distribute and move their products in one region, others use the services provided by the hot-trucking companies.
The best hotshot trucking companies use heavy and smaller trucks to transport items to customers. Their services are often used by small businesses that do not have enough products to justify the expense of a large semi-trailer or semi-trailer. There is a wide range of trailers for hot shot trucking.
What are the Best Types of Trailer for a Hotshot Truck?
All truckers agree they should get a strong and sturdy vehicle to do the job. But not all truckers have the same kind of towing trailer, as each has their preference of load to carry. Therefore, if you are going into hotshot trucking and have no idea which trailer to use, here are the various kinds of trailers that are frequently used in hotshot trucking.
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Bumper Pull Trailers
Have it in mind that the most common trailer type used by hotshot truckers is the bumper pull trailer. It is a favorite for both commercial and civilian drivers. Bumper pull trailers are a popular choice because of their versatility. If you are getting this trailer, you will enjoy it because it is easy to use.
It is also more affordable than a gooseneck trailer. In addition, with this trailer, you are not expected to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). A CDL is suitable for hotshot trailers and vehicles with a combined weight of over 10,000 lbs (4,536 kgs).
If you acquire the bumper pull, its size might be a disadvantage to you if you are planning on carrying heavy cargo. Since this trailer is smaller than other trailers, it is limited to small and light loads. In addition, having your truck weighed adequately is a good idea if you are planning to haul heavy loads.
Expect trouble if your towing vehicle weighs less than your fully loaded trailer. You might encounter problems like trailer swaying, control breakdown, and trailer instability. If this trailer is to be your hotshot truck’s partner, there are some reliable and super duty bumper pull trailers. Some of them are:
- Gatormade +2 Series 14K GVWR
- PJ Trailers Deckover Tilt (T8)
- Texas Pride Trailers Bumper Pull Lowboy Equipment Trailer 30,000 LB GVWR
If you intend to commit to your hotshot trucking business, then the gooseneck trailer is the right one for you. Have it in mind that this trailer is longer and more costly than the bumper pull trailer. Owing to its turning radius, these trailers are loved by many hotshot truckers. This stable trailer can also carry larger loads over unfamiliar roads. But even if the gooseneck trailer might sound like the ultimate hotshot trailer, it still has its limits.
Longer gooseneck trailers may need you to get licensing and training. In addition, this trailer requires a particular hitching system to be set up on your pickup’s bed. This system could be an added expense since a professional is going to install it for you. But these tough towing trailers can be a good investment. Some of the best in the market are:
- PJ Trailers Low-Pro Flatdeck With Duals
- Big Tex 25gn HDTS Tandem Dual Gooseneck
- Gatormade Gooseneck Air Ride Trailer
A good number of hotshot truckers who have a preference for loading cars prefer dovetail trailers. Note that this dovetail style of trailers is one of the most well-known types of trailer styles in the US. Among the good features this kind of trailer has is its loading advantage.
It is easy to pull up low-riding and long vehicles because of its gradual angle. Also, it is easy to sell for more money because of its ease of loading. If there are good points to the dovetail trailer, there is also a downside to it. Have it in mind that most dovetail trailer users dislike it due to its tail dragging around.
Since it hangs low at the back, it is dragging its tail everywhere. In addition, the odds of getting rear-ended are higher since its tail hangs low at the end. It shortens the trailer’s flat space by a few feet too. If you love a dovetail trailer, you might enjoy these towing trailers:
- Load Trail GL22 – Gooseneck Low-Pro
- Kaufman Hydraulic Tilt Flatbed Trailer
- Gatormade Gooseneck Trailer With Hydraulic Dovetail
Tilt Deck Trailers
The tilt deck trailer tilts at an angle. It allows you to smoothly load items like cars and equipment, from the ground onto the trailer. Have it in mind that this idea might sound like a good deal, but it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Before you invest in a tilt deck, it is good to know some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning one.
A tilt deck trailer removes occupational hazards connected to heavy lifting. This trailer type eliminates the need for workers to lift heavy loads manually — therefore, providing them with safety in the workplace. In addition, there is no need to tilt the deck manually. So, a tilt deck trailer saves time and increases work efficiency.
A tilt deck’s disadvantage is it needs more maintenance compared to other trailers. This trailer requires a recurring filter and oil changes due to its hydraulic systems. Coupled with this, the moving parts of a tilt deck trailer should be oiled often as these parts are prone to rust. If you find the ease of loading heavy equipment a fantastic idea, then a tilt deck trailer might be right for you. Some ideas for your tilt deck trailers for your hotshot are:
- The PJ Trailers 6″ Channel Equipment Tilt
- Load Trail Tilt-N-Go Gooseneck
- Gatormade Tilt-Bed Gooseneck
Features to Consider When Choosing the Best Trailer for a Hotshot Truck
There are a lot of features and configurations that affect the overall performance and longevity of a trailer. To make sure you take them into account when comparing your choices, here are some features to note;
When you are looking to acquire a trailer, you might want to start checking the frame, specifically the I-beam in the mainframe. A 12-inch I-beam is the industry standard, but if you are searching for a heavy-duty trailer, you should consider getting one with a 19-pound-per-inch I-beam. In addition, consider the cross member spacing. For lightweight hauling, a 16-inch centre will suffice but for regular heavy hauling, a 12-inch centre is ideal.
Size and Axles
Note that the size of the axles determines the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of a hot shot trailer, which in turn dictates how much weight your trailer can haul. A good number of modern trailers are fitted with a basic tandem 10,000-pound axles and dual wheels. However, you can upgrade to 12,000-pound axles or higher to increase your loading capacity.
Lights and Wiring
LED lights with enclosed wiring harness are the best pair. When compared to incandescent bulbs, LED lights tend to provide quite a good number of advantages including better illumination, less power draw and lifetime service. Wires should also be enclosed to avoid moisture from going in. This can save you a lot of headaches in the future.
Decking and Durability
When choosing which decking material to choose, the intended use, cost and durability should come into play. Options for decking include the Southern yellow pine (SYP), oak, steel and aluminium. SYP is quite common in North America, making it an affordable decking material.
However, aside from its low cost, SYP is also strong and solid and that is why it is an ideal choice for heavy hauling. SYP easily absorbs treatment so you have nothing to worry about. The downside is that it is prone to twisting and warping. Rough oak is a wonderful decking material for trailers that are meant for carrying heavy equipment and vehicles.
Oak is tough and strong, but it does not allow for optimal chemical absorption during treatment. Steel is another common material for decking. It is durable and dependable, but its biggest disadvantage is the fact that it can rust. Therefore, you can expect regular maintenance and monitoring to keep the deck in good shape.
Aluminium is rust and corrosion resistant. It is also lightweight which translates to higher cargo capacity and fuel economy. Even with these good qualities, some manufacturers shy away from using this material as it is more expensive and not as dense and strong as steel.
Powder Coating is a more advanced method of applying a protective and decorative finish. It offers a good number of benefits compared to ordinary finishing such as better resistance to scratching, chipping, fading and wearing. A powder-coated finish also lasts longer.
Have it in mind that your trailer that has already been undercoated or rust-proofed aside from having a powder coating, which is a bonus. If you frequently travel in an environment where your trailer is exposed to ocean breeze or snow, salt and road grime can eat your trailer alive and rust proofing provides additional protection.
Hotshot trailer brake requirements vary across different states, with most states requiring an auxiliary brake system on trailers weighing over 3,000 lbs. Note that the three common brake systems for trailers are hydraulic surge, air brakes and electric brakes, of which each is ideal for certain applications.
Hydraulic surge is preferably used on trailers up to 5,500 lbs. It is easy to set up as it does not need special wiring. When properly adjusted, surge brakes perform smoothly and efficiently, making it an ideal option if you intend to frequently carry fragile loads. However, the main disadvantage for this type of braking system is that it requires regular servicing and maintenance to ensure it will properly work.
But if you are looking for a system with low maintenance requirements, you should go with electric braking systems. One tricky part though for this type of brake is that it requires a brake controller that should be properly adjusted to match the trailer weight.
Air brakes are also a popular option. As air supply is limitless, the pressure remains constant and it will operate even if the system has minor leaks. Air brakes are reliable; however, it also requires frequent maintenance and monitoring.
Knowing which truck trailer type to get can sometimes be inconvenient, but it has to be done. The sooner you know the kind of trailer to get, the sooner you can your business. Choosing a suitable gooseneck trailer can be tricky but your knowledge on the fundamental features we listed above should help you in making a decision. Doing your homework before selecting a trailer will help you gain optimum benefits from your investment.