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Trailers Used in Heavy Haul, Flatbed Trailer, Hot, Shot Trailer , Stepdeck Trailer, RGN Trailer

The 4 most common trailers used in Heavy Haul


    An option for shipping heavy equipment is by utilizing a basic flatbed trailer. These trailers are limited in a couple of different ways. First of all, these trailers typically do not have ramps for loading and unloading. This means that your equipment will have to be loaded and unloaded using a forklift or the pickup and drop-off locations must have a loading dock. Also, these trailers are limited in the size of the equipment that they can transport.

    Trailers Used in Heavy Haul, Flatbed Trailer, Hot, Shot Trailer , Stepdeck Trailer, RGN Trailer

    Typically these trailers will max out at a length of 48 feet, a width of 8.6 feet, and a height of 8 feet. They also have a max weight of about 40,000lbs. These trailers typically will transport smaller heavy equipment that does not require permits or any additional escorts. There are rare occasions that these trailers can be used for equipment or loads that require permits or escorts. In most cases, these trailers are used to transport equipment that can be loaded or paired with other pieces of equipment without exceeding the total weights for the trailer. Because these trailers carry partial loads, it is a very economical option for transporting equipment as long as you can overcome the limitations on loading and unloading. Partial loads allow the total deck space of the trailer to be utilized by more than one customer.

    This helps the pricing stay reasonable for all of the customers. Instead of forcing a customer to pay for unused deck space, the driver can add additional items from another customer to help occupy the total deck space and maximize the cent per mile for the total trip split across different customers.

    This is probably the least likely trailer used for transporting heavy equipment because the lack of ramps does typically present an obstacle that is not easily overcome. Once again, this is the best method for transport for items that can be loaded with additional equipment or by using a loading or unloading dock. This transport method can be used for local transports and long-distance transports as well. Once again, for long-distance transport, this method is cost-effective as long as you can overcome the barriers for loading and unloading, while also keeping in mind that the equipment also must not exceed the max specs for the trailer. If you have equipment that will fit and can be loaded, shipping your heavy equipment is a very valid option.


    Another option for heavy equipment transporting is using a hotshot trailer. Companies that transport heavy equipment utilize these types of trailers all the time. They are usually very convenient in transporting heavy equipment but there are restrictions for these trailers as well. These trailers are usually pulled using a heavy-duty pickup truck rather than a semi-truck. They can vary in length from 20 feet to 40 feet. The biggest downside to these trailers is that most of them can only transport a total weight of 18,000lbs. Sometimes they can carry a little more but they are very restricted when it comes to weights that they can carry.

    Trailers Used in Heavy Haul, Flatbed Trailer, Hot, Shot Trailer , Stepdeck Trailer, RGN Trailer

    Just like the flatbed trailers, they will max out at a width of 8.6 feet. However, they have a max height on average of about 10.6 feet. These trailers are typically best for what we would consider light-heavy equipment. And because of the smaller size of the trailers and the fact that they are pulled using pickup trucks, they are much more versatile when it comes to maneuverability. They can get into tighter and more restrictive areas that a larger transport trailer may not be able to get to. Hotshot trailers will almost always have ramps attached for loading and unloading purposes. You will also find that transporting costs for hotshot trailers are going to be on average more expensive because of the versatility offered by these trailers.

    Even though they are restricted by weight, they are very accommodating for heavy equipment that does not exceed 18,000lbs. Keep in mind that these trailers are hardly ever used for heavy equipment that requires any additional permitting for transport. Typically these trailers just do not have the capacity to handle permitted loads because of the restrictiveness of the max weight of the trailer. Once again, these trailers are very convenient for smaller loads that do not require permits, but convenience comes at a cost. Most of the time, these trailers carry single pieces of equipment at a time, which means that the customer is usually paying for the full cost of the deck space, even if only a portion is being utilized. So if you need to transport a piece of equipment that requires permits or if the height is taller than 10.6 feet, or if the weight exceeds 18,000lbs, this trailer will not be an option for you.


    The most common trailer for transporting heavy equipment is a Step Deck Trailer. These trailers can come with us without ramps. Typically these trailers will max out at a length of 53 feet, a width of 8.6 feet, and a height of 10.6 feet. They also have a max weight of about 40,000lbs. These trailers are versatile for heavy equipment transports because they can accommodate a much heavier weight than hot shot trailers.

    Trailers Used in Heavy Haul, Flatbed Trailer, Hot, Shot Trailer , Stepdeck Trailer, RGN Trailer

    These trailers also have varying lengths when it comes to loading ramps. They can have ramps that are as long as 16 feet. This is a big plus when you are loading long equipment and you need the additional ramp length to keep the equipment from scraping during loading. In most cases, because of the length and the weight that is permissible for these trailers, you will find these trailers transporting multiple pieces of equipment at one time. As long as the total length of all the items on the trailer does not exceed 53 feet in total length and the weight does not exceed 40,000lbs. At the same time, these trailers can be used to transport items that require permits. But keep in mind that when a single piece of equipment requires a permit for transporting, you have to transport that piece of equipment by itself.

    This means that the customer will be required to pay for the full use of the deck space even if the equipment does not take up the whole space. The Department of Transportation regulates that any equipment that requires permits during transporting has to be transported by itself. The most common permit type for these trailers is usually width permits. If a unit is wider than 8.6 feet but does not exceed 12 feet, it can still be transported with the only requirement being a width permitting. If your equipment requires a permit, you will be charged for the permits and the use of the whole trailer since your permitted load has to be transported by itself. However, if you have a standard load that does not require permits, this is the most cost-effective trailer to transport your equipment on because it can be paired with another piece of equipment for transport and it can save o money because the trailer is being shared for multiple pieces of equipment.


    The most common heavy equipment trailer is the RGN trailer. These trailers are the premier trailer type for transporting heavy equipment. These trailers are ideal for transporting heavy equipment. Typically these trailers will max out at a length of 53 feet, a width of 8.6 feet, and a height of 12.6 feet. They also have the ability to transport weights that far exceed 100,000lbs. Like the double drop trailers, this trailer also disconnects from the trailer harness and lays flat on the ground so that the equipment can be driven directly onto the trailer. These trailers are designed especially for tall equipment.

    Trailers Used in Heavy Haul, Flatbed Trailer, Hot, Shot Trailer , Stepdeck Trailer, RGN Trailer

    Although the total length of the trailer may be up to 53 feet, they have what is called a good space. This is the part of the trailer that sits down in between the tires on the trailer. This space is anywhere from 26 feet to 32 feet. Once again there are variations of these trailers that can accommodate a much larger well space if needed. Drivers that operate these trailers understand the permitting and escorting process for heavy loads. They are usually accustomed to transporting heavy equipment and have a vast amount of knowledge for heavy load restrictions from state to state. They are also very familiar with dealing with the Department of Transportation since they are constantly in contact with them for permits and route surveys.

    Keep in mind that if a permit is required, some states restrict movement of restricted loads to daylight hours only and in some cases no weekend transports. Also, keep in mind that the trucking company has no control over how quickly a state will issue permits for transports. Holidays will also play a factor in delaying permitting. Once the permits have been applied for, the Department of Transportation will issue the permits on their own time.

    Most times these are issued the same day, but if they are backed up, this process can take several days. On average, transporting heavy equipment on a trailer such as this can require a longer transport time if there are travel restrictions. RGN trailers are big and very sturdy. The maneuverability of these trailers is restrictive because of their size and the fact that they are so low on the ground. These trailers can easily get stuck if they are driven over surfaces that do not have a solid foundation.

The 4 Most Common Trailers Used in Heavy Haul Suggested/Important Links