Utility trailers can be used to carry virtually any type of cargo from A to B. Whether you need to haul top-soil for your latest garden project or take household waste to the recycling center, they fit the bill.
A utility trailer can be towed by most types of vehicle, from trucks and SUVs to family saloon cars. As it is not designed to carry really heavy loads the tow vehicle does not need to have an engine with high amounts of torque.
As this type is lightweight it can be towed with a standard tow hitch attached to the towing vehicle, providing easy maneuvering whilst being towed. They are usually fitted with a single axle and simple leaf spring suspension to handle the loads easily when driving over bumpy surfaces. Eight or twelve inch tires are standard and the it does not need any sort of braking system.
When the trailer is empty and not attached to the vehicle carrying a load, it can usually be moved around by one person and even be lifted to be stored vertically against a wall. This means you can store is safely away inside a garage or garden shed when it’s not in use. When you do need to use it, it can be wheeled quickly from its storage location to your vehicle ready for loading.
Utility Trailer Types
There are several different types of utility trailers that you can buy. The choice of will depend on exactly the range of cargo you are intending to carry.
Cargo Box Sided
To haul loose material, such as sand, soil or gravel, it must have box sides to prevent the loose material from escaping during transport. This is also known as a landscaping trailer. The sides forming the ‘box’ can be anywhere from one or two feet high, depending on the volume of capacity that it can carry.
The sides will be made from steel or aluminum; steel will be heavier and stronger but result in a lower purchase price, aluminum will be lighter but more expensive. To allow for easy loading and unloading of cargo a fold down rear tailgate will be fitted.
A variation on the box sided trailer, the tilt bed version can dump your loose material cargo out of the back of the trailer. The A-frame at the front of the trailer can be unhinged from the bed, forcing the rear of the bed to tilt down. The top-hinged flap side at the back of the box then opens and the loose material is allowed to flow out of the trailer.
If you don’t need to haul loose material then this model, with horizontal fence like bars between the stakes, may fit the bill. Stake sided trailers will be suitable for boxed or bagged loose material, pruned tree branches and other larger solid cargo.
The stakes fit into square slots in the utility trailer frame and can be removed to provide a completely flat bed which increases the flexibility of this type of trailer. When the sides are fitter, a folding tailgate eases loading access.
Fold Up Trailer
One of the main advantages of a utility trailer is its small size and weight which makes it easier to move around and store. If storage space is at a premium, a fold up reduces the amount of storage space required by a significant amount.
A rack mount can also be purchased which will allow you to securely store it in an upright position against a garage or workshop wall.