Trailer Time

Purchasing a Skid Steer TrailerCompared to lugging around a large excavator, towing a skid steer to a jobsite may seem like a piece of cake. However, that compact machine (and its many attachments) needs just as much care and a sturdy trailer to get it to where it needs to be. Below, Sam Gayman, Manager of Sales and Marketing for Bri-Mar Mfg., a leading skid steer trailer manufacturer, offers some purchasing tips when looking for the right trailer to haul a compact loader.

Bring out the scale. Prior to selecting a trailer for a skid steer, the buyer needs to know the weight of his or her machine, as well as any attachments needed for the job.

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“The most important thing to consider when selecting a trailer is its GVWR [Gross Vehicle Weight Rating],” says Gayman. “This maximum weight rating includes the weight of the trailer itself. So, a buyer will need to know the weight of their skid steer loader, along with any attachments they’ll want to transport before making a purchase to ensure the selected trailer can support the total load.”

Gayman also points out that trailers for skid steer loaders generally range from 12 to 24 ft and will have the appropriate number of axles and tires necessary to support the maximum allowable load for its GVWR.

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Hitch your ride. A trailer is only useful if the potential buyer has the right vehicle to pull it. When considering a trailer, a buyer should make sure that the vehicle intended to haul the skid steer can accommodate the whole load.

“The vehicle should be equipped appropriately to accommodate pulling the GVWR of the trailer and its load,” says Gayman. “A number of vehicles may be appropriate depending on the overall weight. Auto manufacturers typically place a sticker inside the driver’s side door that states the maximum GVWR the vehicle can support. The selected vehicle must also be equipped with the right hitch to be able to accept and safely pull the trailer.”

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Gayman adds that a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may be necessary depending on the GVWR and the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), which is calculated by the weight of the truck and trailer added together.

Consult your equipment dealer. When the time comes to load a skid steer on to a trailer, Gayman suggests consulting with the skid steer manufacturer or checking out the machine’s operator’s manual for proper loading instructions. These resources can help answer questions regarding safe loading practices (such as identifying tie-down points) and any additional equipment needed to haul the skid steer.

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Pam Kleineke is Associate Editor of Utility Contractor