Imagine that you’re transporting a massive load, and you’re almost at your destination. You’re about to make the last turn, but you find there’s a low height limit.
You end up having to detour to make the delivery, but you realise that a drop deck trailer probably would have saved you the headache.
But what is a drop deck trailer? Keep reading to learn all about the features and benefits.
A drop deck trailer has two levels, but it usually doesn’t have any sides or top. The design means that it’s pretty flexible, and you can use it to transport a variety of things.
When comparing different trailer types, the drop deck is good for loads where space is a concern. You don’t have to worry about fitting a load based on the width, length or height.
The flat level design means that you can load the trailer like a flatbed, but the load will sit closer to the ground. It’s a great choice when load height is an issue.
If you ever need to pass under a lower bridge, you want to keep your load lower than that height. By dropping the deck, you can still hook up the trailer as normal but the load can be taller.
Also called a step deck trailer, they can come in a variety of sizes, but there are some limits. For one, a drop deck trailer can’t be more than 8.5 feet wide.
The trailer can’t extend past 48 to 53 feet long, and the load can’t be more than 10 feet high. Many also have a maximum weight of 48,000 pounds.
However, you can find a smaller drop deck trailer. If you don’t need the full length, you can look for a shorter bed so that you can transport what you need.
The standard size of a step deck trailer is perfect for transporting loads over long distances. If you need to move lumber or other materials, you can use the trailer to get the job done.
The most common material for a drop deck trailer is steel. It’s strong and durable, and you don’t need a ton of it on the trailer to work well.
However, aluminum costs less to use on a drop deck, so it can save money. It’s not as durable as steel, so you’ll need more of it for the same results.
Extra aluminum can affect the height of the drop deck trailer, so you may not be able to have as much height with a load.
Aluminum can be a good option if you need to drive the trailer in the snow. Steel doesn’t do as well with the snow or salt that you may put on the ground to help melt the snow or ice.
Both steel and aluminum work well, so you should consider which material will suit your needs.
The biggest reason to compare step deck vs flatbed trailers is the use. A drop deck may seem like another type of flatbed, but there are some crucial differences.
Flatbed trailers sit higher than drop deck trailers, so they’re better for loads that aren’t as tall. If you can spread the load along the bed, a flatbed is the better choice.
But if you need to pack a lot of materials up high, you should consider a drop deck. The lower level will help with the centre of gravity, and it can keep you from exceeding any height restrictions.
And if you can’t afford both a drop deck and a flatbed trailer, you can get a drop deck. It will work for taller and shorter loads, so you don’t have to worry about switching between different types of trailers.
If you have multiple trailer types, consider the load you need to transport. Then, you can load up the one that’s best for the trip.
While you can use a drop deck for a lot of things, you can also use it as a flatbed trailer. You can find risers that raise the lower level of the deck to meet the top level.
Doing that will turn your drop deck trailer into a flatbed, so you can use it as you would. You can load a shorter load onto the same trailer without too many adjustments.
The versatility of a drop deck trailer can be useful if you don’t have a ton of trailers available. It can also help you make better use of travel time.
If you have one load that’s a bit shorter than the others, you can use the risers instead of returning to a warehouse or storage facility. Then, you can save time and money, and you can be more productive.
One of the problems with a lot of drop deck trailers is that they don’t have a ton of security features. Since there are no sides or top, you have to secure the load as best as you can.
You can use tie-downs and chains to keep the load from moving around. However, things can come loose or the ties might break.
If you want a bit of extra security with your drop deck trailer, you need one with pins. The fence can keep larger items from moving too much, and it will keep the load on the trailer.
You can also look for a drop deck with a ramp so that you can efficiently load everything. Then, you won’t need to lift items onto the deck and position them.
The way you load your drop deck is essential, and it won’t be worth the extra heigh if you can’t secure everything. Before you hit the road with taller cargo, make sure you lock it all in.