3 Simple Utility Trailer Upgrades You Can Make

Simple Utility Trailer Upgrades You Can MakeA proactive way to get more value and performance out of your tandem axle utility trailer is to customize it with upgrades that add convenience, safety, efficiency, and peace of mind. LED taillights, ramps, and spare tire carriers offer many benefits to your daily workflow and hauling needs. Read more below to consider how to improve your trailer. Then explore our website further to learn about the vetted brands and versatile selection of trailer types we offer. 1. LED TaillightsThe factory-installed safety lights on your single axle utility trailer are usually incandescent bulbs, meaning that they are likely to blow out quickly and need to be replaced fairly often. The filament inside an incandescent bulb is very susceptible to disconnecting due to vibration and the normal bounce and stress of road travel. LED lights last quite a bit longer and are not as prone to breakage. They can usually be spliced into your existing wiring system. Moreover, they are usually encased in plastic or fiberglass, reducing their exposure to elements such as water, airborne debris, and road salt. 2. Ramps Most utility trailers operate perfectly well for hauling raw materials, lumber, soils, and scrap metal from construction sites. One easy customization, however, is to add a ramp kit that allows your utility trailer to become an equipment hauler when necessary. ATVs and small machines can then be hauled without the need for a flatbed or tilt trailer.A simple wooden ramp kit can also allow you to use a wheelbarrow to dump your materials into the trailer, rather than having to lift everything manually or use a shovel. This can be fairly inexpensive and time-efficient customization. Simply install bolted hinges to the edge of your trailer bed, and attach a sturdy wooden or aluminum platform that can be folded up into the bed of the trailer when not in use. 3. Spare Tire Carriers While all residential and commercial vehicles come with a special compartment for stowing spare tires, trailers do not usually have this feature. This results in you having to keep your spare tire in the trailer bed itself, which takes up an awkward amount of space when loading the trailer. It also means that if your trailer is fully loaded and you get a flat, you have to undo all of your hard work to unearth the spare tire, then reload the whole trailer again once the flat is fixed. A spare tire carrier avoids all of this hassle and stress. It can usually be mounted parallel to the rails of your single axle utility trailer, for easy unbolting without having to rearrange any of your cargo. Install it on the outside or inside of the trailer wall. Secure it with a u-lock or other fastener, and you can hit the road with fewer worries.

Buy a Tandem Axle Utility Trailer from McFarlane

The benefit of a tandem axle trailer is that you can take on a lot more weight with a similar level of fuel efficiency when compared to a single axle utility trailer. We have dozens of options to choose from, including small 5 X 10s all the way up to larger 7 X 20s. We stand apart by offering you warranties of one to five years, and following extensive delivery protocols before we hand it over to you, Our other product selections include car trailers, deckover trailers, hydraulic dump trailers, flatbeds, and tilt beds. We offer an extensive catalogue of trailer parts for quick repairs. Contact us today to learn about our financing options and get a custom quote that meets your needs. 

Load a Utility Trailer Like a Pro With These Tips

Load a Utility Trailer Like a Pro With These TipsProfessional movers have a lot of experience loading trailers. Use these tips to load just like a pro. Pros think ahead to consider trailer weight, payload capacity, and the different approaches when loading a single axle utility trailer versus a tandem axle utility trailer

Calculate Your Trailer Weight

Start by measuring the empty weight of the trailer (also known as curb weight). Conventional steel trailers are heavier, while innovative aluminum trailers weigh less. It may be helpful to run a quick search of truck stops or weigh stations within driving distance of your location. Make sure that they are using certified scales so that you know their readings are accurate. Then follow these steps:
  1. Hitch your empty trailer to the vehicle you'll use to tow the trailer.
  2. Haul the trailer to a truck stop or inspection station.
  3. Drive onto the scale.
  4. Record the weight reading.

Identify Your Trailer's Payload Capacity 

Once you get back to your original location, note the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your trailer. This can be found in the owner's manual, product description, or other literature. It may also be found on a sticker affixed to the trailer itself. The GVWR is the maximum legal amount that this trailer can safely weigh, when full. Using what you already determined as the curb weight of the trailer, subtract the curb weight from the overall GVWR. This gives you the amount of cargo payload that the trailer can handle. Keep this number at the forefront of your mind when loading your trailer. If the items you are planning to haul exceed the payload capacity, you'll have to use a different trailer to ensure the safety of all drivers and vehicles on the road, the security of the load itself, and the structural integrity of the trailer. 

Verify Your Tongue Weight

This step is often overlooked, but it is very important. A trailer's tongue should take up approximately 10% - 15% of the total weight once the trailer is loaded. A tongue that is too heavy could make it difficult for your towing vehicle to make turns successfully. A tongue that is too light could cause swaying of the load when the driver takes a curve. The hitch you use should also measure tongue weight. If your GVWR is 10,000 lb, then your tongue should be 1,000 - 1,500 lb. If the hitch does not measure the tongue, you can use a portable scale and place it underneath, rest the tongue on the platform, and record the weight manually. 

How to Load a Single Axle Utility Trailer

Always load the heaviest items toward the front of the axle (nearest to the hitch). The weight distribution within the trailer should be 60% in front of the axle and 40% behind it. An unbalanced trailer can lead to dangerous driving conditions. 
  1. Park on a level surface. 
  2. Chock the wheels. 
  3. Ensure the weight is distributed 60/40.
  4. Load the heaviest items first.
  5. Use straps to tie down large items.
  6. Place lightweight cargo on top. 
  7. Engage your hitch and test your lights. 

How to Load a Tandem Axle Utility Trailer 

Tandem axle trailers can usually hold more weight than a single axle trailer. The process is the same as above, however. If the trailer load is small enough, it may be possible to center what you have between the two axles. Make sure you verify, again, that the tongue weight is 10%-15% of the gross towing weight, for safety and efficiency. Contact McFarlane Trailers at our website to learn about the different types of trailers that can accommodate your next move or haul.

McFarlane Trailer Sales: Tandem VS Single Axle

McFarlane Trailer Sales: Tandem VS Single Axle

How Do I Know if I Need a Single or Tandem Axle Trailer?

Trailers have endless uses. They're great for packing with canoes and kayaks for a day out on the lake. Or perhaps you need to tow your riding mowers for a landscaping business. Whatever the application, these haulers make getting around easy. Tandem axle utility trailer and single axle utility trailer towing options are both useful. Ask yourself the following questions to decide which trailer design is right for you.

How Can I Tell Them Apart?

A tandem bicycle needs two people to work together to achieve forward motion. A tandem axle unit uses two sets of wheels for movement and stability. The stability provided makes a massive difference in what you can pull. Single axle designs only have one set of wheels, so they cannot handle as heavy a load as a tandem axle.Tandem axle products are available in flatbed or cargo designs. The cargo element offers an enclosed space to protect the contents, much like a box truck. Enclosed options are less frequent on a single axle model. McFarlane Trailer Sales has many options to fit your unique transportation needs.

Why Would I Need Extra Wheels?

Tandem axle systems have extra wheels for two reasons. First, more wheels equal more even weight distribution. Spreading the weight allows the trailer to carry a much larger quantity. Second, the extra wheels provide stability. These units don't sway or bounce as much as a single axle product, resulting in a smoother, safer ride. Higher-end tandem haulers often have brakes, making for safer emergency stops.

What Size Do I Need?

Both choices come in various bed sizes. Tandem axle solutions are generally larger than single axle designs. The extra wheels, four in total, allow them to be longer and haul a heavier load. Due to their size, you'll need a truck to pull a tandem model.Single axle options are much smaller, and you can tow them using a car or an SUV. Their smaller size makes them easier to handle. Parking and navigating busy streets are much more straightforward with their small stature.

Do I Need To Worry About Clearance?

The height of single and tandem axle selections is comparable. The size will depend on your transport load if clearance is a concern. A large boat will sit higher than a riding lawnmower. That said, a closed cargo design will need more clearance than an open flatbed. Singles axle models also tend to sit a bit lower to the ground.

Which Trailer Is Easier To Maintain?

Due to the larger size, tandem axle trailers are generally more costly to own. More parts mean more to clean, take care of and replace. When the tires need replacing, you'll need to buy four new tires instead of two. Additionally, the brakes often included in tandem models will need repair and replacement over time.A tandem axle trailer will be easier to deal with mid-trip than a single axle if you get a flat tire on the road. You'll likely be able to make it to a service station on a tandem axle. A blown tire on a single axle trailer will stop your trip until you fix it. Due to their small build and fewer features, single axle trailers are more budget-friendly than tandem units. But if you need to transport something heavy or drive long distances, a tandem may save you frustration in the long run.When shopping for a new trailer, consider your haul load, driving distance and budget. Stop into McFarlane Trailer Sales and speak with our knowledgeable staff if you are still unsure. We have a variety of brands and styles in stock and can help you find the best option for your lifestyle.