Driving and Maintaining Your Car

Your Essential Buying Guide for Flat Top Trailers

Are you in the market for a flat top trailer for your vehicle? As the name suggests, a flat top trailer is an open trailer – a large, useable deck space with no side extensions. It is designed for carrying oversized or irregularly shaped loads that won't fit into an enclosed trailer. 

Due to their open design, flat top trailers aren't ideal for transporting loads that require protection from the weather, road debris and other external elements. They can, however, be customised to come with sides to suit different applications.

As flat top trailers aren't created equal, you should shop with your specific requirements in mind. Here's what you need to know to choose the right trailer for you.

Towing Capacity of Your Vehicle

This is the most important factor to consider when you are shopping for a flat top trailer. Buy a trailer that is too big for your tow vehicle, and you might have to return it to the seller. You can find information on your vehicle's towing capacity included in the vehicle owner's manual.

Once you know how much weight your vehicle can tow safely, you can now shift attention to the specifications of your trailer.

Aggregate Trailer Mass

This is the weight of a trailer when it is fully loaded but not hitched to the tow vehicle. This figure must never exceed the towing capacity of your vehicle to ensure safe haulage of loads. 

Payload of the Trailer 

This is the amount of weight that the trailer can carry. It is calculated by subtracting the weight of the trailer itself from the aggregate trailer mass. How much payload you need will depend on what you intend to carry on your trailer.

Trailer With Brakes or No Brakes

Like other trailer types, flat top trailers can come with or without brakes. Whether you need a trailer with or without brakes will ultimately depend on the weight of your load. Generally, trailers designed for hauling light loads don't require brakes, while those used to carry heavy loads will require brakes.

Trailer with Sides or No Sides

As already pointed out, flat top trailers don't come with side extensions by design. However, drop-down sides can be added for applications where there is a need to provide some sort of stability and support for the loads. 

With this trailer selection guide, you should be able to choose the right flat top trailer for your job. In case you need help with making the right choice, you can always consult an expert.