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buying a trailer

The Complete Guide to Buying a Trailer

In the market for a new trailer? Having a trailer on hand to use for either personal or business reasons can be a handy timesaver. But knowing what the right one for you is can be hard to find out. That’s why we’ve put together this complete guide to buying one for yourself so you know what one to choose and what to look out for. 

What do You Need it For?

Trailers are great for carrying construction materials to and from job sites

The first thing you need to know when buying a trailer is what you’ll be transporting in it. If you already have something in mind that you need it for, make sure you measure it out. This will give you the minimum size that your trailer will need to be. Whether or not you will be transporting your cargo over long distances can also change what one you buy. 

The type of business you might be in is another factor you need to consider when buying your trailer. Whatever industry your in, a trailer will help you to carry your supplies, tools and equipment around but the general size that these items will be are important to know.

Load Capacity

Check the load capacity of your trailer to make sure it can carry what you want

The next step in buying a trailer is to understand load capacities. There are many different types of load ratings that come with trailers. Knowing the difference between them can be the difference between transporting your goods safely and risking yourself having an accident. 

The first number you will need to pay attention to is the tare weight or mass. Tare weight or mass is the weight or the trailer itself without anything in it. Most trailers will state their ATM, or aggregate trailer mass capacity which include the weight of the trailer combined with the cargo it can carry. 

Types of Trailers

Box Trailers

A box trailer is a trailer that is shaped like a box like the name would suggest. There is a flat load surface with side walls on each side which ‘box in’ your cargo. All good quality box trailers have at least one collapsible side that let’s you load and unload your cargo easier. Some large size box trailers will also have ramps, which are great for loading in motorbikes or mini diggers. 

Tandem Trailers

Having an extra axle lets you have two more wheels to share the load capacity

Trailers with tandem axles have a high maximum towing capacity, and suit a wide range of transporting jobs that you will need it to do. Also known as tandem trailers, the weight put into the trailer is spread more evenly onto the two axles, with two wheels on either side of each axle. The added load capacity and extra stability it gives you will make it great for carrying heavy items over long distances.

Flatbed Trailers

With flatbed trailers, the sides are completely open with no walls. Whatever you load onto will need to be securely strapped down so that you don’t have cargo falling out on the road. These are good for transporting large bulky objects such as farming equipment or big containers. These are also a perfect choice for transporting things on palettes that can be loaded and unloaded using a forklift. 

Tipper Trailers

Tipper trailers are great if you’ll be transporting loose items that you don’t to be gentle with. Some examples of what would be most people use tipper trailers for are for carrying dirt, sand, gravel or even construction debris and rubbish. This makes tipper trailers popular with landscapers and builders.  

Can Your Car Tow it?

Most cars don’t have much of a towing capacity. Check if yours can handle your trailer

Before you go ahead with buying a trailer, you will also need to have a car with a towing capacity that matches your trailer and the weight of the load your carrying in it. Some people also make the mistake of not taking into account the weight of the trailer itself when they go to tow it, and find out that their car struggles to pull it when they set off. 

If you need to be carrying heavy loads in your trailer and only have a small car with low power and towing capacity, you will need to get another one. You will need to read a car’s spec sheet carefully and look for the towing capacity. A car with big power and torque won’t necessarily be able to tow much.

Another thing to look out for when finding a car to tow your trailer is that most tow capacity ratings are given as braked towing capacity. This means that the weight mentioned is when the trailer also has it’s own brakes. To find out what some of the best towing vehicles on the market are, check out this article by carsguide. Once you get the tow car you want, fit it with a tow hitch to attach your trailer with.

Storing Your Trailer

One option for storing your trailer is by keeping it on the street

If you don’t have any room on your property to store your trailer and need to park it on the street, you will need to consider if it will block traffic. Different councils also have different rules for parking your trailer on the street. You will also need to keep it attached to something so that it doesn’t roll away.

Storing your trailer outdoors comes with its own complications. In the long run, it will be a good idea to get a top quality trailer that is not only versatile but heavy duty. Being out in the elements, the trailer will be more at risk of rust and corrosion.

What to do After Buying a Trailer

Rego and Insurance

Before you can go and use your trailer on public roads, you’ll need to check if it needs registration first. The registration laws around if your trailer needs to be registered can change from state to state. In NSW, trailers weighing up to 4.5 tonnes need to be registered, but will receive a 40% discount on the vehicle tax. Look online or ask your local road authority on what you need to do for your trailer.

Insurance isn’t compulsory for trailers, but you can still get it for a bit of protection in case anything happens to it. And if you have comprehensive cover on your tow vehicle, your trailer might also be covered under it.  


Your trailer tyres will eventually wear out and need replacing just like your car tyres

Just like your vehicle needs maintenance, so does your trailer. The main parts of your trailer that need tending to are the tyres, brakes and suspension. The one you will need to replace most are the brake pads, although this is usually a simple, easy and cheap job. All this maintenance can also be done yourself with just a few tools and taking up only a small amount of your time.

Choose Your Trailer!

Having a trailer ready to use can be an absolute lifesaver for you or your business. And getting the right one doesn’t have to be hard. At King Kong Trailers, we have a wide range of different box trailers manufactured to the highest standards to suit different jobs. Check out our single axle, tandem axle, flatbed or even tipper box trailers today and find the trailer you’ve been looking for!

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