Heavy-duty construction equipment often has equally heavy-duty transportation needs. Vehicles such as bucket loaders weigh a lot, which means that you'll typically need to transport them over long distances using large trailers and commercial towing vehicles. Fortunately, skid loaders are often much lighter, making them better suited for hauling to a job site even if you don't have a CDL or commercial truck.
However, you'll need the right equipment to do the job, which means choosing a suitable trailer for your gear and towing vehicle. These three tips will help you select the right skid loader trailer to get your equipment on-site without needing a CDL to do it.
1. Know Your Machine's Specs
You can't buy an appropriate trailer for your skid steer loader without knowing the machine's weight. Make sure you look at the vehicle's weight and not its rated operating capacity (ROC). ROC tells you how much your loader can lift, but it won't help you when it comes to determining the capacity of the trailer you'll need to haul it.
The trailer you select will need to have the capacity necessary to accommodate your trailer, but it's always good to leave a little bit of overhead. If you have a mid- or large-frame skid steer, you shouldn't undersize your trailer to stay within non-CDL limits. These heavier machines may require a heavy-duty tow vehicle to move between sites safely.
2. Know Your Towing Limits
Your towing vehicle's rated capacity will be the primary limiting factor when selecting a trailer to haul your skid loader. The total weight of your loader and trailer must fall within this limit, and it's often a good idea to leave a little bit of extra headroom. Manufacturers provide these limits to help protect critical components such as your suspension and transmission, and exceeding them can be dangerous.
If you're approaching your towing limit, you may want to consider options to reduce the weight of your trailer, such as purchasing a wood deck instead of a steel deck. Standard flat trailers will also typically weigh less than tilt or dump trailers since they don't require any hydraulics or additional equipment to operate.
3. Know the Law
Most crucially, you'll need to know the law. In general, any combination of truck and trailer that exceeds 26,000 lbs. will require you to hold a CDL. Note that GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) includes vehicle and cargo weight, so you don't need to consider the weight of your skid loader. Instead, you only need to look at the combined GVWR of your towing vehicle and trailer.
One of the many advantages that skid loaders have over other types of construction equipment is their relatively low weight and compact size. By carefully choosing your trailer and towing vehicle, you shouldn't have any issues towing your equipment between job sites without needing a commercial driver's license.
For more information on skid loader trailers, contact a company near you.