Utility Trailers: A Buyer’s Guide

February 22, 2021 /
7x16 utility trailer

Utility trailers are the awesome all-around hauling machines that simply get the job done without a lot of frills. These relatively lightweight trailers can be hauled by just about any truck or SUV, and even a few cars that are equipped with tow hitches. Whether you’re hauling your ATV, picking up a new appliance, or running a landscape operation, utility trailers offer extreme versatility in a small package. 

Today’s trailer buying spotlight covers everything you need to look for when browsing Renown’s utility trailers for sale and how to score the perfect utility trailer for getting your cargo wherever it needs to go.

What Kind of Cargo Needs to be Hauled?

A good starting point in any utility trailer purchasing decision is a careful consideration for what you need your trailer to haul. With an open platform, utility trailers are very versatile for what they can carry but you still need to have a good idea for what the utility trailer’s limits are.

When looking at what kind of cargo you need your utility trailer to haul, it’s important to consider three key aspects of trailering that can help you narrow down your search.

Cargo Weight

How heavy is your intended load? Does this utility trailer need to haul commercial lawn mowers and all the equipment too? Understanding the payload capacity of your utility trailer is a good place to start. Envision how you intend to use this trailer and what you might need to haul. If all you need is a small trailer to carry lighter loads around town, a 6×12 single axle utility trailer is a great choice. 

A good rule of thumb is to overcompensate for weight so that you’ll always have a trailer beefy enough for whatever you may need. You’d be surprised at how quickly a load can add up. For example, a yard of mulch on average weighs around 400 to 800 pounds, while a yard of pea gravel can run upwards of 3,000 pounds. When you need to haul a heavier load, consider a larger trailer equipped with tandem axles like the 7×16 tandem axle utility trailer. Two axles helps to better distribute heavy loads, making the trailer safer to drive without putting excess pressure on the trailer’s components. 

The 2” Douglas Fir or Treated Pine floors we use on our utility trailers are designed to handle heavy loads and things like equipment being driven on them. However, no matter what you’re hauling, never exceed the trailer payload capacity nor what your vehicle can handle, which is a topic we’ll cover in greater detail below.

Cargo Dimensions

While it is true that the open nature of a utility trailer offers greater flexibility for tall and/or bulky items, you still need to take a close look at the dimensions of your cargo to make sure they’ll fit within your utility trailer’s footprint. While humorous, no one should seek to have a “Beverly Hillbillies set-up” with cargo hanging off the sides.

If you already have equipment like ATVs or mowers that will need to be towed in your utility trailer, go ahead and take measurements and have these with you as you browse our different options for utility trailers. A simple check on dimensions can help you narrow down whether your new utility trailer will physically be able to fit what you have in mind.

Smaller walk-behind mowers or zero turns and a small complement of equipment would still fit fine on a 6×12 single axle trailer, but for more weight capacity and room around the trailer, a 7×14 tandem or larger would be ideal.

Physical Nature of Your Cargo

In our example above with a loose material like mulch or other landscape supplies, you may need a larger trailer to accommodate how this material spreads out. You may also need to think about customization options that help keep these materials from pouring out the open sides. 

Friction does a fair job of keeping material in place but you may still lose some of your cargo if it isn’t able to be properly secured. Consider what it is you’re hauling and where to help determine the size of trailer and any customization options needed.

Customizing Utility Trailers

As we’ve discussed, customizing your utility trailer is a great way to get the perfect set-up for whatever you need to haul. At Renown, we specialize in both stock model utility trailers, as well as custom utility trailer set-ups. 

Equipment racks to hold lawn equipment, lockable storage compartments, ramp lift assists, upgrades to the trailer floor, new utility trailer walls—the sky is just about the limit with all the different ways you can outfit a utility trailer to perfectly meet your needs. 

Our trailer pros can help walk through all the options available and which choices might make your life easier while hauling what you need to from A to B.

Know Your Trailer & Vehicle’s Limits

One of the biggest mistakes any trailer owner can make is exceeding the capacity of their trailer or tow vehicle. Whenever you are hauling cargo with a trailer, there are several important ratings you need to know. These ratings are set by the trailer and vehicle’s manufacturer and are based on the safe operability of the vehicle pulling a trailer. 

  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): this is the maximum weight rating for the combination of the fully loaded trailer and the fully loaded vehicle. The GVWR takes into account your passengers, vehicle cargo, trailer weight, and trailer cargo weight all in one giant package.
  • Tow Capacity: this is the maximum weight set by your vehicle’s manufacturer for how much weight your vehicle can safely tow. Also note how your vehicle is set up to tow. A bumper hitch generally has a lower tow rating than receiver hitch.
  • Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR): this is the maximum weight each axle can support. It’s important to note that GAWR is dependent on a properly balanced and distributed load.
  • Payload Capacity: this is the maximum weight set by the trailer’s manufacturer for how much cargo it can safely hold.

Exceeding the weight limits on your trailer or your tow vehicle is a sure fire way to put a lot of stress on many different components on each. An overloaded trailer or tow vehicle is also a lot harder to control and a scary consideration when travelling at highway speeds. Therefore, knowing your limits and sticking under these is the best way to keep your trailer in good working order for the long haul.

Where Your Trailer Will Be Used

The physical location of where you’ll be towing your utility trailer can also help you narrow down your search for the perfect match. 

When you’re in a tight urban environment with narrow city streets, or where parking is hard to come by, you’ll probably want to steer towards a smaller utility trailer. The 6×12 single axle trailer is highly maneuverable and easy to back up and park. 

If you’ll need your utility trailer to haul larger loads longer distances, a 7×14 or 7×16 tandem axle utility trailer will get you there and back again with ease.

Financing a Utility Trailer Purchase

Finding the perfect utility trailer is an awesome feeling but many dread the financing portion of the purchase experience. Well, fret not, because we’ve helped make financing your new utility trailer an absolute breeze. When you need to finance your new utility trailer, Renown has several different options to fit just about any financial situation. 

We’ve partnered with financing professionals that we know operate their businesses with the same level of integrity as we do and who help individuals get financing that works with their financial situation.

Getting a Utility Trailer Delivered

In this day and age, people are relying more than ever on being able to make internet purchases and have these goods delivered safely to their doors. We believe utility trailers should be no different so have an entire team of drivers ready to get your new trailer delivered right to your driveway in absolutely pristine condition. 

We can deliver most anywhere in the Continental US and even parts of Canada and Mexico. Simply, contact Renown’s delivery team to get paired up with a delivery driver servicing your area.

Buying a Utility Trailer With Confidence

At Renown, we’re all about our customers getting the perfect utility trailer to meet their needs. We love helping match up a customer with a utility trailer that gets the job done, but when we can’t do that, we’ll never push someone into a trailer that isn’t absolutely right. 

Come experience the Renown difference. Our team of genuinely helpful trailer professionals seek to honor God in everything we do. Browse all of our utility trailers for sale, find the perfect one, and even check out all from our website. If you’d rather come see the trailers we have in person, we’d love to meet you at our dealership in beautiful Douglas, GA today. Contact our team today with any questions.

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