Attention Car Haulers!
But Before You Buy
Purchasing a car carrier trailer is an important investment decision. When considering purchasing a car carrier trailer, there are some items that should be thought over before making the purchase.
Make sure you know how much weight you are looking to carry so that you purchase a car carrier trailer that is capable of handling the weight you are planning to haul. Typically an empty carrier weighs between 42,000 and 45,000 and can usually carry between 10 and 11 cars at a time.
If you are buying new, the warranty should be easy to locate; even if you are buying used, there still might be a warranty available. Typically new carriers will come with a 1 or 2-year structural warranty that covers all aspects of the carrier structure including track sheets, axles, and the suspension.
As with capacity, it's important to keep in mind how much and of what type of vehicle you are planning on carrying when considering the size of the carrier. Typical vehicle carrier size is anywhere between 44' and 85' long and around 103" wide.
Enclosed or Open?
Choosing between an enclosed carrier and an open carrier is an important consideration. Enclosed carriers often carry fewer vehicles but offers more protection for the cargo; on the other hand, open carriers can carry more vehicles but cannot offer the same protection.
Know ahead of time how much you can afford to put down, what your credit score is, what your financial situation is, and how much you can afford to pay each month. Typically, most sellers will take 15% down for leases, and most will use the truck as collateral down for the trailer on a purchase instead of personal assets such as a house.
Ease of Haul and Load
Look for a model that is both easy to haul and easy to load. Some models, for instance, when loaded tightly become difficult to maneuver around tight turns without damaging the loaded vehicles, while others need flat-top sleepers on the truck in order to line up.
Consider your Truck
Keep in mind how far back you want to sit your fifth wheel, how tall your cab is, and what type of sleeper you have, if any, on your truck. All of these can make the difference between being able to hook up to a trailer or not, and the trailer being able to support your cargo's weight above the cab or not.
When purchasing a car carrier trailer you must be familiar with the state and interstate laws; for instance, how long is too long? How heavy is too heavy? What types of warnings, if any, are necessary to display on the carrier? Tickets and citations for traffic violations such as these can become costly both monetarily and legally, so knowing what you are going to be hauling is the most important item to keep in mind when looking at trailers. Keep in mind your whole "big picture" and you'll be fine purchasing your car carrier trailer.