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Steel Deals - Flatbed Trailers

Flatbed trailers are one of the many workhorses on the farm. They’re used to haul grain, machinery, and supplies. They vary a great deal in their construction, ease of loading, and hauling capacities so it’s important to understand the different types of flatbeds.

Dave Mowitz is the machinery and technology editor for Successful Farming magazine, and researches the price trends of machinery. He says there is a huge variety of flatbed trailers in several design categories.

"There’s the basic flatbed trailer, the drop deck trailer which most of the trailer sits low to the ground. There’s a thing called the double drop deck trailer and they’re similar to drop deck trailers except they also dip below the rear trailer axles. Then there are lowboy trailers and these are very low to the ground," says Mowitz. "A lot of times they’ll feature a thing called a detachable hitch where you can detach from the front of the trailer, just drive your equipment right up off the ground. And then there’s slide axle trailers which I just don’t ever expect them in much use in agriculture."

Before shopping for a trailer, know exactly what you need.

"What capacity are you going to haul? How many axles do you need to have, and what kind of features like the detachable hitch and onboard hydraulics with an independent motor if that is necessary for you to operate," he says. "That’ll all have a huge influence on what you’re going to be paying for that trailer at auction, or even at a dealership."

Read Dave Mowitz' report on flatbed trailers