3 Tips for Buying a Flatbed Trailer for Commercial Applications
Are you looking for a flatbed trailer to support your business operations? Maybe your transport vehicles need help hauling heavy items? Whichever your needs, a flatbed trailer is an ideal choice. One of its greatest advantages is its high load-bearing capacity. It can handle more weight than the average box trailer. If this is your first time making a purchase, here are three essential tips to help you find a suitable flatbed trailer for your needs.
Choose Your Classification
Flatbed trailers are classified into various classes depending on their load capacity. For example, some can only haul around 20,000 pounds, while others have a capacity of up to 45,000 pounds or more. As you make your choice, think about the amount of weight you need to tow. For example, if you're in the automotive business, you need a flatbed with a high towing capacity, especially if you wish to carry multiple vehicles.
Similarly, if you need to tow lumber, plumbing pipes or machinery for your construction business, you need a high load capacity as well. To know the trailer's maximum capacity, check the VIN plate or the sticker with the VIN. If you can't ascertain the figure, you can always ask the dealer for help.
Inspect Structural Components
If you're buying a used flatbed, you need to inspect its structural components. Used trailers tend to be cheaper than new ones, and they are the most attractive option from a financial standpoint. However, to get the most value from the equipment, always conduct a pre-purchase inspection. Essential things to check include the following:
- Check for structural rust, which can shorten the lifespan and undermine the performance of the trailer
- Inspect exterior components for structural damage
- Check the tyres for irregularities and test the braking system
- Inspect the trailer floor for extensive wear
A thorough check will ensure you buy a trailer that's in excellent physical condition. The last thing you want is to undertake multiple repairs as these will hurt your investment.
Ask for Maintenance and Servicing Records
Reviewing essential documentation on the servicing and maintenance of the flatbed trailer can give you a sense of the machinery's overall performance. First, the flatbed should have a current safety inspection that ascertains that it's in excellent condition and safe for hauling jobs. Also, check the servicing and maintenance records. When was the last service? Which components were repaired? Were there any unexpected repairs?
Asking these things can help you estimate the servicing and maintenance costs of the flatbed. If you're buying a used trailer and the cost of repairs is unreasonable, you may reconsider your options and go for a new one.
When used for commercial applications, flatbed trailers may undergo heavy use. Therefore, there's a need to find one that's up to the task. If you need help making a choice, don't hesitate to talk to an expert.