Utility Trailer and Cargo Trailer Buying Guide
Trailer Buying Guide
Tractor Supply stocks a large assortment of utility and cargo trailers, trailer parts such as hitches and ball mounts, and other trailer accessories. Learn more about which utility trailer is right for you in this guide.
How to Choose the Best Utility Trailer
Answer the following questions to best determine what type of trailer will fit your needs.
What Will the Trailer be Used For?
Light duty projects, such as the occasional hauling of one small piece of lawn equipment might require a 4’ x 6’ Utility Trailer, 4’ x 7’ Utility Trailer or a 5’ x 8’ SP Trailer. More frequent and/or small-to-medium projects, such as hauling one medium-sized piece of equipment like a zero-turn lawn mower or two small pieces of lawn equipment may require a 5’ x 10’ Wood Floor Trailer or a 7’ x 12’ ATV Trailer. Medium to large projects, such as hauling a small Bobcat and attachments or a small tractor may require a 6’ x 16’ 2-brake Landscape Trailer. Finally, we recommend an enclosed trailer if you need to keep your load out of the weather. Specialty trailers are available in a variety of sizes, and having one of these will ensure your payload is secure.
What is the Size and Weight of the Load You Need to Carry in the Trailer?
The primary concern when purchasing a trailer is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) that you expect to carry. GVWR is the empty weight of the trailer plus the weight of the payload. Select a trailer with a higher Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) than you expect to carry. The GVWR is a diversified weight rating. That is, it assumes that the weight will be distributed equally over the floor of the trailer. In general, the GVWR correlates directly with the size of the trailer. If you are planning to haul something like a Bobcat, where a lot of weight is concentrated in a small area, you may wish to consider a custom trailer. For hauling ATVs and small tractors, weight ratings are seldom an issue. Usually, your main concern is having enough surface area to hold the right number of vehicles. You will want to consider larger utility trailers for medium and large tractors and other small equipment. Larger trailers often have two axles and are called tandem trailers. Remember to plan not only for what you are hauling now, but also for how your needs may grow or change in the near future. It never hurts to plan for some extra capacity in case of unforeseen events.
What is the Maximum Weight Your Vehicle Can Tow?
If you want to find out what the maximum towing weight of your vehicle is, check the owner’s manual for your vehicle, or you can contact your local dealer. Once you have determined the maximum load your vehicle can haul, deduct the trailer’s weight from this figure. This is the amount of payload the truck can theoretically haul with that particular trailer. The actual number will also be limited by the rating of the trailer. When determining the capacity of the vehicle, you should think about stopping the vehicle as well as pulling. (If the trailer and payload weigh more than the vehicle, it will be harder to stop.) A full-size pickup usually has a full-size Class 3 trailer hitch that is rated for up to 10,000 lbs. If you do not have a hitch, you can always install one.
Other Supplies You May Need When Purchasing a Utility or Cargo Trailer
If your vehicle has the standard tow package, it will usually have a standard wiring system for lighting. If not, you can purchase a plug-in wiring harness. You may also want to consider picking up some additional items with your trailer purchase, including:
- Electronic brake controller
- Spare tires
- Spare tire carrier
- Lighting accessories (such as plug-in wiring harness)
- Proper hitch hardware (may need adapter)
- Trailer ball
- Taillight protector
- Trailer utility rack
- Ball mount
- Pin, clip, and coupler lock
- Receiver tube
Tractor Supply Company stocks a large assortment of trailer parts and accessories. Consult the weight rating on the equipment to determine which of these parts will work with your trailer.