Audrey's Automotive Blog

Audrey's Automotive Blog

A Worthy Cause: Choosing A Roadworthy Side Tipper Trailer For Highway And Interstate Transportation

Penny Roberts

Side tipper trailers may be a relatively new addition to the field of bulk transportation equipment, but their popularity makes the advantages of owning one or more of these unique trailers pretty self-evident. One of their key advantages over other dumper vehicles is their versatility -- they can be used reliably on a work site when towed by a heavy plant vehicle, before being hitched to a roadworthy tow vehicle for long-distance transportation along state roads.

However, if you are purchasing a side tipper trailer intended for use on public roads as well as private work sites, you should make sure that the tipper you choose is well-suited to road towing conditions. As such, you should ask yourself the following questions before buying any side tipper trailer to ensure your new piece of equipment is entirely fit for purpose:

How heavy is the trailer, both loaded and unloaded?

When it comes to efficient road transportation of bulk loads, weight is the most important number. Excessive loading weights won't just but a dent in your tow vehicle's fuel efficiency -- riding heavy can also cause your transport vehicles to fall foul of local highway laws, and may prevent them from taking shortcuts and side roads with stringent maximum weight limits.

As such, you should try to marry light weight with the ability to securely carry the loads your business deals with. The weight of your side tipper's average load will differ depending on your industry (a trailer full of light ores, for example, can be far lighter than the same size of trailer filled with clay or clean fill), so you should ideally meet your side tipper dealer with the weight of your average load already in mind. This will ensure that you don't pick an undersized or underpowered trailer in the name of efficiency.

Should I choose a side tipper with a discharge door?

Many side tippers feature a secure door, located in one or both sides of the trailer's base. These doors allow limited unloading of a side tipper trailer without the need to actually tip it, and can be very useful for industries that deal with loose, free-flowing materials such as builder's sand, making them very useful on a variety of work sites. 

However, side tippers with discharge doors may be inadvisable if your trailer fleet will regularly transport trailers on public roads. Though these doors are very securely made, an accident or collision in the wrong place can force the door open, uncontrollably discharging your load onto the road and leading to some hefty clean-up bills from your local road authority. If your trailers will only be making short road journeys these concerns can largely be ignored, but trucks plying busy interstate roads may want to stick to door-less trailers.

How high does the trailer sit on the road?

As you can imagine, a huge, slab-sided tipper trailer is hardly the most aerodynamic of vehicles, and a side tipper trailer that sits to o high on the road can create powerful drag and dull your tow vehicle's fuel efficiency. However, more low-profile trailers may not provide the capacity you need.

You should therefore take the dimensions of your tow vehicle into account before purchasing any side tipper trailer, as they can dramatically alter the amount of air resistance your new trailer creates. If your trailer is to be towed by a large goods truck with a tall profile, you can afford to choose a taller trailer since it will be masked from incoming winds by the height of the truck cab. Smaller side tippers towed by ATVs and utes, on the other hand, should feature a much lower profile to prevent excessive drag and altered towing handling.


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About Me
Audrey's Automotive Blog

Hello, my name is Audry. I would like to offer you all a very warm welcome to my new automotive blog. When I was growing up in the 1960s, my daddy would always try to stop me playing with my brother's toy cars. Times were different then and people believed that little girls should not be interested in greasy engines. When I grew up, I went to college and got a job working for a large Australian bank. However, I didn't lose my passion for automobiles. I still like to hang out at the local auto repair and sales shop and I have learnt a lot during my time there.