There are a lot of reasons you might want your car towed, or carried over long distances – it might be a necessity when the car breaks down in the middle of the road, or you might be shifting to a new place, or a new city or country. Whatever the case might be, your car truly is your precious no matter its cost – whether it is a luxury car, a sports car, or just a regular car – it is your best friend through all odds on the road. So it surely is your responsibility to protect it when it is not on the road itself but is dependent on another vehicle. Now, car trailers in Melbourne vary vastly from one another and there are plenty of their kinds. You should do thorough research before you choose a car trailer because it needs to follow all of your criteria and more importantly, it needs to be compatible with your car; otherwise, the trailer and your car both may run into trouble on the road. Not to worry, we are here to give you a wholesome and comprehensive idea about how to choose a car trailer for your car so you do not have to bother yourself about it when you are in need for it.
What is a car trailer
Car trailers are typically used to ship new cars from the manufacturers to the auto dealerships or to transport used cars whose owners are relocating and choose to ship their cars instead of driving them to the destination. Consumers who have purchased a vehicle on the second-hand market (particularly online) and need it delivered to their location also pick car trailer companies for the delivery. Most commercial car carrier trailers in Melbourne attach to a tractor using a fifth wheel coupling, a link between the trailer and the towing truck/tractor unit.
What are the different types of car trailers
Depending on the size, style, and utility, there are quite a few kinds of trailers available in the market of Melbourne. Nonetheless, they all fall under two basic categories:
Open trailers are exactly what the name suggests: they are open from all sides. These are more commonly used for their greater carrying capacity, and also tend to be much cheaper as well as faster. These kinds of trailers are generally used for transportation and towing. Their greater carrying capacity makes work easier across longer distances and low fuel use makes them a friend to the environment as well.
These are much heavier in comparison to open trailers. Some of them may have less carrying capacity, but they provide more protection for shipping sensitive cars. These are fully covered and give full safeguard to the vehicle against external threats as well as environmental factors. The tradeoff for the same is less fuel efficiency and more strain on suspensions for carrying the weight.
Open or enclosed, the trailers can be single-level, or multi-level, depending on the number of cars they have to carry.
Now there are mainly the following custom trailers of both these types:
- Single car carriers: Single-car trailers are available from 7000 to 12000 GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) with a length of 17 feet to around 25 feet. They have sturdy frames – often built with channel wrap around tongues, with bevelled front corners, diamond plate flooring, slide-in loading ramps, radial tyres, rubber-mount lighting etc.
- Tilt car carriers: Tilt car trailers gained their name for having an entire bed to allow a gradual loading angle for cars. Mostly low-ground-clearance sports cars are loaded and hauled by them. When it comes to low-clearance vehicles, it can be a challenge to load them onto typical car trailers; and it is difficult to find ramps that are long enough. Hence, titling the entire bed provides the perfect solution – depending on the model, a hydraulic damper might also be used to cushion the lowering of the bed.
- Goose-neck car carriers: Gooseneck car trailers are available in an array of designs that can contain a channel frame where the floor is located between the fenders, a floor that is flush with the top of the fenders, a design that includes an entire floor, or a trailer designed with open steel runners. Gooseneck trailers are specially made for heavy road conditions and can haul up to 13,608 kg of weight. These carriers use hitch ball bolted into place together with hitches secured through the bed of the pick-up truck instead of simply stretching them from the rear of the towing vehicle. These features give these trailers greater strength capacity. Gooseneck trailers can make closer turns compared to ordinary trailers that connect with the rear of the tow vehicle.
How to choose the car trailer compatible with your vehicle
Now that you have learnt about the major types of car trailers, it will be easier for you to choose from. If you want cheaper and faster transportation, you may go for open trailers. However, if you own a big and expensive luxury car, especially if they need to be transported a long distance, it will be safer for your car if you pick an enclosed trailer. It might just be the cheaper option in the long run anyway as any scratch to a car like that can cost you quite a few doubloons to fix.
Either way, if you select the right company to provide you with trailers, you can let them know about your specifications and they can provide you with custom trailer services in Melbourne.
Now let us understand what the criteria you will need to consider to check the car carrier’s compatibility with your car:
The weight of the carrier vs. the weight of your car:
The main criterion for compatibility of your car and the towing vehicle is the weight. Your car may not be completely empty when you submit it to the carrier. So you will need to check the combined weight of your car – it should not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the carrier vehicle in any way. The GVWR will be mentioned in the manual of the trailer you are trying to hire. In fact, it is safe to have your car’s weight under 80% of the trailer’s maximum towing capacity. In case the car’s weight goes over this GVWR value, it might be very stressful for the carrier’s engine, transmission as well as brakes and can be quite a risk.
Tongue weight: In case you are hiring a trailer to tow your car instead of carrying it, you need to check the tongue weight that a fully loaded trailer puts on the hitch ball of your vehicle. This weight should be 10% of the loaded weight of the trailer for safety. Remember, tongue weight adds to the overall Gross Vehicle Weight of your own car. So while considering a car trailer, you will need to add this weight while calculating the gross carrying capacity of it and do the math accordingly.
Quality of parts of the car trailer:
A machine is only as strong as its weakest part, and the same holds true for any trailer. The trailer will have to endure long distances and weather conditions depending on the paths it will have to cross and the time of the year; so the quality and fitting of each part matter a lot. This includes the metal used, quality of suspensions, and even the nuts and bolts used to keep it together. It’s always better to check if the trailer has new oiled parts in its storage to keep things smooth and sturdy for the long road ahead.
Quality of tires of the car trailer:
As a trailer needs to carry heavy material like your entire vehicle across long distances, the quality of its tires becomes instrumental. Tires are what determine how it will handle different terrains with ease. The tires need to be smooth enough to avoid unnecessary friction, yet have deep grooves to make them not skid on smooth surfaces.
Breaking capacity of the car carrier:
Sure, a trailer needs to be heavy enough to carry the expected load, but for the safety of the driver, the car he is transporting, and other people on the road, good stopping power is also essential. Trailers carrying too heavy a load take more time and distance to stop as the momentum shift between the load it’s carrying and its own wheels make it difficult.
Technology has come to the rescue this time. You will find trailers equipped with the electronic braking system which detects when you are applying pressure to the brake pedal and automatically triggers the braking system, reducing the strain on your overall vehicle. Before you submit your car to a trailer, check if it has the system installed.
Once you are done with your research on the style of the trailer you will need, and the capacities of this tow vehicle, you are good to go. Now, all that remains is to go to the shop and hire one for your own car. However, vehicle companies are infamous for selling fake products, and sometimes fake parts, surreptitiously. Make sure you choose only a reputed and authentic dealer of trailers in Melbourne to pick the trailer and check the weight math as well as all its parts before it loads your car into it. Good luck on the road next time!