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  1. #1
    Platinum Member TNhobbyfarmer's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
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    780
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    Middle Tennessee
    Tractor
    Kubota 3430 4WD

    Default Advice for a new trailer

    I am in the market for a trailer to transport a compact tractor, kubota L3430 with FEL, around 4000 lbs. It won't get that much use so I want to get something that will do the job for the least amount of money. What kind of trailer would you suggest. If you have pictures of something you use, I would love to take a look. Also, will a 1/2 ton truck be enough to do an adequate job of towing? BTW, I intend to ad trailer brakes to my truck.
    Jerry
    Kubota L3430 with FEL

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    385
    Location
    Louisville, KY burbs

    Default Re: Advice for a new trailer

    The brake controller is definitely needed. It is not hard to install if you are a little familiar with electricity. It's also cheap to have done at auto shops if you don't want to fool with it.

    One thing you'll find if you search through threads here is, every time someone posts their tractor and what trailer would be good for it, someone says "longer trailer is better." You can also find lots of threads where someone has sold a barely big enough trailer to get a longer one for weight distribution, or carrying more implements. But there's almost never a post like, "well, I bought this 20ft trailer and I sure wish I got a 16ft instead."

    So basically, look at the price of something like an 8x20 equipment trailer, and compare to a "barely big enough" one, and that should give you an idea of which way you want to go. Will your tractor fit on a 16'? Sure, but not with much flexibility to move it forward or backward as-needed for weight distribution -- an important thing when towing with a 1/2 ton.

    As far as weight capacity goes, a tandem 3500# axle will work for you. A tandem 5200# is probably over-kill unless you plan on carrying materials on the trailer or using it for other things. Again, though, the price difference is not really big.

    I have a Gatormade trailer, which is a manufacturer in Somerset, KY, probably as close to you as they are to me. I am really happy with mine and I suggest you have a look at them. They are not the best quality, and I don't think anyone will tell you otherwise -- they are a medium-quality trailer at very good prices.

    You need to think about if you want a beaver/dove tail or a flat tail-section of your trailer. Lots of threads on this. I have one beaver-tail and it's okay except you have to watch your ground clearance.

    Ramps, slide-in or fold-up? Again, depends on what you want. Fold-up can get in your way, especially if you thought about letting a mower hang a little off the back or something.

    A few things you definitely want if you order a new trailer, instead of find a used one or buy off-the-lot:
    * LED lights
    * fold-down jacks at the back will help you load, depending on your style of ramps
    * stake pockets will make your trailer more useful
    * factory installed D-rings are the best way to tie down equipment, and they are a cheap option
    * if you might want a winch, think about having a 2" receiver put at the front so you can mount a portable one
    * tool box for chains?
    * spare tire and mount? radial tires or bias ply? plenty of threads about the difference

    Also, I personally am not buying any more trailers with couplers other than the 2 5/16" size. I am tired of switching mounts. On the size trailers you are looking at, you will probably be 2 5/16" by default anyway.

    I hope this helps. Look around at used stuff, but keep in mind that repairing something that isn't in good condition can be a real hassle. Also think about if you really need a trailer often enough to invest in one. If you are only going to move your tractor a few times a year, that's a lot of money to tie up in a trailer.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Advice for a new trailer

    A 1/2 ton with trailer brakes should do fine. Looks like your wheel base is 71" long by 60" wide and the tractor with out front-end loader is about 10' long. What kind of implements will you be hauling too? A 16' or 18' with 2-3500lb axles come in 2 widths, 77" and 83" wide. One of those has the capacity for about 5000- 5500lbs max capacity. the thing I would consider is that you have 4k sitting in roughly a 6'x5' area, I would go with at least a medium duty 7k capacity trailer. Personally I would go with a car hauler style trailer without side rails and try to get C-channel cross members or 3"x 4" angle iron cross members on 16" centers. I would stay away from the cheap 16' utility trailers that all the trailer places sell cheap. With 4k sitting in a small foot print on one of those trailer you will end up with bowed cross members over time. Look at Big tex or PJ trailer websites for the different style trailers.

  4. #4
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    5,924
    Location
    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: Advice for a new trailer

    Not all 1/2 ton trucks are created equal. If you already own one then look in the manual and see what it's rated to tow. If it's only 7500 lbs with a weight distribution hitch then you are not going to want a 10k trailer unless you want to future proof yourself. But remember the higher trailer weight ratings also means the trailer itself will be heavier and will require most expensive parts to replace (brakes and tires). Also longer trailer will also add weight. Longer may be nice but not if it puts you out of your tow rating.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    385
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    Louisville, KY burbs

    Default Re: Advice for a new trailer

    crazyal, sure, that's true, but almost every mid-00s and up 1/2 ton is specified to tow 7000# or more, unless you have picked fuel-conscious options such as smaller engine or shorter gear ratio.

    IMO having enough trailer length to properly balance the load is very important when pushing the tow limits of a 1/2 ton, often limited by its rear axle capacity or rear suspension, more so than its engine, cooling, or even brakes.

    I really think it's important for the original poster to think about if a trailer is a good investment. It's thousands of dollars and then may require annual fees for tags. You can pay someone to haul a tractor a lot of times with that amount of money. Dealer, towing company, whoever.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    14,599
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    Daleville, IN
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default

    All good info. I would get a 18' flat deck with slide in ramps.

    Chris

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    601
    Location
    Connecticut
    Tractor
    JD2520

    Default Re: Advice for a new trailer

    I recently went on the hunt for a trailer and learned a lot in the process. Here's a recap of what I learned from my search...

    - How much does the cargo weigh? Add tractor, loader, mower, ballast box, tire ballast, etc. Total up EVERYTHING that you might carry. Then add a few hundred pounds to cover yourself for chains, ratcheting tensioners, spare tire, etc.
    - How long is your machine from tip to tail? Add 2 to 3 feet to this measurement at a minimum to allow for adjusting the position of the load. Getting the weight placed correctly on the trailer is KEY to safe hauling.
    - What are your state's requirements for brakes? Personally, I would not consider buying a trailer without brakes on all axles. The minimal difference in cost is absolutely worth it.
    - What is the towing capacity and tongue weight capacity of your tow vehicle? Will you need a weight distributing hitch in order to be under the tongue weight limits?
    - Does any prospective trailer have D-Rings and / or stake pockets for securing cargo?
    - Do you have the right hitch for your receiver to handle the GTWR (Gross Trailer Weight Rating) of the trailer? Drop-forged hitches and some of the Reese tri-ball hitches are the only ones rated to handle over 5,000 - 5,500 pounds GTWR and the corresponding 10% tongue weight.
    - How much does the trailer itself weigh versus it's gross weight rating? The difference is the cargo capacity.
    - What GTWR does the trailer carry from the manufacturer? MANY (most?) trailers that are 10k and up are rated for the dealer's lot at UNDER 10k GTWR. This is done for registration purposes to ensure that there is no need for CDL and such. If the trailer is actually built to handle more, you'll at least know that you'll never be over-loading according to its ability if you're staying under the legal load limit.
    - How much does the trailer cost?
    - Are you willing to buy used and take on the responsibility of some work on bearings and such before you start towing?

    General comments:

    - Yes, you need a brake controller. Depending on your vehicle, it may be quite easy to install (if your vehicle came from the factory with the Tow Package installed, it could be a five minute operation with no tools). Look into the controllers based on the kind of braking system you will have on the trailer(s). I have a Tekonsha P3 and it can handle electric or hydraulic over electric brakes and supports up to four axles worth of braking.
    - Be mindful of what your cargo weight capacity needs to be and ensure that the GTWR of the trailer is big enough to support it after subtracting out the trailer weight. Remember that cargo weight on the trailer will need to include the machine, attachments, spare trailer tire, chains, tensioners, fuel, tire ballast, and anything else. If in doubt, go bigger. I was originally looking for a 7k trailer to haul my 2520 (which I estimated at about 4500 lbs with all attachments) and I ended up grabbing a 10k because cargo capacity on the 7k trailers was just too close for comfort with my rig.
    - Make sure you understand the GTWR and Tongue Weight limits of your vehicle!!! You may need a Weight Distributing Hitch in order to tow the heavier weights. I am fortunate in that my Tundra will handle 1,000lbs of tongue weight and almost 10k of GTWR without the need for a WDH.
    - I agree that "longer is better" is a common theme, and I'm glad I got an 18' instead of the 16' I was originally thinking I wanted / needed.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Daleville, IN
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: Advice for a new trailer

    One other thing to watch is the GVWR of the truck pulling it. A big issue I see is guys with older Fords Superdutys (pre 2005 ish) and Dmax 2500 series trucks. They have around a 8,800# GVWR but the truck weighs in at around 7,300# with the diesel and 4x4 options. Now put in 4 guys at 800# and you are down to 700# max tongue weight for the trailer before the truck is over weight. This is no bags or anything in the bed.

    Many 1/2 tons if not properly equipped will have a poor towing rear diff gear like a 3.31 or 3.42 and will have a GVWR that with 4 guys in the truck it will be at max GVWR.

    So the truck is just as a important factor as the trailer.

    Chris

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    601
    Location
    Connecticut
    Tractor
    JD2520

    Default Re: Advice for a new trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondpilot View Post
    One other thing to watch is the GVWR of the truck pulling it. A big issue I see is guys with older Fords Superdutys (pre 2005 ish) and Dmax 2500 series trucks. They have around a 8,800# GVWR but the truck weighs in at around 7,300# with the diesel and 4x4 options. Now put in 4 guys at 800# and you are down to 700# max tongue weight for the trailer before the truck is over weight. This is no bags or anything in the bed.

    Many 1/2 tons if not properly equipped will have a poor towing rear diff gear like a 3.31 or 3.42 and will have a GVWR that with 4 guys in the truck it will be at max GVWR.

    So the truck is just as a important factor as the trailer.

    Chris
    All very true... This is why I have learned to buy my trucks with the factory towing package already installed. Not only do I get the hitch and wiring, but the rear diff has likely been changed out to be more appropriate for towing. My rear diff has a 4.30 in it compared to a 4.10 on the non-tow package model.

    I'll go a step further, here, too... Don't just read the manual. Make sure that you drill down to find the specs for the EXACT vehicle you own. Towing capacities for my truck vary by 600 pounds from the highest capacity model to the lowest.

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Advice for a new trailer

    an average 16' car hauler rated for 7k with e-brakes should usually weight in near 1700-2000#.. that leaves you 5k payload.

    pulls 'ok' with a half ton if hitch is correct and you have a controller..

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