Australian Flat Top Trailers Guide
The sighting of a trailer on Australian roads are highly frequent. Some of us might even have one, no matter for moving around large items or for luggage to a weekend getaway. No matter what purpose you are planning for your trailer, it is important to understand it before getting one. Here is your flat top trailers guide.
First and foremost, check your license. A trailer is an extension of the vehicle that is restricted in accordance to the class of your license. All classes except for car and rider in Australia are allowed to tow a trailer. And, all rigid licences are only allowed to tow trailers less than 9 tonnes gross vehicle mass. Drivers with learner licence or on provisional licence should review the relevant laws and restrictions before hitching a trailer to their vehicle. My advice is don’t tow a trailer unless you are holding a P2 licence. If you are using an international driver licence, check the rules on your translated licence for more details.
Alrighty, legal sorted, let’s get on with it. A flat top trailer is fairly simple on the outside, as a trailer with a flat loading top and that’s it. Though there are different sizes and proportions, all flat top trailers are bound by similar regulations (yes, again). The length and width of trailers that are on the market currently are usually not in the sizes that required a special permit. But lighting and braking on your trailer is highly important for the safety of those around you and yourself. Check the technical requirements from the Australian Government to ensure your trailer is legal before heading on a journey.
Now, flat top trailers differentiate with the planned usage of the trailer. Some may have sides or even drop-down sides for loading cargo. And these trailers are highly versatile for most situations with easy upgrading path if needed. When first choosing your flat top trailer, look for the maximum load that you need and the maximum length that you’re comfortable with. Typically, the longer the length of the trailer, the more load it can take. But the longer the trailer, the harder it is to be manoeuvred. Buying the largest might get you stressed every time on the road. The usable internal deck space is also a great dimension to look at as trailers with vertical sides have to compromise the usable space for the walls.
As the trailer are likely to go on long journeys with you, the durability of it is also crucial. Steel or aluminium trailers are great with the overall integrity. But, despite being lighter, aluminium trailers are significantly pricier. Galvanized steel would be a great alternative for structural integrity and corrosion resistance. The same goes with the floor, materials like checker plate floor that encompass durability and structural integrity together are the best choice. Securing the item to transport is also key in using a flat top trailer, that features like tie-down rails, step rails, and headboard are great plus for such trailers.
After getting your trailer, you might want to add features to enhance the use of your trailer. A tie-down system, quick coupler and ramps are great additions to easing your lifting and transporting live. The Family Handyman has a whole article talking trailer upgrades (you can skip upgrade 1 & 3 as those are mandatory).
And… you have your perfect trailer! But a trailer is still an extension to your vehicle that not much control can be exerted on. So, please be careful with a trailer for safe motoring for those around you and yourself.