Choose the Right Trailer to Haul Your Construction Equipment

Deere Excavator on RGN trailer
January 16, 2018 admin 7 Comments

Your Construction Equipment Transportation Guide

Make your life easier by choosing the correct trailer to haul your construction equipment. There’s no reason in this world to send your valuable machinery out on the road on an overloaded trailer.

Flatbed trailers are good for hauling smaller pieces of construction equipment. Height restrictions come into play here. Nothing taller than 8 ½ feet travels on a flatbed trailer. Plus, you’ll need a viable method of loading your equipment on a flatbed trailer. Ramps won’t work because the flatbed is too high off the ground.

Step-deck trailers allow you to drive your equipment aboard.  Ditto for RGN trailers. Step-decks load from the rear, while RGNs load from the front. Either way, it’s a whole lot easier to drive your self-propelled construction equipment on board a trailer than it is to lift it aboard.

Anything that’s oversize must travel on a specialized RGN trailer, like a lowboy or a multi-axle trailer. The largest RGN trailers have more than 20 axles and stretch to more than 65 feet. Cargo weighing up to 150,00 pounds or more can be transferred on a specialized RGN trailer.

Flatbed Trailers: Perfect for Compact Equipment

Flatbed trailers can haul loads that weigh a maximum of 48,000 pounds. Cargo on a flatbed trailer can be up to 8 ½ feet tall and as much as 8 ½ feet wide. Flatbed trailers generally range between 48-feet long and 53-feet long.

Flatbed trailers don’t drop down, so you’ll need to find a way to load your equipment on board. Loadings docks work the best. You can use a forklift or a crane, or perhaps a small work crew, to lift your equipment aboard the flatbed trailer.

For construction equipment, flatbed trailers can be used for shipping:

  • Backhoe loaders
  • Forklifts
  • Mini excavators
  • Skid steers
  • Street sweepers
  • Trenchers
  • Wheel loaders


Compact versions of construction equipment usually travel aboard flatbed trailers. Small backhoes, small skid steers and mini excavators usually fit on a flatbed if they’re less than 8 ½ feet tall. Smaller forklifts too. Single-operator street sweepers and walk-behind trenchers also travel aboard flatbed trailers.

Step Deck Trailers: Nice for Mid-sized Equipment

Step-deck trailers can transport a maximum of 48,000 pounds. A step-deck trailer can transport cargo that doesn’t exceed 10 feet in height or 8 ½ feet in width. Step-deck trailers usually are 48 feet long, which includes an 11-foot deck and a 37-foot well.

Step-deck trailers allow you to drive or tow your equipment aboard using ramps. Since the ramps are fairly steep, machinery with little ground clearance is difficult to load on a step-deck trailer. Step-deck trailers are more adaptable than flatbed trailers to your construction equipment’s dimensions.

For construction equipment, step-deck trailers can be used to transport:

  • Backhoe loaders
  • Bulldozers
  • Construction forklifts
  • Mini excavators
  • Skid steers
  • Trenchers
  • Wheel loaders


Small-to-mid sized backhoes, dozers and wheel loaders fit great on step-deck trailers. Though your mini-excavator might fit on a flatbed trailer, it’s a lot easier to drive in onto a step-deck trailer. Telehandlers, rough-terrain forklifts and self-propelled trenchers are made to travel on step-deck trailers. Skid steers too tall for flatbed trailers often ship aboard step-deck trailers as partial loads.

RGN Trailers: Great for Heavy Hauls

RGN trailers are less standardized than step-deck trailers. The basic RGN carries a maximum of 42,000 pounds. An RGN hauls equipment as tall as 11 ½  feet and as wide as 8 ½ feet wide. The trailer well usually is 29 feet long.

RGN trailers offer clearance and convenience. RGN trailers sit a foot-and-a-half lower to the ground than step-deck trailers. The neck on an RGN collapses, so you can drive or tow your equipment on board. For transporting heavy equipment, RGN trailers are the workhorses of the fleet.

For construction equipment, RGN trailers can be used to haul:

  • Articulated trucks
  • Backhoe loaders
  • Excavators
  • Forklifts
  • Graders and Scrapers
  • Pipelayers
  • Street sweepers
  • Trenchers


Many models of heavy construction equipment will challenge weight limits. Articulated trucks and pipelayers usually travel as oversized loads. Graders, scrapers and trenchers can be overlength as well as overweight. Street sweepers can be large and heavy. Most backhoes, excavators and forklifts fit on regular RGN trailers.

Selecting the proper type of trailer to ship your construction equipment is the first step in achieving a successful haul. You want the best option for the least amount of money. Choose safety first and you’ll rest easier.

7 People reacted on this

  1. Thanks for explaining how step deck trailers are good for mid-sized equipment. Knowing the right trailer for the right job would help everything go really well. My husband and I are looking for a trailer, so we’ll have to consider what sized one is best.

  2. Thanks for helping me understand that knowing the kinds of the trailer is a must to make the right choice. I will definitely learn more about the other types of trailers since I still can’t find the perfect one for my things. We will be transferring some items from our farm that can’t get wet if ever it rains.

  3. Wow, it sure is interesting to know that flatbed trailers can handle a maximum weight of 48,000 pounds. If I were running a demolition firm, I’d definitely look for hauling services that have flatbed trailers at their disposal for a more efficient workflow. Thanks for this really informative piece about hauling equipment!

  4. There is a lot of things that I need to transport. So I appreciated this guide to know what type of equipment I should use. I didn’t know that flatbed trailers can’t drop down. Because of this, I believe I will look more into drop deck trailers. I believe this would be very convenient for the tasks I need to get done.

  5. My brother was talking about his interest in getting a flatbed trailer for sale. I want to help him make sure that this is the right piece of equipment for the project that he is interested in. Since this is ideal for compact equipment this will work well for my brother.

  6. My dad needs to transport a lot of farm supplies to his farm, however, our truck is too small. It was mentioned here that, flatbed trailers can take a maximum weight of 48,000 pounds. Furthermore, having the right type of trailer can help achieve a successful haul.

  7. I didn’t know that RGN trailers were good for heavy lifting. Construction sites always seem to have crazy amounts of machines. I wonder if a flatbed truck could be used to transport some of this equipment.

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