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The Purpose of Double Drop Trailers: What You Need to Know

red semi-trailer truck

It is easy to get lost in the long list of trailer types and accessories; they all have their limitations and unique advantages. However, some shipments cannot fit within legal dimensions, which required the innovative American spirit to derive a solution. For oversized and heavy loads, the double drop trailer was invented to accommodate bulky dimensions while still complying with federal safety regulations. Credible information from trailer manufacturers and haulers alike confirms that these semi-trailers adjust to the needs of unorthodox loads. A double drop trailer is defined by the lowered deck that falls beneath the wheel axels, making it uniquely capable of hauling oversized loads.

What is a Double Drop Trailer?

The trailer deck drops below the wheel axels allowing it to carry freight that exceeds state mandated height limits – this primary characteristic is why it is often referred to as the drop deck trailer. It is possible to add an impressive three feet of height clearance because the cargo bed can drop to just 18” above the ground. The standard length for the deck is 28 feet 6 inches, but the length can be increased using extension technologies. Double drop trailers often transport construction equipment, wind turbines, large industrial machinery, and other oversized loads. The notable advantages to choosing this type are the added height clearance and length accommodations. The specialized design allows for a broader range of cargo to be transported, making them an essential part of the transportation industry.

Alterations and Uses

The Neck

  • They can be equipped with either a fixed neck or a removable gooseneck that attaches the trailer to the truck. The fixed neck is as it suggests – the trailer neck is not detachable. Alternatively, the removable gooseneck disconnects from the truck and the front of the trailer can be lowered and serve as a ramp during the loading process. Equipment that can move by itself can be then driven onto the lower deck. Because of this, double drop removable gooseneck trailers are often used for transporting heavy wheeled machinery and construction or farm equipment. This may include things like tractors, cranes, loaders, compactors, large trucks, and generators.
yellow excavator being loaded onto trailer with removed gooseneck while a guy is standing and watching
Easily loading excavator

The Double Drop Extendable

  • These trailers have a lower deck that can be extended to accommodate longer loads. While a regular double drop trailer deck is around 29 feet long, an extendable deck can stretch to as long as 50 feet. The extendable feature allows for a wider range of cargo to be transported, as the trailer can be adjusted to the specific length of the load. This type is typically used for transporting construction equipment, pipes, and other long, narrow loads. The double drop extendable is sometimes also called double drop stretch trailers.

Are Double Drop Trailers Heavier?

In terms of weight, they are typically heavier than standard trailers due to their specialized construction and reinforced lower deck. The weight of a double drop trailer can vary significantly depending on the size and load capacity of the trailer. It is important to carefully consider weight when selecting a trailer, as the weight of the trailer itself can affect the overall weight capacity of the vehicle towing it.

In addition to the weight of the trailer, it is also vital to consider load capacity when selecting a double drop trailer. These are typically able to carry heavier loads than standard trailers, up to as much as 70,000 lbs., but it is still necessary to ensure that the trailer is capable of carrying the specific load you need to transport. Do not forget to consider the height and width of the load, as you may need an extendable double drop trailer for larger loads.

How Much Does a Double Drop Trailer Cost?

The average cost varies based on the size and specifications of the trailer, as well as the manufacturer. They can range in price from tens of thousands of dollars to over a hundred thousand dollars, the wide range of cost is due to customizations. If you need it, some trailer configurations can haul up to 70,000 pounds and extend past 50 feet, which would inevitably cost more than smaller alternatives. The size of the trailer, the materials used in its construction, and any additional features or accessories such as flip axles or outriggers, will affect the final cost of the trailer.           

What Type Should You Buy?

The type of double drop trailer you should buy depends on the type of loads you will be transporting. It is a significant financial investment, and it is necessary to carefully consider the kinds of freight that you’re in the market for. Double drop trailers will require the use of a crane for loading and unloading the majority of the time, particularly when the trailer is not equipped with a removable gooseneck. For example, a fixed neck double drop trailer requires loads to be placed on the deck using auxiliary equipment such as a crane. This means the only cargo you can transport is what can be moved with the equipment available locally. In contrast, removable gooseneck trailers allow you to haul any equipment which can be moved onto the trailer using the ramp (heavy wheeled machinery and vehicles). The average weight varies greatly based on configuration as previously mentioned, you can find a useful and comprehensive overview of the various trailer dimensions and weights at c&d logistics.

If you’re in the market to haul lengthy, oversized loads, extendable drop deck trailers are probably the ideal choice for you.

To Review

Overall, double drop trailers are an essential tool for transporting oversized and heavy loads that cannot be transported on a standard trailer. These specialized trailers offer increased load capacity and flexibility, making them a critical part of the transportation industry. Whether you are transporting construction equipment, industrial machinery, or any other type of oversized load, a double drop trailer can provide a reliable and efficient solution for your transportation needs.

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