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When purchasing a trailer, it’s important to consider your return on investment. High-quality trailers that contribute to more secure loads, more reliable equipment, fewer maintenance issues, and overall safer and faster trips will not only make you a preferable carrier but will also improve the return on your investment. Business-minded truckers know that the seemingly peripheral details, such as paying for a trailer with an air suspension system rather than alternatives, can become the difference between barely breaking even and making a profit. There are many types of trailers, and because they are not all created equal, it is wise to be informed on the type of trailer that best fits your needs and long-term goals. This discussion will focus on the removable gooseneck (RGN) trailer and provide clarity on the defining characteristics of the RGN, outline important general facts, and identify the precise advantages are to using the removable gooseneck trailer.
The Defining Characteristics of an RGN Trailer
The category of gooseneck trailers got its name because of the way the trailer connects to the towing vehicle. Gooseneck trailers have a neck that arcs which allows it to attach to the truck – the silhouette roughly mirrors a goose’s neck. The unique element of RGNs is that the gooseneck is detachable from the rest of the trailer. These trailers can be broken down into three main elements: (1) a gooseneck that connects the trailer to the truck, (2) a drop deck for the freight, and (3) a step over the rear axles of the trailer. These elements make for a trailer that is uniquely equipped to haul large, heavy shipments without sacrificing stability or maneuverability.
For non-commercial vehicles, RGNs are amongst the biggest available options spanning up to 40 feet. However, RGNs do come in a variety of dimensions, equipped with either mechanical or hydraulic systems, and have varying axle configurations. This serves to provide plenty of options for carriers and allows them to build the trailer that best fits their specific needs.
RGN trailers are uniquely capable of stabilizing a shipment due to the method of weight distribution. With RGNs the weight is distributed over the rear axle of the towing vehicle instead of behind it, it is because of this that goosenecks provide more maneuvering control and stability while driving. Furthermore, trailer bed support can be increased by using additional axles that effectively give the RGN trailer a higher weight capacity. For example, the most common RGN setup is a tandem axle that can support up to 40,000 pounds, meanwhile RGNs with three axles can carry 55,000 – 65,000 pounds. While costly, RGNs are customizable which is an overall perk for operations that require specialized equipment. This makes RGN trailers ideal for hauling heavy, oversized loads, most commonly used for agricultural equipment, livestock transport, or hot-shot vehicle towing.
The Drop Deck
RGN trailers allow the trailer to drop off to the ground and form its own ramp, this makes the loading process significantly easier for loading freight that can be driven onto the drop deck. This feature is unique to RGNs and is not available with general lowboy trailers. Even though both the RGN and lowboy trailer are known for hauling shipments that are too tall to be legally carried by a flatbed, RGNs are specifically designed for the purpose of easing the loading process of large and heavy shipments such as excavators. Because the gooseneck can be detached, the carrier can use the ramp to drive the shipment onto the trailer without relying upon loading equipment that would have otherwise been necessary if he was using a regular lowboy. Lowboys require the use of auxiliary equipment which limits the type of cargo that a lowboy can haul to only the types of cargo that the available loading equipment can withstand – RGNs do not have this problem.
As previously mentioned, the RGN drop deck allows the carrier to haul tall pieces of equipment that would not legally fit in most other trailer types. This is possible because the trailer well, which often spans up to 29 feet, will hold the machinery lower to the ground so that it does not exceed maximum height restrictions. Beyond easing the process of transporting tall and bulky freight, this can be a huge advantage when booking loads because it widens your freight options.
- Able to tow a wide variety of equipment
- Eases the loading and unloading process (does not require auxiliary equipment)
- Increased stability and carrier control
- Semi-truck is not required,
- High load capacity for a pickup truck
- Able to transport taller loads without requiring additional permits
- Custom options are available & multiple sizes are designed for specific uses
Whether one decides to spend the extra money on an RGN instead of a lowboy depends on the carrier’s demands for functionality and their limitations based on cost. If you need the capability of hauling any kind of freight, want a simple loading system, and prefer a more stable trailer and increased maneuvering control, the RGN trailer is the superior choice.
If you need to drive a shipment onto your trailer or if it would just make life easier in general, RGNs are going to work best because they are specially designed for this purpose. If you are looking for a low-cost option and do not have the need to carry a wide variety of freight, consider using a lowboy instead of an RGN for transport. Remember though, you lose the benefit of an easy loading process if you forego the RGN.