In search for a new trailer but not sure what specs to consider? Checking this list is a good start. We have rounded up 13 hotshot trailer features that can make a big difference in how your trailer will perform and how long it will last.
1. I-beam neck and main frame
I-beam reduces metal fatigue and frame flex which in turn extends the life of your trailer. It is also considered stronger than the commonly used C-channel. It’s an advantage if you have found a trailer that comes standard with an I-beam frame rather than just an upgrade.
2. Side steps and handle on strategic locations
Getting on and off of your trailer easily and safely matters. That is the reason why most hotshot trailers are fitted with steps and handles. However, what makes a difference is their placement. Unless you test it first, it’s hard to tell if the steps and handle placements are ideal for your preference.
3. Lifetime LED lights
LED lights are not only brighter but they are also energy efficient and last longer than incandescent lights. If you must get a trailer, get one with LED lights as a standard feature.
4. 3-inch channel cross-members on 16-inch centers
The use of 3-inch channel cross-members as well as the tight spacing of 16 inches or less, gives your deck additional strength. Some manufacturers use lighter cross-members and they tend to spread them further than 16 inches to cut costs. But this practice compromises deck strength.
5. Radial tires
Tires make a big difference when it comes to comfort and fuel economy. For goosenecks, radial tires are a better option than the commonly used bias-ply tires. Radial tires produce less vibration and offer a softer ride. They also improve fuel economy. As these tires generate less heat, they typically last longer than other types of tires.
6. Dexter axles
Dexter has been producing quality axles for more than 50 years. Their axles are considered the best in the industry for strength, safety, reliability and smooth performance. It’s a bonus if you can find a flatbed with Dexter axles as a standard fitting.
7. Pressure-treated wood floor
Many flatbeds now have wooden floors as a standard feature. Aside from being inexpensive, wood offers excellent traction and generally weigh lighter than metal flooring. If you are buying a flatbed with wooden flooring, check if it is pressure treated. This process improves the strength and durability of the wooden floor.
8. Anti-flex system
The anti-flex system keeps flexing and swaying to a minimum. You’d be lucky to find a trailer with excellent anti-flex system which may include installation of a torque tube and frame bracing as a standard equipment.
9. Excellent safety features
Don’t go for minimum safety. Check if the hotshot trailer you are eyeing has an electric breakaway kit with charger, safety chains, adequate LED lighting and stickers, safety steps and handle, and fire extinguisher. These should be included as standard features rather than optional or upgrade features.
10. Spring-assisted ramps
Ramps make loading and unloading easier and more convenient. However, some manufacturers don’t pay much attention on how their ramps work. Some ramps are quite heavy and require much effort to lift or lower. It’s a good idea to find a trailer with lightweight ramps that are spring-assisted so you can effortlessly lift or set them down. Also, ramps that are held in place by ramp locks and not by straps are a better option for convenience and safety.
11. Dual spring-loaded drop leg jacks
A pair of spring-loaded drop leg jacks is a great feature to have especially if you intend to detach the trailer from the vehicle during loading or unloading. Spring-loaded jacks allow you to easily lower the jack feet or retract to the up position with minimum effort.
12. Sealed wiring harness
Wiring issues are among the top complaints for many hotshot trailer owners. For added protection, some manufacturers use a sealed wiring harness to prevent the wires from being exposed to the elements. As a result, it extends the life of the wires. This is a must-have feature for any hotshot trailer.
13. Powder-coat finish
Powder coat is different from regular paint in that it is applied in a completely dry form. It leaves an attractive coating with a glossy and even finish across the surface. You can hardly see runs, brush lines or streaks in the final outcome. Powder coating is a premium finish. It is more durable and offers a longer-lasting finish than regular paint.
Finding most if not all these features in one trailer gives you the best value for your money. That’s why it’s a good idea to shop around and compare your available options based on the above features.
If you know of other features that should be included in this list, feel free to let us know in the comment box below.