Hotshot trailers aren’t cheap, as they could cost around $10,000 – $30,000 depending on the model and features. That’s a lot of money that you don’t want to get wasted in a mediocre gooseneck! You can get the best value for your money if you look for the following essential features for your next hotshot trailer.
1. Anti-flex system
Fishtailing is a common problem that hotshot truckers have to face daily. Thankfully, there are newer models of flatbeds that are fitted with an anti-flex system such as a torque tube which offers optimal sway prevention. Adding a torque tube to the trailer makes it more stable as it absorbs the twisting forces.
2. Powder coat finish
A powder coat finish is considered the most superior finish for hotshot trailers. Generally, it produces a coating which is twice thicker than standard paint. This in turn gives it exceptional toughness, durability and scratch-resistance.
On the mechanical side, powder coating is flexible and has the ability to yield and bend with the material it is applied to. Since trailers are subject to a lot of vibrations and movements on the road, powder coating is the best option if you like a longer-lasting finish.
3. Dovetail / Big Ramp System
The choice between a dovetail and a big ramp system depends on your personal preference. They both make loading and unloading a lot easier especially if you are frequently hauling vehicles that are low to the ground. Some people don’t like a dovetail because of the drag. But if you check the newer trailers, there are models fitted with dovetail with a minimum amount of drag. Alternatively, you may also consider having a big ramp system. Ramps typically have lesser drag and you can also use them to conveniently haul narrow and wide track equipment.
4. DOT-approved LED lights
If you are buying a trailer that comes with DOT-approved lights, it means one less major expense to deal with. Check if the trailer you are buying has complete DOT-approved lights that are legal in the US and Canada. If the lightings are LEDs, that’s even a bonus because LEDs are typically more economical and longer-lasting than regular lights.
5. Excellent safety features
A number of road accidents involve hotshot trailers. You’ll never know what can happen on the road especially if you are carrying uneven loads and during bad weather conditions. While you can’t predict when an accident will happen, having excellent safety features can help reduce the impact of an accident.
When buying a trailer, check if the standard equipment includes a safety breakaway kit. This is an essential feature that can help in case the coupler comes off and the safety chains fail. The breakaway kit works as your last line of defense as it will bring the trailer to a safe stop by activating the brakes. All wheels should also have built-in brakes for your peace of mind.
A warranty can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on trailer parts and repairs. Before buying, check what’s covered in the warranty and for how long. It’s a bonus if you can find a trailer that comes with at least 5 years of warranty on parts and repairs.
These features are just the minimum. You could also add to this list other trailer features that you prefer to have based on your needs.
If you think we missed out an essential feature, please let us know in the comments below.