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Picking a Sled Trailer part 1


Written By: Steve Whittington, Trailer ManagerSep 26, 2013

 I grew up in the small northern mining town of Thompson, Manitoba.  We were a family of sledders, four of us, but at times we had upwards of six sleds. For my brother and I we had a red Yamaha Bravo, an orange Élan and a yellow Tundra. Mom and dad had bigger machines, both Polaris, a Cutlass SS and Indie Trail. The Cutlass was eventually upgraded to a liquid cooled Indie 400, and when we got older we could take it for a rip. It was fast.

 
Despite having all those sleds we never had a trailer. We transported our sleds by loading them in the back of our truck by running up a snow bank or a ¾” sheet of plywood as a ramp.  Usually we took one sled but sometimes we needed to transport two.  That was a chore, turning the sleds perpendicular to the truck and hanging the tracks over the side of the box.  Those were the days.
 
I am sure the struggles of loading sleds in the back of trucks helped bring about the evolution of the recreational sled trailer; much as loading horses and cattle in pickups prompted the building and selling of horse and stock trailers.  Either way, the expensive cargo moved from the back of the truck to behind the truck and the differentiation started there.
 
I won’t bore you with all the bumps and steps along the way, but fast forward to today and there are a lot of choices out there.  Here are some points to consider:
 
Picking an open deck or an enclosed trailer:  An open deck trailer is significantly less cost than an enclosed sled trailer, and easier to tow than a large enclosed trailer.   If you do not mind some road slush on your sleds (salt shields/rock guards mitigate this some) and you want something easy to move around, this is the choice for you.  Now you just need to decide between steel and aluminum. 
 
Steel vs aluminum:  Aluminum will last longer and does not suffer as badly from weathering or mechanical road chip damage. The trailers tend to have the same capacity, but if you go with a well-built steel trailer they will be stronger and will be able to do more than just haul your sleds or recreational vehicles.  That tends to be the deciding factor between buying aluminum open deck sled trailers or steel open deck sled trailer. If you think you’re going to use it for more than just sleds, buy a steel open sled deck trailer, it will handle the abuse better.  Otherwise buy the aluminum, it pulls way easier and if you are putting on some miles you will appreciate that fact.
 
Stay tuned for part 2 which will look at how to choose the right enclosed trailer for you.
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Posted in Trailer Tips | Tagged with Information | More articles by Steve Whittington


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