Written By: Steve Whittington, Vice President of Marketing and CommunicationsNov 24, 2011
This season the diversity of choice for a sled trailer can be daunting. There are many brands, different dealers, options and types to choose from.
Let me try to take you through the choices with a bunch of comparison points as follows: Canadian versus American, steel versus aluminum, open versus enclosed, enclosed 7 wide versus 8.5 ft wide deck over, heated versus not heated and dealer versus dealer.
1) Canadian versus American. Let me start by writing “buy Canadian eh” whenever possible. There, I put it in writing. Not to get political but come on, if you can, support a Canadian company. That said, of the Canadian brands that provide sled trailers, the two leading players are Southland Trailers with their XR Series and Trailtech with their heavy duty steel trailers. There are others in the West notably Rainbow Trailers, Agassiz Trailers and CJay Trailers; however, their choice offering is less than the leading two. That said, the American companies do a good job, the problem is how fluid the industry is. Many companies rise and fall quite quickly (such as Pace American which recently shut its doors). Despite this, competition in the US is thick and there are all kinds of options to choose from, but beware of what you are buying and from whom. At Flaman Trailers we partner with the two leading Canadian companies and several American companies to round out our offering.
2) Steel versus aluminum. The debate rages, but there are some simple facts. Aluminum is lighter and does not rust, but it costs about a 1/3 more. Steel is stronger and on an enclosed unit it is only the tip of the trailer and the tail that is really going to show any rust. On an open deck there is a little more exposure. With the weight factor, several hundred pounds with a regular pick up makes a heck of a difference for hauling. For instance a two place aluminum open can weigh as little as 480 lb., while a two place steel open can weigh as much as 1345 lb.
3) Open versus enclosed. To be honest, it comes down to available storage, usage and budget. If you have lots of room to store your trailers in for the summer, there’s no need for an enclosed trailer otherwise. As for usage, how many a times a year will you be trailering and how far? Do you need an enclosed staging area? The amount of time you have to spend cleaning grime off your sled gets older every time. That being said, if you are hauling only a few times or short distances, get an open deck trailer, save some money and put it into your sled.
4) Enclosed lowboy/7 ft wide versus enclosed 8.5 ft wide deck over. Traditionally, if you wanted to haul sleds in Canada you purchased an 8.5’ wide deck over trailer. Your sleds parked side by side and loading and unloading was easy through the rear and front ramp. The 8.5’ wide deck over trailers, while convenient for loading, are big and if you have a steel frame trailer you need a big truck to haul your big trailer. Lowboy and 7 ft wide trailers are easier to pull and the 7 ft wide is a more convenient multi-use trailer in the off season than the 8.5 ft deck over. You can also see around the 7 wide and 8 wide lowboys with your mirrors when hauling. But loading is tricky, and you will not be walking in your trailer when loaded, there simply is no room.
5) Heated versus not heated. To heat or not to heat is a question many a customer has. The benefits of heat are obvious, but are you going to use it enough to justify the added expense? Only you can be the judge of that.
6) Dealer versus dealer. There are many dealers selling sled trailers. Your choices are many but should be made based on product knowledge, service and after sales support – not price! The trailers are all priced differently for a reason. If something is less or more at different dealers it is due to features, product quality and support the dealership offers. Educate yourself and purchase from a professional that will help you choose the best sled trailer for you.
Hope this helps!Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged with snowmobile trailers sled trailers trailer open flat deck enclosed highboy lowboy deck over steel aluminum Canadian | More articles by Steve Whittington