Flaman Rentals Blog

All-Sport Trailers

Posted by Steve Whittington Nov 17, 2014

If you have been in the trailer industry as long as I have,you can reflect on trends and the evolution of a product.  One product I believe that has been evolving  quickly is the enclosed all sport trailer. The best place to see this evolution at its most diverse is the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Show and Sale or the Alberta Power Sports Show.  While both of these shows have been dubbed “sled shows” and are run by the provincial snowmobile associations they are so much more than just Snowmobiles shows. 

Over the years I have watched non-snowmobiling recreation power sports creep into these shows (there was a wake boarding boat at the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Show and Sale this year). As the products on display have broadened so too has the versatility of trailers at this show.  Many of the trailers showcased were not just “sled” trailers they were trailers to haul products for all seasons and all sports.  Thus the name all sport. 

So what is an all sport trailer? Its name suggests it is a unit that can transport all power sport equipment.  Fair enough, but the reality is that most of the “all sport” dubbed trailers can only transport a few types of units the name would otherwise imply. So if you are shopping for a true all sport trailer, below are characteristics to look for and reasons why:

  1. Extra Height: If you want to just haul sleds and quads height is not an issue. But as soon as you decide to transport a UTV you will need extra height to clear the rear ramp door opening.  I generally recommend an 84” interior height that will allow for 78” in rear ramp door clearance.  With lots of UTV’s having 76” as their overall height that provides the clearance you need.
  2. Lowboy or Middeck as opposed to the traditional 8.5 ft wide highboy (deck over trailer):  This type of trailer allows for a lower ramp incline making it easier to load quads, sleds, or UTV’s.  The lower ramp angle makes it easier to back sleds in, which is required for many loading configurations with a lowboy or middeck trailers.  The lowboy trailer also allows you to haul a vehicle, and with that toy hauling capacity, now you have an all sport.
  3. 5200 - 6000 lb axles: The machines keep getting bigger and thus heavier.  In the case of mountain sleds 11’ in length is not uncommon and these come with bigger engines every year.  While the manufactures strive to keep the weight down it does continue to creep up. The same trend goes for ATV’s and UTV’s. With the primary cargo getting bigger and heavier more axle capacity makes sense, certainly if you are transporting extra gear along with your snow machines or quads.  The larger axles also provide the payload capacity for a vehicle and can handle some of the rougher roads you may need to travel on to get to your adventure destinations.
  4. Extra Length: As mentioned before all the units are getting bigger and longer. A thrity foot long trailer used to be a rare unit, now we try to keep in stock. While it is not the common size (26’ is still 90% of the units sold) it is no longer uncommon.  Twenty foot long (16’ straight wall plus 4’ v-nose)  3 place trailers with extra height are a very popular size; but because they are too short to transport a car they are not considered an all sport trailer.
  5. 8.5 wide: While 7’ wide inline units are gaining popularity as a multi-use units (they fill in as a standard cargo trailer in the off season) and are easier to tow, turn, back up and park; they have less capacity and of course cannot haul a car (8.5’ wide is needed for a vehicle).

Several additional points to note:

  • These units can be steel frame or aluminum frame. The difference is weight and cost. I use the 1/3 rule: aluminum reduces the curb weight by about 1/3 but adds to the cost by about 1/3 more.
  • Escape doors: Many folk insist they need these.  I agree shimming out your window like a Bob and Luke duke is not a fun task in a confined space of an enclosed trailer. I have a few words of caution.  First if your car has very low clearance there is chance you will not be able to use the escape door because the car door will not clear the inside fender of the trailer.  Second, customers have gotten quite excited about the escape door only to discover after loading their car the escape door does not line up their door, so I would suggest taking some measurements first.
  • Heaters, cabinets, stereos, benches, fan tails, oh my!  The list of options is vast.  Customers sometimes buy the options instead of the trailer.  Figure out what you need and then what you really want and go from there…

Shopping for an all sport can be an exciting experience.  Have fun, and talk to an expert.


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Posted in New Products | Tagged with All Sport Enclosed Trailers | More articles by Steve Whittington


Everest Edition trailer celebrates Flaman manager's summit

Posted by Jennifer Thompson Oct 08, 2013

Standing at 28,700 feet above sea level, the crisp mountain air whipping around him, the first rays of morning sunlight glittering on the untouched snow ahead of him, Steve Whittington, Saskatoon mountaineer and Flaman Trailers division manager, took his final steps onto the South Summit as the top of Mount Everest exploded into view. The Hillary Step and final summit ridge were all that remained between him and the top. At that moment, after living on the side of a mountain for almost two months, he knew he was going to make it. 

Whittington and his climbing Sherpa Dawa had been battling a storm for hours considering turning around. When they reached The Balcony they stopped to rest and have a drink. Assessing the situation, Whittington realized his oxygen consumption had been far less than he had originally thought and he didn’t have to change tanks. This meant he was doing better than he realized. “And then I got mad. After 56 days on this mountain I was not going to let a storm turn me around,” Whittington says.
 
After reaching the South Summit, Whittington traversed the corniced ridge line and quickly climbed the Hillary Step. Then it was an emotional victory march as he made his way to the prayer flag adorned summit. “It was clear, it was bright, it was beautiful,” Whittington recalls. “I burned the moment into my soul.”
 
As Whittington stood at 29,029 feet, staring at the world below, 10 years of his blood, sweat and tears had finally culminated into that one perfect moment. There’s not a lot of time to celebrate at the top, but he and Dawa took a few moments to place prayer flags and take photos. Snapshots show Whittington with a banner dedicating his summit to childhood friend Warren Thompson and posing with a Flaman Group of Companies flag.
 
The team at Flaman is extremely proud that one of our own was able to accomplish such an amazing feat. To celebrate Whittington’s summit, Flaman Trailers is introducing the exclusive Everest Edition sled trailers. These trailers come with bonus, value-added features for extra convenience and functionality. Our manufacturers stepped up to help us celebrate and we’re able to offer these features at no extra cost to the customer.
 
The 2014 XR Series trailers come with new interior kick plates, interior black matte trim, new aluminum rims, a cabinet, coat rack, bench and a 110 Volt Plug. You can see all these great features by clicking here.
 
All Aluma flat deck snowmobile trailers and the 2 place enclosed sled trailer come with special Everest Edition aluminum rims. To see the different Aluma trailers Flaman has, click here.
 
Check out these trailers soon, as they are only available this winter! Not all XR sled trailers will feature this new package, so please talk to your local salesperson.
 
Whittington’s journey to the top of Everest started 10 years ago. He has more than 40 summits to his name, including five of the world’s seven summits.  “Climbing Everest was a longing that I didn’t quite understand,” Whittington says. “But I knew I had to be patient enough to build the skills that I needed to climb it over the past decade.”

Whittington followed a grueling program of work outs and went on several climbing trips to increase his strength and endurance, add weight (he lost 30 pounds on the mountain) and increase his maximal oxygen intake. You can read his training blogs on Flaman Fitness’ Fit Talk blog.
 
Could there be a second trip up Everest in the future? Whittington is steadfast in his answer: “I have no desire to go back.” But he does have plans to finish the seven summits and eventually tap the top of Vinson Massif in Antarctica and Carstensz Pyramid in Oceania. Right now, he says, he’s focusing on his family. But the pull of the mountain is strong.
 
“When you’re climbing there are so many uncertainties, so many what ifs. But where other people see uncertainty, I see possibility. This is why I climb.”
 
 
Steve on the top of Mt Everest with the Flaman Group of Companies flag.
 
The new XR Everest Edition sled trailer comes with many great features like:
 
 
New aluminum rims                                      Fold down bench
Coat rack

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Posted in New Products | Tagged with Everest Edition sled trailers snowmobile trailers enclosed trailers flatdeck Mt Everest Steve Whittington | More articles by Jennifer Thompson


Picking a Sled Trailer part 2

Posted by Steve Whittington Sep 30, 2013

Part 2 of Steve's Sled Trailer guide. To see part 1 which focuses on steel vs. aluminum click here

Picking an Enclosed Sled Trailer:  You decided you did not want to clean off your sleds every time you reach your destination. Or you need somewhere to store your machines in the summer, or you want to work on your sleds out of the wind in the staging area.  Whatever your reasons, you’re going to buy an enclosed trailer; now which type? Your options are many.

 To help you understand your options here are how they’re generally classified:

The first way enclosed sled trailers are classified is by how many sleds they carry: 2 place, 3 place or 4 place. 

The second way they are classified is by deck height: lowboy (deck is as low to the ground as possible) mid-deck (the deck is raised for some clearance but not too high, keeping the ramp angle down) and highboy (the deck is above the wheels so the platform is a full 8’ wide).

The third way the trailers are classified by is width, which tends to fall into two broad categories 7’ or 8’ wide (which is really 8’6” wide).

Lastly, the frames will either be steel or aluminum.  

 When it comes to deciding which class of trailer is right for you, it really comes down to your specific needs, but I will give you some things to consider with the most popular classes that may help your decision making.

 2 place, highboy, 8’ 6” wide:  This class of enclosed sled trailer tends to be the most economical.  It is usually single axle without brakes, so a half tonne truck can pull it with no problem.  They are often aluminum so they are quite light, which makes them even easier to move around.   It is a great starter enclosed trailer. The down side of this trailer is that unless you bump up to tandem axles you do not have a drive off front ramp, and if you add another axle and a front ramp your costs sky rocket.  That said, with a reverse option on today’s sleds, is the front drive-off ramp really needed?

 2 or 3 place, lowboy, 7 wide:  This trailer with a steel frame is also very economical.  Being 7’ wide and lower to the ground means they pull well behind a truck. Plus, they are tandem axles so their ride is smoother than a bouncy single axle trailer.  They also have a front ramp so you can drive your sleds in and out with ease.  Beyond those points this trailer is also being used year round as a traditional cargo trailer because it is just the right size – not too big, not too small. Contractors love the access to the trailer with two ramps.  The downside of these trailers is that the loading of three sleds can be difficult, but once you figure out the configuration needed it is not an issue.  As well, being only 7’ wide there is not a lot of room on the inside for cabinets and racking.

 3 or 4 place, lowboy, 8 wide:  These enclosed units have become more popular as a multi-use unit or toy haulers.  Instead of just sled trailers the ramp can be reinforced and you can haul a car or side by side MUV if you make the rear door opening high enough.  If you have a lot of different toys this becomes a really economical option. Instead of two trailers you can get one built for all your toys.  The down side is that you have full size fender boxes inside the trailer to maneuver around when loading your sleds, but trust me that is not a difficult issue, and if it is, are you sure you want to chase powder  between the trees?  The other issue with the lowboys is adding a heater. Generally the propane tanks will have to go on an extended hitch so your trailer gets a little longer overall.

 3 or 4 place, mid-deck, 8 wide: These units are another popular class of toy hauler, but with a little bit more clearance.  The extra clearance comes in handy for added features such an underbelly mounted fuel tank and propane tanks.  The fender boxes inside the units are not as high and can be easily driven over. The disadvantage of these units is the extra clearance; if it is going to be a toy hauler trailer a lot of cars will not be able to make it up the higher angled ramp.

 3 or 4 place, highboy, 8 wide: If there is a traditional enclosed sled trailer, this is it. It is still the most popular option for an enclosed sled trailer. They have a full width deck so it is very easy to drive and position your sleds for travel. The full width provides lots of room for cabinets and racking on the walls.  They have lots of clearance, they track well behind a vehicle on snowy roads, plus with all the deck clearance there are no problems adding options such as on board fueling stations or under deck mounted propane tanks.  Quite simply, they are specifically designed to load sleds and all their accessories the easiest out of all the trailers on the market and as a result, people buy them the most.  The downside of the units is the fact that they are specifically designed for hauling sleds, being so high up you have a hard time loading cargo or recreational power sport vehicles.  Lastly, again being so high up in a cross wind they act as a big sail and they push the tow vehicle around a lot.

 There many other options to consider when buying a sled trailer such as adding heat or cabinets, the type of interior walls, little features such as kick plates and floor drains...the list is endless.  I was talking to a manufacturer about his enclosed sled trailer production run this year and he estimated that 90% of the trailers will be unique coming down the line. The point is, there are a lot of choices in the market place. Make sure that when you are looking for a trailer you talk with someone that can educate you and provide you with all the options so you can get your trailer, your way.


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Posted in Trailer Tips | Tagged with sled trailer steel trailer aluminum trailer enclosed trailers | More articles by Steve Whittington


Southland Trailer Podcast

Posted by Steve Whittington Jul 08, 2013

Southland TrailersWith having associations like NATM it kind of allows the collaboration of all the manufacturers so we can all get together to say "what are our big obstacles right now". Whether government regulations or whatever it may be we can all work together to figure out how we can come up with a resolution to those...

Listen to the rest of the podcast below.


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Posted in Podcasts | Tagged with Trailer Talk Podcast Southland Trailers Ryan Sailer Steve Whittington Flatdeck trailers Royal Cargo XR Series Enclosed Trailers | More articles by Steve Whittington


Snow = Savings

Posted by Steve Whittington Jan 17, 2012

Well, we finally have snow!

It's actually looking like winter now in many parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta. This is good news for snowmobilers, who can finally get out on the trails and have some fun. And the snow is good news if you're looking to buy a trailer. At Flaman Trailers, we're celebrating the snowfall by passing on some great savings to you on snowmobile trailers.
 
You need a trailer to get to where you can go sledding. You may need one for storing your sleds. Currently there are sales, clearance items and manufacturer rebates on trailers. Now is really the best time to buy.
 
Check our website for deals or call your local dealership. You will not be disappointed. Visit http://www.flaman.com/trailers/Snowmobile-Trailers/
 

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Posted in Division News | Tagged with snowmobile trailers sled trailers enclosed trailers trailer sale snow winter snowmobiling | More articles by Steve Whittington