Flaman Rentals Blog

Are hydraulic trailers the next big trend?

Posted by Steve Whittington Jul 05, 2011

The trailer industry has traditionally been a fairly static industry.  Take the decade from 1998 to 2008: there were few developments other than more wide-spread use of enclosed trailers.
The last three years have witnessed an explosion of developments.  A lot of these developments have been with hydraulics.  For instance, Roll Off Dump trailers, multi-deck trailers, 9’ hydraulic tails and more hydraulic tilt models than ever before.
What does this mean for you, a user of trailers? The hydraulics add cost, but not as much as before; because of the increased use of scissor lifts, the costs have been driven down by economies of scale. There is also a big increase in ease of use or just downright convenience.  The flip over ramps on an industrial trailer are nothing but heavy and awkward and a hydraulic tail is pretty nice to use in comparison.  
The other thing besides convenience is versatility.  Some of the hydraulic trailers are multi-function.  Heck, one unit is called “Multi-Deck”, and a Roll Off Dump unit can roll on a cargo or flat deck attachment, making it “three trailers in one.”
All this being said, there are, as always, financial considerations.  The Roll Off Dump while being “three trailers in one” only starts to provide a cost advantage by the third attachment. One could make the argument that you could buy three trailers instead of one.  The same kind of argument can be made for a Multi-Deck.  Granted, I am comparing two or three entry levelled priced units to these top end units, but that still has to be a consideration. To be fair, one has to put operating costs in the equation; the hydraulic units have only the operating costs of one versus three, which is a point worth considering.
I can rant and rant about the pluses and minuses of the recent influx of hydraulic trailers.  I do believe they are here to stay and I do believe they have a place and application.  In some cases they not only make sense, but considering the alternative, an operator would be crazy not to have one given the choices available.
So are they the next big trend? Well no, I think trailer specialization is the next big trend and hydraulic units are just a part of that trend... but that is another topic for another time.

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Posted in Product Information | Tagged with Hydraulic Trailers Tilt Trailers Dump Trailers Multideck Trailers | More articles by Steve Whittington