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What is a double drop trailer?

What is a double drop trailer?

If you are wondering what a double drop trailer is we may be able to help you learn all about them. Double drop trailers (sometimes referred to as a lowboy or RGN) is a specialized trailer that has many very unique capabilities. The deck design on double-drop trailers is very unique meaning primarily it is low to the ground and specifically meant to service the oversize and overweight (heavy-haul) trucking industry. One of the advantages of double drop trailers is they are capable of shipping items that are excessive in height that otherwise may require a special oversize trucking permit in order to be transported. This means transportation costs will be higher in order to successfully ship the item. However, thanks to the double-drop trailer transporting machinery and items that are excessive in height is cheaper to perform. In this review we’ll  cover double-drop trailer dimensions, axle spacings, axle groups, weights, accessories and much more so let’s check it out in detail!

standard double drop trailers.

Learning double drop basics.

Always be sure you clearly understand all of the state(s) laws, regulations, rules and limitations prior to shipping any type of load on a double drop trailer. Regulations in each state differ and you should fully research them prior to moving any load to make sure you are in compliance. Oversize and heavy-haul loads require specialized trucking permits in order to be transported. Always refer to your actual state issued permit for any discrepancies you may have. Be smart, be safe and know exactly what you are doing before doing it.

Note: It should be clear that any weights or dimensions listed below are for the purposes of example only so you are able to learn about double drop trailers.

Empty weight: refers to the actual weight of the semi-truck and the double drop trailer.

Item weight: refers to the actual weight of the item being shipped. Generally speaking a double-drop trailer can ship from 41,000 to 43,000 pounds maximum legally without being required to obtain a heavy-haul trucking permit.
Over-all weight: refers to the weight of everything combined. The semi-truck, the double drop trailer and the item loaded onto the trailer. The gross maximum weight of any combination of trailer, semi-truck and item being transported must not exceed 80,000 pounds (GVW) of the shipment will be required to obtain a heavy-haul trucking permit from each state the item will be transported in. When very heavy items are being shipped extra axles are required to spread the weight of the item over a larger distance so its foot print on the road is still the same as a legal shipment that is under 80,000 pounds. The exception to this general rule is bridges. All heavy-haul shipments that are transported over bridges must comply to federal bridge formula to ensure safety.
Heavy-haul loads: When a load exceeds the overall maximum allowed weight or axle group weight limits set fourth by the states regulations a special heavy-haul (overweight) trucking permit is required to be purchased from the state it will be transported in. Heavy-haul trucking permits usually cost more than a basic oversize trucking permit.

Accessories used with double drop trailers.

Quite a few double drop trailer accessories are available in order to make loading/unloading easier as well as protecting the item that is being transported. In many cases the owner of the double drop trailer may add ramps to the trailer thus making it easier and quicker to load/unload items. Especially farming equipment or dozers, loaders, back-hoes and scrapers or any specialized equipment that has tracks or wheels. One of the most popular accessories is traps. Tarps provide protection for items that are being shipped and can cut down on the possibility of damages. Keeping insurance claims to a minimum is always a smart idea.

Double-drop trailers with additional axles.

Heavy equipment shipping is a demand that is increasing. As we grow so do our capabilities which usually means larger equipment. As you can see in our illustration above 5 axle double-drop trailers are in demand these days and the owner of one with the right customers can have a 5 axle double drop combination running team drivers pretty much year round.

​Large equipment hauling on double-drop trailers.

​Flatbed oriented trailers are capable of hauling a very diverse range of items. While items like connex trailers, tiny houses and general freight can help keep a trucking company rolling on the road with generating revenue the real purpose of double-drop trailers is hauling big and heavy machinery and equipment. As we mentioned earlier the target market for double-drops is equipment and machinery that may be heavy but tall is the key element that allows this trailer type to be so diverse.

  1. Thanks for explaining how double drop and lowboy refer to the same type of trailer. It’s also great that you mention how they’re meant to service industrial equipment that is oversized and overweight. If someone wants one, it would probably be a good idea to consider the industry in your in and the type of equipment you’ll be hauling so you can choose a trailer with the right dimensions and strength to safely transport your machinery.

  2. I love what you said about adding ramps to the trailer for easier loading and unloading. Lowbed trailers seem most effective for transporting enormous and heavy pieces of equipment. If I were to purchase such a useful trailer, I would make a sincere effort to locate the best seller in my area in order to get the deal I am looking for.

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