After all this research and discussion on trailers, I might as well tell you about our final choice of trailer, and the reasons why. First of all, although I didn’t do a post on it, we decided to purchase our first gooseneck trailer. It offers more storage space in the neck, less strain on the truck, and it is an easier tow over all.
Stock: We decided to go for a stock-type trailer, as we are very practical, no frills type folks. I didn’t want the wasted space of a dressing/tack room, but we did want a versatile trailer that could haul our donkeys and horses as easily as our goats, and eventually cows and hogs. We also have to assume that S will use it for hauling lumber and lots of other farm activities. We are getting a trailer with a 20 foot belly length, so it has a center floor-to-ceiling divider. With this option, I can easily seperate species (ie donkeys and goats during our move), allow for 2 box stalls, or open it all the way up for other farm uses.
Steel: Based on what we learned about welding, weight, repair issues, and rust/corrosion, and it was easier to find in our budget range.
Wood floors with rubber mats: Based on all I learned about flooring materials, plus since S has his own lumber mill, we can easily replace a wood floor at absolutely no cost to us. I like to use wood shavings as absorbent bedding anyway, so mats are the most economical way to go for us. I will drill a few holes as I discussed, allowing them to be easier to remove.
As far as brand, I researched more trailer manufacturers than I can count! An interesting fact I discovered is that many trailer brand names, once owned by different companies which developed a reputation of their own, are now owned by the same company that uses one supplier for materials. What this means is, for example, one well-known aluminum brand we looked at had an excellent reputation for it’s high standard of quality. Next to it was an aluminum trailer of much lesser quality, and my local repair shop saw them all the time for different needed repairs. Both had a similiar price sticker. Why? Because a few years ago, the company that owned the lesser trailer bought out the better trailer company, and now they use the same supplier for their aluminum. This allows prices to be competitive, but after buying out, the new owner kept the old name, literally selling on the former reputation rather than current quality. Several dealers and repair folks I spoke with said they are just waiting for the “good” brand to start having the same problems as the lesser brand as they age a bit.
As a result of this research, we chose the Titan trailer brand. They are a very high-end trailer. They actually bought out Logan’s a few years ago (if I understand all the details correctly), and both names have become synonomous with high quality and durability, whether the materials are aluminum or steel. From an engineering perspective, every aspect we looked into, these trailers are awesome. Stock, horse, flatbeds, cargo, whatever. They offer enough options to allow you a lot of flexibility, but even with the lower end trailer, you are getting quality. We are getting their mid-range “Standard” stock trailer, as it offers the fairly basic, but practical features we felt we needed, with a couple of extra options to meet our particular situation.
Unfortunately, we have to custom order our trailer. While Titan’s are sold in many states, the stock trailers generally come in a 6’6″ height. Because we are planning to get draft horses, I needed a 7’6″ height (in actuality, giving me 7’8″ inside) to be sure they would fit. No one carries this in stock. I made a lot of calls, and found a local, mom-and-pop dealer that beats others’ prices by up to $2,000, so we will be ordering through them. It will take a couple months to get here, but we have a little time to spare. In addition, if we are able to find our truck in the near future (we have a great lead, and will hopefully know more by tomorrow), I will be able to customize the paint job to match my truck at no charge. That will be an unexpected bonus! I may add diamond-plating aluminum sheeting to the front in the future, depending on how well the spray-on guard holds up.
So, all that said, my new trailer should look similiar to this, plus a couple added options not pictured:
For the record, other trailer brands I would highly recommend from the results of our research are TrailsWest Trailers, Trav-a-Long Trailers, Cotner Trailers, and Elite Trailers. They got my attention as being some of the highest quality. I came across several well known brands I definitely wouldn’t buy now that they’ve merged. I’m sure there are other, lesser known brands from smaller companies that are equally as good as the names I mentioned, but because trailers can be very regional, I definitely didn’t research all of them. I focused on my region and my past experiences. Just take what I offered, do your research on trailers in your region, go to a big dealer in your area with a good inventory, and look at the trailers up close and personal. It will give you a good start in finding the perfect trailer for you!