Wed March 10, 2021
Asphalt and Paving Professionals have particularly important roles in the construction industry. Asphalt and paving work leads to improvements in infrastructure; the groundwork of a community that impacts all people. From roads and highways to driveways and sidewalks, asphalt and paving is essential to the lives and wellbeing of business owners, families and every day citizens across the country.
Due to the nature of the job, asphalt and paving contractors must have the trailer equipment they need to safely and efficiently move from town to town for their work. An easy-to-use and resilient trailer is a must have for asphalt and paving contractors.
But what else do you need to consider when investing in a trailer? The experts at Towmaster Trailers have spent years synthesizing information about asphalt and paving customers' growing businesses. Below is a mental checklist of what to consider when investing in a trailer, and how to ensure you have the right equipment you need to get the job done.
What Matters Most to You
Trailers need to help asphalt and paving professionals load and move easier, and not be a cumbersome or difficult part of their job. The difference between an okay trailer and a performance-driven trailer, designed to meet your needs, can be staggering. When talking to the representatives at your dealership, here are some basic considerations to talk through when choosing a trailer.
Easy Loading and Unloading
Arguably the most important part of a trailer for asphalt and paving professionals is how easy it is to load your paving equipment in the trailer, and access your equipment when you get to the job site.
A critical feature for safely and quickly loading pavers is a low loading angle, ideally 10 degrees or fewer. There are trailers out there that aren't designed for the industry, but can be retrofitted to work. These trailers sometimes feature the general purpose 18 to 22 degree loading angle, or more difficult to operate ramps that over time will lead to longer and more frustrating loading processes.
Ideally, you want to invest in a trailer that was designed for ease of use specifically for the paving industry. These trailers often feature bi-folding ramps for easy loading, a gradual incline and will eliminate any clearance issues you may encounter while preventing scraping of your equipment. With the amount of loading and unloading paving professionals experience every day, equipment that will make the process easier and more streamlined is vital.
Quality of Build
Paving trailers are put through rigorous, daily use. The caliber of the welding and the constitution of the materials go a long way in ensuring your trailer is here to stay.
Ask your dealership about the team who manufactured the trailer. What do they know about the company's history, experience and expertise? Do they have a team of dedicated welders? Or a department focused on educating and training their team?
Make sure to understand the most you can about the materials your trailer is constructed from and the team that manufactured it.
Weight Distribution, Capacity
Another key consideration to make is about weight distribution and capacity of your trailer. To best understand what model and brand of trailer you want to invest in, you need to know details about the asphalt and paving equipment you use every day.
When comparing trailer capacities, make sure you are comparing payload to payload or gross vehicle weight rating to gross vehicle weight rating.
On top of understanding the weight of your equipment and the payload capacity, you need to have an understanding of weight distribution and loading configurations, including how to balance weight between the tow vehicle, trailer tongue and axle group. Your dealer or OEM representative should help you determine how to load your trailer and in what order.
Are You Set to Grow?
Asphalt and paving professionals who are small business owners have even more to consider and discuss with their trailer representative. Historically, customers have called on representatives to identify capacity, length and load angle to accommodate their paving equipment. But another important consideration to make is how to prepare for growth in your business and your team.
Not all manufacturers are willing to customize their trailers to fit the needs of your business and team. For business owners who are looking to grow their business and their team, customization is an important part of being able to scale your business and make more sound investments. If you are unable to purchase a trailer that can be modified to accommodate the services and needs of your team, that trailer will lose value over time.
Considerations to make when looking for customized trailers include:
- What niches do you offer?
- What service areas do you want to grow into?
- What equipment are you looking to invest in for the next year or two?
- How many team members do you have and what are their specialities?
- Do you anticipate onboarding new team members?
- How can you ensure employee safety?
- Are there features like air or hydraulic ramps available that can make their jobs easier and safer?
Discuss your business goals with your dealer or OEM representative and make sure they have a good understanding of how you want to grow your business before choosing a trailer or trailer fleet.
Even seasoned asphalt and paving professionals need to best understand how to use and maintain trailers and other truck equipment. Certain manufacturers have trained dealership representatives who can then provide you, the customer, with training.
Some manufacturers even offer extended training opportunities for end user customers. They will set up a time to meet with your team and walk through all the features of the trailer, and how to safely load and unload your equipment. For growing businesses, this offering is particularly important. With new team members joining with varied levels of experience, as a business owner, it's vital that every member of your team has the same understanding and training to ensure safety and long-term efficiency.
Now that you have a better understanding of what you need to look for when talking to your dealership or OEM representative, you can be confident that you are making a safe investment. Make sure your representative walks you through warranty options for each product you're considering, to ensure you and your business are well protected for years to come.