When it comes to purchasing a dump trailer, there's a subtle decision that many new buyers ignore: deckover or fender-style? If you don't know what these terms mean, it may be time to step back and conduct more research. This seemingly simple decision can significantly affect both the capacity and the capabilities of your new dump trailer.
Understanding the Key Differences
The primary difference between a deckover and a fender dump trailer boils down to where the bed sits relative to the wheels. In a deckover design, the trailer's entire bed sits above the wheels. This style maximizes the trailer's capacity for a given size. Since the wheels are entirely clear of the trailer, the bed can extend across the trailer's entire axle track width.
Fender trailers (sometimes called flatdecks) have their beds placed lower to the ground, with the wheels sitting in the side panels' arches. Since fender-style trailers have their beds between the wheels, the bed's width will be smaller than on a deckover trailer. Overall ground clearance on fender-style trailers is typically lower than with deckover designs, as well.
Choosing the Right Trailer For Your Needs
Both deckover and fender trailers are well-suited to different applications, and each has its own set of unique features. If you need to haul very wide cargo, then a deckover design may be necessary to provide adequate space. The high interior volume of deckover beds also makes them useful for heavy bulk loads, especially if you will be using loading equipment capable of clearing the trailer's high sides.
Pull-down side panels are another common feature on deckover trailers. Although pulling down the side panels isn't useful for hauling bulk cargo, it can help with loading large debris, equipment, or other items by hand. If you are using your trailer primarily to transport bulk cargo with only occasional individual items, then pull-down panels may provide the versatility you need.
On the other hand, fender-style trailers tend to be easier to use when loading large amounts of discrete items. The lower bed and lower sides make it much easier to load these trailers by hand. Fender-style trailers tend to have less ground clearance than deckover trailers, but they also have a lower center of gravity. With most of their weight down low, they can often be easier to maneuver over rough terrain.
Ultimately, you should use the type of cargo you typically haul to determine the trailer style that's right for your needs. By understanding each trailer type's pros and cons, you can select one that will help you complete jobs quickly, efficiently, and comfortably.