Fully Loaded: Types of Trailers for Your Homestead

The right trailer can be one of your strongest assets, so consider all of your options: Load control, trailer capacity and hitches are just the beginning.

| October/November 2015

  • Towing Trailers
    Be conscious of weight ratings for your tow vehicle, tires and trailer axles. This stock trailer may only haul one bull safely.
    Photo by SuperStock/Corbis
  • Ball and Socket Hitches
    Light-duty ball and socket hitches are common on small tag-along trailers.
    Photo by Fotolia/Matthew Benoit
  • Hook Hitches
    Pintle hook hitches accommodate heavy-duty tag-along trailers.
    Photo by iStock/Jian Wang
  • Fifth-Wheel Hitches
    Fifth-wheel hitches, used on nearly every tractor trailer on the highways today, can also be mounted to the frame of your truck.
    Photo by B & W Trailer Hitches
  • Gooseneck Hitches
    Gooseneck hitches handily haul unpredictable loads, such as livestock.
    Photo by General Motors
  • Trailer Steering
    When backing up, a trailer will move in the opposite direction that you steer the tow vehicle.
    Photo by Brad Anderson

  • Towing Trailers
  • Ball and Socket Hitches
  • Hook Hitches
  • Fifth-Wheel Hitches
  • Gooseneck Hitches
  • Trailer Steering

Trailers are a matter of economy and efficiency. They add value and possibilities to any tow vehicle, but they also add liabilities and responsibilities. Towing isn’t quite as simple as hitching a trailer to your truck and heading down the road, but anyone who is comfortable behind the wheel of a vehicle can master the art of towing.

The Right Rig

For hauling livestock, you can use a general-purpose stock trailer. Ranchers often prefer a pipe-and-panel stock trailer with at least one fore-and-aft partition. Those trailers can easily accommodate a small tractor with implements, as well as move a teenager off to college (you might want to clean it first, depending on the teen).

Specialized hog and sheep haulers have a lower height.

Open-deck flatbed trailers are perfect for moving machinery, and can be loaded with bulk freight from virtually any angle. These handy haulers come with plenty of load-securing attachment points for chains and binder straps, and are also equipped with evenly spaced stake pockets, which can hold removable side panels and livestock compartments.



Hydraulic dump trailers are useful for hauling bulk materials, such as feed, grain, manure, gravel, mulch and sand. Many dump trailers can also accommodate a small tractor or utility vehicle (but probably not the college-bound teen).

Utility trailers are generally light-duty. Smaller models are suitable for hauling lawn and garden tractors or other light materials, such as bagged mulch.






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