What Are the Different Types of Plant Trailers


There are a number of different types of trailers, some designed to carry general loads, and some designed to carry a specific load, vehicle or type of machinery. Any trailer that is used to transport any type of plant or machinery has to be built to certain standards as specified by the Vehicle Standards Bulletin (VSB1) and has to be in accord with the regulations of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.

These regulations are jointly administered by the Australian State and Territory Governments.

General load trailers

There are three commonly used types of load trailer: the pig trailer, the dog trailer and the semitrailer.

The pig trailer has one set of load-bearing wheels that are based in the middle of the trailer and act to balance the load in the centre of the carrying surface. These types of trailers are inevitably quite small and need to carry loads that will evenly spread throughout the depth and width of the trailer.

The dog trailer is normally bigger than the pig trailer and has two sets of axle groups, one based at the rear and one based at the front of the trailer. This type of trailer inevitably has greater stability than the pig trailer, although both are attached independently to the vehicle that is pulling them.

The other type of general load trailer is what is known as a semi-trailer. This has one set of wheels at the back of the trailer, but the trailer itself is physically attached to the drawing vehicle. This means that the load being carried is much more evenly spread and balanced through the weight of the vehicle that is pulling it.

Specific load trailers

These are trailers that are built with a specific vehicle or piece of plant or machinery that is to be carried.

The most common ones are a boat trailer and a car trailer. The car trailer is sometimes used to carry passenger cars but is probably most commonly known for carrying racing cars, often for things such as drag racing.

Some specific mode trailers are used to carry livestock, the most common probably being a horse float, although there are trailers for other types of livestock, such as cattle, which have to be built to very specific standards. There are also specific plant trailers which have certain defined types of machinery fitted to them, such as air compressors and concrete mixers.

All of the above trailers are treated as plant trailers and categorised into three main sections. A very light trailer has a single axle and a gross trailer mass that doesn't exceed three-quarters of a tonne. A light trailer has a gross trailer mass does not exceed three and a half tonnes, and a medium trailer is over three and a half tonnes but does not exceed 10 tonnes.


Whilst all plant trailers must conform to certain standards, perhaps the most important and main requirement refers to the placing and performance of all the lamps and reflectors on any trailer attached to a vehicle.

These must always conform to regulations as set out by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe These regulations specify where the lamps have to be fitted, both at the front and rear, where the direction indicator lamps have to be fitted and where the reversing lamps have to be fitted as well. The regulations also specify what colour the lights have to be, normally a mix of white, red and amber. 

In addition to the lighting, they are very specific requirements as to how the electrical wiring must be placed and insulated so that it does not pose any type of threat to the safety of either the vehicle or the load-bearing trailer.

To learn more about plant trailers, contact a supplier in your area.


27 October 2020

Free Wheeling: Updates About Car Accessories

Welcome. I'm a high school teacher, and one of my subjects involves teaching the driving safety program. Most students have just obtained their licenses and are enjoying the freedom and excitement of driving for the first time. it is both rewarding and challenging to help them navigate the dangers of the road. One of the fun activities we do as part of the program is to look at the various car accessories students use to individualise their vehicles. I am always amazed and sometimes slightly jealous of the new products that they obtain. Occasionally, I even buy the same accessories for my own car! I figured that there are others out there who get a small thrill from car accessories but don't always have time to research the latest offerings. Hopefully this blog will provide some inspiration and keep you updated. Please enjoy.