Australian farmers haven’t been resting on their laurels during the last year, despite unfavourable weather conditions and the double impact of export and covid restrictions. Sales of new tractors have gone through the roof, accompanied by strong sales of new farm machinery. Farmers are investing in what they see as a rebound in demand urged by a growing population. This has emboldened affiliated operations like local manufacturers of powered and unpowered agricultural machinery and equipment, as they too are seeing sales rise.
One area, in particular, is the retail sale of locally produced farm trailers. Small, family-owned businesses with an understanding of local farming conditions and needs are tailoring to farmers with products well-suited to small family farms. Here, I’ll discuss the different agricultural trailer types found on the Aussie market, from small and general-purpose trailers to large specialised models suited to large acreages.
Types of Farm Trailers
Different types of trailers will come in different sizes and suit various purposes on the farm. Small powered equipment like tillers, mowers and sprayers, and utility vehicles like motorcycles and ATVs can be transported on various farm machinery trailers. Universal flatbed trailers can be optioned in different lengths for a variety of equipment, and with single or double axles for the heavy stuff. You’ll find durable models with galvanised checkered floor beds for safely hauling machinery around the farm. Easily detachable towing features like jockey wheel clamps and magnetic trailer plugs will make moving the trailer easier when not in use. Other features you’ll find are independent suspension and brakes, ramps and vehicle kits. Box trailers will have all-around corner plates to which you can add cages and racks to maximise carrying versatility.
Hay trailers come in a flat deck design, suitable for carrying grass pallets, as well as machinery and equipment. Manufactures can custom build hay trailers to suit your desired length, and in single or double-axle variants. They can also be optioned with additional features, like front and rear mesh gates.
Livestock trailers range from small single pen designs able to carry up to 4 tonnes, to larger trailers with up to 4 pens, arranged in a double-deck configuration, good for up to 20 tonnes. Customers can option their trailers in different heights for transporting different livestock, including modified cages for horses. There’s a choice of different loading rear and side gates, ramps and floor and side fitments to avoid injury to livestock.
Tipping trailers are good for quickly and easily unloading heavy loads. They come with self-powered hydraulic tipping motors and all-around side plates that will make transport and unloading quick, safe and hassle-free. Hydraulic or spring-loaded rear and side doors add to safety and the ability for rear and side tipping. On the farm, they’re useful in dumping fertiliser, mulch, animal feed, dirt, or for hauling machinery. Most tippers are double-axle trailers, though larger models may have additional axles to support a loading weight of up to 20 tons. Smaller flatbed tippers are also sold.
Water trailers are used to deliver water to livestock and different locations on farms. They consist of sealed tanks of varying capacity mounted on metal frames. Most feature motorised pumps and hoses.
All the trailers above are manufactured from a combination of durable materials able to withstand prolonged use in different conditions. Galvanised steel tray beds come standard on many models. Coated underbodies protect from dirt, water and damage. You can specify a custom-built trailer, with the choice of materials, sizes and features you’ll find most useful.
Large specialised trailers are better suited for specific tasks, or for transporting large farm machineries like harvesters, combines, planters and balers. They’re commonly found on larger farms. Grain carts or chaser bins and grain trailers are the most common types here. Chaser bins are pulled by tractors alongside harvesters, then the load is transferred to a grain trailer for transport.
Variants like ejector and walking floor trailers also compress collected material, allowing for larger loads and faster operation than traditional tippers. Hook-lift trailers are versatile heavy-duty trailers with a single chassis for up to three trailer boxes that speed up loading and unloading. Large bale trailers are open flatbed designs used to transport bales or other materials.
Similar to them are plant and transport trailers used to haul large farm machinery. They have specifically designed platforms to accommodate tractors, harvesters, etc. All specialised trailers are heavy-duty equipment, with high tonnage and various features in terms of safety and functionality. They’ll also have matching price tags.
Buying Farm Trailers
Smaller general-purpose trailers are built locally by a number of manufacturers in several states. Designs and materials used are well suited to tough Aussie conditions. They’re durable, without being overly heavy. You’ll benefit from the option of adding the features you want in terms of functionality or added safety to the specific trailer you need. Some companies also offer renting, or the choice of outright purchases after renting for specified periods. You can also go for used trailers sold online. Check the condition of used trailers in person before buying. Larger, specialised trailers are mostly imports, sold from official distributors. If you want to import from overseas, check regulations listed by the Department of Agriculture.