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Lowboy Trailer Recommendations? Kaufman?

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by SMLWinds, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. SMLWinds

    SMLWinds Well-Known Member

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    I am in the market for a lowboy trailer to haul my D6 dozer, Prentice 2864, and monster truck (Walking Tall). I do not use heavy equipment for a living but do want to be able to haul it when needed. I will not be hauling long distances--the furthest would likely be 50 miles at a given time. I will also be using the trailer relatively infrequently, probably just once a month of so (I want to buy one though--I do not want to hire folks to carry things). I was going to buy a used trailer but honestly have had trouble finding anything that is quality. When I do find a quality trailer, it is priced pretty close to what I can buy a new one for. If the used price is not less than half of the new price, I would rather buy it new. If I can get a good used one for less than half of the new price, I would entertain that option.

    I have been looking at getting a new Kaufman 55ton lowboy with pony motor. I want a pony motor and even though I don't need 50T or 55T now, I want to have that instead of a 35T so I don't outgrow it. I have found out that folks have trailers (like brands of equipment and trucks) that they love or hate. I have tried to be objective. Objectively looking at specs, the Kaufman seems to be superior to Eager Beaver, on par with Talbert, and inferior to Trail King. The price for a new 3 axle 55T Kaufman is about $55K. Is that a good option? If not, what should I consider?

    Any help, advice, and opinions are appreciated!
     
  2. SMLWinds

    SMLWinds Well-Known Member

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    Just to be clear, when I say "lowboy" I am referring to a detachable goosemeck trailer.
     
  3. Sterff

    Sterff Member

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  4. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    For your intended use I think Kauffman would be a good trailer. I've never personally pulled one or detached but I've look them over pretty close and they seem to be well made. Stay away from anything not built from T-1. Anything using mill run material for the main structure isn't worth a plug nickel. It'll never last.

    However, I don't know what their resale is like. I've had excellent luck with Trailking, XL and Etnyre. Also Kalyn, Liddell and Loadcraft have done me a good job. The major brands are often going to be a similar price used to a new price on a lesser known brand. Also, should you have a structural issue or something else under warranty I can say with certainty that XL and Etnyre will bend over backwards to help. Trailking might answer the phone but that's about it.

    All things being equal I'd take a used $50,000 Trailking or XL over a new $50,000 Kauffman any day of the week.
     
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  5. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  6. SMLWinds

    SMLWinds Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts and advice. Any further help or opinions are greatly appreciated as well. How would you guys rank the hierarchy of lowboy trailers? I feel most people agree that Trail King is the gold standard, but how would you order some of the other brands? (Talbert, Eager Beaver, Road King, Globe, etc.)

    A 25T would likely work easily for the Prentice and the monster truck, which really only weights about 12K pounds--just need a lowboy because of the size so I don't have to change tires to haul locally. The D6 would likely not work since I have a D6N LGP high track which I believe is around 45K pounds. I would consider a nice used 35T, but if I am buying new I would get a 50T or a 55T--I accumulate a lot of equipment and anticipate having much more (and heavier equipment) down the road. To be honest, when I buy, I always try to buy something I can keep and not outgrow or have to upgrade. It kills me to not buy the best, but I just can't reasonably justify it since I will use it so infrequently and none of this equipment is used to make a living.

    Thanks so much for all the help! I really appreciate it!
     
  7. SMLWinds

    SMLWinds Well-Known Member

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    Sterff--Could you please send me a link or title to the video you are referring to that has Kaufman in it? I went to that guys page but I can't find much about Kaufman or lowboys in general--I see he does have a Kaufman but haven't found any other info. Thanks!
     
  8. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    If it's not Trailking, XL, Etnyre, Talbert, Fontaine, Kalyn or Liddell I'd be cautious even with limited use. Absolutely no Globe. Eager Beaver has gotten better, they're actually using some high tensile steel. Don't mess with a ground bearing setup.

    Like anything certain years of one brand or another might not be as good. Anything XL about 2008 and newer is good, biggest issues before that was paint quality and the occasional minor weld/structure issue. I had a little input in their addressing the issues back then.

    Trailking set the standard for many years. Now there are several just as good. XL and Etnyre will take great care of you. Trailking and Talbert....lately I'm not impressed with what I hear service wise.

    I have run several brands into the ground before we went through them top to bottom. If you go used my first choice would be Trailking because they stand up to abuse and ignorant users a tad bit better lol. A very very close second would be a tie between Etnyre and XL. Keep in mind there are various levels of trailer beyond tonnage.

    If you do some looking and find some you like feel free to post them or PM them too me and I'll give you my .02. Not to go all truck driver story on you....but I will say this. I've backed one as many miles as some have pulled one down the highway. I've broke enough older and used ones, overloaded new ones etc I can tell you where the weak links are. It's like doctorate level lowboy stuff up in my head! Haha. Just don't want you thinkin I'm some keyboard commando pulling info out of my arse :cool:
     
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  9. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Another way I look at it is " What your hauling is half of the equation " The other part is " where are you going with this truck & trailer rig " ?

    I try to spec the rigs out for the environment they are working in . For us a low slung short single drop trailer seems to work best .

    Has a fairly low deck along with some ground clearance under the center for obstacles like a high rail road crossing that could get a long detachable trailer in trouble .

    Equipment has changed over the years but the roads stay the same .:)

    My favorite trailer is a 25 ton Lacrosse . July 2012 051[1].JPG
     
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  10. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    Well said TD, along with that is the truck pulling it, the driver's level of experience etc etc. Lot to it. I've only run across a few places I couldn't get into or out of. I've been in high school bus loops, hospital ambulance bays, traffic circles around fountains in the middle of a large city, humped up R/R tracks in the middle of nowhere doing a county road bridge or a R/R bridge, the middle of a turnpike with cars flyin by at 75-80 mph....the list goes on after this many years and miles!

    Nuke plants, refineries, military bases, chemical plants, mines, ports, reclaims, quarries, dams, barge ramps.... starting to feel like the man in black!
     
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  11. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Same feeling Junkyard .. :)


     
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  12. SMLWinds

    SMLWinds Well-Known Member

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    Junkyard...great info! Thanks so much!

    TD25c-I hear you and appreciate your thoughts. You have tempted me to save money and go more economical. However, I will likely have a Cat 330 within the next year so would have to upgrade pretty soon. Furthermore, loading the monster truck onto a detachable lowboy is hard enough—it would be tough getting it on your trailer. The big tires hang off so far and getting it loaded with just the inner 1/3 of the tire on the trailer is challenging. I could climb that very easily with my excavator or dozer, but the monster truck doesn’t inch up inclines very well at all!
     
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  13. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Wait! You've got a monster truck?! :eek::D

    I have zero experience with detach lowboys other than crawling up on them but I can attest to Trailking quality. Bought a TK12 tag new in 1996. Pulled it around for years and then earlier this year turned it into a dump trailer, even used the original lights and wiring harness.

    Have you considered a Landoll style trailer? http://landoll.com/content/index.php/products/trailers/traveling-axle-trailers/model-455/

    I know they are alot more money new, require more maintenance and used ones have to be gone over with a fine tooth comb but just a suggestion. The wrecker company that moves my equipment has a 455 tri-axle, it's the sweetest trailer to load on, especially our 321. For me it's cheaper to hire out the moves than own a truck as we don't move that often. Mobilization is charged to the job to cover the move.
     
  14. Sterff

    Sterff Member

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    I think he had a problem with his and Kauffman replaced it. Now he has a Fontaine.
     
  15. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    We would have to build a dirt ramp so you could Jump " Walking Tall " & land on the trailer .:D
    Pretty cool rig SMLWinds ! :cool:
     
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  16. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    While moving down the road at highway speed. Kind of a high stakes Nightrider! I'll drive the haul truck!
     
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  17. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Not that I doubt anyone's driving skills but I think we better go with a 10 wide lowboy for this gig .:)

    https://www.commercialtrucktrader.com/listing/1997-Trail-King-Trailer--122386967

    I missed the Kaufman 35T Ag trailer . It would probably work fine . Looked like in the video that the driver could lift it pretty tall to get over a " high center " situation .

    http://www.kaufmantrailers.com/detachable-gooseneck-trailers/detachable-gooseneck-ag-trailers/
     
  18. JCSI

    JCSI Member

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    I purchased a Kaufman 35 ton trailer with a 50 ton frame back in 2013. I use it every day to haul a Komatsu PC210i that weighs in at roughly 51,000 not counting all the dirt stuck on it. I went with the tandem so I could get into housing additions better to excavate basements. 75% of the time I unload off the rear of the trailer as I'm not allowed to detach directly onto the street. Everything seems to be going fine. We recently purchased a tag trailer from them also.
     
  19. digger doug

    digger doug Senior Member

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    Rodgers Brothers trailers are made locally here, in Erie
    Pa.

    They might be out of your price range though.