Reasons to consider a new flatbed trailer

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

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By Martin Rickatson 

Safer, faster, more flexible: the pluses of replacing your old flatbed trailer with something new

Whether it’s simply for moving bales or bags of seed or fertiliser, shifting pig arks or performing harvest haulage carrying root crop boxes, the humble flatbed trailer takes on a workload that can go unappreciated until something fails. A rotten floor, a worn hitch ring or a smashed light unit can all mean a trailer is out of action until the damage is sorted, and the older a trailer gets the more likely wear items are to fail. Newer flatbed trailer designs can bring with them many benefits, particularly – but not exclusively – if you are doing a lot of road work.  

A well-designed modern flatbed trailer should be strong beyond all else. Designed to guarantee rigidity, the chassis on Richard Western flatbed trailers is constructed from 6mm formed steel sections running front to rear, with deep U-channel chassis runners merged with the platform to provide maximum strength.

Dedicated flatbed design features are something else that sets apart the modern flatbed from an older trailer or a lorry adaptation. For example, Richard Western features include an integrated platform and chassis for maximum strength and minimal twisting risk under heavy loads, with the platform constructed from 4.5mm steel chequer-plate.

Then there are the small but useful details that indicate a well thought-through design, such as an integrated strap storage box on the kerb side. Sockets front and rear for headboard and ladders ensure a safe and accessible load. Richard Western flatbed trailers are supplied with a removable 0.6m/2ft headboard as standard, and include sockets for a front bale ladder.

If your work demands maximum payloads, or mounting livestock containers, Richard Western flatbed trailers fitted with 445/45 R19.5 tyres are available with a ‘low rider’ reduced-height platform, and there are multiple other tyre options. There is also an HS specification, designed for high-speed tractors and fitted with high-speed commercial axles on 420mm x 180mm brakes, essential for farmers and contractors frequently requiring their flatbed trailer to travel long distances behind fast tractors. Safety is a priority if working in such circumstances, and Richard Western flatbed trailers are available with hydraulic, air or dual braking systems with load-sensing valves, and air braking can be fitted with ABS.

But comfort is also important with such workloads. To this end, Richard Western flatbed trailers are fitted with a commercial mono leaf spring suspension system designed specifically for agriculture. This minimises body roll, for greater stability on uneven terrain, while a height-adjustable sprung drawbar provides active suspension with rebound control. Meanwhile, stability is assured by a 2.0m axle track, and safety features include LED road lights to make the trailer stand out after dark, plus side markers with indicator ballast.

Tailor-made trailers are a Richard Western speciality, and customers can create the flatbed trailer they want from an extensive options list. Whether you need bale ladders, raised edges for the trailer deck, a drop-side walkway or a roll-over sheeting system, it’s possible for us to design exactly the trailer you want. It’s even possible to specify a steered rear axle with hydraulic lock-out, a hydraulic pusher for root boxes, and to pick your paint colour. So if it’s time to reassess the role the humble flatbed plays in your business, a chat with your Richard Western dealer could be in order to see what a new model could do for your farm.