Quality Utility and Flatbed Trailers - Iron Eagle Trailers
utility trailer Voyager
utility trailer Magnum
utility trailer Economax
flatbed trailer Versamax
flatbed trailer 3000
atv trailer Atv
flatbed trailer 7000
10,000lb capacity flatbed trailer 10K
14,000lb capacity flatbed trailer 14K
14,000lb capacity flatbed trailer Titan Series

What to look for in a trailer

If you are considering the purchase of a new or used trailer, this page will be a big help. You may own the trailer you purchase today for decades so a little education now will pay off big in the long run.
Over the years we have found that customers typically are not sure how to evaluate a trailer. They know what size they want and the approximate weight capacity and that's about it. This page will help you sort out some of the less obvious aspects for your consideration.
Another good source of information is provided by Synthesis Engineering. They have an excellent article titled What makes a good trailer design (http://www.synthx.com/articles/trailer-design.html)
Here are a few things to keep in mind that you probably haven't thought of that are common among trailer owners:
  • A) You will probably own it for years or decades.
  • B) You will accidentally overload it at least once.
  • C) You will allow others borrow it to haul who-knows-what.
  • D) You will have problems with taillights and wiring if it's not an Iron Eagle trailer.
Use the following list as a reference guide. This list applies to all trailers new & used.


What the frame is constructed of makes a big difference in the overall integrity of the trailer. There are three main shapes of steel that are used in the construction of a trailer frame. From best to worst they are Box Tubing, Channel Iron, and Angle Iron. Box tubing has the best properties. It resists twisting and flexing better than any other frame material. You can easily see for yourself. Just stand on a rear corner of any trailer, even a flatbed dual-axle car hauler and watch what happens. If the frame twists and flexes a surprising amount, it's most likely Angle Iron. If it twists and flexes a noticeable amount than it's probably Channel Iron. If it does not twist and flex even if you jump on it than it's a Box Tube frame. Repeated flexing of weld joints can cause welds to fatigue and crack over time. Choose Box Tube frame construction or at least a combination Box Tube & Channel Iron frame. Pass on the Angle Iron Frame. Tube frames cost slightly more than Angle frames but the benefits far outweigh the cost difference.

Tongue Length

The tongue length is a critical component for trailer stability. The longer the tongue, the easier it is for the towing vehicle to steer the trailer. Shorter tongues require up to 15% of the trailer weight to be on the ball. Longer tongues only need around 10%. That means less weight on your car and more on the trailer. Longer tongues also make for easier backing.


Very important item to inspect on a used trailer. The coupler is what attaches the trailer to your vehicle. Usually it's welded on so a damaged or wore out one can be expensive to replace. Make sure it's not twisted or bent and that it attaches securely without sloppiness.


Trailer taillight wires must pass through the frame at some point. Be sure that there are grommets to protect those wires from chafing on metal or a short circuit is inevitable.


Taillights need to be well protected or they will get damaged. LED taillights are far superior to incandescent. They are maintenance free, twice as bright, use half the power and will generally last for the life of the trailer. Every Iron Eagle trailer is equipped with LED lighting.


Watch out for used mobile home axles. If the wheel size is 14-1/2", it's probably a mobile home axle and you should reconsider. Mobile home axles are too stiff and it's difficult to find replacement wheels, tires, or wheel bearings. Make sure the axle is attached to some kind of suspension system and not merely welded to the frame. Also make sure the spindles are equipped with a grease fitting for bearing lubrication. Wheel bearings are one of the few maintenance items on a trailer that must be done periodically and grease fitting make that job much, much easier.

Wheels and tires

Make sure that the wheels and tires are rated at a combined capacity that is equal to or greater than the GVWR of the trailer. We've seen trailers advertized with a 3000lbs rating and only have tire capacity of 2600lbs. Pass up any trailer that has 14.5" wheels, it's a sure sign of a mobile home axle. 6 ply rated tires are a plus. They have thicker sidewalls and better capacity than 4 ply rated tires which make them much better suited for trailer use.


Make sure fenders are attached securely. Sooner or later someone will stand on them so make sure they can withstand it.


Take a look at the welded components of the frame. It's amazing how many trailers are on the road with poor welds. If the welds look ugly, then the strength of the weld is degraded. A good weld is blended and consistent.

Fit & Finish

Check out the overall fit and finish. You can get a good sense of the integrity of the entire trailer by the general fit and finish. Scrutinize trailers that have exposed sharp corners, inconsistent use of caulking, or any other noticeable sloppiness.


If it's a new trailer, make sure the manufacture stands behind their product. Get a written warranty and try to determine how well the company supports their warranty if you can.


If you are buying a used trailer, make sure you get a bill of sale and either the statement of origin or title signed over to you from the seller. We get calls all of the time from people who need to register their trailer with the DMV and can't because they don't have the proper paperwork. Unfortunately they can be stuck with a trailer they can't use. If the seller doesn't have the right papers, walk away.


All of the trailers that we manufacture come with a full limited Life Time Warranty on all welded components of the steel frame. All component parts such as axle, wheels, tires, lights, couplers, etc. Have a one-year warranty. This is one of the best warranties in this industry. We not only offer it, we stand behind it!

If you have any questions, please call us anytime toll free. 1-888-509-5600. We'd love to hear from you. Thank You