What Is a Lowboy Trailer?

Shipping freight is essential for many businesses and individuals. Whatever your goals are, the time may come when you need to move bulk or large items from point A to point B. As you research this process, you need to understand the different types of trailers that are available.

Different trailers will be ideal for different purposes. As you search for the right trailer for your needs, you’ll come across various types you should learn about. Get all the information you need about lowboy trailers to determine if it’s the freight shipping solution you’ve been looking for.

What Is a Lowboy Trailer?

A lowboy is a specialty trailer with the defining characteristic of having two drops in deck height. The first drop is directly after the gooseneck. The second occurs before the wheels. As you can tell from the name, a lowboy trailer has an extremely low deck to accommodate the shipment of tall items, specifically items that may be too tall to legally ship on higher trailer decks.

Lowboy trailers also go by other names, including low beds, double drops, floaters and low loaders, depending on where you are in the world. Regardless of the name, lowboy trailers maintain the same characteristic — the tail end of the trailer sits above the well but is still lower than the front.

Lowboy trailers need a truck to tow them. They have hydraulic systems that lift the trailer for engagement after loading and air brakes for slowing down and stopping. They consist of aluminum or high-quality steel to support extremely heavy loads and can have two to eight axles, depending on the weight and size of the load.

Capabilities of a Lowboy Trailer

When it comes to the capabilities of a lowboy tractor trailer, understanding its dimensions will give you a better mental picture of what it can do. Here are the general dimensions of a lowboy trailer:

  • Lowboy trailer height: 18 inches to 24 inches
  • Lowboy trailer length: 24 feet to 29.6 feet
  • Lowboy trailer width: 8.5 feet maximum
  • Standard lowboy trailer height from the ground: 18 feet
  • Lowboy trailer freight height: 11.5 feet to 12 feet
  • Maximum legal overall load height: 14 feet

Lowboy trailers are capable of towing heavy, tall equipment and machinery. A two-axle lowboy can haul up to 40,000 pounds, but this number can increase with the addition of more axles, reaching weights as high as 80,000 pounds.

What Are Lowboy Trailers Used For?

What Are Lowboy Trailers Used For?

The most common application for lowboy trailers is the transporting of heavy machinery and equipment like the following:

  • Vans
  • Trailers
  • Bulldozers
  • Excavators
  • Passenger cars
  • Backhoe loaders
  • Agricultural machines
  • Mining equipment and machinery
  • General construction equipment and machinery

Basically, when the item you need to ship is too big for a single-drop or flatbed trailer, a lowboy trailer should get the job done.

Lowboy trailers have many benefits that make them ideal for shipping huge loads like the above items. These benefits set lowboy trailers apart from other trailer varieties and show why businesses and individuals use them to transport their heavy machinery and large equipment. Here are some of the main advantages of using a lowboy trailer for these purposes:

  • Stability: Lowboy trailers have a low center of gravity because of their low-lying deck. This lower sance gives them better stability when moving large or heavy cargo than other types of trailers.
  • Safety: Lowboy trailers can haul large, heavy loads that would be unsafe for other trailer varieties. Loading and unloading a lowboy trailer is relatively easy and safe.
  • Versatility: Besides carrying tall loads, they can also haul over-width loads. Construction equipment and other industrial machinery are often extremely wide — too wide for other types of trailers. Lowboy trailers are built to handle these wider loads and loads of unique shapes and sizes as long as the load falls within its carrying capacity.
  • Compliance: Many areas have particular laws transporters must follow regarding what loads are legal for the road. Lowboy trailers help transportation companies, businesses and private parties ship large loads while staying compliant with regulations.

Types of Lowboy Trailers

As you consider the benefits of lowboy trailers for your shipping needs, it’s important to understand that there is more than one type of lowboy trailer. Here are the three main types of lowboy trailers that you should know about.

Fixed Gooseneck Lowboy (FGL)

A fixed gooseneck attaches to the trailer. The trailer has drop decks for easy loading from both the front and the back. Even though the name hints at immovability, the gooseneck of an FGL trailer is adjustable. Once it is attached, it must stay in a fixed position.

FGLs have the lightest weight on this list and slightly longer decks. They have an arched neck that becomes a ramp when lowered so the front tires of the equipment being shipped can easily be pulled onto the deck.

Fixed Neck Lowboy

Fixed neck lowboys maintain the lightest weight for their payload capabilities. Despite this, the neck is completely secured, so you cannot adjust it for loading equipment from the front. You’ll have to drive any heavy equipment you’re shipping onto the fixed neck lowboy using fixed load ramps, which makes loading and unloading a bit more difficult than shipping with an FGL.

Removable Gooseneck (RGN)

When you need to lower, pull, push or drive equipment onto a lowboy, an RGN will be the best choice. There are two types of RGNs — hydraulic and mechanical. Hydraulic lowboys have adjustable heights and can even be detached using hydraulic cylinders. Often, shippers need to load items from above, and RGNs make this easy to accomplish when you have the need.

RGNs can haul some of the heaviest loads. Some RGNs are extendable up to 20 axles, supporting incredibly high weight limits. This gives you the most flexibility when you’re shipping massive loads of unique heights and widths.

Choose Nationwide Transport Services for Heavy Equipment Transportation

Choose Nationwide Transport Services for Heavy Equipment Transportation

At Nationwide Transport Services, we offer all the transportation services you could need. Whether you’re a business, organization or private party looking to ship large or bulk items, we can find the best solution for you at the best value possible. We understand the ins and outs of transporting via lowboy trucking. When you work with us, you choose to ensure your shipment gets where it needs to go safely and efficiently.

Contact us online today if you have any questions about our services. You can also request a free transport quote online as your next step toward a successful shipment.


Reach out to a logistics specialist from Nationwide Transport Services, LLC for more information on any topic in logistics by dialing (877) 278-3135.

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