When you’re trying to decide how to ship your goods, you might be offered options like a lowboy trailer or an RGN trailer, which are both commonly used for LTL trucking in Minnesota. They’re great for carrying long, tall freight, but one may be better for your shipment over another. Not sure what the differences are, or what kind of loads are best suited for these trailers? Read on for an overview of lowboy vs. RGN trailers.
A lowboy trailer has a gooseneck and two drops in height. The first is right after the gooseneck, and the second occurs before the wheels. “Lowboy trailer” is an umbrella term that includes RGN (removable gooseneck) trailers. They’re often used to transport construction equipment like bulldozers, excavators and more.
This type of trailer was invented in the 1920s, and now includes fixed gooseneck (FGN), mechanically-detachable gooseneck (MGN), mechanical folding gooseneck (MFGN) and hydraulic detachable gooseneck (HDGN) trailers.
Two-axle lowboy trailers can carry up to 40,000 pounds, and additional axles allow them to carry up to 80,000 pounds. The maximum freight height is 11.5 to 12 feet, with an overall load height of 14 feet.
Removable gooseneck trailers are a type of lowboy trailer. They were invented in 1958, and feature a detachable front that can lower to the ground like a ramp. This allows operators to drive heavy equipment or vehicles onto the RGN trailer.
RGN trailers can have up to 20 axles, which means they can support up to 150,000 pounds of freight. Note the significant difference between a general lowboy trailer’s 80,000 pound maximum and those of RGN trailers—they can carry almost twice the load!
RGN trailers also tend to be longer and wider than lowboy trailers, making them a great choice for transporting heavy motorized equipment. They are typically more expensive to buy or use than lowboy trailers, but the ease of loading and unloading often makes them a better choice for certain freight.
Choosing between lowboy and RGN trailers
Deciding on how to ship your freight occasionally means you’ll need to choose between a lowboy or RGN trailer. While it’s always valid to ask the carrier which they recommend, knowing the limitations of each type can help you make the right choice (and potentially save you a lot of money).
First, lowboy trailers are better for tall loads—if your freight is long and wide as well as tall, an RGN trailer will probably be the better bet. You should also think about how your freight will be loaded and unloaded—if you’re shipping a motorized vehicle, RGN trailers make the process much easier.
Finally, consider cost. Lowboy trailers are often less expensive, so if your freight is suitable for one, it could make a sufficiently significant difference that you’ll want to choose them over RGN trailers.
For more information about how to choose between various shipping methods, or for more general information about how LTL trucking works in Minnesota, reach out to the team at K-Way Express, Inc.