Choosing the Best Car Hauler Trailer

Published on
Close up of a black car on a car hauler trailer being towed by a utility van

When equipping yourself to become a hot-shot trucker, you need to consider what your vehicle and equipment are capable of hauling. If you want your future in hotshot trucking to focus on shipping vehicles, then you’ll want to look at purchasing a car hauler trailer. 

Car haulers come in almost as many varieties as vehicles themselves, so there are a lot of options to consider. We’re here to narrow things down and set you up for success for your hotshot trucking career. 

First Thing to Consider: The Size of the Vehicle Being Towed

You need to first figure out if you want to be able to haul any sized vehicle. The size of the car hauler and its capacity greatly affect what jobs you can take. 

The dimensions of vehicles make a huge difference. Anyone who’s driven a crew-cab and an extended cab truck can tell you the difference a few feet in any direction makes. Also consider modifications such as lift-kits and aftermarket tires when measuring out potential car hauler trailers

Common Trailer Sizes for Single Vehicles

You also need to know the trailer length and width. Many trailers, both open and enclosed, generally start at 16 feet long. Larger single-vehicle trailer options range from 20-24 feet. When it comes to the width of trailers, most single car haulers are around 8.5 feet wide.

Next Thing to Consider: The Weight of the Vehicle Being Towed

So, your trailer is both long enough and wide enough for towing the vehicle, now you have to figure out if it can support the weight of the vehicle. You have to know the GVWR (grow vehicle weight rating) of your trailer, and the GVWR of the vehicle you’re transporting too.

Usually, weight is not a problem when it comes to most commercial vehicles, as the majority of car haulers can handle a single commercial vehicle. However, There’s thousands of pounds in between a coupe and a dually pickup truck. 

The weight difference becomes more apparent for large commercial vehicles such as dump trucks, or military vehicles.

Car haulers come in several classes of GVWRs such as 7,000 pounds and 9,900 pounds. You can pull less weight than the limit but never attempt to pull more.

Make Sure Your Truck Can Tow the Trailer + Vehicle

Your truck’s GCWR (gross combined weight rating) includes the weight of your vehicle, plus the weight of the trailer and the weight of the cargo.

Just because you can pull the weight of the vehicles, doesn’t mean you can pull the weight of the vehicle, plus the trailer, plus a full tank of gas, plus a friend to who joins you on the road, plus any cargo in the bed. For example, most enclosed trailers are generally going to be heavier, meaning their payload capacity—the amount of cargo they can hold within its GVWR class—will be smaller.

Next Factor: How Many Vehicles Do You Need to Ship?

This one’s probably obvious, but the more vehicles you need to move, the larger the car hauler trailer needs to be. If you have a one ton or ¾ ton pickup truck, you can typically pull two vehicles, but you’ll need a multi-car trailer. Multi-car haulers are usually 50 feet or more and some of them are even double-deckers

Do You Have the Car Hauler Perfect for You? Start Driving!

Choosing the right size car hauler ultimately comes down to what you feel confident driving and what you plan on hauling. The most important thing is to choose a quality trailer that will keep you, your cargo, and other drivers on the road safe. Remember, the weight you tow affects how effective your brakes are. 

As a hotshot trucker, you can be successful even if you can only transport one vehicle at a time. No matter what you choose, make sure you have the right equipment to secure the trailer to the vehicle safely and securely.

Be a Hotshot Trucker with Open Road

You already have the experience, and now you have the perfect car hauler trailer, it’s time to make money with Open Road. We ship for a wide variety of industries, including automotive, and you can be a part of it. 

Sign up today to start making money on your own schedule and enjoying the open road.

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