Texas Heavy Hauling: Trailer Options

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Texas Heavy Hauling: Trailer Options


November 23, 2021


When is Heavy Hauling Needed?

Heavy hauling comes into play when a trucker is assigned a load that is too large to be considered a normal haul. This could mean that the load is overweight, too tall, too wide, or just generally considered a super load. However, load sizes vary from state to state, so it’s not an exact science when determining what is and isn’t an oversized load. Heavy hauling calls for unique equipment to deal with the larger loads, and this typically means using a special trailer, depending on how the load is oversized and what it’s carrying. Today, we’re going to go over each trailer and talk about what kinds of loads they can carry, how rare they are, and some other general facts that would benefit any owner-operator truck driver.

What Are the Trailer Options for Heavy Hauls?

Step Deck Trailer

This trailer is commonly used for freight loads that are both very tall and heavy.They can hold a maximum of 48,000 pounds, depending on the design of the step deck trailer and can hold freight that is up to 10 feet high. Step deck trailers are rather interesting when compared to other trailer types because they have two decks, a higher deck, and a lower deck. Heavier freight usually goes on the lower deck, while lighter items can be placed on the upper deck. A ramp can also be installed on this trailer to assist with loading and unloading.

Low Boy Trailer

Like the step deck trailer, the low boy trailer is usually used for transporting tall, heavy freight. Due to its specific capability, they are a little less common than other trailers. The low boy can actually transport freight up to 12 feet in height, which makes it a little more well-suited for extremely tall cargo than the step deck trailer. However, it has a smaller weight limit at 40,000 pounds. The interesting thing about the low boy is that it is very low to the ground, hence the name. This is what allows it to transport such tall freight, as the deck hangs lower than most other trailers. Low boys are used quite often for transporting industrial equipment, as these machines usually fit into the specs that a low boy can handle.

Removable Gooseneck Trailer

This trailer, sometimes referred to as an RGN, is ideal for handling tall and long freight. Typically, these trailers are broken up into two categories, standard and extendable, with the extendable removable gooseneck trailer being able to hold even longer freight. These Gooseneck trailers can usually handle about42,000 pounds in cargo, but the stretch may even be able to handle more. Of course, the most interesting thing about this trailer is its ability to stretch and expand, but interestingly enough, the front part of the trailer is able to detach, which allows the back end to extend down into a ramp to help out with loading. This trailer is also less common than others.

Double Drop Trailer

These trailers are used to accommodate freight that is very tall but are built differently than the low boy trailers which perform the same job. These trailers can handle freight that is 12 feet tall and can handle around 45,000pounds of cargo. What makes them unique however is that they are built to have a deck installed in the middle of the trailer with two decks that sit on both ends of it. These trailers are not all that uncommon due to their many capabilities.

Dual Lane Trailer

These trailers are not commonly used and are often only brought out to accommodate exceptionally large hauls. Whether it be very wide, very heavy, or both, dual lane trailers are meant to be customizable for each job. These trailers are designed to handle extreme weights that push the limits of what is legally haulable, upwards of 125 tons, and can be expanded to great lengths, potentially up to 75 feet. These trailers are really only used in very specific circumstances and are not commonly seen on the road. To actually make use of a dual lane trailer, the job being performed must be huge.

How To Hire a Heavy Haul Truck in Texas

Hiring a heavy haul truck in Texas can be tricky. With some companies you can’t be sure exactly what their capabilities are, and when dealing with specialized loads and trailers you’re going to want to hire someone you trust. We at Twisted Nail consider every job to be a top priority. We have the drivers and the trailers you need for any job and will get what you need where you need it every time. If you need a heavy hauling service in the Waco, Bryan, or Austin area, call us now, and we will work with you to get the job done exactly as you want it. Twisted Nail can handle your job like no other.


An end dumps carry weight depends heavily on the specific road regulations, the power unit weight, and the composition of the trailer. A steel trailer, typically referred to as a Round Bottom, will be heavier and will have a payload of approximately 21 to 23 tons. By contrast, an aluminum end dump is much lighter and can carry anywhere from 23-28 tons, with some set-ups being able to approach 30-ton payloads. 

End dumps are typically loaded by heavy machinery, such as a front-end loader or excavator, or by a series of conveyor belts. End dumps are top load trailers. An owner-operator with an end dump trailer will uncover the trailer via an electric tarp switch in the cab. With the trailer uncovered, the heavy machinery is free to load from the top of the trailer, being careful to evenly distribute the material. Once loaded, the owner-operator flips the tarp switch, covers the load, and continues their run.  

There are several different types of hydraulic lifts that are usually part of dump trailers. These include telescopic, dual-piston, and scissor lifts, among others. Most dump trailers use hydraulics to automatically lift the dump box and unload the materials in a quick, seamless action.

An end dump is an excellent investment for owner operators or construction companies that transport bulk aggregate on a frequent basis. Depending on your needs, a steel or aluminum end dump will ensure that you are able to reliable keep your customers jobsites and stockpiles full. 

Depending on market timing, a typical aluminum end dump will range between $15,000 to $70,000+, with steel round bottoms priced around $10,000-$50,000+. These trailers are also offered for rent or lease, with trailers available for around $850-$2,000 per month. When renting or leasing, it is typical for all repairs to be the responsibility of the renting owner operator. 


Flex base can be an excellent choice for a driveway but is not often used as a primary input in TXDOT construction. Flex base is best suited for farm roads, driveways, RV pads, and for other foundations that will not receive heavy traffic. Flex base is cheaper than most alternative options, such as asphalt or base that meets TXDOT specifications. Additionally, once set and compacted, a flex base road or driveway is cheaper and easier to maintain.

Yes, road base and flex base are the same material family. That said, the differentiating factor is typically the testing results of each material. When shopping for material, it is important to identify exactly what type of material you are buying. Retailers will categorize Base as a broad category and can leave identification to consumers, which is challenging and confusing. In general, if a retailer is selling a Road Base it can be assumed that the material is of higher construction quality than flex base, meaning it will have a wider range of approved uses. However, some vendors will sell Flex Base as a Road Base; this makes it important to understand if the material you are purchasing is a true Flex Base, is ‘Spec 247’, or is TXDOT approved. With each increase in quality comes an increase in cost, so it is important to identify which material will best suit the needs of your project.

Flex Base is a mixture of loose aggregate and coarse aggregate, can be a wide range of color based on source location, and is composed of materials ranging from dirt to rock that are 1”-3” in size. Most Flex Base, particularly around Central Texas, will range from tan to brown, will consist of a dirt material and rocks that range from 1” to 2” in diameter. There are specialty materials that will include rocks up to 3” in size, but these are typically reserved for heavy construction projects.

Any driveway’s depth should be at least 5” to ensure structural integrity and better load capacity. For road base in particular, experts recommend a thickness of 6-8”.

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Twisted Nail is here to help. If you need something hauled in central Texas, we can get your job done, safely, timely, and reliably.

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