What Is a Lowboy Trailer? - Its history, operation, and Digital Permit Book’s Role

History Of Heavy Equipment Haulers:

The first ever lowboy trailer was manufactured in the 1920s. It got its name due to the particular structure: a low deck close enough to the ground to be named this. During the early years, it had a fixed gooseneck that was attached to the truck cab, and on the back, it had rubber tires. This specific design of the lowboy truck limited the ways of loading the lowboy trailer with heavy equipment. Nevertheless, it was the first time that equipment could be driven on the lowboy decks with strong rubber tires and rear axles to different locations. With time, modifications were made to its design; in the 1950s, a design with a detachable gooseneck was proposed, which made it easier for the workers to front load or rear load as per their choice. This revolution made the work of hauling heavy equipment a lot more comfortable.

What is a Lowboy Trailer, and What is it Used For?

Lowboy trailers or heavy equipment haulers are laborers for transporting heavy equipment within an industry. They are very commonly found in freight transport, mining, construction, and farming industries around the world. They are sometimes referred to as low bed, double drop, or low loader. Despite having wheels like bulldozers, lowboy trailers are not at all suitable to be used on the roads. The trailer is built with two drops that are convenient for transporting gigantic equipment that can’t be dismantled to provide trouble-free transportation. The weight of a two-axle lowboy trailer can weigh around 20-40 US tons. It can be hauled down to make the loading of large and hefty loads or equipment easier; the front or the rear can either do the loading as per the feasibility. The lifespan of a lowboy trailer can be up to 20 years.

What is the Need for an Extended Lowboy Trailer?

An extendable lowboy trailer can also be termed a stretchable lowboy trailer. They are utilized when the equipment to be shipped is quite lengthier than a standard lowboy trailer; the length can be expanded from 28ft to 50ft depending on the size of the shipment. It consists of extension stops every 24 inches to avoid any unnecessary accidents.

Types of Lowboy Trailers:

1. Removable Gooseneck (RGN) Lowboy Trailer:

This type of trailer is widely used for hauling and transporting heavy equipment due to its unique feature of a detachable gooseneck, which makes it easier for the workers to load or unload it from the top. Moreover, it is a good choice for the transportation of motorized equipment because of its particular structure, which makes it trouble-free to push and pull different heavy loads onto the trailer bed. Furthermore, the gooseneck of an RGN trailer can be removed mechanically or hydraulically. However, the preferred one is hydraulic because of its simple procedure of detaching the gooseneck, making it easy to modify lowboy height.

2. Fixed Gooseneck (RGN) Lowboy Trailer:

The FGN lowboy trailer has an expandable deck and the lightest deck. They have low profile tires, meaning when the tire has a small side height from the rim to the road, due to which they sit closer to the ground, which is approximately 2 feet. They are provided with drop ramps to allow tranquil loading at the hind part. The established style of the FGN lowboy trailer makes it particularly difficult to load in comparison with the RGN lowboy trailer.

Legal Dimensions for a Lowboy Trailer:

A lowboy trailer must comply with the following Federal approved size regulations to be granted the permit to operate without any legal troubles. Failing to do so will result in a huge sum of fines and unwanted delays, which will affect the business;

  • Lowboy Height

It is in the middle of 18 to 24 inches.

  • Lowboy freight height

It is in the middle of 11.5 to 12 feet.

  • Lowboy width

It is 8.5 feet maximum.

  • Lowboy length

The length is between 24 to 29.6 feet.

  • Standard Lowboy Trailer Height From The Ground

It is 18 feet.

  • Maximum Legal Overall Load Lowboy Height

It is 14 feet.

Features that Contribute as Advantages in Using Lowboy Trailers:

  • Versatility

It can be used to haul not only tall loads but long ones, too. Industrial machinery and other construction equipment are usually too broad to be transported by other types of trailers; that’s when the lowboy trailer plays the vital role of transporting its effort; because of its unique structure, it can be used for the safe transport of a variety of loads varying in shapes and sizes as long as they fall within the Federal approved regulations.

  • Stability

The reason it can be used to transport weighty loads and different trailers is that it has a low center of gravity due to its low-lying deck. This allows the lowboy trailer to find stability.

  • Compliance

In different parts of the world, transporters must follow different regulations for legal transportation on the road. Lowboy trailers play a major part in helping transportation companies in transporting heavy loads for the private and business parties while remaining compliant with the laws.

  • Safety

A fine design of a lowboy trailer allows easy loading and unloading of heavy machinery and equipment, which other trailers may not achieve.

Examples of Loads Hauled by Lowboy Trailers:

  • Turbines
  • Carnival rides
  • Giant boilers
  • Military equipments
  • Houses
  • Power Transformers
  • Chemical pressure vessels

Where is the Major Usage of Lowboy Trailers?

They are widely used in the United States. Additionally, China uses these trailers to cope with the demands of transporting heavy equipment and machinery for manufacturing within the country. However, the US majorly used lowboy trailers for trucking companies for the shipment of a variety of heavy loads. They transport agricultural equipment, excavation equipment, mining equipment, and construction equipment thousands of miles e.g., from rural areas of the US to the urban areas of the US.

Lowboy Transport Companies:

1. Nationwide Transport Services

It is a successful company expert in lowboy transportation.

2. Heavy Haulers

It is a nationwide transport service expert in Lowboy Trucking.

3. Heavy Equipment Transport

Heavy equipment transport is a leading company for lowboy trucking.

4. Freight Center

It is the ultimate platform providing lowboy trucking with many other types of transportation.

5. Great Western Transportation

This is another leading company that provides lowboy transportation facilities.

Lowboy Hauling Rates:

The lowboy hauling rates depend on many factors. A major factor affecting the lowboy rates and quotes is whether the permit will be required or not. The permit becomes a necessity if the two dimensions are over the limit and the weight exceeds the targeted range set by the federal government. When the permit is allotted for shipments that exceed the range of standard lowboy trailers, pilot cars may be required to follow as well as drive behind the lowboy trailer to make sure that there is no hindrance in the way and provide smooth transportation. People can also directly access the transporters' website provided above to get an estimate of their desired shipment without any processing fee.

Lowboy Trucking Jobs:

It may be observed by many people when there is a banner behind a trailer stating “ Oversized Load.” these are lowboy trailers that haul huge and weighty equipment from one destination to another as per the instructions given by the transporting companies. The drivers driving these trailers need to be extremely careful and skilled, as it requires a great deal of responsibility. As per the serious nature of the job, drivers must have expertise in ensuring secure loading and unloading of shipment. Every driver is supposed to own a CDL A and a double/triple endorsement, depending on the state. Only the most experienced drivers are chosen to drive a lowboy trailer because of its tough operation.

The Role of Digital Permit Book in Lowboy Trailer Operations

Digital permit book have become a game-changer in lowboy trailer operations. Digital permits streamline the entire process, providing a comprehensive solution to the traditionally paperwork-laden logistics.

Maximizing Lowboy Trailer Efficiency with Digital Permits:

1. Faster Inspections: With QR codes and real-time accessibility, inspections become swift, minimizing downtime for lowboy trailers.

2. Compliance Assurance: Automated updates ensure that lowboy trailers adhere to the latest regulations, reducing the risk of fines and legal complications.

3. Efficient Route Planning: Digital permits empower lowboy trailers with precise route optimization, considering legal restrictions and potential obstacles.

4. Enhanced Safety: Real-time access to critical information and compliance details promotes a safer operating environment for lowboy trailers.


In conclusion, a lowboy trailer is a source of shipment to haul large and heavy loads or equipment, which may be difficult for the other trailers to transport. The design of the lowboy trailer provides transporters with ease in carrying out their missions easier, faster, and safer. A variety of lowboy trailers helps transport variable loads of different sizes. Thus providing versatility. It is necessary to be compliant with the rules of the federal government; if a company fails to do so, it will face serious consequences such as hefty fines. A lowboy trailer works on its standard structure, so if heavy industrial equipment exceeds its given range of size and dimension, a permit will be required, which will allow its transportation. Many lowboy trailer transportation companies are working around the world to facilitate smooth transportation for their customers. Furthermore, lowboy trucking jobs are not something that anyone can do. It requires skilled drivers who have been trained for years to carry out the job. The integration of the digital permit book marks a transformative step in the progress of lowboy trailer operations.

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