It’s hard work being a livestock producer, and at Real Industries Ltd., we understand that. Located in Rathwell, Manitoba, in the heart of our customers, we witness the daily struggles and joys of livestock production and know first-hand the tenacity and dedication of our community members. For the past 45 years, it’s been Real Industries’ mission to design and manufacture quality products that make the lives of livestock producers a little easier. One classic example of those products? Our livestock trailers.
Real Industries’ heavy-duty trailers are aerodynamic, robust, and built to handle life in Canada. We’re confident enough in the quality of our products to back them with a 6-year structural warranty. That being said, if you’re in the market for a new trailer, you’re probably trying to determine what model to go with.
What qualities define the best livestock trailer for your particular needs? That depends on a few factors.
Below, we’ll consider the relative benefits and merits of the two main types of livestock trailers and explore some questions that will help you narrow down your choices. If, after reading this post, you’re still unsure what model to purchase, contact Real Industries directly, and one of our team members will be more than happy to connect with you and help you make the right decision.
Types of Livestock Trailers
Livestock trailers provide the opportunity to transport animals safely from one place to another—something you have to do pretty frequently in the livestock industry. Whether you’re sending animals off for processing, transporting them to or from auction, or taking them to a show or fair, it’s critical to ensure that they’re comfortable, safe, and secure. It’s also important that the trailer you load them into is stable, durable, easy to pull, fuel efficient, simple to load and unload, and affordable, among other things.
The two most common styles of livestock trailers are gooseneck trailers and bumper pull trailers. Each is intended for slightly different purposes. Let’s take a look:
Gooseneck trailers are so named because of their shape. The front of the trailer narrows into a neck-shaped hitch that extends over the bed of the truck it’s being towed by. Gooseneck trailers connect for towing via a ball hitch placed in the bed or box of the towing vehicle and are known for their high towing capacity, maneuverability, and stability on the road.
If you need to cover long distances with your livestock, a gooseneck trailer is almost certainly the right option. Additionally, gooseneck trailers can accommodate large animals like cattle, bison, and horses (or large quantities of smaller animals). They’re also ideal for pen systems.
Bumper Pull Trailers
As their name suggests, bumper pull trailers connect directly to the hitch of your truck or SUV. In general, they’re lighter weight and smaller than gooseneck trailers and are easy to maintain, store, and maneuver in tight spaces.
Bumper pull trailers are ideal for transporting small to medium-sized animals such as pigs, goats, sheep, ponies, or small horses over short distances. They can be fitted with a pen system but generally can only accommodate a few animals at a time. Bumper pull trailers are not as stable or durable as gooseneck trailers and are not typically suitable for long hauls.
Choosing the Right Trailer
After reading the descriptions above, you may already have a strong inclination toward one trailer type or the other based on your needs and circumstances. But let’s dig a little deeper to be sure. The four questions below should help you to solidify the right livestock trailer choice in your mind:
What Livestock Are You Hauling?
If you produce bison, cattle, or large horses, you probably already know that a gooseneck trailer will be the right fit for your needs.
But what about smaller animal producers? Just because a bumper pull trailer can accommodate smaller animals doesn’t automatically mean it’s your best option.
If you transport small or medium-sized animals in large quantities, a gooseneck trailer will still likely be your best bet. While you could take multiple trips hauling a few animals at a time, this method can stress your livestock and is not an effective use of your time.
On the other hand, a bumper pull trailer will be the perfect solution for hobby farmers with just a few animals or animal owners who only want to transport one or two to a competition or equestrian show.
Are Living Quarters Required?
Living quarters refer to human living space within a livestock trailer. If you regularly travel overnight with livestock or take animals to shows or events where you’d like to have your own privacy, livestock trailers with living quarters can provide a perfect solution.
While some living quarters might simply be a mattress in the storage space above the box of the towing vehicle, others are more luxurious, with RV-style amenities like a living room, kitchenette, and bathroom. Living quarters are typically only available on gooseneck trailers, so if they’re something you’re interested in, a bumper pull trailer will probably not be the right fit.
How Far Are You Travelling?
Because gooseneck trailers place the down weight directly over the axle of the towing vehicle, they’re a stable option for long-haul towing. They generally cost more than bumper pull trailers, but it’s because they’re built for hauling livestock long distances. Real Industries’ gooseneck trailers are specifically designed to withstand the rough conditions on rural roads, even in adverse weather. They’re also streamlined for maximum fuel efficiency and ease of pulling.
If you’re just looking to relocate a few animals from one pasture to another or want to take your pony or small horse to the occasional show or trail ride, a bumper pull trailer can more than suit your needs. While you can tow a bumper pull trailer further, it makes for a less safe and stable choice than its gooseneck counterpart.
What Material Best Suits You?
The material your livestock trailer is made of will determine a lot. Your trailer’s weight, durability, and cost will all be impacted by its construction. Gooseneck trailers and bumper pull trailers both come in a range of materials, which are sometimes used in combination with each other. These can include:
- Aluminum Trailers
- Pros: Rust-resistant, lightweight
- Cons: More expensive than steel
- Steel Trailers
- Pros: Affordable, durable
- Cons: Rust-prone, heavy
- Galvanized Steel Trailers
- Pros: Durable, rust-resistant
- Cons: More expensive
- Composite Material Trailers
- Pros: Durable, affordable
- Cons: Can be expensive to repair
Real Industries steel livestock trailers’ unibody construction makes them some of the strongest and most durable trailers available on the market today. With heavy wall tubular frames, 14 gauge smooth deep ribbed sides, and solid welded exterior walls, they’re built for Canadian roads and weather and meant to hold up to even the most extreme conditions over many years.
Our steel trailers include a chip-resistant liner inside the trailer up to the first rib and outside the trailer up to the second rib. To further prevent rusting on stone chips, Real Industries trailers are finished using our signature process. Every trailer is washed with industrial degreaser, sandblasted, primed with zinc, coated with epoxy chip-resistant gravel coating and finally primed and painted with high quality urethane products.
At Real Industries Ltd., we understand that a livestock trailer is an essential piece of equipment for livestock producers. And, over the past 45 years, we’ve proven our commitment to designing and manufacturing high-quality trailers that hold up to the demands of livestock production in Canada’s harsh conditions.
Our steel stock trailers are aerodynamic, durable, efficient, and cost effective. They also come with a 6-year structural warranty. What else sets Real Industries livestock trailers apart?
- Superior fuel mileage
- Heavy duty roof and wall posts
- Fully enclosed and sealed wire harness, including brake wire
- Chip-resistant epoxy coating (interior and exterior)
- Aluminum trim
- Two-way backdoor with sealed bearings
- Side door with locking latch
- Electric brakes on all axles
- Interior light
- …and much more!
Gooseneck trailers and bumper pull trailers both have their pros and cons. While gooseneck trailers are more durable and stable for transporting larger animals over greater distances, bumper pull trailers are affordable, maneuverable in small spaces, and ideal for hauling smaller animals shorter distances.
Still not sure which type of livestock trailer will best suit your needs? One of our representatives will be happy to answer your questions and assist you in making the best choice for your circumstances.
Real Industries livestock trailers come in a range of sizes, all of which include our 33 great standard features. In addition, we now also manufacture flat deck trailers to your specifications. Contact us directly for your personal quote on any of our standard or custom trailer options!
Real Industries Ltd. is proud to support livestock producers across Canada and the U.S. and takes pride in designing and manufacturing superior products that will stand the test of time and lighten the workload of our dedicated clientele.
For more information about any of Real Industries’ products, contact us directly today!