Home Maintenance

How To Choose The Right Trailer For Home Maintenance


Small trailer manufactured to include cage

Do you need to buy a trailer and don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re wanting a trailer that can be used off-road, or a trailer that can be used to transport reasonably large loads, or if you’re just trying to find some information about trailers, you’ve come to the right place.

Trailer manufacturers often have a standard range of single axle and tandem trailers, but they will also likely custom-build a trailer to suit your requirements.

DAMEL example of custom trailer manufacturing
DAMEL are custom trailer manufacturers

What features to look for when buying a trailer

Trailers are expensive and there are various types of trailers to suit different needs. What do you actually need to look for when buying a trailer? 

Size and Capacity

What will you be using your trailer for? Are you going to use it for heavy loads of up to 1,000kg or more? Or will you be using it for a lighter load with only up to 500kg?

If you’re looking at loading your trailer with less capacity, then a single axle will be more suitable for you. But, if you’re looking at loading your trailer with heavy loads, then choose a tandem axle. 

It’s important to remember that each trailer has a different maximum weight limit called a payload. If you don’t know your trailer’s payload, contact your trailer manufacturer for actual towing capacity.

If standard trailers do not match you needs, many trailer manufacturers have capacity for custom trailer manufacturing. Call your local trailer manufacturers and let them know what you need.

Single axle vs tandem axle

What’s the difference between a single axle vs a tandem axle? A single axle trailer has only one set of wheels making it smaller and easier to manoeuvre in tight spaces.

Whereas, a tandem axle has two sets of wheels, one right behind the other, allowing the trailer to carry more weight and to be more stable on the motorway.

The advantages of a single axle trailer is that it weighs less, so they’re more economical to tow. They are cheaper than a tandem axle trailer, so it may suit your budget more.

Also, having one fewer set of tyres may be an advantage for you as it will be easier to park in a tight spot and it has less bearings and brakes to maintain and replace. 

Example of a DAMEL tandem trailer
Tandem Trailers have two sets of wheels

Tandem axle trailers are safer, and usually have better suspension. When properly loaded, it will bounce less and is less likely to sway.

Due to tandem trailers being able to carry heavier loads, they require a break feature. This means trailers between 2000 and 2500kg must have a brake on at least one axle.

Some trailer manufacturers also build other multi-axle trailers, so don’t hesitate to let them know if you have a special design query.

Cage or no cage?

Do you need to have a cage on your trailer? It depends on what you’re using your trailer for.

If you are wanting to transport bulky furniture or animals; DAMEL recommends getting a trailer with a cage.

If you’re only using it for general purposes such as collecting rocks or sand, then a trailer without a cage would suit you.

Example of a DAMEl tandem trailer with hydraulic lift and cage
Tandem trailer with hydraulic lift and cage


It’s important to understand what type of materials your trailer is made of.

Many trailers are fully manufactured and custom-made in New Zealand. Trailer manufacturing processes in NZ feature full welding (not just bolting) and galvanised steel. This is when steel is hot-dipped in a zinc coating solution. This coating protects the steel from particle corrosion and general surface scratches and abrasions.

Extra Features

There are extra features you can add to your trailer such as:

Tippers: when adding a tipper to your trailer, it is easier and more convenient to transport loads. Adding a tipper feature to your trailer would be beneficial if you’re transporting and dumping materials such as gravel, sand and rubble. 

Electric brakes: This feature requires a brake control, this applies power to the brake system. When power is applied to electromagnets in the brake cluster, the magnets are pulled to the interior flat surface of the hub drum. The more power applied to the magnets the greater the leverage on the cam resulting in a greater braking response.

Ramps: If you’re transporting equipment and machinery, add a ramp to your trailer. This will make the process more effective and less labour-intensive. 

Fold down sides: This allows skids of materials to be loaded easily along the side.


By answering the questions above you will be able to determine which kind of trailer is best for your home maintenance needs.