Things to Consider When Buying a Tipping Trailer

When hauling large loads to and from the worksite, you’ll need a well-appointed trailer. One that gets the job done and leaves you time to spare. For moving loose gravel, soil, sand, foliage, rubble, cement or building materials large distances a tipping trailer makes all the difference. They’re easy to load, transport anything securely, and have lifting mechanisms to quickly unload your haul. Whether you’re sweating it out in construction, landscaping, excavation, earthworks, gardening or jobs that require quick loading and unloading, a tipping trailer has got you covered.

Tippers are not just about hauling loose materials. Most can easily handle any machinery or equipment, and they double as a versatile do-it-all trailer with the added benefit of an accompanying lifting ram. They come in a sturdy build that glides over uneven surfaces, and have features that make your job simpler.

Tandem High Sided Hydraulic Tipper Trailer

Types of Tipping Trailers

Here you have the choice between electrical and hydraulic tippers. The two perform the same function, though differ in the lifting mechanisms. Hydraulic tipping trailers utilise a battery-powered pump to move hydraulic fluid into the ram and lift the trailer bed. Electric tippers, on the other hand, rely on a motor-driven screw jack. The different ways these tippers lift their loads is crucial. Electric tippers are meant for smaller loads with less weight, whereas hydraulic tippers can lift heavier and bulkier loads. Operators can also set the speed of the lifting ram, according to what you’re carrying and when time is important.

hydraulic tipping trailer

You’ll also find tippers that tip their loads in different directions. Typically, a single directional tipper lifts the ram from front to back, but you’ll also find tippers that unload at either side. You may need these features when working in tight spots, like the roadside, where vehicles and other obstructions make it impossible for a traditional tipper.

Things to Look for in Tipping Trailers

Tipping trailers are priced according to the lifting mechanism, the payload they can carry, overall weight, the level of workmanship and the materials used, as well as the features. There are scores of trailer designers nationwide offering well-built tipping trailers in different configurations. What you end up buying largely depends on your needs and your allocated budget.

Hydraulic tipping trailers will come as more expensive than electric tippers for the reasons discussed above. They can lift heavier loads, and provide a higher level of safety due to better control during tipping. Go for an electric tipper if you don’t intend to use the trailer on a regular basis or for work purposes.

Aluminium Tipping Trailer

Build and Materials

Here both quality and quantity matter. Trailer builders use high-strength galvanised steel to produce a sturdy chassis that is reinforced in multiple points and can carry any weight or load with ease. The trailer bed is thick and treated so won’t pick up any scratches or dents when in use. It will also stand up to corrosive materials and liquids.


How much the tipper can carry and tip is one of the main determining factors when buying. Larger hydraulic tippers sit on a solid tandem axle setup that can carry up to 4500 kilos ATM, which include both the weight of the trailer and the load. How much tippers can carry also depends on the size. You may want to go for something smaller, like a 2000 kilo ATM trailer. Consider the loads you often carry. For work purposes, a larger trailer can save you money and time with fewer to and from routes required.


The materials used are lightweight yet durable. You don’t need to compromise on build quality to have a light tipper. Weight is important in that it allows for easier towing and greater maneuverability. Even the larger tipping trailers can be hauled by a new-ish ute without issues.


This is where you can get creative. Standard features on hydraulic tipping trailers include a sophisticated 4-stage hydraulic ram pushed along by a concealed and protected motor housed in its own toolbox. Longer drawbars help in turning, and are set on jockey wheels to easily move the trailer when not in use. Other things to look for are quality high sides, which will determine the types of loads you can carry, and additional safety and functional features like removable rear members for easy unloading and locks all-round. If you intend to also transport equipment or machinery, look for welded tying points that sit snug in the trailer bed and secure your load.

You can opt for various suspension and braking setups. Go for leaf suspension if your budget allows, as this absorbs road bumps much better, and allows for faster and safer towing. Also, independent brakes are a must-have on trailers exceeding 750 kilos. Other features to spec your trailer with will up functionality. Things like ladder racks allow easy access to the trailer tub. Cages give you more leeway in the types of loads, and more protection. And spare tyres are a necessity on chipped roads.

Browse from dozens of retailers online, that have detailed lineups and spec sheets. You can also rent before buying to establish what you need. In addition, more builders are happy to custom build the trailer of your choice.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.