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Trailer Tech - Load Warrior

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Aluma Helps Us Tow and Go
Written By: 
John Arens

vendor.2011.aluma-atv-trailer.parked.loaded.can-am-commander.polaris-scrambler.jpgRegardless of whether you ride a Kawasaki, Honda, Polaris, or Kymco, every ATV and Side x Side owner has to haul their machine at times, and loading in the back of a pickup is not an option with the larger machines, even with full-sized trucks. Unless you ride, hunt, and never leave the property behind your house, you’re going to need a trailer.

We’re constantly hauling multiple test machines and we needed a trailer we could count on. We’ve found one. Aluma has been building trailers for nearly two decades, but it was their ATV trailers that caught our attention.

Aluma Trailer Basics

One of the features we like best about the Aluma trailers is that many of them are designed for a specific job. Regardless of what you want to haul, they’ve got multiple models designed to get the job done, but the common features between all the Aluma trailers is that they’re built to last.vendor.2011.aluma-atv-trailer.axle_.jpg

The two biggest factors in making any trailer last for the long haul is corrosion protection, and excellent design and fabrication. Since Aluma builds all of their trailers with a beefy aluminum frame, deck, and tongue, they’ve got both covered. Aluminum construction also helps keep the overall weight down, but a few parts are made of steel, such as the ball hitch coupler, the axles, and any bolts. All of those parts are coated for corrosion protection as well.

Aluma’s ATV trailers were designed not only to haul your machines securely, but to help you load them safely as well. We really appreciate the sturdy ramps that came with our trailer which are both highly durable and come with a great safety feature. We’re always a little concerned when driving anything up ramps that always seem ready to slip off the upper surface, but thankfully, the Aluma people have included a lip at the top of their ramp that drops into a mating groove on the trailer’s edge, insuring the ramps won’t slide. It’s a feature we’re really happy to have. The Aluma ATV trailer we chose – model 8816 – comes with two sets of ramps and can be loaded from either side as well as the back. When not in use, the ramps slide into side pockets, in effect providing a side rail, and are secured in place with latch pins.vendor.2011.aluma-atv-trailer.unloading.polaris-scrambler.jpg

Another awesome feature of the Aluma trailer is the 10 tie-down loops made from 5/8” aluminum that are welded to the aluminum deck. The loops provide plenty of places to strap any machine down, and the extruded aluminum deck is grooved for traction even when wet or muddy. Underneath the deck are two very beefy aluminum main beams that run from tongue to tail, and attached to the beams are dual torsion axles rated for 2200 pounds each. We also really like the full-sized radial tires that came on our ATV trailer.

The frame and axles under the Aluma trailer would easily carry any ATV we could load on it. We also appreciate the electric brakes found at each wheel, and the entire wiring harness plugged directly into the standard coupler on our truck. When we turned it on the first time, all the LEDs lit up as they should, the brakes and blinkers worked, and off we went! It’s been perfect every time we’ve used it!

Every trailer requires routine maintenance checks and Aluma has you covered there as well. They give you a torque spec for the lug nuts, tell you when to grease the axle, and even list a couple types of grease you can use! Short of sending a guy to your house to do it for you, they couldn’t make it any easier.

Built to Last

We’re highly impressed with the Aluma trailers. They’ve thought of everything you could need to haul your ATV or UTV safely and securely. The trailers are extremely well designed and built, they won’t rust, and they tow easily. A five year warranty also comes with all of their 60 trailer models; which helps us sleep a little easier. They’re the total package.

Things to Know when Trailer Shopping

1: What are you hauling? Before you can pick a trailer, you need to plan for what you’re going to be hauling. A good rule of thumb is most utility ATVs weigh from 600 to 750 pounds. Polaris and North American ATVs are on the portly side, often near the 750lb range, while most Japanese models tip the scale near 650 pounds. Sport ATVs generally weigh less than 425 pounds. For hauling a UTV, plan on 1250 pounds for most models, while a heavy duty model like a John Deere Gator 825 XUV or a Kubota can approach 1800 pounds. Also, don’t forget the gear strapped into the bed!vendor.2011.aluma-atv-trailer.hitch_.jpg

2: What are you hauling it with? There’s no point in buying a huge trailer only to try and tow it with a mini truck or small car. Don’t exceed the towing and braking capacity of your vehicle as defined by the manufacturer. You also need to be aware that many trailers are actually wider than the tow vehicle and one ill-fated pass through a toll booth or drive-through window can quickly show you the ugly result of ignoring the trailer’s width.

3: Axles & Brakes? Most small two-place trailers offer a single axle, some with an electric brake, and some without. For hauling a couple ATVs, this will generally get the job done, but the ride can be a little bouncy. Dual axle trailers offer more load carrying capacity, a much smoother ride, and increased braking capability since they will almost always have their own electric brake system built in, either on one or both axles. Suspension on each axle is either through leaf springs, like your truck, or the more common torsion axle.

4: Steel or Aluminum? What conditions are you likely to be hauling in? For rainy weather or salty conditions, the steel will be quick to show the corrosive effects of salt, although Aluminum is not entirely immune to corrosion either. Steel trailers weigh much more than aluminum and are generally equipped with heavy deck material, either wood or steel, and it all requires more power to pull. Besides much better corrosion resistance, Aluminum trailers offer a big advantage in less overall weight, plus they look cool!vendor.2011.aluma-atv-trailer.jack_.jpg

5: Tie-Down Points? Regardless of what you’re hauling, it will certainly need to be strapped down securely, and nothing makes that easier than plenty of tie down points already built into the trailer. Although it is possible to hook your tie downs on the underside lip of a trailer, you don’t want to place them against any sharp edges which will fray the strap and reduce its overall strength, or worse cut through it from vibration. Remember, straps tend to vibrate on the road from either airflow over them or a rough ride, and the last thing you want is your favorite machine cartwheeling down the interstate on your way to hunting camp.

6: Lighting and Wiring. LED lighting is everywhere these days and you can’t beat it for visibility from directly behind the vehicle, although from the side it can be a little less obvious. Whether your trailer is equipped with LED’s or good old incandescent bulbs, be sure there are plenty of them on the rear for safety, and a few on the side and front corners as well. All wiring for the lights and brakes should be well protected and securely fastened to the trailer frame.

7: Hitch and Chain. A sturdy hitch not only inspires confidence but is mandatory for safety. Most hitches use a 2 inch ball with heavy duty safety chains just in case the unthinkable happens. Whatever you do, don’t forget to clamp the ball lock down and insert the safety locking pin, and hook on the safety chains. If the chains are in danger of hitting the road, cross them a couple times but still leave ample slack for turns.

Aluma

www.alumaklm.com
101 E. Seneca
PO Box 287
Bancroft, IA 50517
Toll Free: 866-415-3285

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