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What Is a Lowboy Trailer?

March 11, 2024

A lowboy trailer is a specialized trailer with two drops in deck height: one directly after the gooseneck and another right before the wheels. Compared to other trailers, and as the name suggests, this trailer’s deck is extremely low to the ground, providing the ability to transport loads up to 12 ft tall, meaning it can carry extra-tall cargo.

Most have hydraulic systems that lift the trailer to engage it once loaded, and all come with air brakes. Heavy-duty lowboy trailers are available in configurations from two to eight axles, which can be lifted or swiveled, via an independent wired or radio remote control. Additionally, when dealing with heavy hauls, a heavy haul lowboy is commonly utilized to efficiently transport oversized and overweight loads.

Capabilities with a Lowboy Trailer

Frequently, clients inquire at Cowtown Express, “What exactly is a lowboy truck?” These specialized hauling rigs are designed for transporting tall and heavy equipment and machinery. Unlike standard flatbeds, lowboy trailers are positioned very close to the ground to accommodate the additional height of the cargo.

A typical 2-axle lowboy has the capacity to transport 40,000 lbs. By adding more axles, this weight capacity can be doubled to reach 80,000 lbs. Notably, lowboys feature a double-level drop system, distinguishing them from flatbed trucks. This unique design results in a deck height at the tail that is taller than the well but lower than the front of the trailer. When considering a lowboy trailer, understanding its dimensions, including the trailer height from ground, becomes crucial for efficiently transporting oversized cargo. This is particularly relevant when utilizing a truck lowboy trailer combination for heavy-duty applications.

Below are typical lowboy trailer dimensions:

  • Lowboy trailer length: 24ft to 29.6 ft.
  • Lowboy trailer height: 18 in. to 24 in.
  • Standard lowboy trailer height from the ground: 18 ft.
  • Lowboy trailer freight height: 11.5ft to 12 ft.
  • Lowboy trailer width: 8.5ft maximum.

What Is a Lowboy Trailer Used For?

Lowboy trailers find widespread application in the transportation of heavy equipment and various machinery, including bulldozers, excavators, backhoe loaders, passenger cars, vans, trailers, and agricultural machines. Essentially, these trailers are employed for items that cannot be accommodated on a flatbed or single-drop trailer. The United States sees frequent use of lowboy trailers for transporting construction, excavation, and mining equipment of diverse load sizes.

The Different Types of Lowboy Trailers

The capacity of a lowboy trailer varies based on its model type. Within the freight and logistics industries, three distinct types of lowboy trailers are utilized, classified by the manner in which the gooseneck attaches to the trailer.

Fixed Gooseneck (FGL) Lowboy

FGLs are securely connected to the trailer using drop decks, facilitating easy loading from both the rear and front. Despite their nomenclature, the gooseneck is adjustable and, once reattached, remains in a fixed position.

Characterized by their lightweight design, these trailers feature slightly elongated decks. Their necks are contoured in a manner that, when lowered, transform into a ramp, enabling the smooth ascent of equipment’s front tires onto the deck of the Fixed Gooseneck Lowboy (FGL).

Fixed Neck Lowboy

Although these trailers provide the advantage of being lightweight for increased payload capacity, their necks are securely fixed and lack adjustability for front-loading. To load heavy equipment onto the trailer, fixed load ramps are employed.

Removable Gooseneck (RGN) Lowboy

When it comes to driving, pushing, pulling, or lowering equipment onto a lowboy, Removable Gooseneck Trailers (RGNs) stand out as the optimal choice. This trailer type comes in two variants: mechanical and hydraulic. The hydraulic RGNs offer the flexibility of height adjustment or detachment through the use of hydraulic cylinders. Recognized as some of the most robust haulers, RGNs can be configured with up to twenty axles, boasting a remarkable capacity of transporting up to 150,000 pounds.

RGN vs. Lowboy Trailer Differences

The choice between an RGN trailer and a lowboy depends on the specific cargo you need to transport, as each trailer is designed to accommodate different load specifications.


One notable distinction between an RGN and a lowboy is the detachability of the front section in an RGN, a feature not present in a lowboy trailer. RGNs are versatile in carrying nearly all types of cargo, including heavy motorized machinery, as these trailers can be lowered to create a ramp for efficient loading and unloading.

Hauling Capacity

A two-axle double drop lowboy trailer has a capacity of up to 48,000 pounds, and this can be doubled by adding extra axles. These trailers typically range from 24 to 29.6 feet in length, making them well-suited for transporting heavy equipment such as bulldozers.

In contrast, an RGN trailer can be configured to support weights exceeding 150,000 pounds, distributed across multiple axles, and the well can extend to 29.6 feet. This makes RGN trailers particularly suitable for transporting large cranes and similar heavy loads. If your transportation needs involve hauling substantial weights, opting for an RGN trailer is the more advantageous choice.


The augmented capabilities of an RGN trailer, enabling the transportation of up to 70 tons of cargo as opposed to a lowboy’s 40 tons, do come with an elevated cost. Choosing to rent or hire an RGN trailer will incur higher expenses; nevertheless, in certain instances, this proves to be the safest and most effective choice for oversized hauls.

Unique Features

An RGN trailer possesses a distinctive advantage in its ability to lower to the ground, forming a convenient ramp for vehicles and equipment to be driven onto it. This eliminates the need for additional equipment such as cranes and lifts.

While lowboys may be less versatile, they compensate with a lighter weight, allowing for greater load capacity. Lowboy trailers are well-suited for cargoes that surpass the legal heights accommodated by flatbed trailers but don’t necessitate the specialized features of an RGN trailer.

How LAX Freight Can Help Your Business?

Dedicated to providing exceptional customer service, our priority is to prioritize your needs while crafting customized solutions for your projects and shipments. Our brokerage services are tailored to your requirements, collaborating with various partners to identify the optimal route and carriers for your load.If you have an oversized or overweight consignment awaiting delivery, or if you’re interested in discovering more about our services and how we can assist you, don’t hesitate to contact LAX Freight today. We’re here to help.


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