Drop Deck Trailer Rental near Houston, TX
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  1. #1
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    Default Drop Deck Trailer Rental near Houston, TX

    I've been buying equipment at auction during the pandemic as a lot of shops in the Houston area are closing down. I've had to pass on a fair number of deals now as I don't have adequate material handling abilities to move the bigger and heavier equipment I'm interested in. I have been able to get by with UHaul trailers and an engine hoist for most stuff, and was able to rent a drop deck trailer ONCE to pick up some Lista cabinets. It seems that I've showed up too late to the game - nobody in town seems to rent drop deck trailers anymore, and the few that still do, require you to rent it with a scissor lift. I've considered the Noramp trailers that Sunbelt has available but without a winch they seem like they would be pretty difficult to drag lathes and mills up onto. I've even considered purchasing used trailers but they are like unicorns and come with appropriate price tags. Anybody willing to share their rental guy or have any other recommendations/experiences with other, more available trailers? Thanks!

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    In my day ,if you wanted a trailer ,you built your own ....locally,Chinese import hubs ,axles and springs are really cheap ,and building a frame isnt rocket science.

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    The problem I had with renting was availability. I used Sunbelt but had issues particularly in spring when all the contractors were moving equipment. There also isn't a single trailer that will do every job. Drop deck trailers or No-Ramp are nice but very very pricey to purchase. I ended up purchasing a low profile power tilt and mounted a 12K winch on it. It was still pretty expensive but I didn't want to buy someones junk and what I found was most trailers were thrashed or were most of the cost of new trailer by the time you put a new deck on them, fixed the lights and installed new tires. The actual trailer I purchased was the PJ Hydraulic Quick Tilt.

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    How big of machines are you buying? 20' Car hauler has been what I've used as primary trailer for past 20 years. You don't want something with side rails as it makes forklift loading a pia. As for unloading buy a used forklift, yeah yeah it all adds up to big $$$, but its still cheaper than riggers.

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    Out here in Wisconsin Sunbelt has Triple L drop-decks for rent. I prefered to rent a F550 stakebed, as I try to avoid towing if possible.

    If you have an enterprise truck rental there with F550 stakebed, all you need is a tow-truck to unload on your end. The F550 crew cab stakebed is rated for around 10,000lbs.

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    If the gooseneck deckover flatbed and forklift are in your future, your shop will not be big enough to hold the expansive universe of machinery possibilities!!!

    Most active places have forklifts for outbound shipping, anything CNC would probably require riggers (aka guys with bigger forklifts).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Mike View Post
    The problem I had with renting was availability. I used Sunbelt but
    I think Sunbelt, at least in the Houston and Dallas areas, is swapping out older drop deck trailers in exchange for Noramp trailers as they are perfectly acceptable for scissor lifts and other mobile equipment and are way more tolerant of abuse than the older Triple L trailers. They have plenty of Noramps available but only have drop decks at locations 3+ hours from me. I plan on trying out a Noramp soon but as far as I know they do not come with a winch so I'm sure it'll be painful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    How big of machines are you buying? 20' Car hauler has been what I've used as primary trailer for past 20 years. You don't want something with side rails as it makes forklift loading a pia. As for unloading buy a used forklift, yeah yeah it all adds up to big $$$, but its still cheaper than riggers.
    I'm trying to get into the Bridgeport/16" swing lathe range. Too big for an engine hoist, and I'm not too keen on trying to winch them up any sort of utility trailer with ramps. Not enough storage space yet for a forklift and large, flat decked trailer but I hope to be there eventually!

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt_isserstedt View Post
    If the gooseneck deckover flatbed and forklift are in your future, your shop will not be big enough to hold the expansive universe of machinery possibilities!!!

    Most active places have forklifts for outbound shipping, anything CNC would probably require riggers (aka guys with bigger forklifts).
    I'm still too small time for a forklift on my end, but I hope to be there eventually. I passed up on a Prototrak as I didn't have a watertight plan to get it unloaded at home yet. Still kicking myself on that one! Thinking of an a-frame gantry hoist but I have no indoor space for that, would hate to leave it in the rain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karle View Post
    I'm still too small time for a forklift on my end, but I hope to be there eventually. I passed up on a Prototrak as I didn't have a watertight plan to get it unloaded at home yet. Still kicking myself on that one! Thinking of an a-frame gantry hoist but I have no indoor space for that, would hate to leave it in the rain.
    If you can set it up so the gantry is a) height adjustable to be able to roll under your exterior door, and b) make the width so it just straddles a workbench or other stationary machines with a couple inches of clearance then you have got it made. Even if you didn't have a) solved you can still back in trailers under the door and lift the machine up 3 inches and drive the trailer out from under.

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    The last drop deck I rented from Sunbelt, it had a place in the front of the trailer we tied a come-a-long to and winched the lathe up into the trailer. No problem at all. To get it out, I have a Caspian anchored to the floor in the front of my garage that I tie off to. Get the lathe started into the door then drive out from underneath the machine. Then continue dragging it in with a come-a-long. Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by karle View Post
    I'm trying to get into the Bridgeport/16" swing lathe range. Too big for an engine hoist, and I'm not too keen on trying to winch them up any sort of utility trailer with ramps. Not enough storage space yet for a forklift and large, flat decked trailer but I hope to be there eventually!
    If a seller can't load, I'm not buying, unless its giveaway priced. Forklift can live outside, you may not think you will use it much, but I bet once you get one you will be using it all the time. It is incredibly convenient for moving things around by yourself instead of relying on someone to swing by for 5 minutes of lifting help, and comes in handy as an outside workbench for welding jobs, I cannot envision life without one. If short of parking space, park the forklift on the trailer

    Edit: Had to replace balljoints on my tacoma last week, lugging a jack to upper yard seemed like a lot of work, it was easier to drive the forklift up there and lift whole truck from front to put it on jackstands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karle View Post
    I think Sunbelt, at least in the Houston and Dallas areas, is swapping out older drop deck trailers in exchange for Noramp trailers as they are perfectly acceptable for scissor lifts and other mobile equipment and are way more tolerant of abuse than the older Triple L trailers. They have plenty of Noramps available but only have drop decks at locations 3+ hours from me. I plan on trying out a Noramp soon but as far as I know they do not come with a winch so I'm sure it'll be painful.
    Only rented a drop once. I mostly rented the Felling tilt trailers, which I don't think they are purchasing anymore. I used a floor jack for tilt control and manual winch. My power tilt is 10 degree load angle, about twice the No-Ramp but the No-Ramp is twice the money and 30% heavier.

    And example of unloading with the power tilt.
    img_1838.jpg

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    I've used a guy with a Rollback before now.
    They have the winch to load, and their high tilt angle makes unloading pretty easy, using a "comealong".
    I've built up a relationship with a good guy, and they're not high dollar people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Overland View Post
    I've used a guy with a Rollback before now.
    They have the winch to load, and their high tilt angle makes unloading pretty easy, using a "comealong".
    I've built up a relationship with a good guy, and they're not high dollar people.
    As your winching a machine off with a come-a-long keeping the truck or trailer winch hooked up letting a little cable out at a time keeps things from getting away from you.
    I seen a big EDM slide down a rollback bed and hit the header over the garage door. Once momentum starts its going .

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