Buying a Tipper Trailer? – What you need to know

Tipper trailers are essential to any construction company to transport and dump materials such as gravel, sand, rubbish, and rubble.

Here are some things to look out for when buying a tipper trailer.

Tip Type

There are two main types of tipper trailers:

  • Manual tip/tilt – Suitable for small loads
  • Hydraulic tipping – Used for heavy loads

Hydraulic tippers are useful when the weight is too much for the operator to lift and tilt by themselves. Most hydraulic tippers are remote-controlled, making it easy to dump materials.

Trailers are also available as a 1-way tipper or 3-way tipper. Generally speaking, 3-way tippers are more convenient and effective for dumping materials.


If you are buying a tipper trailer, you probably know how heavy the load you intend to carry is. This is referred to as the payload capacity or carrying capacity of the trailer. You need a trailer with a high payload without compromising the tare weight. Most cheap trailers will only have a high payload capacity if they also have a high tare weight, meaning that they use heavy materials to construct their trailers. Read more about payload and tare weight here.

Tare Weight

Tare weight is the weight of the trailer. The lighter the trailer, the better fuel efficiency. A lighter trailer will also be able to be towed by smaller vehicles and will have a lower yearly rego fee. When purchasing a tipper trailer, you want to look for a heavy-duty but lightweight trailer. For example, the Variant 3-Way Hydraulic Tipper 3517 TB has a tare weight of 945kg and a payload capacity of 2,555kg.


It is important to look for a tipper trailer made with durable materials to withstand harsh use, heavy materials and rough conditions. In particular, the base of the trailer needs to be durable, so it doesn’t scratch when dumping materials. Scratched surfaces can lead to corrosion which is very costly to repair and maintain. We have specifically manufactured their trailers with galvanised steel bases and chassis and aluminium sides for durability and longevity.


Most trailer manufacturers and dealers use overrun braking on vehicles up to 2 tonnes. However, with our RVSA approval, we have full certification for overrun braking up to 3.5 tonnes. Overrun braking is a simple yet effective braking system and does not require electric brakes to operate allowing any vehicle with a suitable towing capacity to tow the trailer without any additional equipment.

Other Features

Tipper Trailers should come with a jockey wheel and tie-down points as standard features. A Jockey wheel will allow the trailer to be manoeuvered when not connected to a vehicle and will balance the trailer, even when it is not attached to the vehicle. Tie-down points will help to secure your load and give you peace of mind that your goods are transported safely.

Your trailer is going to get a bit of wear and tear over time. It might be a good idea to consider buying a spare wheel with your trailer, it’s always handy to have one nearby in case of emergency. Buying a spare wheel at the same time as your trailer also ensures that you are purchasing the correct wheel for your trailer. There are a lot of wheels out there and not all will be compatible with your trailer.

Options such as cage or plate sides will give your tipper trailer a greater volume capacity for the loading of less dense items such as garden leaves and foam.

A tipper trailer needs to be able to fulfil all the requirements of a job, handle tough conditions and last a long time. It is worth purchasing a high-quality product in the first instance, rather than buying a cheaper alternative and having high maintenance and repair costs in the long term.