Welcome back to our series on How to Buy the Best Flatbed Trailer. Today we’re talking about Hauling Equipment on Step Decks and Flatbed Trailers.


There are other options for hauling equipment, i.e., Lowboy and RGNs however, our focus here is on step-decks, flatbeds, and Moffett kits. 

Some of the questions we’ll answer are:

  • What is the maximum weight for a step deck?
  • Step Deck vs. Lowboy, which is best?
  • What is a Moffett kit?
  • Are step decks good for hauling equipment?
  • What is a beaver tail on a trailer?

Ramps and Beavertails


Beavertail with ramps on step deck trailer.



A Beavertail (or Dove Tail) is a sloped extension on the trailer frame allowing equipment to be loaded and unloaded from the rear of the trailer.

Beavertails with Ramps: 


  • Ramps on a beavertail are permanently fixed to the beavertail platform eliminating the need for removal and storage of the ramps. The ramps flip down for loading equipment and are flipped back up on top of the beavertail as you travel on the highway.
  • Standard step deck trailers with no beavertail require storage underneath the trailer for the ramps, which can take up space and interfere with toolboxes or cross braces. 


  • You might sacrifice some deck space with certain model ramps that point straight up when your trailer is loaded will cuase you to sacrifice some deck space
  • However, some ramps will fold up to create a flat surface on the trailer allowing you to load all the way to the rear of the trailer. 
  • Your trailer sales specialist can help you spec out the ramp to work best for your specific application.

Step Decks for Hauling Equipment 


Step Deck trailer.


Due to the lower rear deck height, step decks can be a great option for hauling equipment, tall loads, as well as other cargo.

Any load under 10 ft. tall and 8 ft. wide can be loaded onto a step-deck trailer. Small loaders, skid steers, small excavators, or bulldozers are examples of equipment you can potentially haul on a step deck.

We recommend a Removeable Gooseneck (RGN) or a Lowboy for larger or heavier equipment. A Lowboy can carry cargo up to 12 feet high and heavier loads. In comparison, a step deck trailer provides around 10 feet of clearance on the lower deck and 8.5 feet on the upper deck.

Step decks are an excellent option for hauling midsized equipment and provide the versatility to haul other loads.

Moffett Kits


A Moffett Kit to carry forklift on flatbed or step deck trailer.


What is a Moffett Kit?

A Moffett kit allows you to haul your forklift on the back of the trailer while still having the entire bed length available for cargo.

Kits are very customized to the weight and specs of your forklift and may require counterweights on the front of your trailer for proper balance.

Moffett kits, used for hauling building materials, allow you to carry your forklift to jobs for loading and unloading on site.

There are many manufacturers of forklifts, Moffett being one. Please talk with your dealer and provide them with the specifications on your forklift to properly spec your trailer.

  • Frees up deck space so you can haul more product
  • Forklift is available at your job site to load and unload material.

Utility Keystone works hard at finding the best solution to meet the demands of your hauling requirements.



Read more in this series, How to Buy the Best Flatbed Trailer.



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