What Is the Role of Trailer Outriggers?

The function of trailer outriggers is to support large equipment with a large distance between wheels or tracks. Depending on the equipment, the distance between wheels or tracks may have wide. When transporting some ultra-wide equipment, the trailer outriggers will act as an extension of the trailer body, assisting the transportation of the equipment, and this part can withstand a significant amount of weight. So, they are often used with lowboy trailers and heavy haul semi-trailers.

Types of trailer outriggers

Trailer outriggers are used to transport heavy machinery. If the semi-trailer has legs, the width is usually 96 inches or 102 inches wide. There are three types of outriggers: pull out, swing out, attached.

Pull Out Trailer Outriggers

Swing Out Trailer Outriggers

Attached Trailer Outriggers

Pull Out

This is unique among the three outriggers types because it does not require outrigger boards. Generally, a pull-out system achieves a more stable loading experience by eliminating shifting of the board. In addition, it can extend farther than other types of trailer legs. When using the pull out trailer outriggers, it can extend the width of the trailer body to 13’6″ wide.

Swing Out

As its name suggests, the outriggers push outward from the trailer to support the board. When the trailer outriggers are not needed, they can be pushed them against. It can add approximately 10 inches of width to each side of the trailer.


This is an outrigger hooked to the side of the trailer. But it should be noted that he needs outrigger boards, and the outrigger boards may flip up, so we need to take certain measures to avoid this.

Swing out or attached outriggers are usually used with outrigger boards. When using the outrigger boards, you need to pay attention to the alignment of the panels at both ends to avoid movement due to unevenness.

outriggers with outrigger boards

The pull out outrigger does not require a board. They used fixed ramps to form a safer method, allowing vehicles to travel on outriggers without the risk of accidental movement.

The material of the trailer outrigger

Most trailer outriggers are made of two materials: wood or aluminum. Wooden outriggers are usually oak, although durable, they are easily affected by the weather. For example, dry weather causes cracks, and wet weather causes wood to swell and deform.

Aluminum outriggers are stronger and more flexible than wooden outriggers. But greater elasticity also means that it is easier to bend than wood but also easier to spring back than stiff wood. The aluminum outriggers are usually used as pull out outriggers, and no additional boards are required to make the load on the trailer safer.

Note on trailer outriggers:

  1. The installation distance of trailer legs is usually between 12 inches and 22 inches, try to avoid concentrated load.
  2. For trailers that require wooden boards, the staff needs to place the wooden boards on the outriggers before loading the goods and ensure that the wooden boards will not move.
  3. Pay attention to local regulations and do not cause them to exceed the legal width.
  4. When the equipment is driven to the deck, at least half of the tires or tracks are on the deck of the trailer, and the outriggers bear less than half of the pressure.

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