|General trailer Tilt Bed|
|Load of Fishsticks ready to go for stream enhancement|
|Air latch for holding down bed|
General Trailer Co. is a historic Oregon name associated with building trailers for the timber industry. They have a reputation for building trailers that are a little heavier and a lot stronger than the competition. They have been a major player in building log trailers, lowboys and the like and more recently have produced a 3 axle tilt-bed. Featured here is a 2025 model.
In reality, however, the tiltbed trailer market is extremely competetive and I've looked as several brands of Tilts and the similarities are far more striking than their differences. They all seem to have light weight just under 12,000 lbs. They have Hutch suspensions, and have a 215x75 tire on a 17.5" wheel. Some manufacturers offer a stronger tire on a 22.5" wheel which raises the bed height about 3" above the standard 36".
You will find minor length differences (usually between 28-30 feet of bed), and no agreement on how to measure the bed length. Many have a tapered piece at the back and there isn't a lot of agreement on whether that counts as 'bed length' or not. Some manufacturers advertize gross weight while others refer to net weight. For example, General's 25ton rating is a nominal 'hauling' capacity, as the trailer is rated with a 62,000 lb GVW and weighs 12,000 lbs. Practically speaking approaching that sort of weight on a tilt bed like this is very difficult in any event, as loading up the trailer to the max doesn't leave much weight for the truck, and since the trailer is essentially a balance trailer, the potential for weight imbalance between the truck and the trailer can become an issue.
More subtle differences include fabricated frames vs. formed T-1 steel frames (General fabricates theirs), design of the under ride protection, and such nice features as Genreral provides such as steps on the front tongue so you can get up on the bed without having to vault.
General uses dual cylinders for modulating the tilting. They are not 'hydraulic cylinders' in the classic sense, but physically they are cylinders without any hoses or pumps. There is just a small hole in the piston that allows oil to move at a limited speeded from one side of the piston to the other. This controlled leakage keeps the bed from flopping violently when you overbalance it. Another variable in design is the axle spacing. General uses 48.5" axle spacing while many manufacturers uses a 54" spacing. The extra spacing slides more on the corners, but permits 42,500 lbs on the 3 axle combination under the bridge formula loading used in Oregon compared to 40,000 lbs. for 3 axles which are spaced over 8 feet). With the heavy haul permit, however, axle spacing issues are ignored and you get 20,000 lbs per axle.
Construction: (Standard Features)