How to Load an Enclosed Trailer

Whether you’re using an enclosed trailer to move your house or haul a load of construction materials, these loading tips will make the process easier. The goal here is to put the right eight in the right places so the trailer is easy to control on the road. Read on to learn the right way to load an enclosed trailer.

Put at Least 60% of the Weight at the Front of the Trailer (Towards the Hitch)

The general rule of thumb is to put 60% of your cargo weight in the front half of the trailer. This keeps the bulk of the weight near the hitch so the tail of the trailer isn’t weighed down too much. If the back end is heavy, the trailer is more likely to sway from side to side as you’re driving. Plan your loading strategies to allow the bulk of the weight to go in first.

Stack Boxes at the front and Add a “Wall” after Them

If you’re using an enclosed trailer for moving, you’ll likely have boxes to stack up. Most movers find it easiest to put a stack of boxes floor to ceiling, right at the front of the trailer. Then they use a mattress, dresser or other furniture to create a “wall” in front of the boxes. Strap down the wall, and you won’t have to worry about the boxes falling over in transport.

Strap down Items That Are Likely to Move around

The sides of most enclosed trailers have railings or tie-down locations so you can safely secure straps to them. Use these to your advantage. Tie down anything you think might move around during transport to make sure your load stays in place. The last thing you want is to open the back of the trailer and have everything flying at you out of the doors.

Put Lighter Items toward the Back of the Trailer

If you have miscellaneous light items to load, add them at the very end. In the case of moving, this usually involves objects like a computer chair on wheels, a vacuum, brooms, mops, etc. Lighter objects do best in the back of the trailer because they won’t have much impact on movement.

Consider Accessibility as You Load the Trailer – What Do You Need Access to First?

Weight is only element of trailer loading. You also need to think about accessibility. What will you want access to right away, and what can be tucked further back? For instance, you might put your bed frame at the back of the trailer so it’s one of the first things that comes off when you unload. Then when you unload the mattress later on, you have somewhere to put it.

The same mentality goes for tools you might need or construction materials that get installed first. Load the items you need last first so that the items you need first are right there when you open the doors.

Distribute Weight Evenly from Left to Right

Weight balance from side to side is just as important as the balance from front to back. Try to maintain even weight distribution from the left to the right of the trailer. If you just loaded something heavy on the left side, find something similarly heavy to put on the right. This will prevent the trailer from being weighed down in one particular area.

Adjust If the Trailer Is Hard to Control on the Road

If your trailer is swaying hard as you drive, you may have a weight imbalance that needs to be corrected. At that point, pull over and make some adjustments to the load. You may also want to change your driving style to accommodate the movement of the trailer. Check out our Beginner’s Guide for Driving with a Trailer Attached for more information.