Is your trailer Australian made or imported
  |  First Published: May 2015

There are plenty of trailer manufactures and retailers across Australia. Some have been around for a very long time and some are very recent to the market. But how do you know which ones are selling Australian made trailers and which ones are importing trailers and selling them as Australian made?

Some consumers have a strong preference to buy Australian made and owned, while others are perhaps price driven, or open to the idea of buying an imported trailer. When it comes to making a decision on which way to go I strongly believe that everyone deserves to be informed and educated on their choices, and know the important question to ask when it comes to deciding which choice to make. There are key differences between the two, and vital factors to consider when it comes to deciding which way to go.

Local and/or imported

The first question that should be asked is. Is the trailer being imported ready made and ready to go, or is the trailer frame and components being imported unassembled, then assembled here? This is a dual question and one where you need to be very specific. There are many trailer companies selling trailers as ‘Australian Made’, but the reality is that they’re actually imported frames and components that they are then assembling here. This can be misleading because consumers can easily think that the entire trailer is being manufactured in Australian, where the reality is that they’re simply being assembled in Australia. The difference between the two can be huge, and the trailer frame is the first place look for the differences between the two.

Totally framed

Most Australian made trailer frames are constructed of 3mm thick Australian steel that is then Australian galvanised. In contrast most imported trailer frames use either 2 or 2.5mm thick steel, usually Chinese steel, with Chinese galvanising. You may not think there is much difference in the thickness of the steel, but an extra half or full millimeter in thickness can greatly impact on the lifespan of the trailer, particular when rust enters the equation.

The next question is. Is the trailer bolted together or welded together? Most imported trailers are bolted together once they arrive on Australian shores. This allows for easy importation from their country of origin. Most Australian made trailers (excluding aluminium trailers) in contrast are fully welded before they are sent to the galvaniser. While a bolted trailer is far more convenient to construct, bolts do come loose over time, and require regular maintenance to keep them on the road and roadworthy.

The next item on the hit list is galvanization. The galvanisation on an imported trailer delivers a different finish than the galvanisation on an Australian trailer. Galvanising in Australia, of Australian steel, produces a smoother finish that is more consistent in colour, and is considered superior in quality and protection.

Fully informed

As you can see there are distinct differences between going Australian made, Australian assembled, or fully imported. So next time you are in the market for a new trailer ask the manufacturer or retailer if their trailers are Australian made or Australian built. By finding this out you’ll have the information you need to make an informed decision and fully considered purchase.

Christian Bold, also known as ‘The Trailer Guy’, is one of Australia’s leading trailer and caravan repair specialists. As the founder of Bold Trailers he is a licensed motor mechanic, auto electrician and automotive body builder. Christian is also an AUVIS and e-safety examiner for the RMS.

You can contact Christian and the team at Bold Trailers for any information regarding trailer and caravan repairs, maintenance, modifications, legal requirements, imported trailers, parts and accessories and new and used trailers for sale. Their friendly technicians are always willing to help you to make your towing experience safe and enjoyable. For more great tips go to www.boldtrailers.com.au or Phone: (02) 8544-8114.

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