Utility Pole Trailers 101

By Mark Rapp, Felling Trailers Utility/Telecom Product Manager

When working on pole trailer specifications, there are a few items that need to be defined to set it up properly.

  1. Length of longest pole that will ever be transported.
  2. Length of the poles that will be transported primarily.
  3. Maximum weight carrying capacity.
  4. Style of Pole Trailer (Poles only or combo)
Utility Pole Cargo FT-20-2PTC.96673MRR

Felling Trailers Utility Pole Cargo Trailer FT-20

Length of Pole Trailer

There are many factors to determine how much overhang a pole can tolerate. Length isn’t the only determining factor. There are several classes a given length of the pole can be rated for. The overall diameter at the ground line of the pole and overall diameter at the top of the pole are the deciding factors in what class a pole will fall under. A class 1 pole is more rigid than a class 5 pole, therefore, can tolerate more overhang. It would be up to the end user or the pole supplier to determine how much overhang they can tolerate.

Let’s say we have an electrical cooperative who’s main pole transporting concern is in the 40′ to 45′ range. A trailer designed to carry this load on a daily basis can, when necessary, haul longer poles as long as they are a higher class rating and in good condition. A trailing vehicle may be required due to the extreme increase in the tail swing.

Although not perfect a good formula to follow when determining the needed overall extended length is, Extended Length x 1.6 + 3 (40′ extended x 1.6 = 64′ + 3 = 67′ pole length.) You then need to subtract the distance that is needed for clearance issues when turning. If there is only one pole loaded, this can stay at the max pole length. When additional poles are laid side by side, you have to start pulling the poles back to allow for proper turning radius. Typically 4′ is the maximum set back that’s ever needed.

Utility Pole Trailer FT-10

Felling Trailers Utility Pole Trailer FT-10


Weight of Pole Trailer

Although pole weights vary depending on the type of tree and preservative process used, they usually vary only slightly. This is a weight chart based on Southern Pine – CCA treated. This is the heaviest of the choices for wood poles.

Pole Trailer Weights

Wood poles are the most common types of utility poles used. There are other types of material available, wood laminate, fiberglass, concrete, etc.

Special care is sometimes needed for these applications. Padded and or additional bolsters and tie downs may be required. The rear overhang may need to be reduced as well. Unlike a wood pole that is tapered, a lot of these poles have a center of gravity in the center or near to it.

At times people will inquire about the pole trailer product to haul pipe lengths. This is ok as long as the material being hauled will be hanging off the back similar to a utility pole. If the material being hauled is required to be supported along its entire length, this trailer model is not recommended. The axle is set towards the rear allowing the overhang to offset the tongue weight. Not having any or enough overhang will cause excessive tongue weight.

Utility Pole Trailer FT 20

Felling Trailers Utility Pole Cargo Trailer FT 20

Want to learn more about our Utility Telecom Trailers? Felling Trailers has a full of Utility Pole Trailers to fit your needs. Give us a call 1-800-245-2809 or fill out this simple form, and we will reach out to you!


  1. Good table for classification of pole trailer. Should be a good reference for every hauler and avoid getting stopped and ticketed.

  2. Troy Sievert says

    I am looking for a new pole trailer. We supply utilities to the University of Iowa and maintain the public lighting. The poles we work with are concrete and the manufacturer of the poles recommends supporting them every 5ft. the smallest pole is 15ft and the longest is 34ft.
    what would you recommend?

    • Felling Trailers says

      Hello Troy,
      We have shared your question with our Sales Team. They will follow up with you on the information that you are looking for. Thank you for contacting us.
      Felling Trailers

  3. What’s the legal length that the pole can overhang on the back of the trailer 15’ or less.

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