Commercial Trailer Types & Options
What are the different Trailer Types?
- Van/Dry box - The most common type of trailer. Standard lengths in North America are 28ft, 32ft, 34ft, 36ft, 40ft, 45ft, 48ft and 53ft.
- Curtain Side - A Curtain Side is similar to a Van trailer except that the sides are movable curtains made of reinforced fabric coated in with a waterproof coating. The purpose of a Curtain Side is to allow the security and weather resistance of a Van trailer with the ease of loading of a flatbed.
- Reefer (Refrigerated Van) - Box trailer with a heating/cooling unit (Refrigeration Unit/Reefer) attached. Used for hauling produce, ice cream and other perishable commodities.
- Tanker –Typically cylindrical shaped trailer used for hauling liquids like gasoline, asphalt, milk, liquid chemical and dry chemicals.
- Dry Bulk - Resembles a big tanker, but is used for sugar, flour and other dry powder materials.
- Flatbed - Consists of just a load floor and removable side rails, and a bulkhead in front to protect the tractor in the event of a load shift. Flatbeds can haul almost anything that can be stacked on and strapped down. They come in 48 and 53 ft lengths. Some flatbeds have Side Kits that can go on for commodities like sand that aid in the securing of cargo.
- Lowboy - Type of flatbed in which the load floor is as close to the ground as possible. Most commonly used to haul heavy equipment, cranes, bulldozers, etc.
- Car carrying trailer - Carries multiple cars.
- Drop-deck trailer (Step-deck) - A Drop-Deck trailer is a trailer on which the floor drops down a level once clear of the tractor unit, the most common types of Drop-Deck trailer are flatbeds and Curtain Sides. Some flatbeds have multiple steps in it to vary the height available to load.
- Double Decker - Double Decker or Deckers’ are trailers with either a fixed, hinged or moveable second floor to enable them to carry more palletized goods. In general a double decker can carry 40 pallets as opposed to 26 for a standard van trailer. Double deck trailers are generally a Stepped Van or Curtain Side, with Van trailers having either a fixed or movable (floating ) deck and Curtain Sides having either a fixed or hinged second deck, this hinged second deck generally swings into a position down the length of the trailer and can be divided into 2 or 3 sections to allow greater load flexibility.
- Side lifter -Semi-trailer with hydraulic cranes mounted at both ends of the chassis allowing for the loading and unloading of shipping containers without the need of a forklift or other container handling equipment.
- Extendable – A flatbed that has a beam going under the middle of the trailer to where the loading surface can extend to accommodate longer loads.
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