What Type of Trailer Is Best for Your Truck?
What Type of Trailer Is Best for Your Truck?

What Type of Trailer Is Best for Your Truck?

Are you a commercial truck owner trying to decide what type of trailer is best for your truck or where to buy a trailer? This article will cover the various trailer types and their advantages. When selecting a trailer, the first step is to decide on its size. This decision is vital since it will determine your truck’s tow package and weight capacity.

In the trucking industry, trailers for trucks are essential tools for transporting freight. Selecting the correct type of trailer can make all the difference for success as an owner-operator, so it’s vital to know which freight trailers to consider and what type of trailer is best for your truck. Should you stick with a tried and true model, or make use of newer innovations?

Trailer Types

When selecting the ideal trailer for your truck, it’s essential to weigh all available options. Each type of trailer serves a distinct purpose and can have specific cargo focuses. If you’re in the market for a commercial truck or trailer, it’s essential to identify which type of trailer will meet your requirements. Here are some common truck trailer types used in transportation and logistics operations. You can find freight-specific trailers for trucks near the end of the article.

Step Deck Trailers

Step deck trailers help transport heavy equipment such as large electrical switchgear and machinery over long distances. One feature that makes this trailer so commonly loved is its ability to load and unload cargo from either side or the back. As a result, step deck trailers might be your best bet when transporting loads too tall for flatbed trailers. Unlike flatbed trailers, which stand about 60 inches above the ground, step deck trailers are closer to the ground and can accommodate loads up to eight feet tall. In addition, step-deck trailers give you a maximum legal height of 10 feet, which makes them ideal for transporting heavy equipment that cannot be accommodated otherwise.

Lowboy Trailers

Lowboy trailers, also referred to as floats or double-drop trailers, are semi-trailers with two drops in the deck–one behind the gooseneck and another just before the wheels. These trailers make easy work of hauling heavy equipment like bulldozers and excavators. Lowboys have two axles that allow for carrying huge loads up to 40,000 pounds. However, like many commercial trailers, additional permits must be obtained from your local and DOT authorities before transporting such oversized items on a lowboy trailer.

Dry Van Trailers

Dry van trailers are completely enclosed semi trailers that can protect deliveries from outside elements, vandalism, and theft. Effective protection from vandalism and theft is due to their ability to reliably close and lock. Their design allows them to carry boxed, palletized, or loose freight. They don’t have temperature control capability, unlike “reefer” refrigerated trucks, or the ability to haul oversized deliveries, unlike flatbed trailers.

Trailers for Trucks

When transporting heavy loads, small loads, and everything in between, you can choose various types of trailers to complete the job. Each type of trailer has a distinct purpose, and you must select the one best suited to your truck’s requirements. The most common multi-use trailers rule the highways and city roads.

Flatbed Trailers

Flatbed trailers are the most commonly used trailer type, and can be used for various freight items. Since they don’t have boxes on them, loading and unloading are simple. They can transport various items, such as steel coils and lumber. Lowboy trailers are another common type used when a standard flatbed cannot carry a load, making both flatbeds and lowboys great trailers for trucks.

Stretch Single Drop-Deck Trailers

Stretch single drop-deck trailers are similar to step-deck trailers, except they feature an extendable bed for extra support when loading long items like pipes and farm equipment that may protrude from a flatbed. They’re helpful for loading long articles such as these that may overhang from a flatbed.

Freight Trailers

Depending on your particular truck and cargo, you can choose various freight trailers. Selecting the correct freight trailer for your rig can simplify the process and virtually guarantee safe delivery–the driving part is still on you. Whether transporting goods or machinery, finding an appropriate trailer is vital to ensuring everything arrives promptly and undamaged.

Refrigerated Trailers

For cold transport, a refrigerated trailer, also known as a reefer, is ideal for transporting perishable items, and can be set at an appropriate temperature to prevent spoilage or damage during transit. These trailers have proper insulation and cooling systems installed inside to maintain your cargo at an even temperature, no matter the outside weather conditions. 

Double Drop Trailers

A double drop trailer is one of the most popular trailers for hauling large equipment. These trailers allow you to load products up to 10 feet high in the lower part of the vehicle, and 25-29 feet in the sound section–ideal for transporting bulky items like concrete mixers and heavy construction machinery.

Removable Gooseneck Trailers

RGNs, or removable gooseneck trailers, feature a detachable front hitch that converts the trailer into a ramp, making loading and unloading equipment much more straightforward. In addition, removable gooseneck trailers can be custom designed to meet your requirements. This trailer type is ideal for hauling massive loads, such as those weighing up to 80,000 pounds.

Curtainside Trailers

You can see curtainside trailers, also known as curtain sides, all over the roads because they are a common and trustworthy type of freight trailer. Curtain sides protect freight from weather elements. With a solid top, rear, and front as well as hanging tarps on each side, these trailers create an effective shield from wind, rain, and dirt damage.

Conestoga Trailers

Like an upgraded curtain side, another popular trailer type in the trucking industry is the Conestoga. With its installed tarp-on-frame system, this trailer offers an effortless flatbed loading and unloading experience that enables you to load or unload from either side using a forklift, or from the top using a crane. This trailer is ideal for industries requiring sophisticated machinery, as well as for shipping items. Its sliding tarp-on-frame system protects the items from wind, dust, dirt, and rain. In addition, there is a wide range of glass-clear, fishnet-knitted, and smoke tarps available. Selecting the right tarp will guarantee your items remain clean and free from damage.

Extendable Double Drop Trailers

One of the most versatile trailer types is the extendable double drop trailer because it has two or three axles and can accommodate more oversized freight items that cannot fit on regular double drop trailers. In addition, by extending the middle portion of the stepped deck, you create a larger area suitable for carrying bulk materials.

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