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Types of Trailers in Truckload Shipping: How to Choose a Suitable Trailer
trailer types

If you don’t have a lot of experience with truckload freight shipping, it may be challenging to arrange everything properly. While many shippers are focused on freight rates, they often miss the importance of using the correct equipment.

How to choose a trailer?

There are different trailers in truckload shipping, each created to move different kinds of freight. Before booking a shipment, it’s crucial to know the differences between truck trailers, their roles, and specifics. It is critical to examine your cargo in detail and understand its size and dimensions to pick the most suitable trailer type. The weight limit also matters when choosing a trailer for transporting freight. Characteristics like items' fragility or special chemical features will influence your trailer choice, too.

Gathering the necessary data is the key to finding the right trailer that will both condense and secure your cargo. Determining your product type will help the carrier company select the vehicle for you and meet your transit expectations. Ensure you can provide the required data before booking a trailer to avoid possible transportation risks caused by wrong trailer choices.

What are the types of trailers?

The versatility of truckload shipping strongly depends on the variety of trailers. Each of them is constructed to serve specific transportation modes. Knowing the characteristics of your freight, you can easily decide on the most appropriate trailer type.

Dry van trailer

Dry vans are the stars of the truckload freight shipping industry, as this is the most commonly used type of freight shipping equipment. They are called ‘dry’ because shippers move their dry freight, which means goods that don't require temperature control. A dry van is an enclosed trailer fully protected from external influence. They work for everything except perishable and oversized freight.

The most frequently moved commodities:

  • Clothing, fabrics, textile
  • Electronics and machinery
  • Consumer packaged goods (CPG)
  • Non-perishable food and beverages
  • Retail products

Dry van trailer dimensions:

  • Length: 28, 32, 36, 40, 42, 43, 45, 48, 53 feet
  • Widths: 96 – 102 inches
  • Height: 12.5 – 13.5 feet

Refrigerated trailers

In a nutshell, refrigerated trailers, or reefers, are just refrigerators on wheels. On the outside, they look like dry van trailers but have built-in climate control systems inside to maintain a specific temperature during transit. It’s not hard to guess that reefers typically move perishable products and healthcare goods requiring a particular temperature regime. Modern reefers suggest automated regulation tools that remotely regulate the temperature throughout the shipment.

The most frequently moved commodities:

  • Perishable food and beverages
  • Flowers
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Fine art products

Refrigerated trailer dimensions:

  • Length: 28, 32, 36, 40, 48, 51, 53 feet
  • Widths: 96 – 102 inches
  • Height: 12.5 – 13.5 feet

Flatbed trailers

The category of flatbed trucks includes the whole range of trailers of different sizes and designs (step deck trailer, side kit trailer, conestoga trailer, etc. ). Generally, a flatbed is an open trailer with sides but no roof and a specific deck to load freight. Essentially, flatbeds won’t work if your cargo is sensitive to wind or rain because these trailers don’t protect like dry vans. However, flatbed shipping may be the only reasonable solution for oversized freight. These trailers handle cargo of irregular shape and size and are in high demand among industrial shippers.

The most frequently moved commodities:

  • Oversized machinery
  • Industrial equipment
  • Steel products, pipes, and rigs
  • Aircraft, engines

Flatbed trailer dimensions:

  • Length: 40, 42, 45, 48, 53 feet
  • Widths: 102 inches
  • Height: 58 – 62 inches

Now, when you know all the main trailer types, you’re good to arrange a shipment and choose the right equipment for your freight. At GoShip, we offer to collaborate with many professional carriers ready to help you pick a suitable trailer. Check out our truckload shipping services and book a shipment today!