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Trailer Types

    Posted: 2015-10-31


It is important to select the best type of trailer for each freight shipping service in order to ensure safe and legal transport of your freight. When determining the best trailer, your decision will be based on the total freight weight and dimensions of your shipment as well as the type of freight that is to be shipped. Different types of trailers are designed to haul different cargoes.


Flatbed Trailer

1. Flatbed Trailer


Flatbed trailers are one of the most commonly used trailers due to their versatility. A flatbed trailer can be loaded from the top, sides, or rear of the trailer making it a primary and common asset to the flatbed trucking industry.


 A maximum freight weight of 48,000 pounds

 Maximum freight dimensions: 8 feet and 6 inches (height), 8 feet 6 inches (width) and 48 feet or 53 feet (length)


Lowboy Trailer2. Lowboy Trailer


Lowboy trailer is a semi-trailer with two drops in deck height: one right after the gooseneck and one right before the wheels. This allows the deck to be extremely low compared with other trailers. It offers the ability to carry legal loads up to 12 ft (3.66 m) tall, which other trailers cannot. Lowboys are used to haul heavy equipment such as bulldozers, industrial equipment etc.


 Maximum weight is 40,000 pounds for a 2-axle lowboy trailer; additional weight of up to 80,000 pounds depending on the number of axles used (weight of the trailer and weight of the load added together)

 Maximum dimensions: Well Length – 24 feet to 29 feet and 6 inches; Well Height - 18 inches to 24 inches; Legal Load Height – 13 feet and 6 inches


Drop Deck Trailer3. Drop Deck Trailer


Drop deck trailer is built much like flatbed trailers, except they have a “gooseneck” which drops the trailer height to a lower level behind the tractor. A drop deck Trailers lower deck height allows for a taller load, as well as a lower center of gravity for a heavy load. Drop deck trailers are generally between 48’ to 53’ long and between 96” and 102” wide. Drop deck trailers are made of steel, aluminum or a combination of the steel and aluminum. Great Western Leasing has an extensive inventory of new and used drop deck trailers to fit your needs.


Drop decks trailers are versatile, but they are better for hauling tall loads than long loads. The gooseneck shortens up the “effective length” of the loadable deck.


 Maximum freight weight is 48,000 pounds

 Maximum freight dimensions: Bottom deck - 37 feet (length), Top deck – 11 feet (length), Bottom deck – 10 feet (height), 8 feet 6 inches (width)


Flatbed Stretch Trailer4. Flatbed Stretch Trailer


Also known as flatbed stretch trailers. They are designed for loads or freight that is too long to transport on a standard flatbed trailer, and that require the support of this trailer so there is no overhang.


 Maximum freight weight is 43,000 pounds

 Maximum freight dimensions: Main deck – 48 feet to 80 feet (length), 8 feet and 6 inches (width), 8 feet and 6 inches (height)


Stretch Single-Drop Deck5. Stretch Single-Drop Deck


Extendable drop decks are designed for loads or freight that are too long to transport on a standard step deck, and that require the support of this trailer so there is no overhang. They are also designed to haul freight that cannot be transported on a standard step deck. This is usually due to length restrictions.


 Maximum freight weight is 45,000 pounds

 Maximum freight dimensions: Main deck – 35 feet to 63 feet (length), 8 feet 6 inches (width), 10 feet (height); Front deck- 10 feet (length), 8 feet 6 inches (height) and 8 feet 6 inches (width)


Stretch Double-Drop6. Stretch Double-Drop


Extendable Double Drop is designed for loads or freight that are too long to haul on a standard double drop trailer. They commonly have 2 or 3 axles depending on weight of freight. The stretch double drop trailer can move freight weighing up to a maximum of 60,000 pounds in a variety of dimensions.




Van7. Van or Dry Van ( Enclosed Box )


Vans or Dry Vans are enclosed trailers generally used to keep freight safe from the elements of the road and weather. These trailers may only be loaded from the rear, and are generally loaded from a loading dock. A curtain van is similar, but can be loaded from the side as well.


 Maximum freight weight is 42,000 pounds to 45,000 pounds.

 Maximum freight dimensions: Main deck – 48 feet to 53 feet (length), 8 feet and 2 inches (width), 9 feet (height)


Refrigerated Trailer8. Refrigerated Trailer


designed to carry perishable freight at specific temperatures. Like refrigerator cars, refrigerated trucks differ from simple insulated and ventilated vans (commonly used for transporting fruit), neither of which are fitted with cooling apparatus.


 Maximum freight weight is 42,000 to 45,000 pounds

 Maximum freight dimension: Main deck – 48 feet to 53 feet (length), 8 feet and 2 inches (width), 8 feet (height)


Specialized Trailer9. Specialized Trailer


There are some types of jobs that require specific specialized trailers. Some oversized and over dimensional pieces simply will not fit any other standard trailers. Some trailers are specially designed for these pieces. These types of trailers are those such as perimeter trailers, perimeter frame double goosenecks trailers, dolly trailers, etc. All of these are used in specific jobs that would require that specific type trailer.


 Maximum freight weight is 200,000 pounds or more

 Maximum dimensions (depends on the regulations imposed by the state/s)




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