8 Types of Truck Trailers Used by Shipping Companies

When there’s a need to ship any heavy equipment or product by land, truck shipping services are usually used. There are different types of trucks and trailers utilized by shipping companies in Canada or in other countries. They can vary based on their applications and weight limit. The weight of the trailer and shipment should be considered together in order to avoid fines due to overloading.

This post shares a brief outline of popular types of truck trailer.

  1. Flatbed

These are the most common type of trailer used. They are versatile allowing for various heavy shipments ranging from lumber to steel coils. The length of a flatbed trailer can be anywhere between 48 ft to 53 ft and has a maximum capacity of 48,000 pounds. It is an open container type requiring a shipment to be tarped to avoid damage.

  1. Refrigerated

These are dry vans which have a cooling system and insulation that helps to keep the enclosed goods fresh. These trailers are suitable for food items which must be kept frozen. Pharmaceutical items which are shipped by reefers are also transported by these trailers. The maximum legal width and height of these trailers are 8.2 feet and 8 feet respectively.

  1. Lowboy

If you need to ship items which are taller than the legal height of other trailers, a lowboy is an ideal choice for you. These trailers are used for heavy duty construction equipment. There are several axles attached to these trailers which allow for greater weight to be hauled. The weight can vary between 40,000 to 80,000 pounds depending on the number of axles. For example, two axle trailers can haul up to 40,000 pounds. However, these trailers require additional permits to operate.

  1. Step-deck

Step-decks are like flatbed trailers in terms of their appearance. The major difference is in the legal restrictions associated with them. A step-deck trailer allows a shipment a maximum height of 10 ft. They are designed for shipments which cannot be transported by flatbed trailers due to the height restriction.

  1. Stretch Single Drop Deck Trailers

Any shipments which are usually long will require a stretch single drop deck trailer for transportation. There is enough support and additional length to prevent the shipment from hanging off the deck. The maximum weight limit is 45000 pounds and depending on the municipality regulations, the legal length can be anywhere between 35 to 63 feet.

  1. Removable Gooseneck

If you want to ship an item that is exceptionally tall and heavy, this is the trailer to look for while hiring a shipping company. They can carry up to 150,000 pounds depending on the number of axles that the trailer has. The number of axles can range from 3 to 20.

  1. Extendable Flatbed

As the name suggests, these flatbed trailers can stretch between 43 feet to 80 feet. Extremely long shipments like large bundles of lumber can be easily carried on these trailers without worrying about them hanging off. The weight limit for them is 43000 pounds. Legal requirements for these trailers are on par with regular flatbeds.

  1. Speciality Trailers

These are specially designed for specific products to be moved. Hauling fuel or other types of liquid is generally done on these trailers. Shipments which are hazardous usually are transported interstate with these. They can pull up to 200,000 pounds and if it is carrying any hazardous material, the driver will require a specific permit and license to tow it. The cost of shipping on speciality trailers is higher than traditional truck shipping options.

Criteria for Choosing the Right Trailer

Knowing which is the best choice for your shipment will help you to make an informed decision regarding the shipping method. The following are certain factors which must be taken into consideration:

  • Be sure about the dimension and weight of your shipment before ordering any trailer to transport it.
  • In case the shipment is heavier than the legally permitted weight, either opt for multiple trailers or acquire the necessary permit in case splitting is not possible. The shipping company can guide you regarding the necessary procedure.
  • Ensure the type of goods that can be carried on the specific trailer type. For example, electronic goods cannot be transported in flatbed trails.

The above-mentioned trailers are some of the popular choices among those who require interstate and truck shipping services. Keeping in mind the different types of trailers available and the factors that influence your choice, consult a shipping company. They will be able to suggest the best option that is suitable for shipping your items.