All truckers should get to know the major kinds of trailers that they may be employed to haul throughout their careers. Some truckers become specialists, only carrying one kind of trailer. Here is a guide to the most common types of truck trailers.
Flatbed trailers are used to carry loads that would be unable to fit in a dry van trailer. Oddly shaped loads are strapped down but are otherwise completely exposed to the environment. Some loads – like prefabricated homes – can only be carried using flatbed trailers.
In the United States, refrigerated truck trailers are known colloquially as ‘reefers’. These trailers are essential for the delivery of fresh food to markets all around the country. The first trailer refrigeration systems were developed in 1925, when they completely revolutionized the food industry. Refrigerated trailers take power from the tractor unit. Before accepting a reefer job, it is important to check whether your tractor unit can produce enough power to run the trailer you may be asked to haul.
Dry trailers are the most common kind of trailer used for general shipping work. If you are out on the road, most of the trucks you will see will be hauling dry van trailers. They are essentially rectangular boxcar-type structures that can be attached to tractor vehicles using a fifth wheel. Because of the versatility of dry trailers, they are often used by truckers that want to fill their vehicles with multiple loads per trip. Learn more about this practice and shipping work over at the website of the freight broker Shiply.
Auto carrier trailers are – as the name suggests – used for the transportation of vehicles. They are essential last-stage logistical carriers that move cars from ports and factories to dealerships all around the country. Most modern auto carrier trailers have multiple decks that can be raised or lowered to facilitate the loading and unloading of cars. Some specialist auto carrier trailers, such as those designed to move heavy construction equipment, closely resemble flatbeds. Finding work as an auto trailer hauler is a good idea. The work is often regular due to the consistent need for vehicles to find their way to dealerships. Auto hauling is also well-paid due to the high value of the cargo that is being carried.
Dump trailers are equipped with powerful hydraulic or pneumatic pistons that allow the entire trailer bed to be raised or lowered at an incline. These trailers are commonly used for the transportation of loose materials. The raising of the truck bed facilitates the ‘dumping’ of loose materials. Truckers will often find loads for this kind of trailer when working with construction companies and mining companies. Some of the largest trucks in the world are the dump trucks used in open pit mining facilities. These trucks do not have detachable trailers but are rather single units. They are far too large and unwieldy for use on public roads but can carry vast quantities of loose rock.