What Are The Common Trailer Types Used in The Trucking Industry?

Flatbed trailers (48′-53′) are used to transport cargo that is too large for van trailers or intermodal containers, doesn’t require protection from the elements, or requires loading and unloading with special lifting equipment such as cranes.

Because it doesn’t have a container to house its contents (like a dry van), the standard flatbed trailer can be used to haul oversized freight as long as the necessary permits are acquired and the proper routes are followed.

A double drop removable gooseneck (RGN) trailer (48′-53′) is a type of flat deck trailer characterized by its long, narrow gooseneck trailer hitch. The term “double drop” refers to dual low points in the deck between the axles of the trailer.

The front of a double drop trailer is engineered to be higher than the back of the trailer, providing better legal height clearance up to 12 feet on the lower deck. Double drop trailers are useful for transporting particularly large loads that cannot fit in enclosed trailers.

A stretch single-drop deck trailer (48′-69′) is a type of flatbed trailer that can extend its bed to carry cargo that is too long for a standard step deck. Stretch single-drop deck trailers can carry loads that are up to 63 feet long and 10 feet high. They can also provide extra support to prevent freight overhang.

A curtainside trailer, or curtain van, (48′-53′ with 96″ clearance) is a combination of a dry van and a flatbed trailer.

Curtainside trailers load like a flatbed but protect like a van. The curtains are flexible sheets of material, usually made of durable vinyl. They protect the load from weather and dust and allow for easy loading and unloading

A double drop stretch trailer (48′-69′) is similar to a double drop trailer, but can expand to handle freight up to 52’7″ long. The maximum trailer length is 48′, the maximum load width is 8’6″, the maximum load height is 11’8″, and the maximum load payload is 42,000 lbs.

Double drop trailers have a raised front and rear deck with a lower central deck. This design allows them to carry taller loads with a lower center of gravity, which offers increased stability during transport.

A Removable Gooseneck (RGN) lowboy trailer (48′-53′) is a type of low platform flatbed trailer.
RGNs are available in two types: hydraulic and mechanical. Hydraulic RGNs can adjust their height or even detach it using hydraulic cylinders.
Mechanical RGNs are lighter but take more time to detach or put back together.

A dry van trailer (48′-53′) is a type of semi-trailer that is fully enclosed to protect shipments from outside elements. They are designed to carry palletized, boxed, or loose freight, but are not temperature-controlled and can’t carry oversized shipments.
Dry vans are the most common form of freight transportation

A low profile step deck retractable curtain trailer (53’ with 124” clearance) has a lower deck height. This can make a difference in what the trailer can haul.

  • Curtainside drop deck: Can handle tall freight that won’t fit in a standard dry van.
  • Has a retractable curtain system that protects freight from the weather.

Flatbed Stretch Trailers (48′-85′) are also referred to as extendable Flatbed Trailers. They are mainly used for carrying excessively long loads that are unable to fit on a standard type of trailer. Known for providing maximum support, these stretch trailers make it possible to avoid the risks of overhanging freight.

A single drop step deck trailer, (48′-53′) also known as a drop deck or lowboy trailer, is a commercial trailer with a lowered deck. This allows it to transport loads that are too tall for a conventional flatbed trailer.

A refrigerated trailer, (48′-53′) also known as a reefer, is a dry van with insulation and refrigeration.
They are used to transport temperature-sensitive goods such as produce, pharmaceuticals, and candles.
They can maintain temperatures between 65 to -20 degrees F. Some trailers have multiple temperature zones so you can transport different kinds of cargo

A step deck trailer (48’-53’ with 116”-121” clearance) is a commercial trailer that can transport tall cargo that exceeds the legal height limit for flatbed trailers. Step deck trailers are also known as drop deck or lowboy trailers.

A retractable curtain system can be attached to a step deck trailer to keep freight secure and protected from the weather. The curtains are attached to a retractable frame and can be drawn back to allow for loading and unloading from the side.