Did you know that the gadget you read this article from was, most likely, shipped to your location using a semi-trailer?
Semi-trailers are the most preferred equipment for shipping goods across the United States.
The shipped goods are of different forms, sizes, and consistency. And there is a type of semi-trailer for any need. You have to know what semi-trailers are used for.
Below, you’ll find a list of different types of trailers and, the types of goods that each type is designed to transport.
Low bed and RGN trailers
The two types of semi-trailers are designed to transport the tallest and, respectively, the heaviest freight such as large construction equipment, farm equipment, and oversized goods that cannot fit on a standard flatbed.
Low-bed trailers can carry up to 95.000 pounds depending on the number of axles used.
RGN trailers can carry up to 150.000 pounds.
Most RGN trailers have the 3 axles, which enable them to carry heavier loads than low-bed trailers.
The main difference between these two types of trailers is that, while loading, the RGN trailer can be detached and the low-bed trailer cannot.
This characteristic allows the RGN trailer to rest on its ramp while the motorized equipment or other cargo with wheels is driven on it. When the goods are loaded, the trailer is lifted and is reattached to the truck.
The low-bed trailers cannot be detached. They require lifting equipment to load the heavy products.
Tanker type semi-trailers
Known by their unique, cylinder-shaped tank, this type of trailer is commonly spotted at gas stations, which tells you that they are used to transport gas and petroleum.
That’s right. But the tanker type of semi-trailers can be used to transport a specific cargo such as HAZMAT, chemicals, liquids, gases, beverages (such as milk), dry/bulk goods (such as grains, sand, cement, plastic pellets, etc).
Additionally, there are further distinctions for tankers that make them useful for certain types of contents according to this guide on tanker trailers:
- Insulated Tankers
When you’re transporting temperature-sensitive liquids, like dairy, an insulated tanker is used. This helps to regulate the temperature in the tank to keep it safe during transport.
- Food Grade Tankers
Food grade tankers are designed to keep products sanitary throughout transport while accommodating special goods such as Kosher and organic products. They are stainless-steel tankers, which provide sanitary conditions.
- Asphalt Tankers
When transporting contents that need to remain hot, an asphalt tanker offers superior temperature control aided by insulation and sometimes a heating device.
- Pneumatic Tankers
Pneumatic tankers, or dry bulk tanks, are those which empty via a pump and a blower with forced air. A series of cone-shaped hoppers are used to unload product beneath the tanker itself. They are vacuum-sealed and fully enclosed, ideal for transporting building materials, dry food, and chemicals.
- Agricultural Tankers
These trailers often carry fertilizers or pesticides to agricultural sites, and may also include water trucks equipped with side-spray capabilities for irrigation purposes or to minimize dust.
Car transporter trailers
A car-carrying trailer is a type of semi-trailer that is designed to transport smaller passenger vehicles via truck.
There are open and enclosed car carrier trailers.
The enclosed trailer has walls that provide the shipped vehicles more protection at a lower capacity cost.
The open car trailer exposes the vehicles to external elements but allows for greater carrying capacity.
A car trailer typically fits between 5 to 9 cars depending on the car size and trailer model. The trailer capacity is limited at 80.000 lbs by U.S. law.
Most of these types of trailers are equipped with ramps and power hydraulics to load and offload cars.
Car-carrying trailers are used to ship new cars from the manufacturer to auto dealerships or second-hand cars to their new owners.
As a semi-trailer, the car carrier trailer attaches to the tractor using the fifth wheel coupling.
Dump or tipper semi-trailers
Dump semi-trailers are also referred to as tipper trailers.
The tipper trailers are used to carry loose construction materials such as bricks, rocks, gravel, sand, and other heavy materials.
The unique feature of this type of trailer is its hydraulic piston system. The piston lifts the trailer to a 90-degree level so that the shipped materials are dumped on the ground.
Box type semi-trailers
Van trailers are a common type of semi-trailer because they transport all types of products that require protection from external elements.
The dry van trailers have a rectangular box with wheels that are attached to a semi-truck. That trailer box creates obstacles when backing up. See trailer backing up tips.
The interior of the dry van semi-trailer can be designed to fit the type of goods. See what is the right tractor-trailer weight per axle distribution to prevent overweight issues.
Another popular box type trailer is the refrigerated trailer.
This type of box semi-trailer is designed to ship temperature-controlled goods. These are various products such as food, make-up, paint, pharmaceuticals, etc.
Generally, reefers can maintain temperature ranges between -22 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the entire transportation.
They’re oftentimes insulated and have a refrigeration unit mounted on the front.
In both cases, the exterior semi-trailer dimension is identical to 48” and 53”.
Inside, their size is different because insulation and other things keep the trailer cool during transportation.