The Pros And Cons Of Various Trailer Types

Within the freight shipping community, there are a number of trailers to choose from for over-the-road loads. Refrigerated units, flatbed, and dry van are just a few of the options. Each of them has their own disadvantages and advantages where both the freight being hauled and the shipper are concerned. Some determining factors that help decide which trailer is appropriate are haul lengths, freight ability, and wait times.

Let’s take a closer look at these three truck load trailers to see how they differ and how they are the same.

Refrigerated Units Pros and Cons

On the plus side:

  • Freight protection from damage, spoilage, theft, and weather conditions
  • Long hauls mean more money and these units can haul coast-to-coast, long-haul distances
  • Can transport both dry goods and refrigerated goods
  • There is constantly a need for reefers to transport fresh products that are in high demand

The other side of the coin:

  • Unavoidable product spoilage can be a consequence of breakdowns
  • There is commonly a long wait time for unloading and loading at shipping ducks
  • The motor is constantly making noise
  • The responsibilities of a reefer driver are filling the second gas tank, controlling cooling equipment and thermometer, and clean up after each load

Flatbed Pros and Cons

On the good side:

  • Higher pay rates can be enjoyed because of the special driving skills required for a flatbed
  • To unload freight, there’s no need to back into docks
  • Every week offers many opportunities for delivery and pickup
  • Most other trailer types offer less money earning per mile

Cons of flatbeds:

  • Particularly during bad weather conditions, it is extremely complicated to secure and haul oversized loads
  • It can be dangerous, climbing on top of oversized loads to attach straps and chains
  • Freight that is poorly secured is a threat to motorists and the driver. Proper securing of the load is entirely the responsibility of the driver.
  • Special maneuvering and hauling skills are required to transport oversized loads

Dry Van Pros and Cons

Pros of dry vans:

  • In addition to long hauls, short and regional hauls are offered by many dry van trucking companies
  • A load mode referred to as ”drop and hook” saves drivers effort and time because they spend less time loading and unloading (they simply drop off and pick up trailers)
  • Cargo is protected from theft, damage, and bad weather and is secure, so there’s no need for chains, straps, or other cover
  • Transport everything from building materials to nonperishable foods, and the freight contained within can vary thanks to the trailer’s versatility

On the slightly downside:

  • Turnover is high because, compared to flatbed drivers, drivers of dry vans earn approximately 20% less in wages
  • The lifespan of this trailer is limited due to the hardwood floors being so vulnerable to moisture. This moisture can come through open doors or from the freight contained within.
  • The procedure of loading and unloading can take some time because retail stores have to set up precise appointments
  • Drivers are losing money and time because it is consumed by waiting at the dock for unloading and loading
  • Occasionally, during the unloading process, the driver might need to pitch in

If you are in the market for a transport trailer, check out the new and used inventory at Mickey Genuine Parts. We have service centers located throughout the United States and a knowledgeable, helpful customer service department to make sure that our customers are cared for and assisted in all manners. Contact us today to see what Mickey Genuine Parts can do for you.

Let’s keep truckin'.

Get the latest news and product announcements with our informative bi-monthly newsletter.