Swing Doors vs. Roll Up Doors

Legend has it that back in 1953, the first practical roll up door for trailers and trucks was launched. Swing doors had, of course, long been in existence but were not practical for every given situation. We’re going to take a look at both kinds of doors and see how they differ.

Roll Up Doors

Because of swing doors’ shortcomings, the first practical roll up door was introduced (as just mentioned) back in the 50s. These roll up doors carry significant operational advantages despite the resulting (slightly) reduced opening clearance. This marginally negative aspect is a result of the frame required for rollup door housing.

Even while securely situated at a loading dock, these doors can be easily operated. With increased efficiency, they can be closed and opened quickly during curbside deliveries. And the staff is more likely to follow proper procedure during multiple drop deliveries because of the easy securement and access offered by the design of roll up doors. Additionally, they are appropriate for the use of a multitude of security features.

Fleet owners enjoy another plus through the use of roll up doors – brand management. To support marketing activities, these doors can easily be painted in custom colors and logos.

Overall, roll up doors are better suited for marketing opportunities, they are more secure, more efficient, and they are safer. Surprisingly, there are a variety of available roll up door systems. It seems all roll up doors were not created equally.

Swing Doors or Barn Doors

Yes, sometimes these kinds of doors are referred to as barn doors in the trailer industry. They offer a maximized net cargo area by design. Swing doors are what you use if you seek the largest possible opening for your trailer or truck body. Their production offers a wide array of materials and custom sizes. The industry standard, however, combines a galvanneal interior with a plywood core. This is used in order to last through the abuse they take on a regular basis.

These doors usually come with an exterior face that uses a high gloss white aluminum. Skins can be upgraded to stainless steel. Several configurations of swing doors are usually available.

And though maximum opening clearance is a great positive characteristic, these doors do have their negative features. Loading dock operation, for instance, offers this challenge: before the trailer is at the dock, swing doors must be opened. Only after clearing the dock can they be closed. That means extra steps, extra work, and drivers being out in the open with tons of heavy machinery operating around them. And if conditions are windy, the closing and opening of these doors can cause damage to the driver, the trailer, and possibly even the product being transported.

Urban environments can be equally tight under some circumstances. And operating on ramps offers its own set of challenges.

One important thing to remember is that a swing door can be replaced by a rollup door. And, whereas, this may not be something you want to attempt on your own, it can be done relatively easily by a qualified service technician.

Mickey Genuine Parts carries both rollup and swing doors. If you would like to replace or upgrade your door, we are at your service. We can help you identify the correct door, and even install it for you one of our many certified service centers located throughout the United States. Contact us at Mikey Genuine Parts today to discuss your swing door, rollup door, or other trailer part or accessory.

Let’s keep truckin'.

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