Trailer Roll-Up Doors Vs. Swing Doors

Back around 1953, the first practical roll-up editions were introduced for truck and trailer doors. Today, it is not at all uncommon to see trailers with roll-up doors going down the highway, parked in front of stores or warehouses making deliveries, and more. But swing doors are still used on any number of trailers throughout the nation. Is one better than the other? Does it depend on the circumstances, the driver, the cargo, and more? Let’s compare these two trailer doors.

Trailer Roll-Up Doors

As mentioned earlier, in the early 50s, the shortcomings of swing doors were addressed by the first practical roll-up doors. Unfortunately, a reduced opening clearance is necessary for this style because a roll-up door assembly must be housed within the rear frame. Also significant are its operational advantages, however.

  • While parked securely at a loading dock, roll-up doors are maneuverable easily and quickly. So, efficiency is increased because roll-up doors can be quickly closed and opened during curbside deliveries. It is more likely that procedures will be followed by staff thanks to easier securement and access during multiple drop deliveries.
  • An expanded array of security features can also be used thanks to the design of roll-up doors.
  • One important aspect of a trailer or truck purchase where many fleets are concerned is brand management. To support marketing activities, these types of doors can easily be painted with logos, custom colors, phone numbers, and more.

All in all, doors designed in roll-up fashion are more easily adapted for marketing opportunities, are more secure, more efficient, and safer. Today, roll-up door systems are appearing in a dizzying variety!

Trailer Swing Doors

Many people who own or have seen trailers are familiar with this type of door. They’re divided in the middle and swing open (to either side). When a trailer’s net cargo area needs to be maximized, this door design is ideal. What’s more, a vast array of materials and a wide variety of custom sizes are available.

Designed to withstand significant abuse, the industry-standard consists of a combination of a galvanneal interior and plywood core, with an exterior face made of high-gloss white aluminum. Additional cores can be requested such as polypropylene honeycomb or HDPE (high density polypropylene). A stainless-steel skin upgrade is also available. Depending on the manufacturer, you may be able to request a particular configuration and specific color, as well.

Swing Doors’ Drawbacks

Yes, one of the most significant features of swing doors is the maximum opening clearance. Unfortunately, several drawbacks are also experienced when a trailer has swing doors.

  • Before backing up to the dock, the trailer swing doors must be opened when operating in a loading dock environment. Once it clears the dock, they must then be closed. With all sorts of heavy equipment driving around in busy yards, staff being required to walk around closing/opening doors presents a safety risk.
  • Also, doors may not be able to swing open when trailers are parked in tight quarters.
  • In windy conditions, during the closing and opening of these doors, they become – more or less – big sails! Products, doors, and operators can be damaged when this happens.
  • In tight urban environments, significant space may not be available during curbside delivery applications for closing and opening of doors.
  • Efficiency suffers because it takes longer to operate swing doors if, during multiple runs, the trailer must be operated using a gate or ramp.

Mickey Genuine Parts for Doors

Need a door(s) for your trailer? Contact Mickey Genuine Parts. We have a multitude of parts in stock as well as certified service centers located throughout United States to help with your trailer maintenance needs.

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