Understanding Freight Trailers

If you own or drive with truck trailers, it is essential that you check for guidelines and regulations that apply to each state you will be traveling in. Depending on the regulations, load requirements, and manufacturer, significant differences exist between tractor-trailers.

The following is a guide of sorts, but certainly not gospel. To make sure that all scenarios are covered, it’s important to verify freight trailers that are incoming with the customer. This closer look at freight trailers may also be helpful when it comes to dock planning, but again, certainly not the final word.

Loggers or Timber Trailers

  • For unloading and loading timber, some are equipped with cranes
  • Axle/wheel ratios that are common: 14/6 or 3/12 for heavy loads; 2/8 for normal
  • Common trailer lengths: tandems – 28 feet to 32 feet; singles – 40 feet to 53 feet
  • These are, more or less, flatbed trailers; but, in order to hold logs in place, are equipped with vertical stacks

Hoppers or Dry Bulk Trailers

  • Unloading can be accomplished by conveyor or hopper
  • Rather than hard tops, they often use rolled tarpaulin tops
  • Common widths: 102 inches to 96 inches
  • Common lengths: 42 feet to 26 feet
  • Ideal for transporting sand, gravel, grain, and other free-flowing, dry commodities

Tanker Trailers

  • Axle/wheel ratios that are common: 4/16 or 3/12 configurations for heavy loads; 2/8 for normal
  • Designed specifically for the carrying of fluid cargo
  • Common lengths vary: 53 feet, 48 feet, 45 feet, 43 feet, 42 feet, or 40 feet
  • Because corrosive liquids are carried in some tankers, these tankers are specially painted and designed

Refrigerated or Reefer Truck Trailers

  • Axle/wheel ratios most common: 4/16 or 3/12 for heavy loads; 2/8 for normal
  • Common Heights: 13.5 inches to 12.5 inches
  • Common lengths vary: 53 feet, 48 feet, 40 feet, 36 feet, 32 feet, or 28 feet
  • To transport perishable goods, reefers are insulated and, usually at the front of the trailer, refrigerated by a unit

Standard Freight Trailer

  • Axle/wheel ratio is most common: 4/16 for 3/12 for heavy loads; 2/8 for normal
  • Common heights: 13.5 feet to 12.5 feet
  • Common widths: 8.5 feet down to 8 feet (or 102 inches down to 96 inches)
  • Freight most often carried consists of palletized, crated, boxed, etc.

Container Skeletal Carrier

  • Axle/wheel ratios most common: 4/16 or 3/12 for heavy loads; 2/8 for normal
  • Keeping the container in place for roadway travel are brackets mounted on the trailer
  • To accommodate a wide range of containers, some skeletal containers come in adjustable configurations
  • Specifically designed for the transportation of cargo containers ranging in length from 45 feet down to 20 feet

Platform Trailers

  • Common lengths: 48 feet, 45 feet, 42 feet, 40, or 26 feet
  • These trailers are made for material transportation when loads must be unloaded and loaded from the side or top of the trailer
  • Special design accommodates cargo that is oversized and can’t ordinarily fit trailers that are standard sized

If you are in the market for a used trailer, party trailer, or van body, check out what’s in stock at Mickey Genuine Parts. Not only do we have used vehicles, we have a helpful and knowledgeable customer service staff and certified service centers located throughout United States. Mickey wants to make sure that today’s truckers and transporters have everything they need, so we offer a wide array of in-stock parts, equipment, and supplies. Contact Mickey today to learn more.

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