Finding the Right Trailer? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

When you think of a semi truck, you often consider both the cab, as well as the trailer behind it. You may already know that there are several types of cabs which differ in terms of their specifications and particular features. More often than not, people think that trailers are all the same.

However, this is not the case because there are different types of trailers that serve a specific purpose, or that are only suitable for particular cabs. Trailer sizes also vary depending on the semi truck sleeper cab sizes or day cab sizes. In line with this, below is a detailed description of some of the most common types of trailers, including their sizes, which can help you in finding the right one for your cab.

Flatbed Trailers

Flatbed trailers are currently considered to be the most commonly used type of trailers because of their versatility. This type of trailer is capable of hauling anything from building materials to machinery and even heavy tools. Generally, flatbed trailers have a maximum freight weight of 48000 pounds. Alongside this, they have a maximum trailer width and freight height of 8.5 feet. The length of flatbed trailers is usually anywhere between 48 and 53 feet.

Dry Van Trailers

Another popular type of trailer is the dry van trailer, which is enclosed. This allows them to protect the goods they are transporting from extreme environmental conditions as well as other external factors. Dry van trailers are often loaded through the rear doors using a loading dock. Their maximum freight weight is slightly lower than flatbed trailers, reaching only 45000 pounds. They are also a bit smaller, having a maximum trailer width of 8.2 feet and a maximum trailer height of 8 feet. Nevertheless, it has the same maximum trailer length range as a flatbed. 

Refrigerated Trailers

Refrigerated trailers, or reefers, are designed to maintain low temperatures to keep the goods stored inside them cool. This type of trailer is very useful for transporting perishable goods. Refrigerated trailers have the same maximum freight weight and dimensions as dry van trailers.

Lowboy Trailers

There are instances wherein truckers need to haul items that exceed the legal height limitations of flatbed trailers. This is where lowboy trailers come in because they can be equipped with more than a couple of axles to carry a maximum freight weight of 80000 pounds, depending on the axle count. Aside from this, the maximum overall load height for a lowboy trailer is 14 feet, making it suitable for tall haul items that flatbeds won’t be able to accommodate.

Removable Gooseneck Trailers

Removable gooseneck trailers can have up to 20 axles for greater load bearing. This type of trailer has a detachable front. Because of this, the trailer can drop down into a ramp, which paves the way for easier loading and unloading. The maximum freight weight for this type of trailer is 42000 pounds.

Conestoga Trailers

A Conestoga trailer protects its cargo through a rolling tarp system. The tarp is used to cover and uncover the trailer. Its maximum freight weight, as well as its standard maximum dimensions, are the same as that of a dry van trailer. 

Side Kit Trailers

To keep the cargo secure, a side kit trailer can have either a plywood or fiberglass panel with a cover. They are often used to transport loads that cannot be placed in smaller containers. Nonetheless, their maximum freight weight is the same as that of a dry van trailer, but their maximum trailer length is the same as a flatbed trailer. 

Power Only Trailers

Power only trailers are designed to accommodate oversized and overweight hauls using up to four axles. This type of trailer usually includes a fifth-wheel hitch, a pintle hitch, as well as a ball and hitch.  The maximum weights and dimensions of power trailers generally depend on the state laws in the jurisdiction they will cover.

Extendable Double-Drop Trailers

This type of trailer can include up to three axles to cover a maximum freight weight of 40000 pounds. Because their maximum trailer length spans up to 80 feet, they can transport items that no other trailer will be able to accommodate. Nevertheless, their maximum trailer width, as well as their maximum freight height is 8.5 feet, which is the same as a flatbed trailer.

In conclusion, the types of trailers listed above are only some of the most common ones that you usually see behind a sleeper or a day cab. There are still other types of trailers such as stretch single-drop deck trailers, stretch double-drop trailers, as well as stretch removable gooseneck trailers that pose their own set of unique features. The key is in identifying your primary purpose in using a trailer to ensure that you will be able to get one that is most suitable to fit your needs.

Joie Mojica

Joie is the passionate writer and blogger of She enjoys writing and works at an amazing pace. Blessed with two adorable boys, she dreams of creating a successful career online. She also loves to write about parenting, home and family life, technology and gaming, as well as beauty and health.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest