Different Trailer Types

Knowing which trailer types to utilise for your freight can help you save money for your company by selecting the appropriate trailer based on load capacity and function.

Even experienced shippers may find it difficult to select the appropriate shipment mode and equipment type. Knowing the different trailer kinds and their specifications might help you choose the ideal one for the job.

Trucks are the most popular kind of freight transportation. Trucks currently deliver more than 80% of all inland freight. Inland freight transit not only saves money on transportation but also produces millions of jobs.

There are multiple trailer types, each of which is specifically built to satisfy the needs of various shipping companies. Learn more about the main and most commonly used trailer types in this fast guide to better understand equipment alternatives.

Common Trailer Types Used in Logistics

This article looks at the different types of trailers in the logistics industry. Standard trailers for hire are different in their shape and size.

Flatbed Trailers

Flatbed trailers are among the most prevalent trailer types in use today. They are exceedingly versatile, which explains why they are so popular. Almost anything, from steel coils to logs, may be transported with flatbed trucks.

Flatbeds, contrary to their name, are not completely flat; instead, they bow along their length, allowing them to sustain higher weights without breaking. Flatbeds are excellent for delivering cargo to different locations since cargo may be loaded and unloaded from multiple angles.

flatbed trailer

Dry Van

Dry vans are enclosed, full-size trailers that are perfect for transporting boxed or skidded cargo. They are primarily used in retail settings. Because dry vans are enclosed, they can transport even the most delicate products safely and dry.

The best aspect about these trailers is that you can add shelves and storage rooms to the inside of the covered-container to expand their functional capacity. As a result, covered containers are one of the most cost-effective trailers to buy.

Refrigerated/Reefer Trailers

Refrigerated trailers, often known as reefer trailers, are equipped with a refrigeration unit that may be programmed to a certain temperature range. They resemble dry vans or enclosed trailers in appearance but have sufficient insulation and a cooling system on the interior to keep the temperature stable.

Reefers can’t haul as much weight as dry vans because of the refrigeration equipment and the extra gasoline. Food, beverages, flowers, and fine art are the most common items shipped in reefers.

Step Deck Trailers

Step Deck trailers, also known as Drop Deck trailers, are open trailers having two deck levels: an upper deck and a lower deck that slides down after passing over the tractor unit.

Although Step Deck and Flatbed trailer types appear similar, Step Deck trailers can handle bigger loads and often feature ramps for unloading. A step-main deck’s deck is lowered to reduce the centre of gravity and enable the hauling of heavier materials.

Lowboy Trailers

Lowboy trailers can also be referred to as low-bed trailers, low-loader trailers, float trailers, and double-drop trailers. It is a semi-trailer with a drop deck.

The drop enables the shipping of extremely large objects such as heavy construction equipment, which is typically heavier than the maximum weight restriction of other trailer types.

A lowboy trailer has a distinct profile that distinguishes it from other commercial trailers due to its lower bed. Typical uses include agriculture, oil & gas, construction, and other commercial entities.


The Conestoga trailer, which uses a tarping system to cover its rectangle, is more of an alternate loading method on the dry van than anything else. This allows cargo to be placed along each side, improving loading and unloading speeds – a significant benefit to drivers.

Because of the convenience of “tarping”, many flatbed and step-deck truckers have switched to Conestogas. It’s ideal for large machinery that needs to be loaded and unloaded from the side, as well as freight that is difficult to cover.

conestoga trailer

Extendable Flatbed Trailers

Extendable flatbed trailers, as the name suggests, are flatbed trailers that can be expanded. They are mostly used for transporting goods or freight that are too long to be transported by a normal trailer.

They are open trailers, similar to flatbed trailers, with no walls or roof (no container). These trailer types provide maximum support, reducing the chance of overhanging freight.

Removable Gooseneck Trailer (RGN)

It can be challenging and time-consuming to transport large loads. It can be difficult, especially when additional permissions are necessary for greater and heavier goods. Furthermore, as the burden grows larger and larger, its transportation becomes more technical.

Loads on RGN trailers are held closer to the ground, allowing you to transport taller things. The front hitch is detachable, converting the entire trailer into a loading ramp. With RGN trailers, you don’t have to bother about height restrictions.

Stretch Single Drop Deck Trailer

The stretch single drop deck trailers, as the name implies, are step deck trailers with an extensible bed. The lowered main deck provides ample space for bigger loads that exceed the height limit of a standard flatbed stretch trailer.

They not only allow for much longer weights to be moved, but they also provide extra support. The stretch single drop trailer, with a flatbed deck length of 35 to 63 feet, is perfect for long-distance freight shipments.

trailer types

Extendable Double Drop Trailers

Extended double drop trailers are designed to transport loads that are particularly lengthy and cannot be moved with standard double drop trailers. This trailer might have two or three axles, depending on the weight of the freight.

They can be customized to meet unique requirements. The stepped deck’s height and length may be modified, allowing it to transport cargo of varying sizes in one load.

A removable gooseneck is also available on double drop trailers, making it easier for machinery to be pushed up onto the truck’s deck.

Power-Only Trailers

Power-only trailers are utilized when a whole trailer needs to be transported from one site to another. These are the trailers used to pull other trailers.

You don’t need to buy a tractor or a truck to transport a trailer from one area to another. All you’ll need is a power-only trailer that can hook your trailer to its tail and tow it wherever you choose.

Keep Calm and Keep on Trucking

Whatever type of cargo you transport, these trailer types are sure to meet your demands. The evolution of transportation shows a great deal about why and how each type was created. We can only let our minds conjure up what type of trailers might be available in the future.