Know your trailer

Not all trailers are created equal. There’s an ideal type of trailer for each shipment, and knowing which trailer works best in advance can save you headaches and delays in the long run. Let’s take a look at advantages and disadvantages the three main types of truck trailers.

Dry Van

This is probably the most common kind of trailer out there. Dry vans are versatile and can hold many types of cargo. Their enclosed design protects cargo from most kinds of weather. They are also easy to load and unload, especially if your shipment is properly palletized. On the other side, dry vans are probably not your best bet if your cargo is oversized (for instance, taller than the trailer’s height)


As its name suggests, flatbed trailers are literally a flat surface with no sides or roof. They are made for oversize or odd-shaped cargo that won’t fit in any other trailer. Flatbed cargo can even overhang from the bed’s dimensions safely if proper limits and precautions are observed. Not surprisingly, flatbed loads take extra steps to secure properly in order to avoid displacement accidents. And unless your cargo is completely weatherproof, bad weather conditions can delay your shipments if you don’t plan accordingly.


Refrigerated trailers, often called “reefers”, have temperature control systems that can keep cargo at a constant temperature throughout the haul. Reefers are a must for cargo such as produce, which will spoil quickly unless it’s maintained in cool temperatures. But they can also be used to great advantage for any kind of cargo that should be kept at certain temperatures or humidity levels. Certain pharmaceutical products and fragile antiques often require temperature control. Refrigerator trucks do require additional maintenance, which is why they often require longer waiting times for loading and unloading at shipping docks.

As a shipper, it’s important to count on a 3PL that offers a flexible fleet of trucks and trailers to accommodate any load you may need to ship.

Quickload can help you figure out which type of trailer works best for your shipment and find you carriers ready to load it and ship it within minutes.

Learn more here!

Content Creator: Pablo Torres

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