Semi Trailers: Towing The World’s Economy

Since the invention of the fifth wheel almost a century ago, semi trailers have dominated the America’s highways. Much of the popularity of these trailers is derived from their interchangeability, durability, and resilience. In reality, far too many types of semi-trailers exist to be effectively analyzed, but all semi-trailers can be divided into six basic categories: box, tank, flat, frame, live cargo, and hydraulic or self-unloading.

Box Trailers

Box trailers are the most common trailers on the road. Because they are completely enclosed, box trailers are used to distribute many types of commodities that require shelter from the elements. Many box trailers also have refrigerated units to keep temperatures inside the trailer sufficient for food storage. However, box trailers have not always had four sides. In the early years of trucking, many box vans had tarp roofs in place of the aluminum or translucent roofs today.

Tank Trailers

Tank trailers are used to haul liquids and compressed gases. Because fluid loads cannot be secured, loaded tank trailers can be some of the most difficult to control. The constant sloshing of the liquids inside the tank makes stopping, starting, and changing lanes difficult. Many tank trailers are also used to transport food products such as milk, potable water, and juices.

Frame Trailers

The category frame trailers describes more than one type of trailer, but simply stated, these trailers are amongst the lightest on the market. Their entire goal is to haul heavy containers, logs, or pipe. Frame trailers are nothing more than a skeleton of steel consisting of tires, axles, landing gear, a small chassis, and a kingpin. Of course, log trailers have bunks and container chassis have twist locks for cargo securement. Frame trailers compete with flat trailers for importance in the American economy because the frame trailer is the backbone of trucking’s intermodal workline.

Live Cargo Trailers

Live cargo trailers are specifically designed to hold live animals of many kinds. From cows to horse, pigs to sheep, and even dogs, live cargo trailers protect valuable animals as they are transferred from location to location. Live cargo trailers are most similar to box trailers, but they always have vents and openings to allow a circulation of air inside the compartment.

Hydraulic or Self-Unloading Trailers

Hydraulic or self-unloading trailers are amongst the most specialized trailers in trucking. From open and enclosed auto-haulers to belt trailers and roll-offs, these specialized trailers allow drivers to easily unload precious, messy, or delicate cargo. Self-unloading trailers are common in the wood products and agricultural industries where shoveling out a trailer full of fertilizer, cow feed, or wood chips is not an option.
The history of Semi-trailers is long and storied. From the early days of the tarp-top vans to today’s modern temperature controlled reefers, semi-trailers have been responsible for the building, supplying, and maintaining of the nation. Without semi-trailers, the world’s economy would come to a screeching halt.

Flat Trailers

Base Fabrications offer a range of semi trailer and transport equipment including Flat top trailers which come in two main divisions: flatbeds and goosenecks. In reality, flat trailers are probably the second most important type of trailer to the box trailer. Flat trailers are responsible for the hauling of heavy equipment, building materials, and other heavy freight. In the past few decades, the evolution of the flat trailer has transformed it from an all-steel heavyweight to a light aluminium or composite masterpiece. This change enables truckers to haul less trailer and more load.