Types of trailers in the United States

Dispatcher Training

Types of trailers in the United States

In this lesson, let’s talk about types of trailers. There are three most common types of trailers in the United States. The first and most popular ones are dry van carriages. The second ones are carriage on the Reefers and that is refrigerated vans. The third ones are Flatbeds. We’re also going to touch on step decks and oversized cargo. If you’ve never had experience with trailers, but you’re ready now to buy or rent your own, the best option is to start with dry vans. There are different lengths. The best option is the 53 vented dry van, 53-feet in length. Why is it like that? You can take in fact any cargo with this type of trailer that is general freight which appears on load boards most often in comparison to cargo for other types of trailers.

You can carry such commodities as fruits or vegetables on the dry vans. For example, a very popular cargo is watermelons from Florida in summer. Also, this trailer has the advantage that it’s easier to load, it’s easier to distribute all the axle load equally, so there is no problem with the overweight at the weight station. Even the driver without experience can do that. Another big advantage is that there is no problem to find the driver and there’s less responsibility. As the driver is searching, insurance companies have less requirements for the drivers on dry vans.

Also, this trailer has the advantage that it is easier to load, it’s easier to distribute all axle load equally, so there is no problem with the overweight at the weight station. Even the driver without experience can do that. Another big advantage is that there’s no problem to find the driver and there is less responsibility. As for the drivers searching, insurance companies have less requirements for drivers on dry vans. Then, drivers of Reefer cargo and step decks. This is an important point because in order to hire a driver, insurance company must give you permission.

So, what is required to work in the dry vans carrying general freight. To work with this category of goods, the driver has to meet the following standard conditions. Make a drug test, test for the presence of narcotic substances in the blood. Filling the application and the relevant experience is not mandatory. But there are insurance companies that want to insure themselves and require several months of experience from the driver. The driver’s responsibility is to arrive on time for cargo pickup, know how to secure the cargo correctly, drive a route correctly, do not spend extra fuel, respect the speed limits, deliver the cargo on time, check receipts and send all the required documents to the company.

Therefore, the simplest and most common type of cargo is general freight and the most convenient and reliable way to transport it is a dry van trailer. Now let’s discuss the Reefer. To work with Reefers, experience is necessary as drivers have a great responsibility for the cargo and also it is desirable to have accumulated MC because companies not always trust young companies. The driver you hire must be professional and responsible. What is a reefer? The reefer is the same as a dry van but has a refrigerating machine in the trailer which the driver must be able to adjust at each pickup.

For each commodity, you need to set a different temperature which is indicated in the documents for the cargo. For example, in a pickup warrant, there is a task that the truck should come with a temperature of minus 10 Fahrenheit. Accordingly, the driver must set the temperature for an hour before the pickup and when he arrives at the pickup to pick up the cargo. First, what is checked at the loading is the correct temperature setting using special thermometers.

In addition, at the pickup where the cargo is taking, there are strict conditions and the cargo must be frozen too. Different types of cargo require different freezing times and this is where the time expenses already begin. If the driver did not turn out to be conscientious, did not set temperature respectively, the loader starts waiting for the reefer to reach the desired temperature. After that, he’s given the date and it all depends on whether the commodity is ready for loading or not. Then a sensor is necessarily put which records the temperature changes of the cargo within certain required limits.

In fact, when your driver delivers the load, data is read from the recorder and checked if there were significant changes in the temperature mode of the cargo. In most cases, the cost price of cargo on the Reefer is much more expensive than one on the dry van. What can happen due to this? The first, if you buy an old or worn-out Reefer, then the refrigerating machine may break. In addition, there are non-contentious driver who do not want to maintain the temperatures, who can turn off the refrigerating machine believing that the temperature does not change much. Although for you, two, three degrees may be crucial.

In my experience, there was such a case. The driver was instructed to set the temperature minus 10 Fahrenheit and he was carrying shrimps. He mixed it up and set plus 10, just did not see the minus. It was either not printed or the dispatches did not pay due attention to it and therefore, when the cargo was delivered. By the way, what happened was that the entire period when the driver was carrying the cargo was plus 10 Fahrenheit and only three hours before delivery, he saw the documents and froze the temperature to minus 10. What happened? Shrimps were not accepted at the unloading. The claim in the insurance company was opened. As a result, the insurance company refused to cover the claim because it was the driver’s fault. The cargo costing $96,000 was imposed on the company.

Further problems that may arise are additional fuel costs due to refrigerating machine. Cargo always goes side by side. Weight of the loads are always very heavy. The commodity is always packed to the full and again, there is an excessive fuel consumption and therefore the technical condition of the trailer deteriorates. As for Flatbeds and step decks, they are very similar types of trailers that are often interchangeable. The difference between them is only in the so-called deck in one of them, due to which it can sometimes take cargo longer and higher than flatbeds.

This is necessary if the cargo is really high and may not fit under the bridges of the way. Accordingly, the price of such transportation will be much higher but also more difficult for the driver. Also, the cargo carried on these types of trailers often have the characteristics of a long, high and wide. That is, it is a cargo that is normal for the dry van simply does not fit. What could it be? In our practice, we most often encounter various kinds of machinery, wood, firewood, metal, building materials, pipes, large spare parts or even tankers and military equipment. The complexity of such goods is that it requires special equipment and skills from the driver. Pulling straps, Tarp chains and more.

Most cargos should be tarped. Tarping means securing the load with chains, straps and more. Plus, the cargo must be covered with a tarp. In fact, there are several types of Tarps. The difference is in width and length. Typically tarping takes about one to two hours but sometimes it can be full six hours. Imagine the heat of 30, 45 degrees of raining snow and you need to tarp.

Now, let’s talk about unwanted cargo for all types of trailers. That is, we just don’t recommend you to take it even for a lot of money. So, what is it? The first and most important is garbage. After this cargo, you will need to clean your trailers yourself and you will spend a lot of time and effort on this. And what’s even worse, such a load is likely to damage your trailer from the inside. It is also a Reese [0:07:52 unclear] clean and scrap metal the scratches and spoils the trailer. Very often, a broker can supply you with these goods under the guise of ordinary building materials.

Therefore, if you’re confused by so attractive cargo price, you need to ask the broker if he offers you cargo which belongs to above mentioned. For example, our client had such cargo. Only unloading of the trailer, he drove on the special platform where he was fixed in so called hand which lifted the trailer and shook it out. There was very little pleasant about that. After such cargo, there was a nightmare inside the trailer. In addition, the outside trailer was scratched. The car number plates were torn off. Well, just a nightmare. Trust me.

Similarly, loads such as alcohol are over dimensioned and requires special permits from the DOT. Therefore, if you’re just starting your business, wait up and think about everything carefully. In my opinion, it’s better to start with the dry van, but it’s up to you to decide. Good luck with your business. Bye.

Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published.

Alert: You are not allowed to copy content or view source !!