Logistics is a highly diversified industry. Moving goods from A to B sounds like a simple task, but all sorts of specialist equipment are needed to move different objects. Truck trailers have become highly specialized. Here are 6 types of truck trailers you need to become familiar with if you want to get to know the logistics industry.
The food industry is no longer localized. Produce is shipped from farms to locations all around the world. In order for a globalized food distribution industry to work efficiently, a refrigerated logistics chain has needed to evolve. Refrigerated truck trailers are a common sight all over the world. They are usually similar in shape to conventional box trailers but sport a bulging refrigeration unit above the driver’s cab.
Truck trailers used by specialist car haul services are instantly recognizable. They are usually double-decker affairs with locking cables or straps positioned along the sides for the securing of car wheels. These trailers are designed to carry the maximum amount of cars possible, and can often safely accommodate nine cars. Car haul services are used by manufacturers, second-hand buyers, auctioneers, and fleet operators.
Livestock is transported while still living for all sorts of reasons – most notably on the way to slaughterhouses. Truck trailers transporting live animals are regulated strictly and must contain adequate space and ventilation. In the United States, animals cannot be transported by road or rail for more than 28 consecutive hours due to the inhumane environment this would cultivate. Many campaigners have lobbied for stricter laws on the transportation of live animals.
A huge quantity of the world’s goods is transported across the ocean in container ships. Around 1.3 billion metric tons of goods were transported by a container in 2017. Specialist truck trailers that can easily accommodate shipping containers help make the land-based transportation of goods far simpler than it was in the pre-container age. Containers can be lifted from ships directly onto trailers that automatically lock the massive boxes onto their beds.
Flatbed trailers are essential for the transportation of oversized goods like prefabricated homes or construction vehicles. They are usually extremely simple, sturdy frames covered in wooden planks or galvanized steel that can be easily replaced if damaged by heavy loads.
Liquids are obviously unsuited to being hauled in conventional trailers. Tanker trailers have been a regular feature on routes around the world since 1910 when the Standard Oil Company in the United States started transporting their black gold in specially created cylindrical trailers.
Today, tanker truck trailers are the primary means of road-bound transport for all manner of liquids. Transporting liquid in a cylinder is extremely safe: cylinders are immensely strong shapes that can withstand high pressures. During accidents, a liquid is less likely to combust if it is stored in a single liquid as opposed to a series of containers that can smash against one another, minimizing the risk of bad accidents.