In logistics, the key is to understand what type of truck or trailer is essential for the transportation of this or that type of goods or freight. For that, there are different options, with specific needs determined under a logistics department’s understanding of cost-effectiveness and capabilities.
Regardless of the options available, the end is to choose a transportation method that serves to satisfy the company’s financial needs as well as having the goods arrive at their destination in good condition.
Logistics van trailer transportation is part of this very challenging but ultimately crucial aspect in the wider realm of supply logistics.
Companies and organizations rely on efficiency in this sector to remain competitive in the market.
What Is a Logistics Van Trailer?
You can’t talk about logistics without getting into details of how and what methods you’ll use in the shipment of goods from point A to point B. Notably, logistics is a wide concept, and transport constitutes a vital arm.
When we talk about logistics and transport, the most common method of transportation is van trailers. In other words, the logistics van trailer relates to dry van trucking. We’ll look into that in detail in a jiffy.
If you know about logistics then you know that van trailers make up a key component in the wider scheme of things. In fact, anyone looking to ship goods will likely find that trailers (mostly dry van trailers) are their shipping method they end up using.
Why van trailers make up the most common type of trailer transport
We have so many types of trucks and trailers that suit practically every type of cargo you may need to transport.
It could also be a box trailer or flatbed, Conestoga or another type- all will depend on the type of freight.
The largest group, however, will be dry van trailers as they are suitable in moving all manner of freight and cargo that do not need any particular temperature control measures.
Understandably, van trailers contribute to the most job opportunities in the logistics industry. Dry van trucking accounts for the biggest share of these job openings.
Manufactures have all sorts of trailers, with various designs meant for the varied types of freight transported on our roads. When you have considered the type of cargo you are moving, knowledge of whether there are any special requirements should be critical in choosing the right trailer.
Other than that, you would do well to know the dimensions of the particular trailer- its length, height, and width. Also important would be details of its weight capacity- how much load it can carry.
Box trailers make up one of the most commonly used trailers. More like enclosed van trailers, box trailers have specially designed interiors that help in the safe transportation of delicate or high-value freight.
There are various sizes of box trailers, with size and weight among other dimensions dependent on the type of shipment. The common lengths of box trailers range from 28 ft to 53 ft, and will have a width range of 96″- 102″. In terms of height, a box trailer will be between 12.5′ and 13.5′ high.
The axle to wheel combination is as follows:
- Standard trailer with 2 axles and 8 wheels
- Heavy load trailers with 3 axles and 12 wheels
- Heavy load trailers with 4 axles 16 wheels
Although the dimensions and sizes vary, the standard box trailer dimensions from various manufacturers are 53 feet long, 8′ 6″ wide and 9′ high.
Box trailers often have wooden floors and may come with rails or tracks on the inside. These add-ons are crucial when securing delicate cargo. Some of the freight most often transported in box trailers is packaged in boxes. You can also use this type of trailer to transport crated or palletized cargo.
How Much Weight Can a Conestoga Trailer Hold?
Conestoga trailers are one of the most versatile in-demand trailers. It is a flatbed type of trailer that suits the transportation of items that need protection from the elements. However, these goods cannot fit in a standard dry van trailer.
A typical Conestoga trailer will load cargo measuring as long as 98 inches tall and 102 inches wide. Such items may not fit in a 48 ft dry van for instance. However, a specially-designed tarp-on-frame feature allows Conestoga trailers to carry such freight damage-free.
The tarp doesn’t touch the cargo and easily rolls off when you want to unload, allowing for access from the trailer back or side.
As the Conestoga trailer is suitable for transporting large items, the standard length is 48 feet or 53 feet. The tarp size is 8′ 2″ wide and 8′ 0″ high.
The total weight capacity of the Conestoga trailer is between 42,000 and 45,000 pounds.
Conestoga’s have become popular with transporters who want to protect oversized loads. The tarp will cover goods but won’t damage them- things like the fine paint or delicate loose part stay protected.
What is a Dry Van Truckload?
Dry van truckload is one of the three truckload shipment options available to transporters. The other two are flatbed and refrigerated.
When using truckload shipping, the carrier will load goods that fit in an entire dry van trailer. You don’t load goods to be dropped off at different destinations or by different customers.
In this way, the dry van trailer will be “full” but loaded only with cargo headed to a single drop off point. When do we use full truckload (TL)?
- When we have enough cargo to fill a trailer
- When we don’t want goods handled en-route
- If the TL makes transporting the payload more cost-effective
Dry van trailers have made it so easy to ship goods across the country. TL has cut delivery times, making it easy to move large quantities of goods from one location to another in a fairly quick time.
The weight capacity of the goods determines the shipment size and type of dry van trailer used. You can ship anywhere from 12 – 26 pallets for every truckload shipment. However, since space matters most, the weight of what you transport can range from as low as 5,000 to 45,000 pounds.
What is a Van in Trucking?
Trucking is the use of trucks in transport logistics to move freight from one point to another. Mainly, this is to a warehousing unit, distribution center or consumer.
Trucking in freight transport relies mostly on vans, with the type of van used dependent on several factors. Among these factors is the type of freight. This factor helps in deciding whether it should be a dry van, a reefer, or a flatbed.
Transport carriers go for dry van trucking due to its versatility and cost-effectiveness.
If you are transporting goods that require temperature control, then a refrigerated van works best. Such products include frozen goods and other perishables.
Overall, vans form a huge chunk of the trucking activities carried out by industries that deal in food and beverages, manufacturing and building equipment, electronics, and health supplies.
Trailers come in all sizes, with some of the common sizes being 40ft, 45ft, 48ft, and 53ft.
What is the Weight Capacity of a 40' Trailer?
The 40 feet trailer has a width of 96″ and a height of 12′ 6″. The standard maximum weight is 11,300 pounds and the common gross vehicle weight (GVW) is as follows:
- 68,500 pounds for 4 axles
- 73,000 pound for 5 axles
- 78,000 pounds for 6 axles
The GVW is the weight of the trailer plus the maximum load capacity allowed on the trailer.
If a trailer has a GVW of 25,800 lbs and the trailer’s weight is 5,800 lbs, then your trailer’s payload should be 20,000 lbs.
The United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) lists various weight limits applicable in various states. It is advisable to stay under a given GVW as the opposite attracts fines. You also risk safety and damage to the trailer as well as the highways.
Types of Dry Van Trailers
The dry van is an enclosed semi-trailer also called a box trailer popular with carriers transporting palletized or boxed freight.
As noted above, you can utilize the dry van trailer for both less-than-truckload and full truckload shipping.
There are many types of dry van trailers used in a variety of ways and with various dimensions. The width and height are however standardized, with exceptions allowed on the width to accommodate for mirrors and lights.
Standard Freight Trailers
The standard freight trailer is the most common dry van trailer. The sizes vary from 28ft to 53ft. Trailers in this category that are widely used include the 28 ft dry van and the 53-foot dry van trailer.
The dimensions of a 53-foot trailer are:
- Length: 53 feet
- Width: 96 – 102 inches
- Height: 12.5 – 13.5 feet
- Weight capacity: 45,000 pounds
- Can carry: 24 to 30 pallets (26 standard pallets)
“Pup” trailers are 26ft- 28ft long trailers often called 28-foot trailers. Many carriers use these dry vans in LTL shipments. You can choose between a swing door or roller door type trailer. There are various options available to you in terms of the liftgate, 1 axle, tandem and triple.
The dimensions of a standard “pup” trailer are:
- Length: 28 feet
- Width: 96 – 102 inches
- Height: 12.5 – 13.5 feet
- Weight capacity: 22,000 pounds
- Can carry: 14 pallets
Straight trucks are another type of dry van trailer also called “box trucks”. Straight trucks options include a liftgate and are often used in pick-ups and city deliveries.
Straight trucks are shorter trailers measuring 22 – 26 feet long. The standard dimensions include:
- Length: 26 feet
- Width: 96 – 102 inches
- Height: 12.5 – 13.5 feet
- Weight capacity: 14,000 pounds
- Can carry: 12 pallets
The dry van differs in use and structure from the flatbed and lowboy trailers.
Flatbed trailers allow you to move oversized freight or that which doesn’t need the specific protection of an enclosed trailer. Instead, cargo can be covered by a tarp.
Common lengths for flatbeds are 20ft, 40ft, 45ft and 48ft. There are also 53ft trailers. They have a width of 98 – 102 inches and can carry a maximum weight of 71, 390 pounds. However, the common weight is 48,000 pounds.
If you want to haul really heavy cargo, then the lowboy trailer is what you need.
Lowboys trailers are typically 29.6 feet long, 18- 25 inches high and 8.5 feet wide. When it comes to those heavy loads, lowboy trailers can haul weights of 40,000 to 80,000 pounds. The maximum weight capacity will depend on how many axles the trailer has. The lower limit of 40,000 pounds works with a two-axle trailer.
Trailers play a significant role in logistics, more so in the transportation of goods. Whether you need a dry van or flatbed, knowing the value these trailers bring to your trucking strategies is the first step. You can quickly improve your truck operations if you know what your company needs.