In the trucking industry, what are the most common trailer types?


With so many different trailers on the road nowadays, it can be difficult to tell what each one is for and which one is ideal for your freight.

We’ve been in the trailer business since 1955, and we’ve helped customers choose the right one for them. Several trailers you see on the road today were developed in collaboration with top trailer manufacturers.

We’ll look at some of the most common trailers used in the trucking sector in the United States and how they’re used in this post. This will assist you in determining which trailer type is best for your needs.


The following are the most frequent trailer types used to transport freight in the trucking industry:

  • Trailers for Dry Vans
  • Trailers with a Standard Flatbed
  • Trailers with Refrigeration (Reefers)
  • Trailers with a Drop-Deck or Step-Deck
  • Lowboy/Double Drop Trailers
  • Trailers for Hotshots
  • Conestoga Trailers is a company that makes trailers.
  • Drop-Deck Trailers with Extendable Decks
  • RGN Trailers is a company that makes trailers.
  • RGN Trailers with Extensions

Trailers for Dry Vans

Dry van trailers are best transported by palletized, packaged, and loose cargo. The dry van trailer is the most prevalent type on the road today, with an average length of 53 feet.

Trailers with a Standard Flatbed

The conventional flatbed trailer and the dry van are very frequent types of trailers. Although they are available in various sizes (24, 40, 45, 48, and 53 feet), the 48-foot flatbed trailer is the most common.

Trailers with Refrigeration (Reefers)

Refrigerated trailers (commonly known as reefers) were created to transport any freight required temperature control. They are the only type of trailer that can transport perishable goods due to their temperature control and insulated walls. These trailers are widely used to transport items such as produce, medications, and ice cream.

Trailers with a Drop-Deck or Step-Deck

When the height of a load is a concern, drop-deck or step-deck trailers are sometimes utilized as an alternative to flatbed trailers. The convenience of a flatbed combined with the extra height capacity of a drop-deck trailer makes it a popular mode of transportation.

Lowboy/Double Drop Trailers

The lowboy, low bed, or float trailer, sometimes known as a double drop trailer, is substantially closer to the ground than any other trailer style. Their closeness to the environment is due to two drops, one behind the gooseneck and the other before the back wheels. As a result, double-drop trucks may transport towering apparatus.

Trailers for Hot Shots

These trailers have grown in popularity among carriers all over the world. Hotshot trailers are low-lying flatbed trailers that can be towed by pickup vehicles in the classes 3-6 range. As a result, carriers who use hotshot trailers do not require a typical semi-tractor because they may be driven by a specialized pickup truck. This eliminates many of the hurdles to entry in the trucking industry.

Conestoga Trailers is a company that makes trailers.

Conestoga trailers are a specialty trailer type designed to provide greater protection from the elements while in transit.

Conestoga trailers, typically 53 feet long and coming in step-deck, double-drop, and flatbed variations, are a wonderful option for numerous open-deck trailers.

Drop-Deck Trailers with Extendable Decks

These trailers are used to transport extremely lengthy loads. The center section of these trailers can be extended from its initial length of 38 feet to a maximum height of 65 feet. This makes them ideal for transporting cargo that exceeds the legal length limits of standard trailers.

Gooseneck Trailers That Can Be Removed (RGN)

The RGN series of trailers is another popular type. These trailers, which are available in various sizes, can be utilized in many of the same ways as regular trailers. RGNs are worth considering in an industry where shippers have many options to choose from.

RGN that can be extended

When well-space is a concern, the extensible RGN can help. The expanding RGN, like the expandable double drop trailer, is designed for extra-long freight.

These specialty trailers have the potential to expand well up to 50 feet in length, providing adequate capacity to move huge equipment, commodities, and oversized freight.

Which Freight Trailer Is Right For You?

Hopefully, you now know the many trailer kinds and what they’re used for it. Now is the time to analyze these options and decide which one best suits your freight’s needs.

A reefer trailer is the best choice if you need to transport perishable food and beverages. Consider a dry van if you have pallet-based goods. When making this option, it’s usually wise to keep capacity, budget, and haul length in mind.

Please get in touch with us if you have any concerns or want to learn more about how ATS can assist you in making these kinds of decisions. We are always available to assist you in whatever way you require.