Dry van trailers are the workhorse of any dry freight shipping operation. These incredibly versatile, fully enclosed semi trailers can be used to ship almost any basic bulk cargo you can imagine. Having one custom-built by custom semi trailer specialists can make a new dry van trailer even more versatile and can ensure that your new trailer can carry whatever cargo you require safely and efficiently.
However, if you are ordering a custom dry van semi trailer for your fleet, you will need to choose how it will be constructed. Many modern dry van trailers are known as "plate" or "composite" trailers and are constructed using large plates of durable composite plastics.
However, many drivers and fleet operators still prefer more traditional dry van trailers constructed using sheet-and-post methods. These trailers have been widely used for decades and still have numerous advantages over their more modern composite counterparts.
What are the advantages of choosing sheet-and-post construction for a custom dry van trailer?
Sheet-and-post dry van trailers are usually constructed using large panels made from plywood, Kevlar or other lightweight materials. These panels are fixed in place by a series of vertical metal posts, which are affixed to the base of the trailer and give the trailer enclosure strength and stability.
This construction method creates dry van trailers that are both robust and surprisingly lightweight. A sheet-and-post dry van trailer will almost always weigh significantly less than a plate trailer of equivalent dimensions. This can significantly improve the efficiency and fuel economy of tow vehicles, and it allows the trailer to be loaded with heavier cargoes before maximum weight limits are reached.
Ideal for LTL shipping
The vertical steel or aluminum posts inside a sheet-and-post dry van trailer aren't just used to give the trailer structural strength. When cargoes are attached to the internal posts using suitable straps or harnesses, they will prevent smaller loads from shifting during transit.
This is a particularly useful quality if your trailer will be used for less-than-load (or LTL shipping), as cargoes are more likely to shift in trailers that are not filled to capacity.
Durability and longevity
Traditional sheet-and-post trailers are also renowned for their exceptional long-term durability. Because plate trailers lack internal supporting posts, their sidewalls have a tendency to bow outwards when filled with heavy loads. This can significantly reduce the longevity of a plate trailer and cause serious structural problems that can be expensive to correct.
Sheet-and-post trailers do not have any problems with sidewall bowing and can, therefore, last significantly longer when properly maintained. While sheet-and-post dry van trailers do require significantly more regular maintenance than composite dry van trailers, they might last longer before needing to be retired.
To learn more about custom truck trailers, contact a resource like Ruble Truck Sales Inc.