Trailer Types

If you are a truck driver looking to buy a trailer, the first thing is to know about the different types of trailers available in the market. Some of these are for personal use and do not need a commercial driver’s licence. However, most of these are commercial heavy load trailers that need commercial driver’s licence to drive.

Here Is The List Of Most Common Trailer Types

1. Boat Trailers

Boat Trailers

Boat trailers are trailers to tow boats. They are made of simple metal frame with two wheels and a hook that attaches to your car or pick-up truck. 

Personal boat trailers are manual, however commercial boat trailers maybe electric or hydraulic. Boat trailers use smaller tires, and are not as heavy duty as big trailers. Since boat trailers are used around sea water they are prone to rusting and should be maintained properly for longevity. You don’t need commercial driver’s licence to operate a personal boat trailer.

2.Teardrop Trailer

Carlisle Trail HD Trailer Radial Tire

Teardrop trailer, also known as teardrop camper trailer are travel trailers. The trailer is small, the length varies from 4 ft to 6 ft and width 8 ft, They can carry a load of 1,000 pounds and are used to travelling. They have space for two adults in the back and small kitchen area. You don’t need Commercial driver’s licence to drive a teardrop trailer.

3. RV Trailer

Carlisle Trail HD Trailer Radial Tire

RV or recreational vehicle are travel trailers designed to be lived inside. They are commonly known as campervans or caravans. They have a living quarters, that can include sleeping space, bathroom and cooking space. They can be owned personally and is a good way to take your family for camping. The length of the RV can range from 21 feet to 45 feet. Usually commercial driving licence is not needed to drive an RV, however, check with your state laws to make sure that is the case.

4. Enclosed Trailer

Enclosed Trailer

Enclosed vans are usually dry vans. These vans are used to transport material that needs protection from the harmful elements of the weather.These are usually heavy duty trailers, they are used to carry freight through long distances. They can hold upto a 42,000 lbs to 45,000 lbs of weight. The length of the weight can vary from 48 ft to 53 ft. You need a commercial driver’s licence to operate these kind of trailers. They have more than four axles, the tires are heavy duty and each tire has a high load index.

5. Lowboy Trailer

Carlisle Sports Trail LH Bias-ply trailer Tire

A lowboy is a trailer used to transport tall goods that are taller than legal height of items to be carried by flatbed trailers. These items are restricted by the state law to be carried around on trailers whose own height can affect the total legal height. The goods can be used to carry trucks, construction materials, or any good that is tall. 

A two-axle Lowboy can carry a maximum weight of 40,000 pounds (weight of the trailer + the good’s weight). Additional 40,000, that is a total of 80,000 can be carried for lowboy with more number of axles.

The length goods on a lowboy can be 24 ft to 29. 6 ft. Maximum legal overall height that can be carried is 14 ft. 

Lowboy can have a mixture of tires. The driver needs commercial driver’s licence to operate the trailer. 

6. Flatbed Trailer

Carlisle Trail HD Trailer Radial Tire

Flatbed trailers are very common type of trailers for good carrier. They can carry goods at its tip, sides, and rear, they are very versatile and can carry a wide variety of freight to long distances. The maximum weight flat bed trailers can carry is 48,000 pounds (weight of the trailer + the good’s weight). The weight may differ according to the number of axles. The maximum height of items that can be carried on flatbeds is 48 ft – 53 ft. Maximum width that can be carried is 8.5 ft and maximum legal height is 8.5 ft. You need a commercial driver’s licence to drive this vehicle.

7. Refrigerated Trailer

Refrigerated Trailers

Refrigerated Trailers are used to transport goods that needs to stay chilled or frozen. The trailers have refrigeration system attached to it, that keeps the temperature under control. These types of trailers are usually used in food industry, to carry food items. The maximum weight that can be carried in Refrigerated Trailers is 42,000 lbs to 45, 000 lbs (weight of the trailer + the good’s weight). The maximum length of the trailer is 48 ft to 53 ft. Maximum width of 8.3 ft and height of the trailer is 8 ft. You need a commercial driver’s licence to drive this vehicle.

8. RGN or Removable Gooseneck Trailer

The stretch Removable gooseneck trailers

Removable Gooseneck Trailers are specialized trailers used to carry tall and long goods. The front of Removable Gooseneck Trailer is detachable, it can make ramp to easily load shipment on the trailer. The axels can go from 3 axle to 20 depending on the size of shipment and requirements. The maximum weight Removable Gooseneck Trailers can carry is 42,000 pounds (weight of the trailer + the good’s weight). The RGN length is 29 ft and the maximum width is 8.5 ft. Legal freight height is 11.6 ft. 

The driver needs are commercial Driving license to drive this trailer.

9. The Stretch Removable Gooseneck Trailers

The stretch Removable Gooseneck Trailer are longer that usual RGN. These are used to transport goods that are too long to be Carried on usual RGN. They have more than 3 axles, the tires used a high grade, carry heavy weight. The maximum weight that the stretch Removable Gooseneck can carry is 42,000 to 150,000 pounds or more (weight of the trailer + the good’s weight). The number of axles differ widely. The main deck can vary in length from 29 ft to 65 ft. Maximum trailer width is 8.5 ft and the maximum legal height is  11.6 ft. You need a commercial driver’s licence to operate this trailer.

10. Step Deck Trailer

Step deck trailers or drop deck trailers consists bottom and a top deck. They are kind of like flat belt trailers but are used to carry goods that have height restrictions. They can vary from 3 axles to more depending on need. The maximum weight the step deck trailers can carry is 48,000 pounds (weight of the trailer + the good’s weight). Maximum trailer length is 48 ft – 53 ft. The trailer width for step deck is 8.5 ft. And legal freight height for step deck trailer is 10 ft. You need a commercial driver’s licence to drive this vehicle.

11. Extendable Flatbed stretch Trailer

These are flatbed trailers that can be stretched to add extra length to the trailer. They are used to carry goods that are longer than the ones that can be carried in a traditional flatbed trailer. These trailers are safer to use as they provide maximum support and avoid over hanging that can be dangerous. 

The maximum weight extendable Flatbeds can carry is 43,000 pounds(weight of the trailer + the good’s weight). The trailer length for extendable flatbed is 48 ft – 80 ft. Maximum width is 8.5 ft. Legal freight height is 8. 5 ft.

12. Stretch Single Drop Deck Trailer

Stretch single Drop trailers are used to carry weights that are too long to be hauled in single drop deck trailer. The extra length gives helps in avoiding overhang. Driver’s need commercial driver’s licence to drive this trailer. The maximum freight weight that the stretch single drops can carry is 45,000 lbs. The maximum length of stretch single drop trailer is 35 ft to 63 ft. Maximum  trailer width is 8.5 ft. And maximum legal height of freight is 10 ft.

13. Stretch Double Drop Trailer

A stretch Double-drop trailer are used to carry large shipments that the stretch single drop deck can’t carry. They have higher number of axles, the lower deck helps in load shipments that is as tall as 10 feet. The back-deck and middle portion is longer than single drop deck trailer. You need a commercial Driver’s licence to operate stretch double drop trailer. The maximum freight weight that the stretch double drops can carry is 45,000. The trailer length is 29 ft to 65 ft, the length varies with number of axles. The trailer width is 8.5 ft and legal freight height is 11.6 ft.

14. Fuel Tank Trailer

These trailers are used to carry crude oil or gas in large volumes.  You need a special licence to drive a Fuel tank trailer. They can carry a load up to 43,000 lbs.