Guide to Trailer Deck Material

When you buy a trailer, you need to consider the material of the trailer body, aluminum or steel. You also need to consider the material of the trailer deck. Some trailer decks are made of the same material as the body, while others are made of wood.

By law, a trailer deck needs to meet the following conditions.

  • Well-built and free of holes
  • Tight enough
  • Able to provide some traction

This is to reduce the ability of gases or flames to penetrate it Also, easy to clean is an important point. You can learn about the types of trailer decks and make your choice by following this article.

Southern Yellow Pine

This is the most common material used to decorate wooden trailers. It is widely used in North America because it grows 35% faster than it cuts.

It can be used as a raw material for trailer decks for two main reasons: strength and ability to absorb handling. Pine is actually a very strong fiber, and its cell structure is able to absorb chemicals better than other materials. This means it is more resistant to decay.

However, it is important to note that untreated SYP does not have this ability, so when buying a trailer, you will need to choose treated Southern Yellow Pine.

The disadvantage of it is that warping or knots can occur.

southern yellow pine trailer decking

Rough Oak

Rough Oak can be used as a trailer deck because of its strength. Normally, oak is used as a deck material for lowboy trailers, usually for transporting excavators, skid steer loaders, etc.

However, it has poor corrosion resistance because preservatives are forced into the wood. Due to the strong nature of Oak, preservatives usually do not penetrate or retain well.

Rough Oak trailer deck

Douglas fir

Douglas fir has some properties that SYP does not have. It has less attenuation and smaller knots. And it is a more stable fiber with less warping than SYP.

Its disadvantage is that it is more prone to decay. Because of preservatives, it does not absorb well. Besides, it has a longer growth cycle, so long lengths of formwork are very difficult to procure. That’s why Douglas fir is also more expensive.

Douglas Fir trailer deck

Steel Decking

Steel is one of the toughest common alloys, and it is stronger than aluminum.

However, the biggest drawback of steel flooring is that steel can rust, so it needs to be checked frequently. The means to prevent rusting on steel flooring is to apply paint. When there are scratches on the trailer, the scratches need to be repaired in time to prevent oxidation. Besides, galvanized steel decking can also prevent oxidation.

steel trailer decking

Aluminum Decking

Aluminum trailers are corrosion-resistant and rust-proof. And because aluminum is less dense than steel, aluminum trailers are lighter than the same-size steel trailer. This also means that more weight can be transported.

But aluminum trailers are usually not as strong and dense as steel trailers, so aluminum decking may not be suitable for transporting certain equipment. On top of that, it has another disadvantage. Without additional changes to the aluminum deck, the deck can be slippery in adverse weather conditions. Typically, manufacturers will create raised patterns on the deck with the goal of increasing friction.

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