Things to Consider When Choosing Dry Van Trailer

Dry van trailers are used in a wide range of applications in the transportation industry. Whether you are just starting out in the trucking business or looking to expand your fleet, buying a dry van trailer is a good choice.

There are several things you need to consider before buying a dry van trailer:

1. Size and Capacity

You need to consider the size and capacity of the dry van before purchasing.

The standard size of a dry van trailer is 53 feet. However, this does not mean that you can only choose a 53-foot trailer; you can choose from 28 to 53 feet. The length of the trailer needs to be determined by the type of cargo you will be transporting, and it also needs to comply with your local transportation regulations.

Along with size, you also need to pay attention to capacity. Capacity usually refers to the maximum weight or volume that a dry cargo trailer can handle. Also, in addition to the type of cargo to be transported, local transportation regulations need to be considered.

van trailer size and capacity

2. Structure

When buying a dry trailer, you can pay attention to structures of the trailer:

Scuff liner Design

A common scuff liner design uses aluminum rivets on 12″ centers attached to the lower wall. It has the advantage of being much cheaper.

There is also a design that uses a scuff liner with stainless steel rivets mounted to the recessed top flange of the skid plate on 8″ centers. The advantage of this design is that the attachment is strong and will not be easily damaged by forklifts or pallets, but it is also more expensive.

Side Panel Construction

Some trailers use a composite side panel design, which refers to a ” sheet and post” design. This includes an aluminum outer panel, galvanized steel posts and an interior light steel liner. Some dry van trailers use a newer material and technology, a galvanized steel sheet bonded to a high-density polyethylene core. This material provides a more robust side panel structure.


The type and condition of the flooring in the dry van trailer can affect the loading and unloading process.

Look for trailers with durable, slip-resistant, and easy-to-clean flooring materials, such as hardwood, aluminum, or composite materials, that can withstand the weight and movement of cargo during loading and unloading operations.

Door Configuration

The type and configuration of the doors on the dry van trailer can significantly impact the loading and unloading process. Rear doors, which are the most common type, typically swing open or roll up, while some trailers may also have side doors for additional access. Consider the size, height, and ease of operation of the doors, as well as any specific requirements for your cargo or loading/unloading operations.

3. Technical Specifications

If this is not the first dry van trailer you have purchased, then when choosing one, you need to be aware that its technical specifications should not be the same as your last dry van trailer. Because technology is always changing, more innovative technology can improve the efficiency of your business.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a dry van trailer that is right for you, provides adequate protection for your cargo, and offers good value for your investment. It is recommended to work with Three Horses Trailer, which is a reputable trailer manufacturer.

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