What Is Curtainside Trailer?

The transportation industry has a wide range of equipment types. But for this reason, it is sometimes difficult to understand the application scenarios of each trailer.

But using the right trailer for your load is actually very important. A curtainside trailer is an example of this. It is set up for a specific purpose. If used properly, it will be a perfect transportation solution.

What is a curtainside trailer?

The curtainside trailer is a semi-trailer that can be understood as a rigid frame mounted on a flatbed trailer. The curtainside trailer consists of a firmly bolstered front. In the front section there is an entrance door, horizontal roof supports running the length of the trailer, a metal construction roof, swing-out rear doors and a sliding tarp system. The tarp is usually an 18-ounce (or similar) material. and this slides similarly to the tarp on the Conestoga trailer.

But it is different from the Conestoga trailer. The curtain trailer only has tarps on the sides, while the Conestoga has a larger curtain system that includes the roof and rear in addition to the sides. This is the reason why the curtain trailer has a stronger frame than the Conestoga trailer.

Usually, curtainside trailers are similar in size to van trailers, commonly 48 feet and 53 feet, and can carry a maximum cargo weight of 43,000 pounds. However, this is not absolute, and you can practice your supplier to get the detailed parameters before purchasing.

Curtainside Trailer
Conestoga trailer
Conestoga trailer

When should I use the curtainside trailer?

Curtainside trailers protect the goods from other factors during transportation. Provided, of course, that the cargo can be loaded from the side or the back.

It is capable of transporting the same cargo as a van trailer, including but not limited to palletized goods, raw materials (lumber, steel, etc.), and machinery that cannot come in contact with water. Some food, beverage, and retail commodities can also be transported using curtainside trailers.

What are the pros and cons of curtainside trailers?

The curtainside trailer is very similar to the Conestoga trailer, so the next advantages and disadvantages are all relative to the Conestoga trailer.


  • Harder top for better protection of elements
  • Aluminum roofing is more durable than curtainside coverings


  • Heavier curtain sides, more challenging for handling high weight, fully loaded trucks
  • Cargo can only be loaded from the side or rear by forklift, not from above by crane

1 thought on “What Is Curtainside Trailer?”

  1. As soon as you informed us that sliding tarps are commonly used for curtain-side trailers, I felt a bit enlightened. My uncle operates a similar vehicle at work and is looking for additional equipment to make it function. Maybe he could contact a supplier to make some purchases.

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