Selecting the best semi-trailer for your truck is an important decision. Picking the right semi-trailer will allow your business to grow while fully complying with local and national regulations. If you make the wrong choice, not only could your business suffer, but you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law if there is an inspection or accident. Choosing the right trailer must start by thinking about how the trailer will actually be used in your business. You will need to think about factors, such as the makeup and size of the loads your truck will be hauling and the length of the journeys you expect to be making. Other points which you will want to consider is how much the trailer will be loaded or unloaded and how the company's loading docks are configured.
Planning for future growth
One common mistake made by owners is to buy a semi-trailer that is perfect for their present needs but which will become entirely unsuitable as the company grows. As your business grows, you may start to travel longer distances or move different types of loads. A new semi-trailer could last as long as fifteen years, and you must be certain that the trailer you buy will be able to be usefully employed for all of that time.
What type of trailer? If you will be mainly transporting stackable cargo that can be quickly loaded from the side of the trailer, then a flatbed trailer is the obvious choice, especially if the cargo does not need to be protected from the elements. With a flatbed, your main concern will be whether or not the trailer floor rating is high enough for the weight of the cargo. With a covered trailer, you have the advantage of protecting the cargo from the outside environment, but this type of trailer may not be ideal for all load configurations. If the loads you plan to transport are temperature sensitive then you can choose a temperature-controlled vehicle, but these are normally more expensive to run and maintain than dry freight vehicles. For a temperature-controlled vehicle to be viable, you will need to ensure that the new vehicle will normally be used for this type of freight, or you will find that the trailer is costing you money in the long-term.
Whatever type of semi-trailer you select, you must ensure that it is sturdy enough to not require excessive maintenance but light enough to be fuel-efficient. The lighter the materials used in the construction of the trailer, the more you will save on fuel costs, especially on return trips and lighter loads.