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Tips for Choosing The Right Cargo or Van Body


Your cargo absolutely has to arrive at its destination in good condition, and on time. Otherwise, you'll lose customers and, more importantly, your reputation will be damaged. Therefore, it's imperative that you choose the proper trailer for your shipments. There are a multitude of different truck bodies and equipment available to haul anything you need, but how do you know which is appropriate? Here are some tips that will help you make the decision

Consider Your Cargo

The most important consideration when it comes to choosing a cargo or van body is the type of cargo that it will be transporting. Palletized products that are not perishable are generally hauled in a dry van since they require little more than protection from the elements. Likewise, perishable food items, some pharmaceuticals and other products must be kept at a consistent temperature, and therefore, are transported in refrigerated trailers. Large and over-sized cargo is often transported via Conestoga trailers that have a rolling tarp system that covers the cargo during transport.

Trailer Size Matters

Another important consideration is the interior space of the van or truck body. If the dimensions are too small, your cargo won't fit properly, thus creating the need to make more trips. Likewise, if the truck is too large, you're wasting money and might want to consider a smaller trailer. Generally, cargo trailers measure somewhere between 48 and 53 feet long, 8 feet tall, and 8 feet wide. However, the interior dimensions may be different, depending upon the amount of insulation, number and type of doors and other factors. Be sure to check the actual cargo space within the trailer to assure you're making the right choice.

Freight Weight

While your cargo may well fit within a specific type of trailer, its overall weight may be an issue. There are federal, state, and local weight restrictions applied to heavy trucks, regardless of their cargo. These restrictions are in place to protect roadways and bridges from damage. What's more, a standard cargo trailer may not be capable of carrying an extremely heavy load. If you're consistently overweight cargo, you need a specialty trailer that is specifically made for that use. Otherwise, you will find yourself unable to move your cargo, or you could damage your trailer, making it unusable.

Before you purchase, or lease, any semi-truck trailers, take the time to truly evaluate your needs. If you're not sure what type of cargo, or van body is best suited for your intended purpose, talk to someone with experience in the industry. You'll find that most trucking professionals are more than happy to share their knowledge and that they'll offer a great deal of useful advice to help you choose.