What type of trailer is a semi?

What type of trailer is a semi?
What type of trailer is a semi?
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A semi-trailer truck, also known as a semi-truck, (or semi, eighteen-wheeler, big rig, tractor-trailer) is the combination of a tractor unit and one or more semi-trailers to carry freight. A semi-trailer attaches to the tractor with a type of hitch called a fifth wheel.

Depending on the load or cargo requirements, one type of semi-trailer is more suitable than another. Finding the right trailer for your job will play an important role in ensuring the success of your project and facilitating the safe arrival of your cargo. sunskyvehicle takes you through the most common types of semi-trailers and what each type is used for.

Flatbed Trailers

Flatbed trailers as the name implies have a flat deck that is open on all sides with no roof or boxes to cover the load. This open layout makes it an easy trailer to load and unload but does not protect the load from weather and road elements. Flatbed trailers are ideal for transporting wider or larger items, as loads can be lifted from above using a crane or from the side using a forklift. Later on, flatbed trailers can be modified for different uses upon request, and are some of the most commonly used trailers because of their versatility.

Types of goods loaded on flatbed trailers:

Construction materials

Heavy equipment and machinery

Oversized or unusually shaped loads


flatbed semi trailer

Lowboy flatbed trailers

The Lowboy trailer is a unique semi-trailer with a very low deck due to the gooseneck tube and wheels dropping the deck height twice. The primary purpose of this trailer type is to transport tall equipment or cargo without the need for a height permit. Its lower centre of gravity also allows the trucker to install additional axles to transport more cargo in one trip.

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1. Straight beam low bed

2. Concave beam type low bed – exposed tire type low bed

3. Removable gooseneck low bed

Equipped with a diesel power station and cylinders for loading and unloading vehicles through the front of the vehicle

Transport medium:



Backhoe loader

Heavy machinery

Oversized items

Lowbed semi-trailer
Lowbed gooseneck semi-trailer

Dump Trailer

A dump trailer is a car that is mainly for transporting goods and has automatic dumping of the cargo compartment. Specifically, it should be equipped with a hydraulic lifting mechanism driven by the car’s engine, which can unload the carriage or make the carriage tilt at a certain angle, and the cargo can be unloaded by itself depending on its weight.


Mainly used for transporting bulk and can be bulk stacked goods (such as sand, soil, ore, crops, etc.), but also can transport piece goods.

Self-dumping vehicles are mainly used in building materials yards, mines, construction sites, etc.

dump semi-trailer

Side Dump Trailer

Side dump trailers are a relatively new concept designed to solve the instability problem of end dump trailers. By tilting the trailer to one side to unload the load, the side dump trailer provides greater stability whether the ground is flat or uneven. Side-dump trailers allow operators to safely haul and release a variety of materials with a faster dump cycle.

Side unloading semi-trailer

Tank trailers

Chemical Liquid Transporter (Atmospheric Pressure): refers to the tank vehicle specially designed for transporting liquid goods under atmospheric pressure (working pressure less than 0.1MPa). It is designed and manufactured with domestic advanced technology and optimized design, with a lightweight, low centre of gravity, reasonable tank structure, and even force.

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Transport medium: refers to the goods that are liquid at room temperature and pressure, or liquid after heating at room pressure. By nature, it can be divided into flammable liquids (such as gasoline, diesel, ethanol, etc.), oxidizers and organic peroxides (such as hydrogen peroxide), corrosives (such as sulfuric acid, nitric acid, sodium hydroxide solution, formalin solution, etc.), and toxic products (such as phosphorus trichloride, potassium cyanide, phenol, etc.).

fuel tanker trailer

Box trailer

Box trailers, also known as enclosed or dry van trailers, are completely enclosed and are used to transport non-perishable goods. Although there is no temperature control, the cargo is not affected by weather and road factors. Cargo is loaded in the rear of the dry van trailer, usually using a loading dock. Some dry van trailers also allow cargo to be loaded from the side of the trailer or use a movable floor.

Types of cargo transported in dry van trailers:

Non-perishable food and beverages

Clothing and household goods

Construction products

Less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation

Side Dumping Trailer

The Side Dumping Trailer is made of a flatbed truck with an all-metal structure. It can be opened on three sides, and the side railings can be opened and closed in sections. The special foreign railcar style, with a small door design, used for transporting grain, can open the small door to achieve rapid unloading, popular in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and other southern African countries and regions. It can also be increased or decreased according to the customer’s requirements. The left and right railings can be divided into five or six doors according to the length of the carriage, which is convenient for cargo loading and unloading operations.

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dropside semi-trailer with small window
dropside semi-trailer

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