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Dry Van vs Flatbed: What is the Best Trailer Option?

Dry Van vs Flatbed: What is the Best Trailer Option?

Those who ship freight for businesses know that there are a lot of choices when it comes to the type of trailer. Among all the commercial vehicles available for trucking services, the two most common ones are dry vans and flatbeds. This fact means that the dry van vs flatbed argument is a prevalent one.

As a result most fleet managers and owner-operators try to make a decision by weighing the pros and cons associated with each trailer. Perhaps you are also curious — which is the best trucking option for your specific needs? In the end, the dry van vs flatbed argument all boils down to the requirements and type of the cargo to be moved.

Are you in need of temperature regulation? Do you want a trailer that can load from the top? Do you need an extended platform? The answers to these questions will help you determine whether to get a dry van or flatbed trailer. Let’s take a look at some of the differences and features of a dry van trailer and a flatbed trailer.

Dry Van vs Flatbed: Which Trailer Option is the Best?

Choosing between a dry van trailer and a flatbed can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Generally, a dry van trailer is enclosed, unlike flatbed trailers. Since it is confined, it makes a perfect option for shipping sensitive or fragile cargo. 

On the other hand, a flatbed trailer is a versatile trailer that offers many options for loading and unloading shipments. Also, flatbed trailers have open sides, and back. Hence, they are best for transporting oversized objects. 

Nevertheless, dry van trailers are more commonly used trailers than flatbed because they are better at protecting goods from falling debris. Also, a dry van comes with lift gates that make it easier to load and unload. 

Here at All Freight Shipping, we offer both dry van and flatbed trucking services.

Our transport routes include but are not limited to:

  • Vancouver to Toronto
  • Montreal to Toronto
  • Calgary to Toronto
  • Edmonton to Toronto
  • New York To Toronto
  • California to Toronto
  • Dallas to Toronto
  • Chicago to Toronto
  • New Jersey to Toronto

What is a Dry Van Trailer?

A dry van trailer is also known as a box trailer. It is an enclosed trailer that is used to haul freight — usually behind a semi-truck. Generally, the standard dimensions of the cargo unit of a dry van are 53 feet long by 8.5 feet and 102 inches wide. Also, it’s external height is approximately 13’ 6” high while its interior height is around 110”.

Dimensions and Specs of Dry Van Trailer

Dry vans come with a variety of types that you can choose from, depending on what cargo you need to ship. When making this choice, you should consider the distance, freight as well as how much control you want over your cargo. 

  • Sheet and Post Dry Vans
  • Plate Dry Vans
  • Custom Spec Dry Vans

If you need a dry van for rent, contact All Freights Shipping. Our dry van freight service is designed to protect your cargo from the elements, accidents, harsh weather conditions, and road falling debris. Also, All Freight Shipping offers dry van freight services in Toronto for both FTL’s (Full Truckloads) and LTL’s (Less than Truckload).

Aside from that, a dry van model can come with a suspension system. However, most manufacturers use either air slides or spring systems.

Why Choose a Dry Van trailer?

Dry van trailers are most commonly used for transporting commercial goods such as electronics, furniture, clothing items, and household goods. Also, this trucking service is useful for shipping food and beverages. 

Aside from that, dry van trailers are the best option for protecting your items from possible damage due to bad weather. For starters, it encloses your freight on all four sides. Secondly, a dry van trailer is better at accommodating loading docks and forklifts due to the height and lift gate features.

What is a Flatbed Trailer?

The flatbed trailer is a kind of trailer with open deck equipment, no sides and no roof. It is mainly used for shipping industrial commodities. In addition, it is designed to carry bulk cargo and containers between shipping facilities and terminals.

Dimensions and Specs of Flatbed Trailer

A flatbed trailer is designed without walls or a ceiling, unlike a dry van with enclosed sides. Since it has no top and no sides, it allows truckers to load from multiple angles. Also, it facilitates the transport of large machinery that wouldn’t fit in a concealed container.

In terms of flatbed dimensions, these trailers run a bit shorter at a standard 48-foot length. Also, the width is approximately the same as that of a dry van at 102 inches. Furthermore, in terms of the dry van vs flatbed trailer discourse, different models can accommodate your needs for larger cargo space or massive freight capacity.

Generally, the legal dimensions for a flatbed trailer vary by model. For example, a double drop flatbed with a lower deck height allows truckers to haul products taller than 10 feet. Whereas extendable flatbeds can reach cargo limits of up to 80 feet in length.

Types of Flatbed Composition

  • Steel Flatbeds
  • Composite Flatbeds
  • Aluminum Flatbeds

Also, the stronger the trailer, the more cargo it can haul. Here at All Freight Shipping, our heavy-duty flatbed trucking equipment can handle a load of up to 100,000 pounds. Feel Free to speak to our experienced team to help you find the exact flatbed trailer rental for your specific freight. 

Why Consider a Flatbed Trailer?

A flatbed trailer is very versatile, and it allows for the loading of cargo in a variety of ways. In the dry van vs flatbed argument, this is impossible for a dry van trailer. Also, when compared to dry van trailers, flatbed trailers have a larger maximum hauling capacity and can haul massive loads a lot easier.

Final Verdict

Choosing between a dry van and flatbed boils down to what freight or cargo you’re hauling. If you need to protect your cargo from weather, damage, dust, or anything else you should probably go for a dry van. 

On the other hand, if you’re hauling a massive load with extra-large dimensions, flatbed trailers are the best choice. For more information on commercial trailers and which one is the right fit for your business needs, contact All Freight Shipping at 647-691-5535 or email us