What to Look For When Shopping For Van Trailers

by TJ on April 3, 2012

Truckers who are in the market for a dry van trailer to go with their semi-tractor can find terrific savings by looking in the Atlanta used van market.  These vehicles vary in price according to the model, year, and condition.  The vehicles available have been kept in excellent condition and are ready to go.

Although new vans come out every year, in reality there are very few changes made with the exception of the type of materials and construction design.  Current dry van trailer manufacturers are Dorsey, Great Dane, Walbash, Vanguard, Manac, Utility, Stoughton, Trailmobile and Strict.  Manufacturing is done in a variety of locations.  For example, Great Dane Trailers are manufactured in Terre Haute, Indiana.    Opened in April 1995 they build standard as well as custom trailers.

There are two varieties of side walls manufactured for these vans.  These are plate or sheet and post.  The most preferred by truckers is the sheet and post, which has walls available in stainless steel, standard .050 gauge aluminum, or composite sheet.  The posts are shallow, logistic, standard, or a combination.  These walls are extremely easy to repair and have pre-painted panels.

Another thing a buyer needs to be aware of is the nose.  There are differences and it is important to choose one that is has the correct dimensions for the semi-tractor being used.  These choices include the nose post depth as well as the nose liner.  Some of these have plywood in the lining and this should be replaced with .250 aluminum plate or 10-gauge plate steel.  Since stressors are placed on this piece, it is essential that the right nose be selected not only on the tractor but also on the type and weight of the load to be hauled.

There are two different types of roofs manufactured for these vans.  They may be made of aluminum or layers of fiberglass.  These roofs offer equal protection; however, the fiberglass will heat up the interior of the vehicle, which might affect the type of load being hauled.   Aluminum does not cause this problem but is more expensive.

The doors are a vital part of the vehicle.  They should open and close easily, be in convenient locations, and be made of a sturdy material.  This material may be aluminum, plywood, composite, or insulated.  In addition, the doors may be thick or thin.  Most doors are either swing or roll, although there are other types now on the market.

It is crucial that the underbody of the trailer be carefully examined prior to any purchase.  This is true whether it is a new or used trailer.  This will carry heavy loads so requires the best suspensions possible in addition to strong and secure cross-members, wheel assemblies, king sections, bumper assemblies, undercoating, galvanized, and aluminum.

Only a couple of manufacturers build dry vans with wooden floors.  In used vehicles, these will often be scarred or even have splinters, and need some repairing.     Fortunately, the majority of floors is now made of metal and can be obtained with lighting, posts, and other components, which will fit in with any hauling plans.


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