For certain loads, no conventional semi-trailer beats the open access of a flatbed. However, the bad news about flatbeds can be expressed in two words: the tarp. Many flatbed loads require tarping for protection from the elements as well as security. Any driver who regularly manhandles tarps can tell you about heaving a 65 to 100-pound canvas cover over a load, adjusting its position, tucking in corners, and tying it all down neatly with straps and bungies. This painstaking, arduous process adds at least an hour to the driver’s schedule at every pick-up. In bad weather, it can be hazardous work as well.
The curtain side trailer combine the advantages of a flatbed with the covering and containment benefits of an enclosed trailer. Consisting of durable yet flexible PVC-coated vinyl side curtains which can be retracted from either the front or rear of the trailer, and van-style swinging rear doors, a curtainside totally encloses the load for weatherproof protection and security. First developed in Europe where back-in loading docks are a rarity, curtainsides in North America now haul loads that run the gamut from expensive automobiles, to raw lumber, to delicate manufacturing components.
Three standout benefits of the curtain side trailer include:
- Speedy load and unload. Once the curtains are pulled back, the trailer can be accessed from both sides as well as the rear door by multiple forklifts simultaneously. Drivers are in and out and back on the road quickly.
- Simplified partial deliveries. The limitations of “first on/last off” loading are a thing of the past. Independent access to all parts of a load at any point along a route means multiple drop loads are easily doable from a single trailer.
- No tarp required. While federal regulations require cargo inside curtainsides to be tied down, most loads can be quickly and conveniently secured with straps. Drivers devote time to driving, not struggling with a tarp, and experience a safer work environment as well.
To see several of the different options of curtainside trailers that we cary please view the Curtain Side Trailer Products page or click the link below to get more information specific to your needs.
Want to learn the REAL benefits of a curtain side trailer and curtainside truck? Read a real world experience from Horizon Forest Products on their experience moving from a fleet of flatbeds to curtainside vans, curtainside trucks and curtainside trailers.