Types of Semi-Trailers & How to Maintain Them

Heading to join the truck industry? Well, a good start will be to start with the semi-trailers.

A number of trailers and tractor are seen to be hauling around on the streets of USA. No matter whatever the cargo is, these had been an important part of the entire economic system. However, this post is not about those theoretical economic discussions at all. What we'll do is, we’ll provide a starter's guide to various types of semi-trailers around. Moving forward, if you own one, you’ll find a number of maintenance tips for your very own one.

So, let's dive deep into the content.

Semi-Trailers: What and Why?

Before moving further, let’s discuss some basics.

A semi-trailer is one of the many types of trailer trucks. In general, they don't contain a front axle like other tractors do. And that’s what you can differentiate between a semi-trailers and tractor units.


Also, in some cases, tractors and semi-trailers combine between themselves. They’re commonly termed as tractor-trailers.

Now, what you may ask, what exactly they are for?

Well, while tractors or full-sized trailers are after export/import duties of large cargo, semi-trailers are aimed at transporting hazardous gas and liquid fluids, livestock, long materials and automobiles.

Being the first reason for semi trailer's popularity, mid-range cargo transportation had found its cup of tea. Also, there is a strong second reason that made this extremely popular.

In case of such transports, their capability to move on roads plays a big role. The turning radius of semi-trailer tractors is shorter than their length. So, without any hassle, they can move to the cities and docking areas. Impressive, isn’t it?

How Many Types of Semi-Trailers Are in There?

As per your interest in landing on this content, here we go about the types of semi-trailers. Mostly this differentiation occurs based on the structure and purpose of use. Let’s have a look-

1. Tanker Semi Trailers

Tankers are those specific semi-trailer types that are used to carry cargo that is needed to keep away from leaks, flames, and heat. I can name some of them as liquid and gas products, foods, dairy items and juices and many more.


Apart from the trucks, tanker semi-trailer drivers should also be trained to carry on these sensitive materials. In fact, drivers that work on these types of vehicles should have a HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials) Endorsement in their driving license. 

2. Flatbed Semi Trailers

These particular types of semi-trailers are meant to carry heavy and sturdy constructional equipment’s, automobiles and machinery. As the parts are sensitive to breaking, most of the times the semi-trailers are loaded via heavy-duty cranes.


Talking about the drivers who drive these sort of trailers, need o be schooled in a proper way. What concerns them most is the security of the cargo that they’re carrying around. Although, chains and tarps are used a lot to secure these items. 

3. Semi-Trailer Vans

Till now, we’ve explained the types of semi-trailers that are widely used in industrial basis. But now, we’ll be focusing on tractors that are in the household or personal duty.

 Villas and houses that are transformed from one place to another, contain a lot of furniture’s, utensils and household materials. And the types of semi-trailers that do the duty of transporting them are the van semi-trailers.

One additional use of these semi-trailers is to transport perishable items. 

4. Livestock Semi Trailers

You can already get the use of the last type of semi-trailer of our list. Animals such as dogs, horses, cows, hogs, and sheep are transported on it. As the cargo is livestock here, the semi-trailers need to be well ventilated. A direct contact with fresh air keeps the livestock fresh and alive.

Apparently, drivers who’re on the control of these vehicles, have to do some routine checks while loading and unloading the animals. Because every causality that injures the animals makes the driver liable.

Do These for A Well-maintained Semi Trailer

I know you’re already trained enough to check your semi-trailer for maintenance. But we'd like you to recite the list with us once again-

Check the-

  • Condition and functionalities of the air compressor.
  • Check the external lamps.
  • Check the tires and tire wears.
  • The control and warning lamps.
  • Accessories like locks, hinges, sealing trips and doorsteps.
  • The reflector and the rear-view mirrors.
  • The washer and wiper and their functionalities.
  • Any leakage of the battery.
  • Cab and chassis lubrication.
  • The hub oil levels in case of wheel bearings that are oil lubricated.
  • Exhaust leakage and steering leakage.
  • Front wheels and bearings. Also, the front shock absorbers.
  • The level and fluid and coolant.
  • The linings, cylinders, forks, and levers in the brake system.

Leave a Reply