Selecting Different Trailer Types (The Pros and Cons)


There are various types of trailer options that shippers can consider when shipping freight and several things go into consideration when determining the pros and the cons of each individual trailer type including (but not limited) to freight availability, haul length and wait times.

As the leader in transportation logistics, Millennium Logistics Management is happy to share some of the pros and the cons that can help your company select the appropriate trailer type. We will discuss the following trailer types in this article: Flatbeds, refrigerated and dry vans. Keep in mind that they each have their own disadvantages as well as advantages to both the shipper and the carrier that is hauling the freight.






  • Flatbed driver’s are not required to back into docks to unload their freight.
  • Flatbed drivers actually earn more per mile than most of the other trailer types, which helps with driver turnover.
  • Driver’s special skills are high in demand, which oftentimes leads to higher rates.
  • There are numerous opportunities for pick-up and delivery each week.



  • There are higher chances of danger when climbing on top of oversized loads to attach chains and straps.
  • Special hauling and maneuvering skills are required when transporting oversized loads.
  • Hauling and securing oversized loads cab be terribly complicated during poor weather conditions.
  • Inproperly secured freight is a threat to the driver and other motorists therefore, flatbed drivers have a responsibility to secure loads properly.





  • Refrigerated trailers are designed to haul long, coast to coast distances. The longer the haul, the larger the profit.
  • Refrigerated trailer are great because they can haul both dry and refrigerated goods.
  • Refrigerated trailers allow freight to be protected from theft, spoilage, weather conditions and damage.
  • There will always be a demand for fresh products and refrigerated trailers are necessary to transport them.



  • The motor makes a loud noise from the motor constantly.
  • If the refrigerated trailer breaks down, the “fresh” products will unavoidably be spoiled.
  • Refrigerated truck drivers are required to clean the trailer after every load, fill the second gas tank with fuel and control thermometer and cooling equipment. Lots of added responsibilities!
  • Long wait times on shipping docs are common due to the constant loading and unloading.



Dry Vans



  • In addition to long hauls, various dry van trucking companies provide regional and short hauls as well.
  • There is no need to use chains, straps or other cover with the use of dry van trailers. The cargo is secure and protected from damage, theft and bad weather.
  • Dry van trailers are resourceful and can be used for all kinds of freight including non-perishable foods and building materials.
  • “Drop and Hook” load mode is available with dry van trailers in which they drop an empty trailer and simply hook up to a loaded one. This method saves drivers time and energy (less time loading and unloading).



  • Dry van drivers earn an average of 20% less pay per hour than flatbed drivers which lead to high turnovers.
  • Waiting at the dock for loads and unloads consumes a carrier’s time and money.
  • The hardwood floors in most dry van trailers are susceptible to moisture that can come from freight or from outside, which significantly reduces the trailer’s life span.
  • Drivers have to help handle freight during the unloading process from time to time.
  • Retail stores load and unload based on a schedule and appointments are required and this procedure can take a while.


We hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can contact Millennium Logistics Management anytime if you have any questions or would like to inquire about logistics management services!



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