What is a Cargo Trailer?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Cargo trailers are trailers that are utilized to transport goods, livestock and other items from one location to another. A cargo trailer is usually not equipped with a means of locomotion in and of itself. Instead, the trailer is normally attached to some means of conveyance in order to manage the transport from one location to another.

Long-haul trucks are a common type of cargo trailer.
Long-haul trucks are a common type of cargo trailer.

One of the simplest examples of a cargo trailer is the flatbed. Often attached to a truck by means of a ball joint mechanism, a trailer of this type can be used to haul a number of items such as boats, vehicles, or any type of freight that can be secured with ropes, straps, or similar methods. For the most part, a flatbed is ideal when the goods only need to be transported a short distance.

Another common type of cargo trailers are the long haul trailers used to convey goods long distances. The traditional trailer of this type will be no more than fifty-three feet or 16.15 meters long. Supported with multiple tires along the middle and rear of the trailer, the front section usually has equipment to allow the trailer to couple with a transfer truck. Leg mechanisms, referred to as landing gear, are usually present to support the front of the trailer when it is not coupled to a truck.

Smaller versions of the cargo trailer are also used extensively. An semi-enclosed horse trailer can be hooked to a pickup truck and used to convey one or more horses with ease. A utility trailer makes a simple but ideal means of hauling machinery such as lawn mowing equipment from one location to another. Flatbed trailers can be used for moving furniture or hauling larger pieces of farm equipment with ease, since flatbeds do not have the height and width limitations of other kinds of cargo trailers.

Many businesses, such as construction companies and lawn care services, make use of a cargo trailer of some type to handle short term transportation needs. Trucking firms offer several different lengths and types of cargo trailers to manage short haul and long haul transportation of many goods and materials. Homeowners may utilize a simple cargo trailer as a means of transporting a boat to a waterfront.

While professionals usually manufacture the cargo trailer, it is also possible for individuals to construct trailers that work well for lighter tasks. Many homemade cargo trailers are created using a solid steel frame coupled with thick wooden planks for flooring. The bed of the trailer is mounted onto an axle and equipped with four to eight tires, depending on the size of the trailer. From there, the body may be enhanced with the addition of detachable rails around the edges or as a simple flatbed.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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