A tractor-trailer is 28 feet to 53 feet long and when it is attached to a tractor or truck cab, the whole length becomes around 70 to 80 feet. These trailers are used for various purposes and depending on the purposes, the length of these trailers varies.
The size of the trailer is mainly defined by its length. The most common length of trailers used for towing heavy loads is 48 to 53 feet. However, there are as low as 24 feet trailers available for other purposes. 24 feet, 32 feet, 34 feet, 36 feet, 40 feet and 45 fee trailers are the other common lengths.
As I mentioned earlier, the length of the trailers depends largely on the purpose it is being used for and depending on these, I would like to make a table consisting of different trailers with sizes.
Type of trailers
24 – 53
48 – 53
24 – 30
Step deck trailer
48 – 53
Removable gooseneck trailer
24 – 29
Side kit trailer
48 – 53
8.2 – 8.4
48 – 53
Stretch single drop deck trailer
48 – 76
What is a tractor trailer
A tractor-trailer is a combination of a tractor and trailer, which is used for heavy load carrying. As the name indicates, it has two parts. The first part is the cab of a truck that is called the pulling part also, where the driver seats and the engine is situated inside.
The second part is known as the towing part as it doesn’t have any engine or can’t move forward without being attached to the front of any truck cab or tractor. There are eight wheels on the backside of the trailer and one hitch, which is known as the fifth wheel. The fifth wheel attaches the trailer to the tractor and helps to move the heavy load that has been kept on the trailer.
Different types of trailers
Knowing about different types of trailers will provide you a clearer idea about the differences in lengths. So let’s get into the types now.
1. Flatbed trailer
It is the most commonly used trailer for various purposes. The flatbed trailer doesn’t come with any kind of cover, which makes it easier for you to put the loads on and bring them down and all these are done by crane. A flatbed trailer is typically 48 to 53 feet long.
However, there are flatbed trailers that measure as low as 24 feet, which is of course in rare cases. This trailer is typically 8 feet 6 inches in width. A flatbed trailer can carry up to 48,000 pounds of load.
2. Enclosed trailer
When a flatbed trailer comes with an enclosing system that makes it look like a container, it is called an enclosed trailer. This type of trailer is used for carrying clothes, foods, or other products that are not sensitive to temperature.
Enclosed trailers are commonly found 48 to 53 feet in length. These are a bit smaller in width than flatbed trailers. Because of the container, the products inside remain safe from rough weather.
3. Lowboy trailer
The lowboy trailer comes with two drop decks, one is just behind the gooseneck and the other one is situated just in front of the wheels. The length of lowboy trailers ranges from 24 to 30 feet. They are used for carrying heavyweight construction materials or machinery. Depending on the number of axles used, this type of trailer can haul up to 80,000 pounds.
4. Step deck trailer
When flatbed trailers come at a low distance from the ground, they are called step deck trailers. Like a flatbed trailer, it measures 48 to 53 feet in length and can carry up to 48,000 pounds of weight. When you can’t haul the loads on a flatbed trailer because of the height, you are suggested to use a step-deck trailer.
5. Refrigerator trailer
Refrigerator trailers are similar to enclosed with just one difference. This type of trailer is used to carry things that have to be kept in cold temperature. They are also known as reefer trailers.
6. Specialty trailer
For carrying specific products or materials, which are also a bit hazardous at the same time, a specialty trailer is used. It can haul up to 200,000 pounds of weight and the length depends on the type of product you are supposed to carry on it. They supply food products, chemicals, clinical materials, etc.
7. Multi-car trailer
A multi-car trailer is one kind of specialty trailer. There are two types available in this category, double Decker and single Decker trailers. This type of trailer can carry up to eight cars and when the number is eight, you need a double Decker. After hauling the cars, the height should not exceed 11.6 feet.
8. Power only trailer
To transform a trailer from one place to another, you need power only trailer. This type of trailer connects the other trailer to its tail and carries it wherever you want.
9. Removable gooseneck trailer
Carry up to 150,000 pounds of heavy load with ease when you have a removable gooseneck trailer. This type of trailer doesn’t exceed a length over 29 feet. They can have up to 20 axles and depend on the number of axles the load-carrying capacity is defined. The width of these trailers is 8 feet 6 inches.
10. Side kit trailer
Side kit trailer is neither a proper enclosed trailer nor a proper flatbed trailer. This type of trailer is designed with two 4 feet side panels to keep the uneven products inside a bit arranged. The length of this trailer ranges from 48 to 53 feet and it can carry up to 45,000 pounds of weight. The width ranges from 8.2 to 8.4 feet.
11. Conestoga trailer
It is another combination of a flatbed trailer and an enclosed trailer. The trailer is mainly a flatbed one but has a protective tarp designed with it. After loading the transportable materials, simply roll over the tarp to make the sides and rood like an enclosed trailer.
This type of trailer comes within a length of 48 to 53 feet and has a hauling capacity of up to 45,000 pounds. The width of these trailer doesn’t go over 8.2 feet.
12. Extendable double drop trailer
When you need a trailer to carry the extra long construction materials, which are also a lot heavier, an extendable double drop trailer can go well. The length of this trailer ranges from 29 feet to 65 feet and it can haul load up to 40,000 pounds.
13. Stretch single drop deck trailer
This type of deck trailer is used for hauling unusually long materials that are impossible to carry on normal deck trailers. The length of these trailers ranges from 48 to 76 inches and the width is 8 feet 6 inches. It can haul load up to 45,000 pounds.
14. Stretch double drop trailer
There are two decks in this type of trailers and they are used to carry oversized materials. They are built to carry up to 45,000 pounds and the length is extendable up to 65 feet.
From reading the above specs, we can say the most common length ranges from 48 to 53 feet. However, the length can be extended or decrease depending on the purpose of the work.