Specialized freight carriers rely on unique trucking equipment to ensure that your cargo can make it safely and efficiently to its destination.

Specialized freight is a segment of the trucking industry dedicated to transporting loads that cannot be accommodated by the average dry van trailer. Carriers that provide specialized freight services must use a variety of trailers that are uniquely designed for shipping freight of uncommon weights, shapes, or properties. These types of cargo may also require escorts and specialized trucks for delivery. The following information explores five of the most common types of trailers used to carry specialized freight.

Heavy Haul Trailers

Heavy haul carriers, such as RCX Solutions in Arkansas, can transport cargo that would exceed the weight and size limits of regular trucking equipment. The exact guidelines that designate a heavy haul load vary by state, but loads with a gross weight of more than 80,000 pounds or those more than 8 feet and 6 inches wide are considered to be heavy haul. Cargo that falls into this class of specialized freight often includes construction machinery, mining equipment, industrial farming tools, and windmill components.

The standard flatbed trailer is the workhorse of heavy haul freight, but there are other types of trailers that are used with for this shipping, depending on the load in question:

  • Lowboy Trailers: Arguably the second most popular heavy haul trailer, lowboy trailers feature two drops in deck height: one after the gooseneck and another before the wheels. Lowboy trailers are used to transport heavy haul loads that weigh up to 40,000 pounds, but additional axles can increase a trailer’s hauling capacity t0 80,000 pounds.
  • Stretch Flatbed Trailers: Used for carrying extra-long loads, this is the trailer of choice for transporting large construction materials that must be shipped in one piece. Stretch flatbed trailers are used to transport heavy haul loads that weigh up to 43,000 pounds.
  • Side Kit Trailers: This specialized freight trailer includes a series of removable stakes and covers made of plywood or fiberglass that attach to the bed. This enclosure is often used in conjunction with tarps to create a protected shipping experience. Side kit trailers are designed to carry loads that weigh between 42,000 and 45,000 pounds.

Car Carriers

As the name implies, this type of specialized freight uses trailers manufactured to fit automobiles. Open-air trailers are most common on the road, while closed carriers are used by car collectors and brokers who are transporting expensive vehicles. The position and weight of each vehicle on the trailer must be carefully calculated to ensure the safety of the cargo and abide by weight regulations. The driver is typically responsible for inspecting the vehicles for damage throughout the trip.

Logging Trailers

The logging industry relies on this type of specialized freight because standard trucking equipment cannot accommodate the logs that must be shipped or the conditions in which they are loaded. Logging trailers resemble flatbed trailers, but they have sturdy vertical arms designed to hold what would otherwise be an unstable load. These trailers are built to withstand the rugged roads leading to and from logging operations, and their tires are often capable of off-road driving. As with other forms of specialized freight, logging cargo is subject to state regulations that govern a load’s width, height, and length.

Tanker Trailers

Tanker trailers are required to carry large volumes of liquids, gasses, or dry goods, such as grain or sand, that would be unwieldy in any other type of trailer. The shifting nature of this specialized freight requires a skilled driver who can anticipate and compensate for sloshing when the truck makes a turn. Unloading is typically the driver’s responsibility, and most trailers are equipped with pumps to make this process faster. After each tanker trailer load has been delivered, the inside must be thoroughly cleaned.

Reefer Trailers

While refrigerated, or “reefer,” trailers typically resemble traditional dry van trailers, the addition of a cooling unit enables this trailer to carry specialized freight that is perishable over long distances. There are typically two classes of refrigerated loads—chilled and frozen—and each requires the driver to be aware of the necessary temperature range to ensure that a load is not compromised while in transit.

If your company is looking for a heavy haul carrier with experience in specialized freight, contact RCX Solutions today at 866-336-9697 for a consultation or free shipping rate quote. Our experienced team is based in Arkansas and can ensure your cargo reaches its destination on time and on budget.

Free Trucking Logistics Guide