Even if you don’t know what they are, you’ve likely seen one. When moving freight that require protection from various elements, customers can opt to have their goods transported in a curtainside trailer – which is actually an upgraded flatbed truck. In this blog, Cornerstone Logistics will provide you with a comprehensive guide to curtainside trailers, including their features, benefits, and common applications in the transportation industry.
What are Curtainside Trailers?
Curtainside trailers, also known as tautliners or conestoga trailers, are a type of flatbed trailer with a unique feature – a flexible, retractable curtain-like cover on both sides. These curtains are made of heavy-duty fabric material, often reinforced with PVC, that can be easily pulled back or closed to provide access to the trailer’s cargo space.
The curtains are attached to tracks running along the sides of the trailer, allowing for smooth opening and closing. Some curtainside trailers also feature a roof that can be retracted or lifted to accommodate loading and unloading operations.
To secure the cargo, curtainside trailers are equipped with ratchet straps or load bars that can be tightened to prevent shifting during transit. This provides stability and ensures the safety of the load.
Why Do Logistics Companies Pick Curtainside Trailers?
One of the key advantages of curtainside trailers is their versatility. Unlike traditional flatbed trailers that require tarps or covers, curtainside trailers offer quick and easy access to the cargo. The retractable curtains allow for side loading and unloading, making them ideal for transporting goods that require frequent access or are loaded using forklifts.
2. Weather Protection
Curtainside trailers provide protection against various weather conditions, including rain, snow, and wind. The curtains are designed to seal tightly against the sides of the trailer, keeping the cargo dry and secure. This is particularly beneficial for transporting sensitive or perishable goods that require protection from the elements.
3. Efficient Loading and Unloading
With curtainside trailers, loading and unloading operations can be completed more efficiently compared to traditional flatbed trailers. The easy access provided by the curtains eliminates the need for time-consuming tarping and untarping processes. This results in shorter turnaround times and increased productivity.
4. Enhanced Security
Curtainside trailers offer an additional layer of security for the transported cargo. The curtains can be locked securely, preventing unauthorized access and reducing the risk of theft or tampering. This makes curtainside trailers a preferred choice for valuable or high-security loads.
Applications of Curtainside Trailers
Curtainside trailers find applications across various industries and freight types. Some common uses include:
1. General Freight
Curtainside trailers are commonly used for transporting general freight such as consumer goods, building materials, and machinery. The versatility and easy access provided by the curtains make them suitable for a wide range of cargo types and sizes.
2. Retail Distribution
In retail distribution, curtainside trailers are frequently utilized to transport goods to distribution centers or retail stores. The side-loading feature simplifies the unloading process, allowing for efficient inventory management and quick replenishment.
3. Furniture and Home Appliances
Curtainside trailers are well-suited for transporting furniture and home appliances. The side access makes it easier to load and unload bulky items, reducing the risk of damage during handling.
4. Event Logistics
For event logistics, curtainside trailers offer the convenience of easy access when loading and unloading equipment, staging materials, and decorations. This is particularly advantageous in time-sensitive situations where quick setup and teardown are essential.
Curtainside trailers have revolutionized the flatbed trucking industry with their versatility, weather protection, and efficient loading capabilities. Whether you are transporting general freight, retail goods, furniture, or handling event logistics, curtainside trailers provide a practical and secure solution.
By understanding the construction, benefits, and applications of curtainside trailers, you can make informed decisions when choosing the most suitable trailer for your transportation needs. Remember to speak to a Cornerstone Logistics representative to identify what logistics solution works best for you.