What is a Curtainside Trailer or Curtain Van?

Curtainside Trailer Curtain VanA Curtain Van or Curtainside Trailer is generally a flatbed with an upper structure installed to the flatbed as a tarping system.

There are two kinds of curtainside trailers, the Conestoga and the Tautliner. Both trailers are of the flatbed variety and both are covered with a tarp system or curtain which can quickly be moved out of the way, thus offering ready access to the trailer for filling freight. The benefits and disadvantages are talked about listed below.

Conestoga curtainside trailers make use of a sliding tarp system. In principle, this system works very just like an accordion. When pulled forward, the tarp exposes the flatbed offering gain access to for side, rear and overhead loading. The main downside of the Conestoga curtainside trailer in comparison to a Tautliner curtainside trailer, is that the curtain structure makes the trailer as much as 107″ broad on the outside and allows an optimum of 102″ clearance for the trailers freight. The Conestoga curtainside trailer requires a strict adherence to the 102″ constraint of its freight. If the item is at or near 102″ wide and is misplaced or takes place to shift slightly in transit, the system can not be opened or closed.

The Tautliner curtainside is a flatbed trailer consisting of a front, a roofing system and rear doors, just like a van, yet having side curtains that slide like a shower curtain. The Tautliner curtainside’s main drawback when weighed against the Conestoga remains in the limiting factor relating to the capability to fill its cargo from overhead. The framework of the moving curtains forbid overhead loading of the cargo. Nevertheless, the Tautliner trailer has a lot more flexibility in carrying items higher than 102 inches because it permits space for mistake in packing its freight.

All About The Curtain Van or Curtainside Trailer

As of 2012, over 11 million business trailers were signed up in the United States. The frustrating bulk are confined vans or flatbeds, two configurations that have ruled the roadways given that the tractor-trailer combination ended up being the freight-hauling standard in the early 1920’s. Aside from enhancements in building, little changed throughout most of that time period to differentiate newer vans and flatbeds from those that delivered freight decades ago. Today, however, that enduring dominance is being challenged by development that originated in Europe: curtain side trailers. In just a couple of years because their introduction on this side of the Atlantic, curtainsides have laid claim to a meaningful market share. Significantly, they’re a common sight plying long-haul routes along interstate highways and regional deliveries on city streets.

Curtain Side Trailers: Benefits and drawbacks Of The Status Quo

A van trailer offers three stiff sides, a roofing system, and a door for shelter and security. The flatbed provides quick, unrestricted gain access to on all sides as well as a strong bed. Both configurations, however, tend to be mutually unique when it comes to freight. A load requiring an enclosed, protected van protected from the components isn’t really suitable for flatbeds. Flatbed freight that requires wide-open gain access to and/or is a non-standard size or shape can’t be accommodated by a conventional van. Still other issues generally restricted complete usage of either a van or flatbed for all loads. Where a standard loading dock is always readily available and the freight is something consistent like standard-sized boxes, a van trailer does a great task.

For All Seasons and Purposes

Not so much, however, when the dock is non-existent or occupied, or the load could be more efficiently accessed by forklifts at ground level, or you have to make several pickups and drops along a route with a single trailer. On the other hand, flatbed freight is available at a range of locations. However, it enforces the considerable downside of tarping loads before hitting the roadway– a time-consuming routine with considerable safety issues for chauffeurs.

Custom-built from the ground up or included as an adjustment to an existing flatbed, a curtainside incorporates heavy-grade retractable curtains on both sides, a hard-shell roofing system, a strong front bulkhead and standard rear doors. The setup enhances a flatbed with all the shelter and security of a confined van, allowing a greater diversity of freight alternatives. By the very same token, an only chauffeur can convert a fully-enclosed curtainside into an available flatbed in only minutes with very little effort.

Curtain Side Trailer

The list of advantages of a curtainside over a dedicated van or flatbed is comprehensive: – With the curtains pulled back, complete access to the bed is readily available from 3 sides, helping with loading and dumping anywhere. Where an open dock isn’t really offered, a curtainside can be speedily unloaded from both sides and the rear by forklifts on the ground. Likewise, it can be conveniently accessed if the load is oversized or oddshaped and requires side access. This flexibility broadens options for shipping and delivery to addresses without traditional filling centers or where the existing facilities cannot accommodate a large or non-standard load without a significant delay.

Curtainside Trailers quickly change into the ideal lorry to accept whatever freight is available on the area. With a fleet of vans or flatbeds both restricted to particular types and sizes of freight deadheading includes significantly to the cost of operating. Bringing a truck and trailer house empty after a shipment, incurring fuel cost and motorist’s hours on the return leg without any revenue generated, is a familiar scenario when the trailer can’t accommodate other freight chances along the path. Back-hauls, where a customer accepts an incoming shipment, then includes an outbound delivery to the very same trailer, offer important included income. However just if and when the available trailer matches the requirements of the available freight.

Multi-pickups and shipments from a single trailer likewise improve efficiency and the bottom line. However, the “first on/last off” freight sequencing of a basic enclosed van cramps the capacity for numerous deliveries. Cherry-picking specific freight deep in a complete trailer is hard or not doable at all. When the chauffeur can rapidly pull back the curtains to access any freight, throughout the trailer, at any point along the route, chances to make money from multi-loads “increase.”

The Curtainside Concept

For flatbed operators, curtainsides overcome a longstanding downside of the task. The difficult process of tarping loads on a flatbed go back to the dawn of freight carrying and hasn’t gotten a lot easier or much safer given that. In addition to being among the most typical causes of on-the-job injuries among truck chauffeurs, tarping is a major time constraint, including a minimum of one non-driving hour to every stop. Curtainside Trailers load like a flatbed. As soon as the load is just secured with straps, the curtains are drawn to confine the bed. Your motorist’s back on the road in minutes doing exactly what she or he does finest no tarping needed. As today’s chauffeurs witness curtainsides in action, tarping significantly seems like a throwback to an oldschool, low-tech period. Since professional chauffeur retention is an issue for a lot of freight supervisors, changing tarping with the flexibility of a curtainside trailer can be a consider attracting and maintaining the very best employees.

Who’s Hauling What With A Curtainside Trailer?

This simply in: Not all freight is delivered in convenient boxes of a uniform, and predictable size.

It’s another reason curtainsides are rapidly getting acceptance in industries where items to be delivered are over-sized, heavy and/ or uncomfortable to load and dump. A couple of standout examples include:.

Products That Can Ship In A Curtainside Trailer

– Structure supply and construction business that move lumber, piping and big product like A/C devices appreciate the multi-side access for quick load/unload and the ability to transport without tarping.

– Live trees, plants and other landscaping are typically delivered to destinations in the field, far from the benefit of a conventional loading dock. Withdrawing the curtains to help with fast side access from ground level is a major perk for that market.

– Auto transport is also accepting the curtainside. Traditional car-haulers are open trailers that offer little protection from outdoor elements nor personal privacy from prying eyes. From brand-new designs bound for a showroom flooring to important classic automobiles on the way to an exhibition or auction, a curtainside provides quick drive-in packing through the basic door, then security, personal privacy and shelter from the components behind the locked, durable curtain.

– Sensitive cargo such as particular chemicals, ammunition and military or aerospace devices gain from expedited loading, however also from the personal privacy managed by locked, durable curtains to evaluate out the curious and/or the criminally inclined.

What lags The Curtain Trailer?

The curtain is exactly what owns the curtainside principle. The standard Roland Curtainside Trailer is constructed of PVC-coated premium polyester that keeps versatility and dimensional stability in all temperature levels. Curtain walls are built by the use of HF (high-frequency) welding, using electro-magnetic energy to completely fuse the plastic material. Horizontal and vertical webbing on the inside of the curtain, and at particular stress locations, like accessory points, contribute additional support and strength. With an acrylic lacquer covering including UV protectants, the curtain product likewise withstands destruction from direct exposure to sunlight and maintains the aesthetics of color and graphics. All these aspects make sure low upkeep requirements and years of hassle-free service.

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