Ultimate Guide To 16 Truckload Trailer Types

Flatbed Lowboy Trailer
'Lowboy' specialized trailer 9 Axle RGN or Removable Gooseneck Trailer
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A Definitive Guide to Semi-Tractor-Trailers or Truck Trailer Types

Understanding Tractor Trailer Dimensions

Semi tractor trailers come in so many different sizes and matching up such can make a massive difference in your worldwide shipping needs.

Whether you have freight shipping China to Canada know what service, truck trailer length and equipment for collection is crucial. Especially when you are then shipping from Canada to the USA.

When determining the right logistics services for shipping over dimensional freight be it machinery transport for construction logistics, or dry van freight shipping.  When understanding the types of flatbed trucks   that not all equipment is to serve the same.

Depending on your trucking services and shipping logistics needs, length and trailer dimensions very considerably. It’s best to find the exact size and dimensions of your cargo first then determine the right trailer. Be it a reefer truck or Dry Van or a Flatbed supersized heavy haul, or machinery transport we can help with your shipping logistics to understand all the variations of trailers with pictures.

Once you have determined all the semi truck dimensions, length of semi truck without trailer, height, weight, length, and width tractor trailer, you will need to determine how it will be loaded upon the trailer and if flatbed tarping systems are required. 


Flatbed Trailer Types 

Here you will see the specifications listed for cargo and truck trailer types including Flatbed trailer or Dry Vans, and Specialized Trucking flat decks such as Step Deck Trailers, RGN – (Removable Gooseneck Trailer), ltl Tri-Temp, Lowboy Trailers, Dry Vans, PO (Power Only), Tri-axle trailer Flatbed, Super B Truck and Trailer, Flatbed Stretch Trailers, Extendable Double Drop Trailers, Refrigerated, Conestogas, Heavy Haul, Sidekits, Stretch RGN or Removable Goosenecks, Well Deck Lowboy Trailers, types of dry van trailers, standard truck dimensions, legal flatbed dimensions, maximum freight weight and over dimensional trailers. 

When understanding semi-tractor-trailer types, and trailer length, height of a truck trailer, what trailer for tractor and trailer dimensions. 

This guide will assist you to determine the type of flatbed trailer, truck trailer height and the FTL weight limit and capacity to transport your load. 

Types of Flatbed Trailers & Flatbed Trailer length

truckload trailer types
Standard Trailer Dimensions Types of Flatbed Carriers & Flatbed Trailer Sizes

The most common types of specialized trucking trailers and flatbed trailers include:


  • Removable Gooseneck Trailers (RGN)


  • Stretch Double Drop Trailers


  • Step Deck Trailers


  • Conestoga Trailers


  • Sidekit Trailers


  • Lowboy Trailers

It is important to take note the high bed trailer specification, flatbed trailer sizes, the flatbed weight limit or total weight of the freight as well as the dimensions of a particular type for proper and accurate flat bed & specialized trucking rates.

What is the height of a flatbed trailer?

How tall is a flatbed trailer?

Types of Trucks and Trailers

When discussing flatbed semi trailer deck height, from ground each flatbed truck and its freight is different from the other types so the information that you will be seeing here should be used and treated as your general guideline of trailer weight and flatbed capacity.

Typically, most of the platform trailers mentioned here are capable of handling freight that may even exceed the dimensions and weights for a required permit in a particular province and even premium charges that are needed to be obtained prior to your specific type of shipment.


It is important to note when understanding trailer sizes that trailers for hauling very in size, dimension and weight capacity of each is based on the corresponding trucking specifications, or axle configuration of a particular semi-tractor and trailer used.

For each trailer types, height and dimensions, corresponding weight and dimension capacity are also listed and the figures are listed approximately.

Thus, the numbers or figures that you will see on the list can be used as an estimated guideline for freight and load planning and understanding semi truck trailer height.

More importantly, these figures should not be used as your basis in making loading calculations that require accuracy and precision.

Legal Axle Weights in BC

Maximum Legal Weight Allowed

The maximum legal axle weight allowed on a highway:

-Single Axle 9 100 kg, any one axle of a Tridem or Tandem Axle Group 9 100 kg.

The difference axle weight between adjacent axles 1 000 kg maximum; the gross weight on the steering axle of an all-wheel-drive three axle truck is 7 500 kg maximum.

The gross weight of any two adjacent axles in a Tridem Axle Group 17 000 kg maximum (except in case of a tridem pole trailer), the sum of the axle loads on the drive axles and jeep axle in a tandem drive truck tractor in combination with a single axle jeep and lowbed semi-trailer 24 000 kg.

The maximum licensed gross vehicle weight of a vehicle or combination of vehicles must not exceed 63 500 kg.

A person may, without a permit, operate the semi-trailer of a 2-vehicle combination with a spread tandem axle, if the inter-axle spacing between the 2 non-steering axles exceeds 185 cm but does not exceed 307 cm, provided that the sum of the axle weight for both axles does not exceed 9 100 kg.

A person must not, without an overload permit, drive or operate on a highway when:

  1. a vehicle or combination of vehicles having a gross weight on the drive axle that is less than 20% of the gross vehicle weight, or
  2. a combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 38 000 kg unless the towing vehicle has a tandem or tridem drive axle.

    How much weight can a flatbed carry?

    What is the flatbed max weight?

    48′ flatbed trailer weight capacity 

Axle Group



9,100 kg


9,100 kg


17,000 kg

Gross Vehicle Weight

38,000 kg

Flat bed trailers Flatbeds are extremely popular and are widely used because they exude a great sense of versatility.

Generally, when determining a trailer for semi truck, with all the types, a flatbed is used to load the product on its tip, sides, and rear.

With these capabilities, flatbeds have truly become the primary and leading assets of the trucking industry.

This kind of trailer has the capability to carry a maximum legal freight dimension and flat deck trailer weight which are as follows:

    • Flatbed Trailers Maximum freight weight of 48,000 lbs
    • Tri-axle Trailers Maximum Freight Weight of 65,000 lbs

While adding a number of axles can increase the limit. To determine the 48′ flatbed trailer weight capacity, keep in mind that the maximum cargo a carrier can unload from each axle is 20,000 lbs.

Flatbed Trailers Maximum freight dimensions:

  • Maximum Flatbed Trailer Length- 48 ft – 53 ft trailer height 
  • Maximum Flatbed Trailer Width- 8.5 ft
  • Maximum Legal Freight Height- 8.5 f


Sidekits trailersDry Van trailers are generally enclosed and are commonly used to carry and protect the freights from the harmful elements of the weather or the roads.

Freights can be loaded on the rear and are commonly loaded using a loading dock.

It is similar to a curtain van and it can be loaded from its side too.

How much does a dry van trailer weigh?

Legal weight and dimensions are:

  • Dry Van Maximum freight weight is 42,000 lbs to 45,000 lbs.

  • Dry Van Tri-Axle Freight weight is 63,000 lbs

Dry Van Maximum freight dimensions:

Maximum Dry Vans Length- 48 ft – 53 ft

  • Maximum Dry Vans Width- 8.2 ft
  • Maximum Dry Vans Height- 8 ft


Refrigerated trailer is a temperature-controlled type of trailer.

Known as a Reefer is generally used for transporting chilled or frozen products.

The temperature inside this trailer can be controlled whatever the outside weather is.

Paige Logistics has the refrigerated trailer you need, regardless of the size of your load or the type of cargo you need shipped.

Dedicated Transport Services for FCL, LCL, LTL FTL Freight Shipping.


Legal weight and dimensions are:


  • Refrigerated Trailers Max freight weight is 42,000 to 45,000 lbs
  • Tri-Axle Trailers Max freight weight is 63,000 lbs


Refrigerated Trailers Maximum freight dimension:


  • Maximum Refrigerated Trailers Length- 48 ft – 53 ft
  • Maximum Refrigerated Trailers Width- 8.2 ft
  • Maximum Refrigerated Trailers Height- 8 ft


Lowboy Trailer

A Lowboy Trailer is a non-powered trailer which is commonly used to haul freight.

These kinds of trailers are generally designed to carry and transport taller goods and items.

This means that the items to be carried to a Lowboy Trailer are taller than the legal height of items that are commonly carried by a tractor trailer flat bed.

Our expert advisers will indicate if you need permits for your particular load or type of freight.

Basically, a lowboy that has two axles can haul around 40,000 pounds. The maximum weight and dimensions are as follows:

  • Lowboys Maximum weight is 40,000 pounds for a 2-axle Lowboy Trailer; an additional weight of up to 95,000 pounds depending on the number of axles used (weight of the trailer and weight of the load added together).


Lowboys Maximum Dimensions:

  • Maximum Lowboy Well Length- 24 ft – 29.6 ft
  • Maximum Lowboy Well Height- 18 in – 24 in
  • Maximum Legal Width- 8.5 ft
  • Maximum Legal Freight Height- 11.5 ft – 12 ft
  • Maximum Legal Overall Load Height- 14 ft

Step Deck Trailer – Single Drop Trailer

Stepdeck Trailers are otherwise known as drop deck types and they are in fact a version of the flatbed trailer design that mainly consists of a bottom and top deck.

These trailers are specifically designed to carry and haul freights that cannot be carried or transported on a standard type of flatbed, which is usually due to height restrictions. A good example is heavy haul and machinery transport 

The maximum legal dimensions and weight for a Stepdeck trailer – Stepdeck Trailers are as follows:

    • Stepdecks Maximum freight weight is 48,000 lbs

Tri-Axle Maximum freight is 65,000 lbs

Stepdecks Maximum freight dimensions:

  • Maximum Stepdeck Trailer Length- 48 ft – 53 ft
  • Maximum Stepdeck Trailer Width- 8.5 ft
  • Maximum Legal Freight Height- 10 ft

Extendable Flatbed Stretch Trailers

stretch-trailerThese are extendable flatbeds and are otherwise known as flatbed stretch types.

They are mainly used for carrying loads or freights that are excessively long and cannot be carried by a standard type of trailer. 

It is also a type of trailer that provides maximum support, avoiding the possibility of overhanging freight.

The maximum legal dimensions and weight for a Flatbed Stretch Trailer are as follows:

48 ft trailer dimensions are included with extendable flatbeds with maximum freight weight of 43,000 lbs

Tri axle trailer weight limit Canada


  • The maximum weight for a tridem axle on a municipal road is 17,000 kg and the maximum GVW is 53,500 kg.
  • Tri-Axle trailer maximum freight weight is 65,000 lbs


Extendable Flatbeds Maximum freight dimensions:

  • Maximum Extendable Flatbed Trailer Length- 48 ft – 80 ft
  • Maximum Extendable Flatbed Trailer Width- 8.5 ft
  • Maximum Extendable Flatbed Legal Freight Height- 8.5 ft


Stretch Single Drop Deck Trailer

Stretch Single Dropdeck Trailers are specifically designed to carry and haul freights that are very long for a standard or traditional step deck due to length restrictions.

It also provides support thus, preventing overhang.

Legal weight and dimensions are as follows:

    • Stretch Single Drops Max freight weight is 45,000 lbs.


Stretch Single Drops Maximum freight dimensions:

  • Max Stretch Single Drop Trailer Length- Main Deck 35 ft – 63 ft
  • Max Stretch Single Drop Trailer Width- 8.5 ft
  • Max Stretch Single Drop Legal Freight Height- 10 ft

Stretch Double Drop Deck Trailer

double drop trailer

A Stretch Double-Drop Trailer is generally used for carrying oversized shipments.

Its lower deck allows you to load products that can be as tall as 10 feet.

It also comes with a so-called “well” a longer piece at the trailer’s back deck and middle portion.

The well usually measures from 25 feet to 29 feet. Legal weight and dimensions are as follows:

  • Stretch Double Drops Max freight weight is 58,000 pounds.


Stretch Double Drops Maximum freight dimensions:

  • Max Stretch Double Drop Trailer Length- Main Deck 29 ft – 65 ft
  • Max Stretch Double Drop Trailer Width- 8.5 ft
  • Max Stretch Double Drop Legal Freight Height- 11.6 ft


Extendable Double Drop Trailers

The Extendable Double Drop Trailer is commonly used to carry and haul freight that come with excessive length and can never be carried by a standard double drop trailer.

Depending on the weight, this trailer can either have 2 or 3 axles.

Legal weight and dimensions are:

  • Extendable Double Drops Max freight weight is 44,000 lbs
  • Tri-Axle Double Drops Max weight is 58,000 lbs

Extendable Double Drops Maximum freight dimensions:

  • Max Extendable Double Drop Trailer Length- 29 ft – 50 ft
  • Max Extendable Double Drop Trailer Width- 8.5 ft
  • Max Extendable Double Drop Legal Freight Height- 11.6 ft

RGN or Removable Gooseneck Trailers

Removable Gooseneck RGN Trailer is excellent for carrying tall and long freight by heavy haul trucking companies.

It comes with a detachable front, allowing the trailer to be dropped on the ground in order to create a ramp.
Gooseneck trailers rgn extendable is capable of hauling and carrying freights weighing up to 150,000 pounds.

It can go from 3 axles up to 20 plus axles for heavier shipments.

RGN Trailers removable gooseneck are more specialized so they render a more expensive usage.

Legal weight and dimensions of a Removable Gooseneck Trailers RGN are as follows:

  • RGN’s Minimum freight weight dependent on axle configuration is 44,000 to 150,000 lbs.

9 Axle Trailer Dimension 


  • Combined length: 103′
  • Lower deck length: 25′
  • Trailer width: 8’6″
  • Deck height: 18″ to 24″
  • Empty weight: 65 000 Lbs

Commodity Dimensions

  • Length: 25′
  • Width: 8’6
  • Height: 11’8″ to 12′
  • Weight: 105 000 lbs maximum 

Removable Gooseneck – RGN Maximum freight dimensions:

  • Maximum Removable Gooseneck – RGN Well Length- Main Deck 29 ft
  • Maximum Removable Gooseneck – RGN Well Width- 8.5 ft
  • Maximum Removable Gooseneck – RGN Legal Freight Height- 11.6 ft 


Stretch RGN or Removable Gooseneck Trailers

The Stretch RGN or Removable Gooseneck Trailer is designed to carry and haul freight that are too long to be carried by a standard type of RGN.

Depending on the weight of the freight, axles may range from 3 axles or higher.

This means that the heavier the load is the more axles are to be used. Legal weight and dimensions are:


  • Stretch RGN or Removable Goosenecks Maximum freight weight is 45,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds or more.


Stretch RGN Maximum freight dimensions:


  • Max Stretch RGN Length in Well- Main Deck 29 ft to 65 ft


  • Max Stretch RGN Trailer Width- 8.5 ft


  • Max Stretch RGN Legal Freight Height- 11.6 ft


 Conestoga Trailer

roll-tite  Conestoga trailers come with a rolling tarp system that is used to cover and uncover the trailer and gives protection to the freight.

When shipping with a conestoga trailer, they can come as regular flats or step decks.

  • Conestoga Trailers Max freight weight is 42,000 lbs to 65,000 lbs.
  • Various configurations such as step decks and tri-axles


Conestoga Trailers Maximum freight dimensions:


  • Maximum Dry Vans Length- 48 ft – 53 ft
  • Maximum Dry Vans Width- 8.2 ft
  • Maximum Dry Vans Height- 8 ft

 Side Kit Trailers


The Sidekit trailer is equipped with a panel made from either plywood or fiberglass and commonly used for carrying goods that can never be packaged or crated.


    • Sidekit Trailers Max freight weight is 42,000 lbs to 58,000 lbs.


Sidekit Trailers Maximum freight dimensions:

  • Maximum Sidekit Trailers Length- 48 ft – 53 ft
  • Maximum Sidekit Trailers Width- 8.2 ft
  • Maximum Sidekit Trailers Height- 8.6 ft


Super B Trailers

Super B Trailer, super b truck

The Super B trailer is equipped 2 Trailers. 32′ Lead and a 28′ Pup. 

Super B trucks are fantastic for shipping lumber and heavy volume commodities. With 5-6 axles, they can carry up to 95,000 lbs.

  • Super B Trailers Max freight weight is 95,000 lbs
  • Super B Trailers Maximum freight dimensions:
  • Maximum Super B Trailer’s Length- 32 ft
  • Maximum Super B Trailer’s Pup – 28 ft
  • Maximum Super B Trailer’s Height- 8.6 ft


Power Only Trailer

tandem axle fuel truck or fuel trailerThe power only trailer is a special type that is generally used in towing various types of trailers, and it usually comes with a fifth wheel hitch, pintle hitch, and ball and hitch.

Only four axles are allowed when the freight is Maximum Power Only freight weight and dimensions depend on the type of trailer that is being towed / hauled (provincial requirements should be strictly followed).

Specialized Trailer

Specialized trailers are specifically made for certain types of freights and are commonly used with perimeter, double gooseneck, and dolly trailers.

  • Specialized Trucking Trailers max freight weight is 200,000 pounds or more.
  • Maximum Specialized Trucking Trailers dimensions (depends on the regulations imposed by the province)

We at Paige Logistics company in Canada offer a wide range of equipment options in order to meet your needs in truckload trailer types requirements, and specifications of our customers. 

Aside from our strategic partnerships timely door to door service, we also cover various aspects of a project such as permitting, routing, clearances, inspections, and tarps.

How much mass can a vehicle transport?

Without a specific permit, the combined weight of the tractor and trailer cannot exceed 80,000 pounds.

Typically, a loaded trailer might weigh up to 45,000 pounds, leaving 35,000 pounds for the weight of the tractor.

Long-haul stretch tractor-trailers have been recorded to weigh in excess of 35,000 pounds; consequently, the trailers they can tow must weigh significantly less, say 40,000 pounds (or 43,500 lbs. maximum.)

According to DOT requirements, weights must be distributed uniformly over all axels of a trailer, so that no axel is “overweight.”

Weights must be accurately determined, and FTL cargoes with gross weight considerations must be reserved in advance.

What are a 53-foot trailer dimensions and weight?

The answer depends on the items being shipped. We know that the maximum weight that can be loaded into a dry van (53-foot trailer weight limit) is between 43,000 and 45,000 pounds, and that the maximum weight that can be loaded into a “Reefer” is 43,500 pounds.

What is the optimal shipping pallet size for loading?

If the product being transported is lighter, the skid height can be increased.

The pallet size you choose should be sufficient not just for the interior height of the vehicle, but also for the door clearance.

This is due to the fact that the forklift must elevate the skid at least an inch off the ground and into the truck.

How many pallets can fit in a 53 foot trailer?

On LTL trailers, such as 28′ puppies, the inside height can range from 107″ to 110″, while the door height remains constant at 104″. Particularly with all moving services, It is prudent to be cautious of the height at which boxes are stacked on skids.

What is 53′ flatbed trailer weight capacity? 

Some 53 foot trailer’s have interior heights that range from 110″ to 114″ and dip in a few places. 105″ is the height of the door on these trailers. 

Asking the Broker, 3PL, drayage shippers in USA or flatbed carrier for the shipping terms precise height measurements of the truck in question and determining if this could provide a problem when loading your merchandise is recommended.

When focusing on LCL shipping & LTL shipping services, the following questions come to mind.

What does it mean to “turn the skid”? “Turning the skid” is a loading technique that maximizes space utilization and allows for a higher number of skids to be loaded into a truck. To “turn the skid,” use a forklift to move the pallet from the right side of the trailer to the left side of the trailer.

Place the skid next to it lengthwise (parallel to the skid stringers) on the right, leaving it no deeper than 42 inches from the back of the vehicle. In the following row, place the skids from left to right, with the first skid oriented lengthwise and the second skid oriented widthwise. Thus, the area is utilized more efficiently. 

To employ this method, the skids must be manufactured as “4-way skids” or “4-way pallets” so that forklift transport is possible from all directions. The standard 40″ x 48″ dimensions of a hardwood pallet permit loading of two pallets side by side in the majority of trailers. 

Some international containers and refrigerated trailers may be too broad for ordinary skids, necessitating specialized skids.Turning skids also provides greater protection against shifting during shipping than straight loading when shipping from Canada to California.

What is the definition of floor loading?

If the freight forwarder, shipper and/or receiver are cooperative, floor loading or hand packing a truck can result in higher cost savings. Obviously, only lightweight cargo may be transported in this manner. Still, there is a trade-off to consider: while packing more saves money, loading and unloading the freight by hand may take longer.

How much weight can a flatbed carry? 


What is the flatbed max weight?

The flatbed weight limit top out at 48,000 pounds (24 tons).

What is the drop deck trailer height?

10 feet or 120″

How much weight can a 53′ dry van hold?

The weight falls between 42,000 and 45,000 pounds.

Alexander Crane
Alexander Crane

Author, Founder & CEO at Paige Logistics Ltd. → Experienced Operations Manager with a demonstrated working history in the Transportation, Trucking and the Railroad Industry.

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