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Are Aluminum Trailers a Better Choice Than Steel Trailers?

Do you know what keeps a country running, seemingly on invisible, oiled wheels? Many things do, but no one can deny that the transportation system is on that list. Truckers making long hauls using heavy-duty and light weight aluminum trailers are crucial to transport cargo to places they’re most needed.

Whether those goods are for daily use or other purposes, these powerful trailers carry them all over the place. They help ensure 100% safe delivery of those goods to the required destinations where other means of transportation have failed.

A constant debate has been about whether aluminum trailers are better suited for these purposes than steel trailers, and that’s what this guide aims to address. However, before that, let’s quickly examine how the use of trailers in transporting cargo has developed over the years.

An Overview and History of Trailer Use in Cargo Transport

Cargo trailers have been used for decades and have undergone several significant improvements over the years. They’ve practically metamorphosed from one form to another until their present modern form.

When it comes to carrying or transporting large cargo across neighboring borders or within a country, trailers attached to automobiles like trucks remain the go-to option and have proved useful.

Before the existence of automobiles, trailers were very much in use, even though on a much lower scale than it is today. Back then, trailers were attached to horse-drawn wagons to transport goods to neighboring towns or cities.

One thing no one argues against is the established efficiency of trailers in transporting a cargo of any kind.

Aluminum Trailers vs. Steel Trailers: Which is a Better Choice?

Today’s most prominent cargo trailers are aluminum and steel trailers. Both trailer types vary from one another on several accounts and have some benefits and drawbacks that appeal to different users.

However, aluminum trailers always hold an exceptional value for customers needing cargo trailers for sale. So, what makes aluminum trailers the preferred choice over their steel counterparts, you may ask? Before we get into that, let’s look at an overview of the aluminum trailer.

An Overview of Aluminum Trailers

Everything began sometime in the ’70s when the first horse-drawn, all-aluminum trailer came on the market. It came with several advantages over its steel counterpart, especially as a manufacturing material. This tilted the balance in its favor, and many users turned to aluminum trailers as their #1 choice.

Aluminum trailers are made of 100% aluminum. This metallic element is somewhat rare to find compared to steel, an alloy of iron and carbon widely used in construction. This is why some other metal, including wood, is used as part of an aluminum trailer.

For instance, if the floor and frame of a trailer are made of 100% aluminum, it’s generally considered an aluminum trailer. The highly promising durability of aluminum trailers in all weather conditions, including its lightweight, are just two of the most prominent advantages associated with aluminum cargo trailers.

The maintenance and operational costs of aluminum trailers are the icing on the cake, as they’re far lesser than steel trailers. Aluminum trailers also have higher resale value compared to other forms of trailers. We’ll expound on these perks in the following sections.
What Makes Aluminum Trailers a Better Choice Than Steel Trailers?
So, what makes aluminum trailers preferred to steel trailers? Here are the top reasons:

1. They’re lightweight.

Do you know that automobiles, with or without their accessories, have a much higher efficiency if they’re lightweight? It’s often said that a commercial airplane designer will give anything to save at least 100 pounds of weight from the plane.

Less weight generally means less engine thrust and saving lots of fuel in the long run. Truckers hauling cargo with aluminum trailers have reported much better gas mileage, increasing their popularity worldwide.

2. Weather-resistant properties.

Aluminum is known for its natural properties, which make it highly resistant to corrosion and rust. This greatly benefits aluminum trailers as they’re much more durable than their steel counterpart.

3. On-the-road experience.

Most truckers with years of experience transporting cargo from one part of the country or city to another have shared what they noticed about aluminum trailers and steel trailers.

According to these veterans, they enjoyed their on-the-road experience when towing aluminum trailers laden with cargo. Their journeys were nearly always smooth, and their lighter weight automatically translated into higher payload capacity.

These truckers rarely had issues with their aluminum trailers. You don’t need anyone to tell you that these retired truckers would gladly choose aluminum trailers over their steel counterparts if given a chance.

4. Relatively low maintenance cost.

Maintaining metal trailers can be costly. This is because you need to save it from oxidation and subsequent rusting. As a result, you may have to apply galvanic and paint coats regularly. This constant upkeep eventually adds to the overall maintenance cost of the trailer.

However, you’ll never have to deal with this if you own an aluminum trailer since oxidation has zero effects on aluminum. This means you won’t have to spend a small fortune and lots of time on galvanic and paint coats.

In other words, an aluminum trailer’s maintenance cost is far less than any other type of trailer. Even if you purchased a used aluminum trailer, you wouldn’t need to deal with those maintenance hassles associated with other trailers.

5. Resale value.

Higher weight, rust, and corrosion are common issues for those trying to sell off their used steel trailers. These widespread issues can also be a safety hazard and, therefore, must never be taken lightly.

However, you’re less likely to experience these issues with an aluminum trailer. Aluminum trailers will always run like new for many years as long as you provide routine maintenance.
Moreover, you can restore the visual appearance of an aluminum trailer via an acid bath. This renders or restores the aluminum trailer’s pristine and lustrous looks within minutes.

So, is an aluminum trailer a much better choice than a steel trailer? You bet it is, judging from the strength, inherent properties, and excellent returns on long-term investment. These are the primary driving forces behind the massive sales of aluminum trailers.