The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Trailer Decking
Various industries use trailers for transporting goods or hauling cargo over long distances. They’re a staple in many kinds of business, especially in their logistics and transportation sector.
A trailer is a vehicle designed to carry cargo over land. It has wheels at each end so it can be pulled by a motorized vehicle. They usually come equipped with a hitch on the front, which allows you to attach your trailer to any car or truck.
Here are some of the most common types of trailers:
- Flatbed trailers
- Open top
- Closed top
- Drop deck
- Box vans
- Container vans
- Dump trucks
- Recreational vehicles (RVs)
No matter what trailer you own, you should always inspect the flooring before driving anywhere. If you notice any damage or wear and tear, consider looking for replacement options from reputable trailer decking suppliers such as https://www.trailerdecking.com.
Here’s a guide you can refer to in choosing the best trailer decking for your commercial and business needs.
Choosing The Right Flooring Material
When choosing trailer decking material, there are several options to consider, including the following:
1. Shiplap Trailer Flooring
Shiplap is made of thin strips of wood attached with glue. It’s inexpensive and easy to install. However, shiplap has two significant drawbacks.
First, it’s prone to warp over time when the wood expands and contracts with temperature changes and the seams between the boards become uneven. Over time, the unevenness becomes more pronounced, causing cracks to form and the trailer to lose stability.
Second, shiplap is a magnet for dirt and dust. Dust collects on the surface and gaps between the boards, eventually leading to mold growth, creating an unsightly appearance.
Nevertheless, shiplap is still a good choice if you’re after a cheap trailer decking that’s easy to install. It’s perfect for platform trailers, flatbeds, drop decks, or utility trailers.
2. Laminated Wood Flooring
Like shiplap, laminated wood is also inexpensive. It is made with thin layers of wood glued together. Unlike shiplap, however, laminated wood lasts much longer than shiplap. Some manufacturers even claim that it can last for 15 to 25 years.
While laminated wood is a bit more expensive than shiplap, it’s worth the extra cost if you plan to use your trailer for longer. It’s also easier to maintain because it doesn’t expand, contract, crack or warp as easily.
If you’re looking for customizable decking, utilize laminated wood. It’s perfect for your dry body or van trailer because it’s durable and looks more polished.
3. Rough Trailer Flooring
The rough trailer flooring is usually made of Apitong, a type of hardwood flooring. Due to its sturdy nature, it’s often used in commercial vehicles such as dump trucks, drop decks, flatbeds, and military applications. Other wood types may include red oak, cedar, mahogany, and teak.
However, rough trailer flooring requires special tools and skills to install, and it’s also challenging to clean. You’ll want to invest in a professional-grade power washer to keep this flooring clean.
Nonetheless, rough trailer flooring may be your best choice if your business requires a heavy-duty trailer. It can provide a stable base for your vehicle while protecting it from damage.
4. Composite Decking
Composite decking is similar to laminated wood but consists of plastic instead of wood. Some composite decks come pre-finished, and in different colours, so they look great right away.
Composite decking has several advantages over other types of trailer flooring. First, it is incredibly lightweight. That means less strain on your vehicle’s suspension system. Second, it’s easy to clean. All you need to do is hose down the surface and wipe any debris. Third, it’s resistant to water and UV rays. So, this type of decking is ideal if you live in a humid area.
However, composite decking isn’t the best option if your business requires a heavy-duty trailer. It’s not as strong as laminated wood or rough trailer flooring. But composite decking is an excellent choice if you want affordable and aesthetic flooring. Just make sure not to exceed its cargo capacity.
5. Steel Decking
Lastly, steel decking is the most durable material, perfect for transporting heavier goods. It’s also the heaviest among the decking options and the only material that can withstand extreme temperatures. Steel decking is suitable for both open-top and closed-body trailers. It’s also more expensive than other materials. But, if you don’t mind spending extra money, steel decking is worth every penny as it can last for long and secure your cargo.
Other Factors to Consider
Here are some things to think about when choosing the flooring for your trailer:
● Trailer Load Capacity: If you plan to transport large items like furniture, appliances, or machinery, you’ll want to choose a trailer decking with enough load capacity.
● Nature Of The Loads You Carry: Before buying a trailer decking, make sure you know what loads you intend to use it for.
● Environmental Conditions: When choosing a trailer decking, ensure it’s suitable for the environment you plan to use.
● Your Budget: Budget and maintenance cost significantly determine which type of trailer decking you should buy, so make sure you can afford the decking type you choose in the long run.
Choosing the right trailer flooring is essential for ensuring your cargo’s and your vehicle’s safety. If you’re in the market looking for the perfect trailer flooring, use this guide and compare the different types of decking available today.