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Plated Trailers or Plate Trailers: Which is Best?

When it comes to transporting goods, choosing the right trailer can make all the difference. Plated trailers and plate trailers are two popular options that are commonly used by a variety of industries and businesses.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at plated trailers and plate trailers, exploring their unique features and advantages. We’ll also examine the industries and businesses that commonly use these types of trailers and provide insight into which one might be the best fit for your specific needs. So, whether you’re a food distributor, pharmaceutical manufacturer, or logistics company, read on to discover more about plated trailers and plate trailers.

What is a Plated Trailer?

A plated trailer is a type of trailer used for transporting goods over long distances. It features smooth surfaces on the sides for easy loading and unloading of goods, and thin sides that allow for more cargo to be packed into each load without going over weight limits.

Plated trailers are commonly used in the transportation industry and can be made from a variety of materials such as steel, aluminum, or composite materials. They are often used for hauling dry goods, such as food products, industrial equipment, and consumer goods.

What is a Plate Trailer?

A plate trailer is a type of trailer with a smooth construction that resembles a plate. This design provides more space in the interior while maintaining the same outside width as other models.

Plate trailers are made from durable materials such as plastic or aluminum siding and are a good option for maximizing storage space. Plate trailers are commonly used for hauling dry goods, and their smooth design allows for easy loading and unloading of goods. They come in various sizes and can be customized to fit specific needs.

Which industries or businesses commonly use plated trailers and plate trailers?

Food and Beverage:

Plated trailers are often used in the transportation of perishable goods, such as fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. The smooth surface of the walls makes it easier to clean and sanitize the trailer, reducing the risk of contamination.

Some businesses in this industry that commonly use plated trailers include grocery stores, food distributors, and catering companies.


The pharmaceutical industry requires strict temperature control and cleanliness in the transportation of medications and other medical supplies. Plated trailers are often used in the transportation of pharmaceuticals because of their ability to maintain a controlled environment and their ease of cleaning.

Some businesses in this industry that commonly use plated trailers include pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers.


Logistics companies often transport a wide variety of goods and products, ranging from furniture to electronics to industrial equipment. Plate trailers are a popular choice because of their versatility, with the smooth walls allowing for easy loading and unloading of a range of different items.

Some businesses in this industry that commonly use plate trailers include shipping companies, freight carriers, and courier services.


Sheet and post trailer or plate trailer? Which is better?

Plated-Trailers-or-Plate-Trailers 2
Plated-Trailers-or-Plate-Trailers 2

It is difficult to determine which type of trailer, a sheet and post or a plate trailer, is better. When considering which option to choose, it is important to assess the specific requirements of the jobs you typically perform.

If you are in the market for a new trailer and are unsure which type to purchase, reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of each may be beneficial.


Sheet And Post Trailer


If you’re in the market for a durable and reliable trailer, look no further than a sheet and post design. This style is named for its wooden posts and sheets of wood or metal construction, which offer added strength and durability. With this design, you won’t have to worry about walls caving in or substantial damage from accidents with forklifts.

Additionally, while plate trailers are becoming more popular, the sheet and post design remains the traditional style for trailers. This means you’ll have a better chance of finding a used trailer in this style, possibly even at a discounted price.


One of the major cons of this type of trailer is the fact that the wooden posts can make it difficult to load pallets. If not done carefully, the posts can stick out from the sides and interfere with the neat stacking of pallets.

This also means that forklifts may have a harder time moving them around, leading to delays and increased effort. While sheet and post trailers have their benefits, it’s important to consider if the cons are worth it for your specific transportation needs.


Plate Trailers


For those in the food-grade trucking industry, a plate trailer is a necessity. Not only does the smooth surface of the trailer walls make cleaning a breeze, but it also guarantees that food won’t be contaminated by any exposed wood posts as seen in alternate trailers.

However, the benefits of plate trailers don’t just end there. The extra space gained from the thinner walls of a plate trailer can make all the difference, especially when it comes to cutting costs.


When it comes to plate trailers, it’s important to consider the construction and materials used. While some plate trailers may be more durable than others, they are generally not as stable as post and sheet trailers. This is because plate trailers lack the extra support that other trailers have, making their walls more flimsy.

Additionally, it’s important to inspect the scuff guard of a plate trailer before purchasing. If it’s made from plastic, it may not be as durable as a metal one. However, this is an easy fix if you catch it early on. It’s always better to do your due diligence before making a big investment in a trailer to avoid headaches down the road.


Why do shippers prefer plate trailers for heavy loads?

Plate trailers are preferred by shippers who transport heavy loads or hand-bomb stuff because they have thinner walls than traditional dry van trailers, which maximizes the internal cargo space and allows for more freight to be loaded while staying within legal weight limits. This is particularly useful when transporting heavy or bulky cargo that takes up a lot of space, such as furniture, appliances, or machinery.

Additionally, the logistics posts on a plate trailer are spaced every four feet, which provides more securement points for the cargo, making it less likely to shift during transit. This is important for heavy loads that need to be secured safely to prevent damage to the freight or the trailer itself.

However, plate trailers are not without their drawbacks. The thinner walls of plate trailers make them less structurally robust than traditional dry van trailers, which can cause the walls to bow out if the trailer is not loaded properly or if it is subjected to excessive stress during transit. This can lead to damage to the trailer and the cargo, and may result in increased maintenance and repair costs.


What is a 102-plated trailer?

Plated Trailers
Plated Trailers

It’s a term used in the shipping industry to describe a trailer with a maximum width of 102 inches. This particular type of trailer has thinner walls, allowing for maximum cargo storage capacity. However, it’s important to note that the walls are still an inch or two thick, so you can’t exactly carry loads that are 102 inches wide.

But with an internal width of 101 inches, each wall is only 0.5 inches thick, making it more efficient than other types of trailers like sheet and post. If you’re in the shipping business, a 102-plated trailer may be worth considering for your next shipment.



Whether you decide to go with a plated or plate trailer for your business’s needs, making sure that the product you invest in is high-quality and from a reputable manufacturer is essential. Both types of trailers offer unique advantages and drawbacks, so take time to understand your requirements and decide which option best fits that criteria.

If you’re still struggling to choose, it never hurts to talk to someone more knowledgeable or even speak with a professional in the industry. Either way, we wish you luck as you make this important decision for your business!

Timothy Ballard

I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.

1 thought on “Plated Trailers or Plate Trailers: Which is Best?”

  1. Considering adding another trailer to our fleet, specifically a van trailer for over-the-road (OTR) operations. While researching, I found that sheet and post trailers typically have an inside width of 98.5 inches, while plate trailers offer 101″ of width. Are there any sheet and post trailers available with a 101″ inside width? If not, it seems that most of them are 98.5″. I’m curious to know the advantages of one over the other. If the measurements mentioned above are accurate, I believe opting for a plate trailer, with its wider interior, would be a wise choice. I welcome any thoughts or suggestions on this matter.


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