Do you include Step Deck Trailers in your trucking business?
In this article I will explain you, and at the same time I will provide you 10 secret tips to know when buying a step deck trailer.
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Step Deck Trailers in the past few years have achieved more common use in the trucking industry in comparison to 10 years ago.
Nowadays we can witness that there are more and more trucking companies looking to buy step deck trailers. Allowing a transportation of loads that the flatbed trailers cannot haul is what makes the step deck trailers so necessary for each trucking company that operates in the hauling industry.
Therefore, the step deck trailers are generally used for hauling over-sized freight that is taller than 10 feet.
Typically the freight that step deck trailers haul comprises:
- Construction equipment;
- Forklifts, and so on…
The step deck trailers are constructed in a way that they can help the people that are operating with it- that are doing the pickups and deliveries – to do that in a way safer manner since the loads that this trailer is transporting are usually over-sized.
I have gone through a variety of strategies and I came up with the conclusion that the following 10 secret tips are the most essential when buying a step deck trailer.
Let’s take a look !
1. Do Inspection Of The Trailers’ Floor
My first point concerns doing inspection of the trailers’ floor.
Therefore if you are looking to buy a step desk trailer and to enlarge your fleet, in that case it is crucial for you to pay enormous attention to few important trailer parts.
It would seem logical to do inspection of the trailers’ floor, but not all buyers pay enough attention to this part. It is precisely that way because most of the time the trailer dealers tend to polish the floor, so that if the buyer takes a glimpse it looks like it is new and without any damages.
The evidence that I would use to support this tip is the fact that in the past 10 years the trucking industry has improved a lot, and straight proportionally to that the truck and trailer manufacturers have changed their production strategies.
Few decades ago trailer manufacturers were producing the platform of the trailer in a very different way. Back than they were mostly producing the trailers with wood, and some combination of synthetic flooring.
Generally back in the 80’s only around 25%- 30% of the step deck trailers that have been manufactured were made with extruded aluminum.
Subsequently, there has been a significant change in the trailer manufacturers’ process; especially they have changed the materials. It seems to me that it is so due to the customers demand.
Nowadays trucking companies that are operating with step deck trailers tend to buy trailers with aluminum flooring. Don’t you think that the fleet owners are playing smart? Buying the step deck trailer with the lightest weight will allow you to haul anything and anywhere.
But on the negative side, choosing an aluminum step deck trailer can be a good choice but only for a limited period of use. Unfortunately aluminum can bend and crack, and not only that -aluminum is more difficult to repair than wood.
Following that the wooden floor step deck trailers have turned out to be more durable, also the wooden trailers are easier to repair if any damage takes place.
Afterwards we can see that the aluminum is a metal which has unchanging physical properties, and therefore the wood can vary dependently by the species.
The purpose of this tip explanation is to point out the difference between the wood trailer flooring and the aluminum trailer flooring.
2.Perform Trailer Tire Check
Everyone understands the reason why when buying a step deck trailer one of the first things that you will have to inspect are the trailer tires.
Hence, the role of the trailer tires is to transport the loads. Therefore in order for the truck driver to operate safely and time-efficiently the trailer should be in an operable condition-especially this goes for the trailer tires.
Thereupon, it is recommendable to bring with you experienced mechanic If you are planning to buy an old step deck trailer from unknown dealer. Bringing a mechanic with you will increase the chances that you will end up with the best trailer of all.
Since the trailer tires are one of the most important contributors of the safety, at the same time these tires are typically more expensive than the truck or auto tires. Trailer tires can experience failure mainly from overloading.
The people that are in the trucking business are well aware that overloading the trailer can result into an excessive heat in the sidewall and tread, which can lead to degradation/blowout.
Also as you might know under-inflation is one more reason that can cause trailer tire failure. Did you know that under-inflation can elevate the trade temperature? Yes it can result in the form of elevation of the trade temperature, but only when the speed is increased.
Yet one more thing that you will have to check when doing a trailer tire inspection is to check the cracks that the tires might have. Sometimes these cracks cannot be noticed at the first glimpse, but if you are doing a detail inspection/ or if your mechanic is doing the inspection.
Later on, while I’m writing about the trailer tire inspection I must not forget to mention the bulges that can appear on the sidewall of the tire. Know that trailer tires are manufactured in a way that they must be changed on every 2 to 3 years- dependently on the miles that the trailer passes on a yearly basis.
Therefore if you are buying used step deck trailer, you will have to be precautious both if the trailer has been driven on a daily basis and if the trailer hasn’t been operated at all for a longer period of time. In the second view you will have to be precautious because if the trailer hasn’t been driven for a period of time it can also experience tire damage.
All in all- trailer tires are important part of the step deck trailers and in that manner you will have to pay additional attention when doing the tire inspection.