What are the pros and cons of curtainside trailers?
How do curtainsiders compare with dry box in terms of price, weight, life span, maintenance and upkeep etc...
Sounds good Rikki...now what are the drawbacks? there must be a few as I don't see them replacing vans or flats to any great extent..
For the most part a curtain side is a flat bed and mostly flat bed freight goes in it. Some Vans stuff tho.
You can have it built for van freignt but it is not cost efficent.
I would consider a curtain side just to keep from tarping.
Well the added weight and maintenance would be a con. I was told curtainsides weight around 1,000 + lbs. 1,000 lbs of added weight especially when it comes to a weight sensitive type of hauling like flatbedding is alot. Also you got the rollers and the track that I assume if they get evem slightly bent won't work. I've always wondered how those handle when it comes to winter with the chances of ice and snow getting into those areas.
Wont be able to haul those oversize loads either and usually those are the best paying stuff as well.
Wont be able to get into some areas due to the added height of a curtainside. Low door entrances or bridges might cause a problem trying to get to a job site or a customer in the city or once at a customer, wont be able to get into the factory to load or unload the stuff cause you can't fit in.
Tarp is probably easy to rip as well. Now Im no flatbed hauler, but the only way I'd want one is if I hauled nothing but lumber or loads requireing 8 foot tarps.
And of course the added price of getting one. Also if you have a flattop car, mileage will suffer with one, but than again because the curtainside will smooth things out, it might increase mpg too. Can always get a car with a condo sleeper as well.
Thats my 2 cents. Again take it with a grain of salt as Im no flatbedder.
I liked them pretty well at Roehl. But driving down the road with curtains open? You'd ruin your curtains!!
Works great for lumber/steel/shingles/doors/cut stock/bricks, or any kind of building supplies. If you are basically careful, and watch out for morons on forklifts the curtains last a long time. One of the problems I had with curtainsides is when I hauled drywall or wide plywood. A lot of drywall was 49.5" wide, and was tough to load side by side because of the upright poles. We ended up with a lot of bent poles. (usually straighten easily) If you have a Conestoga trailer, some of them have a lot of maintence problems because of idiot forklift drivers ramming the sides of the trailer, bending the bottom track. And of course, when you don't secure loads properly and they bounce thru the curtain. If you have a curtainside trailer you can't load overhead crane loads, where if you have a Conestoga, you can load almost anything.\
ANYTHING like these two setups beats tarping IMHO.
Thanks for the responses...
On the spur of the moment I called a trailer salesmen today and he had me just about convinced that I'm stupid for running dry box.. Oh well...I'm looking forward to having my mailbox stuffed with all kinds of FREE brochures over the next few weeks..
The Conestoga looks like the best overall compromise to me. If I were to get a flatbed I'd pull it straight to the nearest place to get a Conestoga put on it.
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