What’s the Difference Between a Trailer and a Semi-Trailer?

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What's the Difference Between a Trailer and a Semi-Trailer?

Towing is vital to everything from industry work to personal projects, so it’s important that you take the time to figure out the right weight limits and type of towing your vehicle needs.

What They Have in Common

Both trailers have to carry things and hitch onto vehicles ahead of them.  They have most of the same trailer components and abilities, except where they differ and have weight abilities that vary between the two of them.

Both of these options also focus on hooking onto a commercial truck and generally aren’t used for personal use outside of business.

Full Trailers Have Steerable Wheels

A full trailer, otherwise just called a trailer, has an axle of its own and can handle turns a lot easier.  These are the classic trailers most people think of on trucks and are able to carry immense amounts of weight, so it’s vital that you get to know your vehicles’ capabilities and weight limits.  Full trailers are able to take on more complicated work and are often outfitted with fridges or other tools that make the hauls safer and better for the goods they’re carrying.

Semi-Trailer Has no Front Axles

A semi-trailer relies entirely on the trailer ahead of it.  Not only does it not have steerable wheels, it completely relies on the axel ahead of it to tell it how to act.  If you don’t have a great trailer ahead of it, you might have trouble getting your semi-trailer to act correctly while you’re on the road.  It’s of paramount importance that you pick a semi-trailer that works exactly how you need it to in order to guarantee everyone’s safety on the road.

Get to Know Your Weight Limits

Regardless of how large your vehicle is, all trucks have weight limits.  Your hitch, and the trailer you pick, will have to focus on these weight limits.  A semi-trailer, which is smaller and is supported by the trailer ahead of it, adds weight.  If your truck has a limit on how much weight it can handle, it probably can only handle a regular trailer without the additional weight of a semi-trailer.  On top of that, a truck that can handle more than just a regular trailer may be able to add a semi-trailer on top of it to be able to carry more.

What’s Bobtailing?

Bobtailing is when a truck has no trailer on it at all.  Some states require a truck to have a trailer of some sort, so they’ll attach a shorter one just to pass regulations, but generally, any truck that doesn’t have a trailer is bobtailing.  It’s called that as a joke about cats that don’t have tails or have short ones since the trucks look a little funny without them.

Every Trailer Should Be High-Quality

Trailers carry a lot of weight and have to be capable of handling as much as possible.  Not only does this protect vehicles in the long run and ensure there’s no damage to the truck, but they also protect other drivers on the road.  To keep everyone safe: you have to pick the best trailer possible.

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