Selecting the Right Trailers for your Fleet

January 2013, - Feature

by Jeff Weber, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Ervin Equipment

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For example, the oil and gas industry is booming in several regions and is requiring a substantial amount of support from the transportation industry. Due to the rapid growth, many transportation professionals are expanding their inventories and services to take advantage of the opportunity. For these specialty ventures, there are some industry-specific pointers to keep in mind.


A substantial amount of welding goes into manufacturing tankers. Welds can be weak points in a tanker's overall integrity, so fleet managers should carefully evaluate the quality variances between tankers from different manufacturers. In addition, tanker interiors are generally lined with a temperature sensitive material that is appropriate for holding the specific material to be hauled. Sometimes the material is applied to prevent corrosion, or to allow commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, petroleum or slurry to flow out of the trailers easier. For those purchasing a used tanker trailer, it's important to investigate which type of coating, if any, has been applied and verify whether it can protect against the materials that will be hauled or stored in the unit.

Other important tanker details to consider with certain jobs are top-mounted walkways and handrails. They are used in some industries where products are loaded from the top and are specific to the application. In these instances, walkways add convenience for operators who want to get a birds-eye view of the job.

Dump Trailers

Dump trailers commonly are used to haul sand and aggregate to fracking sites and for carrying dirt and other unneeded materials away. These trailers feature varying body styles and different dumping systems that cater to separate regions of the country.

A belly dump, or bottom dump, opens from the bottom and makes it possible to dump material in a linear heap. These units are most commonly used in the north central, south central and western states because of space or jobsite requirements such as overhead obstacles.

End dump trailers are used for rapid dumping of any material, from wet, sticky clay to large rocks or asphalt. Users should be aware of the possible downfalls of an end dump trailer, mainly their lack of stability during the dumping process. For this reason, end dump trailers are safest and most useable in regions with flat, even terrain.

Vacuum Trailers

Vacuum trailers also are commonly used in fracking for sucking mud or slurry out of pits. Many of the standard 130-barrel vacuum tanks come equipped with a gauge for determining how much capacity remains. Users should note these gauges are not practical in the northern states, as they will freeze during the winter months.

Jeff Weber has been with Ervin Equipment for 10 years. Drawing from owner Greg Ervin's knowledge, and learning from his own personal experiences in the company, Weber is familiar with all aspects of the trailer industry, including buying, selling, leasing, renting, or owning.

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  1. 1. Bob [ December 10, 2015 @ 01:09PM ]

    Pallet is misspelled throughout the article. Messing up on something so simple is so very sad.

  2. 2. Adam [ January 13, 2016 @ 04:44AM ]

    The float gauge, and the sight tube are perfectly usable in cold weather. I have been using both for years in North Dakota, and have never had one freeze. Actually, every vac trailer had one of those here, and I've not seen any issues, unless a trailer of fresh water was left in sub zero conditions for days.

  3. 3. Dan [ February 28, 2018 @ 06:20PM ]

    Good thing you don't live in Europe Bob or you my friend would be the one on the misspelling side of things


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