Photo: Tom Berg

Photo: Tom Berg

“I get the question all the time,” said Keith Limback, Manac Trailer’s general sales manager for the U.S. “‘What’s the difference in weight and cost for different materials?’”

So in the company’s booth at last week’s Mid-America Trucking Show, he included three spread-tandem, drop-deck trailers he dubbed “good, better and best.” Here’s how they stacked up (literally):

  • On top was a steel trailer, the least costly at about $28,000 but heaviest at 11,700 pounds.
  • At the bottom, carrying the other two, was a “combo,” a combination of a steel underframe and crossmembers with an aluminum deck, that costs $2,500 more but saves 1,000 pounds.
  • In the middle was the all-aluminum model, priced at another $3,000 (or $5,000 more than steel) but saving another 1,000 pounds in tare weight.

In corrosion resistance, anticipated life and probably resale value, the best choice would be the all-aluminum (“all” except for running and landing gear, of course). Next is the combo, and finally the steel (though steel surfaces can be treated in a number of ways to resist rust). Different buyers have different considerations, which is why manufacturers offer the three different types.

At the show, visitors to Manac’s booth got to see them all in one parking place.   

Author

Tom Berg
Tom Berg

Tom Berg

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.

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Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.

View Bio
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