What Is Dry Van Trucking?

Are you planning to get into the truck business? Well, trucking is not a matter of joke. There are loads of things that you would have to consider before you can become an expert in the trade. Also, there are numerous terms like deadheading, bobtailing, and the topic of this writing dry van trucking.

So, what is dry van trucking? If you want to know more about it, then we would suggest that you complete our article. There are various assistive and fascinating pieces of information that we have imbued in this composition.

And our sole purpose for doing that is to provide you with everything you will need regarding the matter.

Now, shall we get going?

What Is Dry Van Trucking?

If you are new, then this term might sound like an alien name to you. However, we shall be teaching you what this term means. So, let us cut the chase and get to the point. Dry van trucking is a format of trucking, or simply put, it is a special way in which you will be pulling the cargo.

You see, when you will be Dry van trucking, you shall be carrying an enclosed cargo. These trailers offer the most appropriate and safe environments for the cargo. The casing prevents them from coming in contact with unwanted elements from the outside world.

However, these are not ideal for carrying loads that need to be kept in a temperature-controlled environment. Even though they allow not harm from the outside world to affect the material inside, these are not refrigerator units, or more accurately termed as reefer units.

Furthermore, the amount of weight that these types of trailers can carry is quite limited. You see, the enclosed construction of these trailers prevents oversized and very heavy-duty cargos from being loaded. Thus, when it comes to carrying a massive shipment, then dry van trucking is not a very wise decision.

Nevertheless, using these trailers provides you with a perk of both worlds. Due to the enclosed construction, these vans can assure safety for the goods inside. Also, the chances of theft or any unwanted mishap are eradicated if you are using these modes of shipment transport.

Moreover, you can use these genres of trucking to transport cargo from one spot to another in total secrecy. The enclosed container prevents anyone from seeing what is within the container.

What Are the Types of Dry Van?

Well, dry vans might seem like a very straightforward model. But surprisingly, there are quite a few varieties. So, if you want to find out whether you are cut out for the job, then knowing the types of dry vans is quite essential.

Anyways, the ergonomics and design of dry vans are always the same; however, what changes are the dimensions. And here we shall be providing you with in-depth information regarding the topic. So, without further ado, let us get into the topic right away.

1. 53-Feet Trailers

When it comes to dry van trucking, these are probably the ones that you get to see the most. It has a dimension of 53-feet x 8.6-feet x 8.6 feet.

To properly give you an adequate representation of the magnitude of these behemoths, we would have to compare it with a house. For instance, let us consider the standard dimensions. The 53-trailer is almost similar to a typical home. Yes, it is that massive.

53-Feet Trailers

Hence, if you are a contractor, then you need to look for a trucker that has a 53-foot trailer. By the way, this is not only big, but it offers the highest weight capacity (45,000 pounds) out of all the options in the business.

Therefore, if you are looking for something that offers the optimum carriage capacity, then this is an excellent option. Lastly, these varieties of trailers come with 26 pallet positions. Therefore, granting you the most optimum performance.

2. The Pup Trailer

Now, this is a smaller brother to the 53-feet trailer. The pup trailer goes by another name called the 28-feet trailer. Briefly suggested, when it comes to design, it is similar to the previous option. However, it lacks in the vastness and size department.

Nonetheless, because it is smaller, it would be wrong to assume that it is not a favorable alternative. Conventionally, these are used for faster and lesser heavy-duty transport jobs.

These can offer approximately 22,500 pounds of cargo capacity, which means that you load the trailer to a max of 22,500 pounds or 10206 kilograms. Even though it is small, the trailer offers a 26-pallet position throughout the floor area.

Such a massive capacity is the perfect example that states small do not mean less able or powerful.

So, if you are looking for options to move LTL (Less Than Load) shipments, then this is the perfect option for you. Lastly, the dimensions of these are 28-feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 9 feet in height. As you can see, it is quite capacious on the inside!

3. 24-feet Trailers

Now, of all the options that are available to you, these are considered to be the smallest. The 24-feet ones are referred to as box trucks and are conventionally ideal for carrying things from one city to the other city.

In short, it is ideal for inter-city transportations.

When it comes to dimensions, it has a measurement of 24-feet in length and 6-feet both in width and height. Now, when compared, it is not very much smaller than the pup trailer. And you can use these for LTL types of shipments as well. But there is one perk of having the straight tucks.

24-feet Trailers

You see, they come with a liftgate. From the name, it should be pretty evident that these are gates that open automatically. Such a feature grants you effortless access and allows you to unload the goods without much effort.

Well, the previous options might not come with a liftgate. However, there are few that do contain liftgates. Nonetheless, we can assure you that the box truck will come with one.

Weighing the Pros & Cons of Dry Van Trucking

Are you wondering whether dry van trucking is a good thing or a bad one? Well, this section might share some light on the matter. It is a very complex topic, and deciding whether Dry van-ing is going to be beneficial for you or not is going to depend on the situation. Anyways, let us try and make things simpler for you.


  • Versatile

Dry Van Trucking is quite flexible. You see, these types of vans are ideal for transporting consumer goods from one place to another. Hence, they are used for all varieties of transports, starting from clothing, furniture, machine parts, cars, etc.

  • Safe

When it comes to protection, these are the best options in the business. Dry vans come in an enclosed container. Therefore, they can assure maximum shipment protection. Also, they will prevent the products from any unwanted mishaps like robbery, break-in, etc.

  • Cost-Efficient

Now, for the prices, these types of transports are the wisest choices. You see, these trucks are ideal for inter-city carriage. Hence, the requirement of any additional operations or extra service charges is nullified. So, you do not have to pay a fortune for your goods to reach their destination.


  • Can’t Carry Certain Goods

Even though these variants of trucks are pretty versatile, they are not the ideal option for carrying goods that need to be kept in a temperature-controlled environment.

  • Has Limited Space

Because of the enclosed container, these genres of trucks have limited space. Unlike flatbed trucks, they cannot carry oversized freights, which means that you might have to opt for more than one dry van truck if you are planning to send a large shipment.

The Verdict

If we weigh the pros and cons, we can see that the perks outplay the negative aspects. However, this is only an analogy. There are tons of other factors, which could result in having a dry van being a good thing or a bad thing.

Therefore, we suggest that you consider certain factors before taking up a job if you are a trucker. If you are a broker, then we would suggest that you check everything before accepting the contract.

What Are the Products That A Dry Van Can Carry?

Dry van trucks might be flexible with their freight, but there are a good number of things that they might not be able to carry. Hence, here are the products that you should ship using dry vans:

  • Canned/Preserved Food & Beverage

These are some of the perfect products that Dry vans can carry from one place to another. Since they are preserved, there is no need to keep the dishes cool. Hence, dry vans will offer the best solution, as they maintain steady temperatures and offer optimum protection.

  • Car & Bikes 

Bikes and cars are pretty fragile. Imagine you are delivering someone’s first Lambo, and the truck delivery ends up harming the car. Not an ideal situation, right? To avoid such a situation, we would suggest that you opt for Dry van trucks as they will offer the best protection.

  • Electronics & Manufacturing Machine part 

These are conventionally the most sensitive amongst all the options. They are very prone to damage, and you have to be very careful while handling them.

  • Chemicals

Chemicals can be pretty dangerous. They need to be carried with care, and for that, we would suggest that you opt towards Dry van trucks.

Some other mentions are:

  • Medications
  • Cosmetics
  • Household Cleaning Products
  • Toys
  • Gaming Consoles

Final Words

By now, you should have a clear understanding of what is dry van trucking. So, if you are planning to get into the trucking business, then having dry van tucks is going to be very beneficial for you. Furthermore, there is numerous other assistive information provided in our article, which should tell you more regarding the topic.



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