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Difference Between Semi-trailers and Full Trailers

Views: 0     Author: Wondee Autoparts     Publish Time: 2021-09-06      Origin: Wondee Autoparts

Trailers can be divided into full trailers and semi-trailers. What is the difference between them? What are their characteristics?


1. Definition of trailers, full trailers and semi-trailers


1) Definition of trailers

Trailers means a vehicle towed by a tractor/truck/car without its own power drive. A tractor/truck/car can tow one or more trailers. The truck or tractor is called the master vehicle. The towed section  is called a trailer.

The combinations of a tractor/truck/car and a trailer/trailers are the important vehicle transportation type in modern society, which is very effective and simple means to improve economic benefits. It has the advantages of rapidity, mobility, flexibility and safety.


2) Definition of semi-trailers 

Semi-trailer is a trailer whose axles are placed behind the center of gravity of the vehicle (when the vehicle is evenly loaded) and is equipped with a coupling device (king pin) that can transmit horizontal and vertical forces to the tractor. Part of the total load of the trailer is borne by the tractor.

 A WONDEE 2-axle and 3-axle skeletal container semi trailer from China manufacturer


3)Definition of full trailers 

Full trailer is a kind of trailer which has no power, the vehicle body is equipped with front and rear axles, and can independently bear its own load.

A WONDEE heavy duty 3-axle full trailer with turntable from China manufacturer

 In addition, there is a full trailer with one or two axles at the middle or rear of the vehicle body, and there is a jack to support in the front of vehicle body.

 full trailer-1axle travel trailer

Full Trailer with 1-axle

full trailer 2axle RV trailer

Full Trailer with 2-axle


2. There are four main differences between a semi-trailer and a full trailer


1) The connection mode and stress characteristics of the trailer body and the tractor are different


The full trailer is connected with the tractor(heavy towing truck) through a simple hook. The tractor/truck does not need to bear the trailer load, just only provides dynamic tension to help the trailer overcome the road friction resistance. Therefore, the stress characteristic of the connection is mainly the tensile force in the horizontal direction.

A heavy duty truck connect with full trailer

The semi-trailer needs a support point provided by the tractor(heavy towing Truck). In addition to providing power, the tractor also needs to bear about half of the load of the semi trailer. Therefore, the force at the coupling(king pin and fifth wheel) of semi-trailer is not only the tensile force in the horizontal direction but also the supporting force in the vertical direction provided by the tractor. Therefore, the special tractor generally has more than two axles.

 a WONDEE 3-axle warehouse grid semi trailer connect with tractor


2) Upright (independent parking) mode is different


The full trailer is generally in a two axles layout. The axles are distributed at the front and rear of its body, so it has the ability to stand upright (park independently) relying on its own tires.

The axle of semi-trailer is generally composed of multiple axles and concentrated in the rear of the body. It must rely on the front landing gear to achieve its own upright (independent parking) state.


3) Different components


Full Trailer: it is composed of a complete set of chassis, body, towing device, steering device, suspension, walking system, braking system and signal system.

Semi Trailer: compared with full trailer, there is no steering device, but king pin is added; there is no axle in front, but the front support device (landing gear) is added. The front structure is relatively simple, so that the frame floor can be arranged lower and has the advantage of low center of gravity.


4) Different usage scenarios

The full trailer is mainly used for short-distance transportation in farms, factories, families, companies, ports, docks, warehouses and other fields.


Common full trailers are as follows :

boat-trailers, livestock trailers, cargo trailers, RV trailers, travel trailers, utility trailers....


Boat Trailer

livestock trailer2

Livestock Trailer


cargo trailer2

Cargo Trailer 

travel trailer

RV Trailer 

 RV trailer2

Travel Trailer

 utility trailer

Utility Trailer 

The semi trailers are mainly used for long-distance transportation of goods.


Common semi trailers are as follows:

Skeleton semi trailers , flatbed semi trailers, fence semi trailers , dumping semi trailers, van semi trailers, lowbed semi trailers , warehouse grid semi trailers , fuel tank semi trailers , bulk cement semi trailers, car transportation semi trailers....


A WONDEE 3-axle skeleton semi trailer for container from China manufacturer

3-axle Skeleton Semi Trailer for Container


A WONDEE 3-axle flatbed semi trailer for container from China manufacturer

 3-axle Flatbed Semi Trailer for Container  


A WONDEE 3-axle fence semi trailer from China manufacturer

3-axle Fence Semi Trailer


A WONDEE 3-axle dumping semi trailer from China manufacturer

3-axle Dumping Semi Trailer


A WONDEE 3-axle van semi trailer for bulk cargo from China manufacturer

3-axle Van Semi Trailer for Bulk Cargo


A WONDEE 3-axle lowbed semi trailer for equipment transportation from China manufacturer

3-axle LowbedSemi Trailer for Equipment Transportation


A WONDEE 3-axle warehouse grid semi trailer for bulk cargo from China manufacturer

 3-axle Warehouse Grid Semi Trailer for Bulk Cargo


WONDEE 3-axle fuel tank semi trailer from China manufacturer

3-axle Fuel Tank Semi Trailer 


WONDEE 3-axle bulk cement semi trailer from China manufacturer

 3-axle Bulk Cement Semi Trailer

 WONDEE 2-axle car transportation semi trailer from China manufacturer

2-axle Car Transportation Semi Trailer 


                     from Wondee Autoparts

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