Heavy Road Transportation Options Explained

6 December 2016
 Categories: Automotive, Blog


When booking the services of a road haulage company, there are many different options. Not all heavy haulage companies are the same, however. Only some of those which operate in Australia will offer the a full complement of truck types within their fleet. Depending on the load type you want to dispatch, this may mean you are potentially going to select the wrong type of vehicle. But, what are the main differences between these vehicles? Read on to discover more about the most common heavy goods vehicles on the road today. 

Box trailer. A multi-purpose vehicle, this is the most common articulated trailer used with trucks around the world. A box trailer is enclosed so that access is restricted to the doors that are at the rear. This sort of trailer is good for multi-drop deliveries where each place has a genuine loading bay designed for heavy goods. Palletised deliveries are often made on box trailers. They range in size from about 8.5 to over 16 metres long and are considered to be secure compared with other options.

Flat bed. A common trailer in Australia that is used for all sorts of heavy transport jobs, a flat bed is similar in size to a box trailer but has no enclosure. You can think of it is a platform on which all sorts of goods can be placed. Loads are usually strapped down on to the trailer to secure them, but they offer little by way of protection from the elements. Therefore, these trailers tend to be used for things like lumber, construction materials and pipes, but not things like consumer goods.

Ballast tractor. A heavy transport vehicle, a ballast tractor is used for the heaviest loads on Australian roads. Hauling its loads from a drawbar, a ballast tractor takes a great deal of skill to manoeuvre, but it has the benefit of a push-steer system to help it around a tight corner, if needed. Less practical than other options, ballast tractors tend to be used for specific, oversize haulage jobs.

Tipping trailer. A widely used trailer in the construction industry, tipping trailers are able to dump their loads quickly and efficiently. A mechanism raises the trailer so that the contents simply slide out. They are often used to transport waste to a dump or can be used to deliver things like gravel to a construction site. Tipping trailers can be utilised for all sorts of other haulage jobs, too, but tend to have a lower load capacity compared to a box trailer.