When it comes to trailers, one of the most overlooked yet essential parts is the flooring. After all, it’s what stands between your precious cargo and the road below. Therefore, choosing the right flooring material can make a difference in terms of durability, safety, and maintenance. In this blog post, we’ll explore various options for trailer flooring and delve into the advantages and drawbacks of each, helping you make an informed decision.
Plywood: The Traditional Choice
Pros: Plywood is a common choice for trailer floors, mainly because of its affordability and ease of installation. It’s relatively lightweight and provides a smooth surface, making it ideal for many applications.
Cons: Over time, plywood can weaken, especially when exposed to moisture. It may rot, warp or delaminate, making it less durable compared to other options.
Aluminum: Lightweight and Durable
Pros: Aluminum flooring is corrosion-resistant and offers a high strength-to-weight ratio. It’s easy to clean and doesn’t absorb moisture, preventing issues like rot or mold.
Cons: Aluminum can be slippery when wet and may be pricier than plywood. It can also dent under heavy loads.
Rubber Mats: Flexible and Protective
Pros: Rubber mats provide cushioning, which is beneficial for transporting animals or delicate items. They offer good traction and can be easily removed and cleaned.
Cons: Rubber mats don’t provide structural strength on their own, so they often need to be used in conjunction with another flooring material. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can degrade some rubber mats.
Rumber Boards: A Blend of Rubber and Lumber
Pros: Rumber boards are made by combining recycled rubber and plastic, offering durability and traction. They are water-resistant and can handle heavy loads without warping or rotting.
Cons: They can be more expensive than traditional plywood and might not be as widely available.
Extruded Interlocking Planks: Modern and Reliable
Pros: These planks interlock, creating a seamless surface that’s resistant to moisture and spills. They are typically made from materials like aluminum or PVC, making them durable and
Cons: The initial cost can be high, and installation might be more involved compared to traditional plywood.
Apitong (Keruing) Hardwood: The Heavy-Duty Choice
Pros: Apitong is a tropical hardwood that’s incredibly resilient, making it suitable for heavy-duty trailers that see a lot of wear and tear. It’s resistant to rot and offers excellent traction.
Cons: As a premium material, Apitong can be on the pricier side. It also requires periodic maintenance to maintain its appearance and protective qualities.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Trailer Flooring
Purpose of the Trailer: Will it be used for transporting livestock, vehicles, equipment, or general cargo? Each use case might have different flooring requirements.
Climate and Environment: Trailers used in humid or rainy climates might benefit from rot-resistant materials. Similarly, those used in sunny, hot areas might require UV-resistant flooring.
Maintenance and Longevity: Some flooring materials require more maintenance than others. Consider how often you’re willing to perform upkeep and the expected lifespan of the material.
Budget: While it’s essential to invest in quality flooring, it’s equally important to stay within a reasonable budget.
Why is plywood commonly used for trailer floors?
Plywood is a popular choice for trailer floors due to its affordability and ease of installation. Its smooth surface makes it suitable for various applications. However, when exposed to moisture over time, plywood can weaken, leading to rot or warping.
How does aluminum compare to plywood in terms of durability?
Aluminum flooring offers a corrosion-resistant surface, making it more durable than plywood in many instances. It doesn’t absorb moisture, preventing issues like rot. On the downside, it can be slippery when wet and might dent under heavy loads.
Are rubber mats a good choice for trailers transporting animals?
Yes, rubber mats are an excellent choice for transporting animals because they provide cushioning and traction, ensuring the comfort and safety of the animals. They also offer the benefit of being easily removable for cleaning.
What are Rumber boards, and how do they fare as trailer flooring?
Rumber boards are unique materials crafted by combining recycled rubber and plastic. They are durable, provide excellent traction, and resist water, making them a suitable option for trailers that need to handle heavy loads without issues like warping.
For heavy-duty trailers, what type of flooring is recommended?
Apitong, also known as Keruing hardwood, is highly recommended for heavy-duty trailers. This tropical hardwood is incredibly resilient, resistant to rot, and offers excellent traction, ensuring longevity and safety even under intense use.
When selecting the perfect trailer flooring, various options might appear overwhelming. But fear not! Here’s a quick breakdown to understand the options at a glance:
Why it’s Popular: Affordable, easy installation, smooth surface.
Drawbacks: Can rot or warp when exposed to moisture.
Strengths: Corrosion-resistant, durable, and easy to clean.
Drawbacks: Can become slippery and may dent with heavy loads.
Ideal For: Transporting animals or delicate items due to cushioning.
Drawbacks: Needs another flooring material underneath; can degrade under direct sunlight.
What are They: A blend of recycled rubber and plastic.
Strengths: Durable, water-resistant, great traction.
Drawbacks: Pricier than plywood.
Extruded Interlocking Planks:
Strengths: Seamless surface, moisture-resistant, typically made from durable materials like aluminum or PVC.
Drawbacks: Higher initial cost, requires skilled installation.
Apitong (Keruing) Hardwood:
Why Choose It: Immensely durable and ideal for heavy-duty trailers.
Drawbacks: Pricier, requires periodic maintenance.
Purpose of the Trailer: Different cargo types might need different flooring.
Environmental Conditions: Choose according to the region’s humidity, rainfall, and sun exposure.
Maintenance: Consider how often you’re ready for upkeep.
Budget: Balance quality and cost.
Plywood is popular because of its affordability and smooth surface.
Aluminum is more durable than plywood but can be slippery.
Rubber mats provide cushioning, ideal for animals.
Rumber boards are a durable mix of rubber and plastic.
Apitong hardwood is recommended for heavy-duty trailers.
In sum, selecting the best trailer flooring hinges on your trailer’s purpose, the environment, and your budget. By understanding the basics of each option, you can make a well-informed choice for your trailer’s longevity and performance.
The best flooring for your trailer ultimately depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Whether you choose the traditional charm of plywood, the durability of aluminum, or the resilience of Apitong, ensure it aligns with the primary purpose of your trailer and the conditions it will face. Remember, the floor is the foundation of your trailer, so choose wisely.