102 Wide Vans



The trucking industry is responsible for moving most of the goods that we enjoy so much in North America. This mass movement of commerce requires a huge infrastructure built around many different types of trucks and trailers. The most common of these types is the dry van. Dry vans come in several different types and many different sizes and are used to transport any non-liquid, not perishable products.

These trucks are distinguished by the type and configuration of the trailer they tow behind more than they are by the type of truck. In general there are six different types of trailer:

  • Dry trailer are described above and are usually used as shipping trailers.
  • Tanker trailers carry liquids and chemicals of all kinds, including liquids ranging from Jet fuel to homogenized milk.
  • Refrigerated trailers or Reefers as they are commonly known are used to transport perishable items, such as food and medicines.
  • Hooper trailers are designed to carry grain, dirt, rocks and other materials.
  • Flatbed trailer are used for transporting everything from heavy machinery to lumber.
  • Vehicle transports are used mostly by auto manufacturers and retailers to move their vehicles around.

Trailers are rated by two criteria, length and width. In general  trailers of all types range from 20’ in length to as long as 60’ in some cases. In short and medium  There are also tandem trailers, usually only dry van types, that will pull two and sometimes three shorter trailers, but in any case will not exceed 60’ of total trailer length. The most common lengths are are 8’ and 8’, 6.4”. The former is a standard width trailer and the latter is better known as a 102” wide van.

102 wide vans are most often used with extra large or extra wide loads but the extra half a foot can restrict these trailers from some roads, especially narrow city streets. A standard trailer is only slightly wider than the truck that pulls it but 102 wide vans will be wider and change the dynamics of driving the vehicle, especially during turns.

In the United States drivers are required to possess a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) to drive a dry van with more than 2 axles. Other types of vehicles, such as tankers, 102 wide vans, Hazmat or tandem require additional testing, both driving and written, to be endorsed to operate these vehicles.

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