The 23 Different Types of Trailers to Haul from Land’s End to John O’Groats

The 23 Different Types of Trailers to Haul from Land’s End to John O’Groats

Every day, it seems we’re seeing more and more of the different types of trailers in the left-hand lane of the motorway. They’re becoming increasingly popular on both a business and a personal level!

But we have to ask ourselves why this is. And, if they’re so popular, then there’s the questions about all the types of trailers there are and how each one can benefit us. 

Here at The Hobby Kraze, we do a lot of travelling (all of these noggin nuggets don’t get plucked out of thin air!). And that means travelling with gear, travelling with the team and travelling with spontaneity in mind.

With that, we’ve got a good idea of all the different types of trailers on the UK roads, and which might benefit you as a business or as an individual looking to travel the breadth of our little island. 

As many of us already know, Britain’s longest road is the A1. And, if you’re wanting to travel it with haulage, you’re going to want the right gear to get you from A to B. Trailer types vary depending on what you’re wanting to carry, how much of it you’re wanting to carry and how you’re wanting to carry it.

By definition, a trailer as an unpowered vehicle (or vehicle part) that is towed by a powered vehicle for haulage in the UK.

There are types of trailers that are designed to haul general items, others that can hold specific materials under particular circumstances and even some trailers that can be lived in. 

So, let’s find out which of the 23 modes of freight Transportation suit you and your great British travels:

Auto Hauler Trailer

Auto Hauler Trailer

Auto Hauler Trailers are the first of our types of trailers specially designed to haul one thing across the UK and overseas: cars and vans. 

They look very similar to the Skeletal Trailer as they need to reduce the weight of the freight. However, unlike a Skeletal Trailer, car carriers for haulage in the UK are typically double-decker trailer types, so more cars can be taken from car shop to car shop. 

For example, if you’ve ever ordered a car to be delivered from a specific store on the other side of our small island (or even from a different country), it will have been transported to a shop closer to you using an 8-12 car Auto Hauler Trailer.

Box Van Trailer

Box Van Trailer

The Box Van Trailer is also known across the pond as a Dry Van Trailer. We’re not entirely sure why they chose that name as it can still hold liquids such as fresh fruits and drinks. 

Either way, a Box Van Trailer is one of the most common types of trailers you’ll see in the general modes of freight transportation. This is because they typically front-loading, offer high security, are reinforced, have fully customisable interiors and can even take loads of up to 45,000 pounds. 

As well as this, many nomads are turning these types of trailers into trailers that can be lived in by making some unique interior customisations! 

A bonus is that these trailer types tend to be on the cheaper side simply because of their commonality. 

Caravan Trailer

Caravan Trailer

You may have guessed it by the name, but a Caravan Trailer is the classic campervan you’ll see trudging across the A1, the M1, the M6, the A30 and so many more. 

Like birds, they migrate to the South of the country as the colder weather starts to set in so the last of the Summer Sun can be enjoyed while out caravanning in Penzance or Torquay. 

They can range in size, shape, length, weight, looks and interior spec (so, if you wanted a toilet, you could put a toilet in it). 

The best part to opting for the Caravan Trailer types is that there is no extra license needed (if, your combined towing weight is under 7,715 pounds). P.S. You’ll have to check the manual of your car to see whether or not it can actually tow these types of trailers and what the tow specifications are for haulage in the UK.

Cement Trailer

Cement Trailer

A Cement Trailer is another of the speciality trailer types. 

While they’re not exactly kitted out to be trailers that can be lived in, they do help create another thing you can live in: concrete. 

These types of trailers have a very strange body that helps to keep the flow of cement. As well as this, they have a side-on V-shape body with a discharging port at the bottom of the V to help ensure no cement gets left behind. A lot of these types of trailers will be pneumatically operated (which means that compressed air is used to keep things inside and outside moving). 

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Plus, they have a 32,000-pound capacity. Meaning, if you’re in the business of moving concrete (or anything like it) you’ve got yourself a sweet deal with these made-for modes of freight transportation!

Chemical Trailer

Chemical Trailer

There are actually a few different types of hazardous material that get transported as haulage in the UK every day. There are solids such as specific fertilisers, there are liquids such as petrol and there are gases such as carbon monoxide. 

And these all get transported across Britain using various trailer types. 

However, when we talk about a Chemical Trailer, we’re really referring to long and cylindrical stainless-steel trailers that haul liquid acids and corrosive materials. They can carry around 34,000 litres of liquid and will typically last longer than the average car (surprising considering the corrosive materials it carries). 

These are often called Tankers overseas and can also carry non-chemical materials such as milk. So, while they’re known for one thing, they have quite the fluid usage.

Curtain Side Trailer

Curtain Side Trailer

Also known as a Side-Kit Trailer, the Curtain Side Trailer looks just like the general Box Van Trailer. 

However, instead of reinforced and structured side panels, these types of trailers have PVC curtains that open and close to expose everything on the inside. With this type of opening and closing, they’re very handy for large-goods that require side-loading onto the various trailer types. 

The Curtain Side Trailer can actually vary in size but will have a typical length of 13 meters. 

What’s unique about Curtain Side Trailer haulage in the UK is that they don’t always go by road: these types of trailers can be loaded onto rail modes of freight transportation, too.

Dump Boy Trailer

Dump Boy Trailer

A Dump Boy Trailer is the perfect name for these types of trailer simply because they, well, dump. 

They are front-dumping trailers that use hydraulic (and sometimes pneumatic) mechanisms on its arms that help it to lift heavy trailer loads and dump them wherever. 

They are mainly used in agricultural sites to help move large payloads of soil between nurseries and fields. As well as this, they can often be used to help move farm animal waste from one place to another which keeping an open roof to avoid the build-up of hazardous gases like carbon monoxide. 

They can range in size from 2.5 meters to 9.5 meters in length with the most common being a 4.5-meter bed. 

One of the best features to these trailer types is their customisation: they can have a wide variety of front doors and back doors and can even have the hydraulic mechanism powered by new solar panel technology.

Electronic Trailer

Electronic Trailer

These types of trailers are very new to the scene of haulage in the UK. In fact, they’re pretty new across the world. 

Of course, we do have Tesla’s Self-Driving Truck starting production in 2021 with an electric range of around 400 miles.

However, this isn’t the type of Electric Trailer we’re talking about. Electric Trailers still need the driver behind the wheel and they’re already on the scene. The important features of these modes of freight transportation revolve around the braking mechanisms and the stability control systems that work on the chassis of the trailer. 

For now, they’re only available as Box Van Trailers with added electrical engineering. But as they continue to slash CO2 emissions and overall running costs on British roads, they’ll be rolling out the Electrical Trailer across all trailer types.

Event Marketing Trailer

Event Marketing Trailer

The Event Marketing Trailer is another speciality trailer. They are typically made-to-order from a generic Box Van Trailer body so they can be adapted to the needs. 

Some Event Marketing Trailer types are simply temporary campaign Curtain Side Trailers used to travel the country, open their curtain and welcome everyone on board to watching a spectacle from afar. They are typically used to increase brand awareness in the bigger towns and cities or recruit individuals near and far. 

In fact, some of them have even had sections adapted so they become trailers that can be lived in. Which certainly helps with haulage and hotel costs. 

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For example, if you ever had the mobile library roll up to your local park as a kid, it was an Event Marketing Trailer filled to the brim with books. 

Flatbed Trailer

Flatbed Trailer

A flatbed trailer is exactly what you might expect. They’re types of trailers that have flat beds and not much else. 

Having no curtains, structures, roof or doors helps to keep the weight of the trailer down while increasing their maximum load capacity (which can reach a whopping 48,000 pounds). 

Essentially, however, they are the base for many different trailer types. From the Box Van Trailer to the Curtain Side Trailer; it’s simply the base of the modes of transportation without any coverage. With this, they do need to have securing lines that can hold down anything from furniture and logs to bags and cars. 

As well as this, some flatbeds are built with extension for larger loads in mind. For example, you may find an Extendable Flatbed Trailer can hydraulically extend from 13 meters to 23 meters. 

Food Van Trailer

Food Van Trailer

These are the best types of trailers you’ll ever find. No matter if you’re in haulage driving a Flatbed Trailer every day or someone towing their Campervan down South for the bank holiday weekend. 

The Food Van Trailer is a shining holy grail of food-holding goodness. From a greasy burger to the generic Aunty May sandwich that probably wasn’t made by someone called Aunty May. 

Some of these can be bespoke trailer types while others are your chip-off-the-old-block conversion from other small trailers like the Horsebox Trailer. Of course, because they aren’t quite as big as the Box Van Trailer, they don’t need the truck to tow. They can be towed by your general car, 4×4 or van. 

However, you’ll have to check the specification of your car and your UK driver’s license if you’re wanting to go into food haulage in the UK.

Gooseneck Trailer

When you see a Gooseneck Trailer, you’ll get why it’s called a Gooseneck Trailer. Although, they’re also called the Low-Loader Trailer. 

The Gooseneck Trailer has a rather obscure floor-level change that helps it to connect with the towing truck while slightly looking like a goose’s neck. They’re used for heavier and taller objects that are a struggle to load and unload. So, instead, the entire trailer becomes a Removable Gooseneck Trailer lower to the ground so no height restrictions will cause delay on haulage in the UK. 

The lower portion of these trailer types is in the centre of the bed and can account for items with heights of 3.5 meters. As well as this, it makes for easy loading and unloading of heavy-duty equipment such as construction vehicles.

Heated Asphalt Trailer

Heated Asphalt Trailer

The Heated Asphalt Trailer is – essentially – just like the Cement Trailer in that it has a name relative to hauling one payload but can be used for a range of things. 

As well as this, in terms of size and shape, it very closely resembles the Chemical Trailer. 

However, the one difference to set it apart from other types of trailers is the thermo-generating power it uses to keep asphalt hot while in transit. This ensures the asphalt doesn’t stick to the sides of the trailer or become stuck in the discharging funnels. 

Generally speaking, these trailer types use three-layer technology with an outer layer of polyurethane, a mid-layer of rock composition and an inner layer of tank steel. They also have multiple side-draining valves to help with asphalt removal and distribution across construction sites.

Horsebox Trailer

Horsebox Trailer

Without being ‘those people’, we are of course The Hobby Kraze: a team filled with enthusiasts about everything hobby related. This means the Horsebox Trailer automatically becomes a favourite for haulage in the UK. 

There are, of course, Horsebox Trailers that can be lived in. However, these are more self-contained trucks rather than a trailer in tow. So, we’ll talk about the single or double-loading Horsebox Trailer that does get towed by the general car. 

Mainly used to get horses across the country for shows or to their new homes, these trailer types have a specific arrowhead shape to them. They feature front loading and side-loading ramps powered by a hydraulic press that allows horses to load and unload safely and always in a forward motion.

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Livestock Trailer

Livestock Trailer

Much like the Horsebox Trailer, the Livestock Trailer is designed to transport livestock such as cows, sheep and pigs. 

They generally have steel-panel side walls with gaps to allow for fresh air to move within the trailer types. As well as this, while they may be big enough, you’ll never want Livestock Trailers that can be lived in purely for the smell and the kicking about. 

These types of trailers may come with a structured roof, a curtain or both. They can come in both the smaller sizes for the movement of individual animals (much like the Horsebox Trailer) or they can be herd relocators. 

Made with galvanised steel, they are built to last. For haulage in the UK, the most common types of Livestock Trailer tend to be the less expensive smaller trailers with a twin-axel 3.6×1.8×1.8-meter body for reduced cattle movements.

Mixer Trailer

Mixer Trailer

A Mixer Trailer is another of the specialised types of trailers offering the ability to spin the body of the trailer as well as the payload while in transit. 

These are typically used for materials such as pre-mixed concrete that needs to remain malleable between sites. 

Another notable feature for these modes of freight transport is the angle of the body of the trailer. The mixing feature will sit front-end down with the back end in the air to help with concrete discharge at the site. With this, the Mixer Trailer tends to be a semi with a 12m3 (12,000 litre) maximum capacity. 

As these trailer types are very specialised, they aren’t used for any other payload haulage across the UK. As well as this, they aren’t trailers that can be lived in (for obvious reasons).

Moving Floor Trailer

Moving Floor Trailer

A Moving Floor Trailer is a very useful adaptation to the modern Flatbed, the Box Van and the Curtain Side Trailers. 

It features a hydraulic-functioning movement system that helps to adjust and move the positioning of bulk loads on the trailer beds. There’s no need for the Dump Boy Trailer’s hydraulic lift to get items moving as it helps with unloading and loading by using interchangeable moving floor elements that rachet load items up and down the bed. 

With this mechanism, it only features front-end loading like the Box Van Trailer. However, despite having a hydraulic system and heavier bed, it can take a much larger payload of up to 70,000 pounds.

Refrigerator Trailer

Refrigerator Trailer

A Refrigerator Trailer is another of the specific types of trailers that are custom-made to fit a purpose (and are pricier because of it). They are built using insulating materials such as aluminium and fibreglass to help maintain temperatures throughout the trailer. 

Often times, trailer types will need to be able to haul multiple refrigerated products across the country including fruits, vegetables, flowers, pharmaceuticals and various liquids. With this, new Refrigerator Trailers will feature the ability to control certain segments within the body, so each food item is kept within optimised temperature conditions. 

Additionally, these types of trailers come with remote temperature monitoring devices to help prevent fault damage.

Side Dump Trailer

Side Dump Trailer

A Side Dump Trailer is much like the Dump Boy Trailer in that it features hydraulic arms that lift and tilt the open-top trailer body. 

However, the difference being that the Side Dump Trailer lifts the side of the container rather than the back end. This helps to off-load at much quicker speeds. 

As well as this, because the hydraulic lift doesn’t need to be quite as high, these types of trailers can be longer. So, if you’re in the business of haulage in the UK for construction materials on a large scale, you might want to invest your modes of freight transportation into a Side Dump Trailer rather than a Dump Boy Trailer. 

However, one thing to note is that they can be a pain to get round small estates and tiny roads with the roundabouts that no British driver has actually gone around rather than over.

Skeletal Trailer

Skeletal Trailer

A Skeletal Trailer is another of the trailer types where you can probably guess the look from the name. Instead of featuring a large container, structural features or even a roof, these types of trailer are typically used like a Flatbed Trailer but without the need for the entire flatbed. 

They have been used in haulage in the UK for years with international containers becoming more of a necessity. 

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Having a Skeletal Trailer means the trailer’s weight is reduced while still maintaining the size, length and structural hold needed to support the typical 12-meter and 14-meter shipping containers. 

Of course, if a container is added to the Skeletal Trailer, it becomes one of the trailers that can be lived in (technically), otherwise, you might be in for a pretty cold and uncomfortable night.

Teardrop Trailer

Teardrop Trailer

The Teardrop Trailer is more of a common sight for holiday go-getters among our cousins across the pond. 

As you might imagine, the Teardrop Trailer is a very small domestic trailer that is in tow of a car (big or small) and has the shape of a teardrop. They’re the typical small caravan for escaping across the country. 

Strangely enough, they have a combination of lots of storage but not much space. Meaning, they have a front-end entrance for loading and storing your things, but the inside trailer is just big enough to fit your mattress and you (maybe an extra person, too). 

These types of trailers commonly have a retro style to them, and – while they’re more common for our American cousins – they’re a traditionally German design of 1,450 pounds and 1.9 meters in height.

Utility Trailer

Utility Trailer

As the penultimate trailer on this list of the 23 different types of trailers, we have the utility trailer. Looking like the miniature versions of a Skeletal Trailer, a Dump Boy Trailer, a Flatbed Trailer and more, they pack a punch for their size.

Compact and roofless, these small trailers are seen in tow behind a general car or 4×4 in order to transport items across the country on a relatively smaller scale. 

Whether you’re moving house and need the extra legroom in the car or you’re a small hands-on business owner who needs to tow tools and gear in the back, the Utility Trailer types are the choice for you. Especially since they lie within the threshold of not needing to change your British driver’s licence. 

Every Utility Trailer is different and will fit your needs. However, the general specifications are that they have a bed of 2 meters and an average payload capacity of 2,000 pounds.

Water Trailer

A Water Trailer does exactly what it says on the tin. It carries a payload of water from A to B. 

Typically, due to the high weight capacity for water, these types of trailers are small yet heavy meaning they require the tow of large vehicles like tractors. 

Luckily, the Water Trailer is really only a towed vehicle you’d see on a farm. This is because the water tank is made using see-through materials as well as a sprinkler distribution. 

Plus, they are often made to have interchangeable and customisable steel spray bars that can extend out with a 3-nozzle pump 6-nozzle pump. These nozzles and pumps have their own valves meaning some nozzles can be switched off when needed.


And that puts the breaks on this guide to the 23 types of trailer you’ll find for haulage in the UK. Here at The Hobby Kraze, we love to hear more about you and your adventure. So, whether you needed a typical Box Van Trailer or you actually needed a specially designed Food Van Trailer, tell us how it goes. 

If you’ve not had enough of the interesting listicles we have right here at The Hobby Kraze, there are so many more you can have a gander at. From the various types of yachts you could be sailing out on to making a shelter in the wilderness (in case your trailer hasn’t got you covered, of course).

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll probably like these:

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  • 17 Different Types of Resort and Finding the Holiday to Suit You
  • The 16 Best Types of Luggage You Should Know for Your Trip
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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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