Dry Van hauling is the most common form of freight in America. If you want to know more about what it entails and what makes it the “default” shipping method, read on for more information.
What is a Dry Van?
Dry van hauling is the most common form of hauling because it is for freight that has no special handling requirements. Flatbed trailers are commonly used for construction materials where removing the cargo can be done from most angles, and reefer trailers have a special system in place to keep cargo at a specified temperature.
The only thing that could be said that makes a dry van special is that its enclosure protects the cargo from rain (hence “dry” van), but reefer trailers also do that.
What do Dry Vans Carry?
Dry vans carry items or goods that do not have a temperature requirement. Theoretically, you could transport construction equipment in a dry van, but the awkward shape of such supplies, as well as the final shipping location, makes flatbed a better alternative for those things.
In contrast, a dry van is more of an “other” cargo shipping container, and can range in carrying all sorts of goods, such as:
- CDs and DVDs
- Furniture packs, to be assembled
- Nonperishable foods such as pasta, protein bars, and canned vegetables
- Electronics that are not sensitive to heat
Perhaps the quickest way to think of something being in a dry van is if it is sold at Costco and is not in the refrigerated/freezer section.
Dimensions of a Dry Van
There are exceptions to the dimensions of a dry van, with things such as oversized loads and smaller trailers for better maneuverability, but the standard is 53 feet in length by 9 feet in height by 8.5 feet in width.
History of the Dry Van
With it being the default shipping method in the United States, you may be inclined to believe that it was the first form of freight shipping in trucks. In reality, the simplicity of the flatbed is what made it the common method of shipment in the first part of the 20th century. Freight was often exposed to the dirt of the road at that time, not to mention the rain, and as such the dry van was invented in the mid-1920s to protect the freight from the most basic of environmental hazards.
The first dry vans were made from a copper-aluminum alloy known as duralumin. Today, aluminum is commonly used in dry vans for its reduced cost, light weight, and decent durability. It is also often coupled with a wooden floor for similar benefits.
Where to Buy a Dry Van
There are numerous trailer stores in major cities across the country, but there are online options as well.
Allows you to narrow down your search based on the trailer manufacturer and state where it is sold. After this, you can sort by various details:
- Price (ascending/descending)
- Lot number
- Stock number (ascending/descending)
Most listings include pictures, and the phone number of the dealer so you can reserve the trailer.
Has dry vans for sale, but does not have them as a specific category you can search; you must use keyword search.
Allows you to sort by mileage, year, and price (all ascending/descending), as well as by distance from a zip code.
Trucker to Trucker allows you to sort by details such as year, make, model, city, state, and price. With over 400 dry van trailers for sale at the time of writing this article, there is sure to be one near you.
Perhaps the most robust searching system of the online services, My Little Salesmen allows you to sort based on common identifiers such as manufacturer, location, mileage, price, and year, but also allows you to filter on more specifics. These specifics include rear axle count, dimensions, floor type, suspension, and composition.
Unlike the other websites, Ritchie Bros. works as a hub for auctions, rather than buyers and sellers. You can still sort by year and filter by location, but the website also has specific sorting and filters exclusive to auctions, including by buying platform and auction date.
Financing requirements for a dry van are comparable to those of a semi truck. Requirements include:
- 650+ credit score.
- Time in business three years or greater.
- The owner of the company has a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
If you are interested in getting one or more dry van trailers, TopMark Funding can help! We use a network of 30-plus lenders to get you the best deal for your credit scenario. Fill out the contact form for more information.