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TRAILER TYPES
DEFINITIONS DESCRIPTIONS and PHOTOS

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TYPES OF TRAILERS DEFINITIONS
AND TRAILER BODY TYPES FOR MANUFACTURERS' VIN CODE PURPOSES :


Definitions of many trailer body types are not carved in stone.

For purposes of trailer manufacturers' VIN numbers the USDOT is really concerned about body type rather than specific function of trailers. and USDOT defines "Body type" as "the general configuration or shape of a vehicle." So an enclosed (or van) trailer that is designed and built as a "toy hauler" is still an "enclosed" or "van" trailer and does not need to be distinguished based on it's intended specific use from other van or enclosed trailers by the manufacturer in the VIN number or elsewhere.

For instance, many people in trailer manufacturing define an equipment trailer as a trailer designed to carry and transport equipment like bulldozers, but those are really from a body style standpoint actually flatbed trailers... or maybe "equipment-haulers" to be specific. Meanwhile, trailers that actually are pieces of equipment (such as pumps, generators, compressors, etc) with wheels might be more accurately called "equipment trailers" when describing their body type for VIN purposes.

Equipment Hauler Trailer:
equipment hauler trailer
But, in point of fact, the body type for the equipment hauler above can also be called a flatbed trailer.

Another common use of the term "Equipment Trailer" as a trailer body type for VIN number purposes is a towable piece of equipment, such a towable pump :
pump trailer


As no body type convention for trailer makers has been officially sanctioned by the USDOT/NHTSA and most states are fairly flexible on many terms to describe trailer body types.

Some very obvious types would be Enclosed or Van Trailer for instance. These can be any size from a small enclosed trailer to haul behind a motorcycle to a semi-trailer.

Large Enclosed Trailer or Van Trailer....
van trailer


A refrigerated trailer can be called a reefer trailer of course but it is okay to refer to it by its body style - enclosed trailer or van trailer - in your manufacturer VIN code....
reefer trailer


Small Enclosed Trailer for pulling behind a motorcycle....
motorcycle pullable trailer


Which some are tempted to call a "motorcycle trailer" for the Body Type in their manufacturer VIN code, but....


... you can see how that can easily be confused with a motorcycle hauler trailer....
motorcycle hauler trailer


Here we see what would be called an "open trailer" body style for VIN number purposes which generally means with sides but no top - no cover
open trailer


... and even though a Landscape Trailer is an "open trailer" body style, you can call it either as your body style description in your manufacturer's VIN code:
landscapers trailer




Obviously a boat-trailer would be used to carry (haul) a boat but some people prefer to specify a trailer for "jetskis" by that term and that is fine but you can also just lump all boat and jet-ski trailers under the term "boat trailer" or "watercraft trailer." From a body type standpoint a jet ski trailer and a boat trailer are both boat trailers or watercraft trailers and you can use whichever term you wish to as the body style in your trailer manufacturer's VIN code.

boat watercraft trailer     jet ski trailer

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