Should I purchase an Aluminum or Steel Plant Trailer?

Aluminum or Steel? It’s a question that often leaves buyers bewildered when in the market for purchasing a plant trailer to suit their machine.
Each material has unique benefits and is hugely dependent on the application, including the tow vehicle, the weight of machines, and the conditions of the geographical location.

The initial cost of steel is normally cheaper than that of aluminum. Albeit, the ongoing costs associated with maintaining and up-keeping a steel trailer will mean that holistically the future prices between the two options will be very comparable.

The biggest misconception in the market currently is that steel is much stronger than aluminum. Although steel is recognized as one of the toughest alloys, it is important to mention, that the grade of Aluminum utilized by Sureweld in their products, has a higher tensile strength than most commonly used steel grades [1]. Aluminum has a much larger strength to weight ratio, with approximately twice the strength per given volume than that of steel.

Due to this significant difference in tensile strength means that the tare weights can be significantly reduced, boasting a higher allowable payload for larger machines or extra attachments. Lightweight aluminum has proven to significantly enhance aerodynamics, especially for machinery operators in regional areas of Australia with long stretches of road. This brings us to another of the many aluminum benefits; superior fuel mileage – great for the environment, but ultimately better for your company’s bottom line!

All vehicles and accessories need maintenance, and trailers are no exception. Aluminum that is used in the frame of trailers, is naturally easy to maintain. The properties of the material means that it doesn’t rust or corrode like steel. A lot of steel trailers these days are galvanized to protect against rust, but that coating process also has implications, such as extra cost and weight.

Aluminum trailers are often negatively attributed with high chances of cracking. Although no one can deny the fact that an aluminum trailer can crack, it is important to note that all trailers, including galvanized steel trailers, will crack when used incorrectly and put under stress out of the norm. It is advised that when purchasing a trailer, to talk with the manufacturer about the application in which you will using your trailer, including the tow vehicle, road conditions of your area, and the type of machine. The sales consultants at Sureweld are willing to have a chat and collaborate with you, advising the best solution for your requirements based on over 15 years of experience manufacturing Trailers.

Aluminum Trailers, can initially be a little more expensive than that of its steel cousins, however the benefits of low tare weights, high strength to weight ratio, low maintenance prove to be strong and valid points to consider when purchasing your trailer solution.


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[1] Tensile Strength is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before failing or breaking.