Trailer manufacturers are often using either aluminum or steel for trailers. Trailers have long been built with steel. However, steel trailers can rust over a couple of years, which resulted in trailer manufacturers looking for alternatives and many of them are now using aluminum as their main material. Today, we’re going to tackle the difference between the two materials and identify what suits you the most; Aluminum Trailer or Steel Trailer.
So which metal is stronger? Steel is one of the toughest alloys and trailers can sustain a lot of stress when driving long distances or on bumpy roads. Steel trailer manufacturers believe that aluminum can’t handle these hard driving conditions well.
Aluminum is commonly used for foils or cans. However aluminum used in trailers is different, this alloy has about the same yield strength as steel and contains 95 percent aluminum and the other 5 percent consists of copper, chromium, zinc, and titanium.
Repair and Maintenance
Steel is considered easier to repair than aluminum, making steel easier and cheaper to fix. Working with steel trailers is generally less expensive. On the other hand, preventing rust on steel trailers is quite difficult. Some use a protective layer of zinc to reduce the corrosion. Adding a coat of paint can help improve your protection too.
Aluminum has also its perks though. Aluminum doesn’t rust or corrode like steel. But for maintenance, aluminum trailers need lubrication on hinges and cam latches. For cosmetic purposes, you may also need to give an acid bath every couple of years to clean the exterior.
Technically, steel is stronger when driving the payload on long drives and bumpy roads. But, since the material is heavier than aluminum, payload needs to be kept to a reasonable level in order for the trailer to move.
Aluminum, on the other hand, can carry heavy loads because of its lightweight. It has a higher payload capacity than steel.