Interior and Exterior Dimensions of a 53 Foot Trailer

July 11th, 2022

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Let’s say you’re looking for a used refrigerated trailer and you have your budget set, but you’re not sure what dimensions are needed to provide an efficient shipment delivery. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s standard trailer dimensions allow for lengths of up to 53 feet; according to the federal government, this is the established standard length for use on highways across the country. Why is it important to know this information and get it right? Because depending on your cargo, knowing the right trailer size to make the journey will help you manage shipping costs well in advance.

As a trailer provider, we can teach you about load restrictions, state road rules, and anything regarding the capacity of a semi-truck. Dive in with us as we explore the dimensions of 53 trailer semi-trucks.

53 Foot Dry Van Trailer Dimensions

Length and height variations are common, although the width is more consistent throughout models. Semi-trailers have the following standard 53 trailer dimensions, which is helpful when figuring out how many pallets fit in a 53’ trailer.

Dry Van

Due to the entirely enclosed structure of the trailer, which allows freight to be sheltered from outside interruptions, dry van semi trailers are designed to transport the most varied of non-perishable materials. Palletized products are the most typically transported via this method because they can be loaded and unloaded quickly and safely from a dock with a forklift or pallet jack.

Plate Van

Of unique structure and composed of laminate panels is the plate van. Plate vans have a recessed splice plate with “A” holes for greater cargo control when utilizing standard cargo restraint systems. The patented poly-laminate panels are made with an epoxy-coated inner and outwardly they consist of galvanized steel for increased durability even in the harshest environments.

If repairs are necessary, the design enables for quick panel replacement without the need to remove neighboring panels, which is required in competing trailer designs. This means more time on the road with little downtime used for repairs or maintenance.

Sheet & Post Vans

Finding a sheet & post trailer that can meet your individual operation demands by using excellent components in every model and engineering knowledge in trailer transportation is key. The difference should be made clear to fleet managers.

Sheet & post van trailer models can easily meet your needs for transporting dry freight efficiently and safely in your daily operations. The materials of the trailer are made of light plywood or a similar material that may require more frequent repairs.

“While sheet and post trailers are stronger and offer logistics post on tighter centers, composite plate trailers offer more interior cubic capacity. The interior scuff liner also effects cubic capacity so be sure to check that when spec’ing your trailer”

Chris Hill, General Manager, Hale Trailer Concord, NC

53 Foot Reefer Trailer Dimensions

Reefer semi-trailers are meant to carry items that must be kept at a specified temperature or within a specific temperature range for the duration of their journey. Reefers can be kept at warmer temperatures to protect freight from freezing, or run dry freight when the refrigeration unit is switched off.

Reefer Trailer

Reefer trailers are ideal for transporting items at a constant temperature. Conventional sleeper trucks or day cab trucks are typically used to tow them. Before renting or purchasing reefer trailers, remember you need to be sure of the trailer that will fit your requirements for your shipment. Unlike dry vans, reefers have metal or fiberglass walls, ceilings, and floors to enhance insulation that make up their 53 semi trailer dimensions.

Let’s think about what you’re hauling in your reefer trailer:

Towed in a Refrigerated Container: Is it a general commodity you’re hauling? These items will likely be kept at 55 degrees. These items are the dry good you may not be freezing, but you surely don’t want them to melt like marshmallows or items made with chocolate.

Towed in a Modified/Controlled Atmosphere (MA/CA) Container: Produce or perishable foods you’ll want to carry at a cooler temperature than a general commodity – around 36 degrees is best.

Towed in a Automatic Fresh Air Management (AFAM) Container: Items that need to be in a deep frozen state – like ice cream or food-grade sushi – is best at 0 to –20 degrees.

Why is Understanding Trailer Dimensions Important

When shipping items, knowing the size of a trailer is critical. Choosing the proper trailer is important for ensuring safe transportation. It can also save money for the client by lowering over-height goods to keep them within limits of the law.

Having the finest trailers for your travel should be coupled with optimizing your shipping expenses for your company’s performance. Exporting leftover pallets won’t be cost-effective, so get the numbers right from the start. If that means managing with a truck that’s the standard 53 trailer dimensions, you will know in advance if that was the proper move for the shipment.

When comparing which pattern to pack your goods, remember whichever method you choose will either limit or expand the design of pallets in total that can be moved. Have your 53-foot trailer pallets ready to go before each shipment so you can keep track of your costs and see how efficient you are for both your clients and your fleet. It will all be based on what is required for a successful delivery and efficient use of resources.

Getting the Measurements Right with Hale Trailer

Understanding the dimensions of your trailer might help you avoid overloading it. This can also help to improve your load-carrying safety protocol. You should know the dimensions of your truck to stay on the safe side within legal limitations to avoid exceeding the towing weight. This is why we have arranged this information so you understand 53 trailer inside dimensions and out.

Ready to take the next step? We’re committed to showing we are set apart as leaders in the trucking industry. Getting you the best fleet options is top of mind for our team. Our selection of trailers are road-ready with options available for purchase or rent. Browse our collection online or come to one of our locations to learn more about how we are willing to help you.

All the information on this website – – is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Hale Trailer Brake and Wheel does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website, is strictly at your own risk. Hale Trailer Brake and Wheel will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.