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Industrial trailers and commercial trailers are pulled behind a powered vehicle to carry goods, livestock, or equipment. They are used to move cargo from factories to warehouses, warehouses to distributors, and distributors to retailers. Depending on the type of cargo, industrial trailers and commercial trailers may be heated, refrigerated, ventilated or pressurized. Heated trailers are used to move products in cold-weather conditions. Refrigerated trailers are used to transport perishable foods and beverages. Ventilated trailers are suitable for moving livestock such as cows, horses, pigs, and sheep. Pressurized trailers are used in the shipment of chemicals.

Industrial trailers and commercial trailers are sometimes called tractor trailers, semi-tractor trailers, semis, or 18-wheelers. Product categories include industrial trailers, commercial trailers, auto carriers, flatbeds, loaders, and tankers. An industrial trailer can be used to move parts from a foundry to a factory. A commercial trailer can range in length from 50 to 75 ft. In some cases, two commercial trailers can be linked together to increase the amount of product that can be shipped at one time. An auto carrier is used to move cars and trucks from automotive factories to car dealerships. A flatbed carrier can be used to move heavy equipment to a construction site. A tanker can be used transport fuels such as gasoline and natural gas. It can also be used to move fluids such as milk or water. By law, industrial trailers and commercial trailers that move flammable, hazardous, or explosive substances need to display appropriate warnings.

Industrial trailers and commercial trailers can be shipped via railway or highway, depending on the shortest or most cost-effective route. In some cases, industrial trailers and commercial trailers can even be shipped by airplane to remote destinations. As a rule, the transport of an industrial trailer or commercial trailer via roadways requires special licenses and permits. In the United States, this process is regulated through each state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).