Every day, transportation services in Canada move material goods across different areas of the world. Various transportation trailers, from flat-deck trucks to pneumatic trailers, are needed to effectively transport these goods depending on the type and volume of material. But how do you decide what transportation service and trailer type would work best for your freight?

Shadow Group is here to break down some of the most common and versatile trailers that are best to work with when delivering various goods effectively.

Types of Transportation Trailers explained


When it comes to transportation services, flat deck trucks are one of the most common methods used to move bulk, heavy, or oversized pieces of equipment. As the name suggests, this transportation method includes a flatbed that bows along its length to support heavy loads.

Some materials that are transported by flat deck trucks are:

  • Lumber
  • Raw materials
  • Formed concrete

For safe transportation, equipment is secured with strains, chains, and other powerful bindings.
Standard flat decks, also called flatbeds, allow for quick and easy loading of goods that are not vulnerable to rain or snow, such as building and construction materials. Some companies offer tarps to prevent or limit the equipment’s exposure to moisture and dirt.


Step decks are designed to carry taller loads or goods that require additional height clearance. Step-deck trucks have the same application as flat-deck transportation, the difference being that there are two different beds on the trailer, the upper and lower decks.

The upper deck is at the same 4’8” height from the ground as a standard flatbed trailer, while the lower deck is 3’3” from the ground. Step-deck trucks can are best for:

  • Tractors
  • Machinery
  • Agriculture equipment
  • Excavators


Low bed trucks (commonly called lowboys) can legally carry loads up to 12ft tall. The top deck is only 18” from the ground, making these trucks best used to haul heavy equipment such as:

  • Bulldozers
  • Oilfield equipment
  • Industrial equipment


A pneumatic trailer is a metal cylinder with cone-shaped hoppers at the bottom and openings at the top. Each hopper has a valve that opens into a pipe below the trailer. The products run out of the hopper and through the outbound pipe.

This type of transportation service is typically known as dry bulk trucking for fine materials such as:

  • Sand
  • Cement
  • Dry chemicals
  • Animal feed
  • Dry foods


Now that you understand each trailer type better, it’s up to you to weigh these options on what would work best for your transportation services needs.

Shadow Group provides all the transportation options and services mentioned above for various industries! Our highly trained operators work to achieve the optimum result through a series of supply chain management tools. We take care of everything from the actual transport to the delivery. Our logistics solutions can track shipments to ensure quick delivery, cost efficiency and quality transportation.

Get a quote from us today!

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