Side Loader Trailer – History, Design and Safety


A side loader trailer is a type of trailer that is used for transportation of containers over long distances. It is designed with a pair of hydraulically powered cranes which are mounted at both ends of the trailer. The side loader trailer is used to lift containers from ground level, from other vehicles, from railway wagons, from container ships and etc. Regardless of the location, this trailer can easily handle any container by using its own cranes.

When loaded, this versatile trailer is capable to travel on general roads and highways. The side loader trailer is known for the quick loading and unloading process that can be performed on any surface type. This advantage makes the side loader trailer a perfect solution for picking up and transporting containers from commercial districts.

The first side loader trailer was designed in Germany in the 60s by Kaspar Klaus, the owner of Klaus Transport-systeme GmbH. At the beginning, this trailer was not considered as cost-efficient solution for commercial use because of the big size and weight.

Compared to other trailer types, the side loader trailer comes with unique design and structure. The only thing this trailer and all other trailers have in common is the power source – either a diesel or gasoline engine. The side loader trailers use a hydraulically-powered cranes to lift, load and unload containers. Attached at both ends of the trailer chassis, the crane mechanisms can lift any type of container quickly and efficiently. For more stability when lifting heavy containers, the trailer comes with stabilizing legs. During the loading/unloading process, the stabilizing legs are positioned on each end of the truck to provide the necessary stability.

The loading and unloading process is performed with a remote control. Connected via a radio signal or some type of electric wire, the remote control features joysticks and buttons, depending on the trailer model. The remote control allows the operator to perform the loading/unloading operations from a safe distance.

In terms of safety, the side loader trailer is certainly one of the best on the market. It is specialized for loading and unloading ISO containers with specified total weight and height. Also, the drivers or operators need to complete a specific training program for proper operation when using a truck with a side loader trailer.