When tractor trailer doors are damaged or won’t close for any reason, a driver can be held up for many days, waiting for a custom replacement. When a trailer door is damaged or unable to close properly, it can lead to delays in the delivery of goods. This can be costly for both you and the companies relying on the timely transportation of their products. If a custom replacement door is wanted, it can take several days or even weeks to manufacture and deliver. The broken door’s results in an interruption to the trucking supply chain. The goal should be to find a replacement door as soon as possible and get back on the road. Truck doors that can serve as instant replacements may be an exact fit, drop-in door, or a universal, trim-to-fit door. Your local commercial exterior door installer is going to know which will serve you best and be able to install it quickly. You’re an important part of a supply chain; you need to get going ASAP.

Common Ways Truck Trailer Doors Tend to Get Damaged

Damage to tractor trailer doors can occur several ways, from the cargo shifting inside the trailer and settling against the door, to a traffic accident. With swing-type doors, drivers may accidentally brush them against structures along a street. Damage may also occur from improper use of loading dock equipment.

Regardless of how the damage occurs, it is important to choose a replacement door from a reputable company. A high-quality replacement trailer door will be made with durable materials and warranties. It should also be designed to fit the specific make and model of the truck. This ensures that it functions properly and minimizes any future problems.

It is also important to ensure that the trailer’s replacement door is well maintained, especially in the case of an overhead door. Regular maintenance can help identify any issues before they become major problems.

Types of Trailer Doors

Trailer doors come in two basic types: swing or overhead doors.

Swing doors are the simpler design, taking up less of the interior so it’s available for cargo. When closed with racking rods, they shore up the trailer structure, giving it added strength. The disadvantage of swing doors is that the driver must exit the cab and open the doors, securing them against sidewalls before backing up to the loading dock. After unloading the cargo, the driver must pull out from the dock, then exit the cab again to close the doors. Further, during deliveries, doors may be obstructed by cars parked along the street, trees, poles or other structures.

Overhead or roll-up type doors don’t have these disadvantages, in that the driver can quickly open or close them while the trailer is against the dock, and needn’t worry about any side obstructions on the street. This saves time for the driver, who can attend to the loads quickly. Overhead doors may be installed at the rear or sides, but single-panel swing doors are more common on the side walls of a trailer.

Things to Think About When Choosing a Truck Trailer Door

While overhead trailer doors offer several benefits, they also have some disadvantages. One of the biggest disadvantages is the amount of space the trailer door takes up. Both at the rear of the trailer and along the ceiling. This can limit the amount of cargo that can be transported and make it challenging to maneuver in tight spaces. They also have numerous moving parts, which can break down. Overhead doors and parts should be scrupulously inspected, lubricated and adjusted regularly. Repairs should be undertaken before the truck or trailer is en route to a delivery.

The American Trucking Association recommends that overhead doors should be made of seven-ply, ¾ inch plywood, but alternatives to this are plate doors with foam core with metal skin sandwiches of similar strength and performance.

For swing doors, ATA recommends that panels be able to withstand interior pressure of 10,000 pounds, uniformly spread across the pair of closed, locked doors, which is just what would happen if cargo were falling against them. Sandwich-type panels are a popular option for swing doors as they offer strength and durability. The panels should have treated metal layers to provide protection against moisture. Aluminum panels should be painted and thick and strong enough to meet force standards, anticipated impact, and salt spraying.

Steel trailer panels are another common option for swing doors. It’s recommended for steel door panels be coated with zinc and painted. This is necessary to provide protection against rust and other forms of corrosion. It is important to choose high-quality steel door panels that can withstand the force of the cargo.

Regardless of which type of trailer doors you have, be sure they are always in good repair so that a driver is not delayed delivering cargo because of having to wait for a repair or replacement.