How Much Freight Fits on a Full Truckload?

Clients often ask how much freight fits on a full truckload. The answer isn’t exactly simple. It depends both on weight and volume. Here’s a simple chart to help you plan your full truckloads.

Dimensions
(W × L)
Industries Using 53′ 48′
48” × 40” Grocery, Many Others 26 or
30 turned
24 or
28 turned
42” × 42” Telecom, Paint 30 26
48” × 48” Drums 26 24
40” × 48” Military, Cement 26 or
30 turned
24 or
26 turned
48” × 42” Chemical, Beverage 27 or
30 turned
25 or
26 turned
40” × 40” Dairy 30 28
48” × 45” Automotive 26 or
28 turned
24
44” × 44” Drums, Chemical 28 26
36” × 36” Beverage 34 32
48” × 36” Beverage, Shingles, Paper 26 or
34 turned
24 or
32 turned
35” × 45.5” Military ISO Container 26 or
36 turned
24 or
32 turned
48” × 20” Retail 65 or
62 turned
60 or 56 turned

 

A note about turning Pallets on full truckloads

Not all pallets are “4 way”. A 4 way pallet can be picked up by a forklift from all 4 sides. This means that they can be loaded either way. If you are shipping a light product, sometimes it is more advantageous to turn the pallets sideways and use up more volume if you’re under the max load of the trailer.

A note about weight

If you’re shipping heavy product where the total weight of your pallets is going to be more than a trailer can carry, you don’t have to worry about turning pallets. You have to worry more about distributing the weight. For example, if you have 2200 lbs per pallet and have 48 x 40 pallets, 44,000 lbs (a full load) divided by 2200 lbs is only 20 pallets. You can’t put any more on!

A note about the maximum weight a truck can carry.

The max weight a trailer can carry is a little more complicated than you might think. The regulations are not limiting how much freight can go on a trailer, but the total weight of the vehicle and also the axle weights. So some vehicles (power unit and trailer) will be heavier than others so the freight they carry will be less. Reefer trailers, for example, tend to be heavier and can carry less. Some light truck/trailer combinations might be able to carry up to 45,000 lbs. Generally, you should budget somewhere between 42,000 lbs and 44,000 lbs for a truckload. TIP: ask your carrier in advance if you’re planning to be close to the weight limit for the vehicle. The carrier can give you some guidance on what should fit on the equipment they are sending in.
This helpful information was brought to you by XTL Transport. Your full truckload and temperature controlled specialist!

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