A Comparison Between Steel and Aluminium Trailers

Posted on: 6 June 2016


Some people who would like to have a custom trailer made for them may not be sure whether they should have that trailer made from aluminium or steel. This article compares the two materials based on a number of factors. Use this information to make an informed decision about the most appropriate material for your needs.

Payload Capacity

Steel is a heavier metal than aluminium. Consequently, the weight of the steel custom trailer may limit how much cargo you can place inside the trailer before you reach the tow limit of your vehicle. An aluminium trailer can allow you to carry a bigger payload before you reach the maximum tow weight of your vehicle. Thus, it may be better for you to order for a custom trailer made from aluminium in case you intend to carry heavy loads.

Maintenance Needs

Steel is susceptible to corrosion. Consequently, one must be vigilant in inspecting it for signs of rust so that corrective measures, such as painting the exposed surface, can be taken before corrosion damages the trailer extensively. Thus, a steel trailer may be more demanding to maintain when compared to an aluminium one. However, aluminium trailers may also need to be doused in an acid solution periodically, such as once every two years, in order to restore their shiny appearance. This is because dirt and grime gradually get into the pores in the aluminium causing it to look dull or beaten down.

Initial Cost

Steel trailers may be more affordable to buy when compared to aluminium trailers. This is because aluminium is a more expensive material than steel. However, additional manufacturing steps, such as galvanisation, may raise the cost of fabricating a steel trailer. It is therefore advisable for you to compare the actual cost of fabricating a custom trailer from either material before you choose the one that is more affordable for you.


Consider the conditions under which you will be using that custom trailer before you choose the material from which the trailer should be made. Steel is very strong and can cope well with the stress of long journeys or off-road conditions. Aluminium is a soft material that can easily develop dents when the trailer is continuously towed on bumpy roads.

As you can see, each material has its own pros and cons. You need to weigh the attributes of each material against your specific needs before you select the material that will meet those needs. Contact custom trailer fabricators for additional advice so that you get value for the money that you invest in your new trailer.