Aluminum Trailers vs. Steel Trailers: The Ultimate Comparison

Aluminium and steel are two of the most common materials used in almost any modern object. And we’re not just talking about home and kitchen appliances, electronic gear, and personal devices here. The argument as to which between these two materials is better provides extended well into how exactly we travel the highways and byways of contemporary human existence. In this specific article, we’ll try to make a metal vs aluminum truck comparison with the expectation you will be even more enlightened to help make the best decision concerning which of both systems will better fit your trailer requirements.


With regards to lightweight aluminum vs steel power, there is this idea that the last mentioned is structurally more powerful than the previous. This is generally attributed to the fact that when one discusses objects that are constructed of lightweight aluminum, they are considering 100% aluminium. If this were the case, then there really is no point in making any comparison at all since pure aluminium will be substantially weaker than steel.

The aluminium used in objects like a modern trailer is typically combined with other metals to produce what we call an aluminium alloy. Different aluminium alloy manufacturers will have their own secret ‘quality recipes’ as to how to formulate a stronger structure. For example, they may use 85% aluminium while the remaining 15% can be composed of additional elements such as copper, silicon, zinc, tin, manganese, and even magnesium. In the aerospace market, they typically use a combination of aluminium and magnesium to make it lighter while retaining its strength. Solid alloy systems combine aluminium with silicon. The addition of additional elements to aluminium is what gives an aluminium alloy its strength.

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The same is true with steel. A steel trailer frame is made up of iron and carbon as well as other elements. So, you observe steel is an alloy, too. It’s not really that much different from your aluminium alloy, except maybe to the base component (iron vs lightweight aluminum) and the excess components.

Both systems are solid. However, they actually have one quality which may be an edge or a drawback based on how you utilize the trailer. Metal is generally even more rigid. Therefore, it should take tremendous amounts of pressure to bend it. This should come in useful when traversing on uneven landscape. The structural rigidity of steel will keep the integrity of the trailer. However, if it can bend there’s very little you can certainly do to ‘unbend’ it. Once metal continues to be bent, it really is today more vunerable to cracking.

Alternatively, an aluminum truck frame is even more flexible. It really is still solid, nonetheless it can absorb pushes much better than metal. Therefore, when it bends or flexes, it really is 3 times much more likely to return to its primary shape.

So, which is more powerful? Both are solid, except that you’ll also need to consider other elements.


Apart from strength, additionally it is important to go through the weight from the material. With regards to lightweight aluminum vs steel fat, the latter should come out as the apparent champion. Trailers that are constructed of lightweight aluminum alloy are generally 10 to 15 percent lighter than their steel counterparts. This can translate to a few things.

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One of them is definitely lighter workload on your engine. True, you may have a powerful V8 chugging your trailer, but if the trailer was 10 to 15 percent heavier, that roughly translates to additional workload for your pickup truck. And whenever engine workload is definitely increased, you can also expect fuel economy to suffer. The wheels will also be affected. You may have the best trailer tires in the market, but if you’re lugging a heavy trailer behind you (using the best trailer hitch in town) these wheels will also have to take some of the brunt.

Heavier steel trailers especially the ones that weigh greater than a couple of loads will often need among the better truck brake controllers on the market to be set up on the tow automobile (that’s if your vehicle doesn’t include one currently). But when you can in some way manage to decrease the weight of the trailer, then you clearly won’t have a need for such a system anymore.


One of the most obvious reasons why most folks choose an aluminum trailer over a steel one is because of the remarkable resistance of aluminum alloy to rust. Aluminum is well-regarded for its ability to resist rusting; hence, providing the added benefit of longevity or durability. However, it is important to understand that aluminum is only resistant against rusts, which is technically the chemical reaction that occurs when iron and steel react with oxygen in the atmosphere. Rusting is a kind of corrosion. The appropriate query, therefore, can be whether light weight aluminum corrodes or not really.

lightweight aluminum

You may be flabbergasted in learning that your light weight aluminum metal trailer can be prone to corrosion as well. This is known as aluminum oxide corrosion whereby the aluminum in the alloy reacts with oxygen in the air to produce aluminum oxide. This layer of aluminum oxide protects the underlying surface of the aluminum from further corrosion. It is for this reason that aluminum trailers will typically outlast their steel brethren.

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Maintenance and Cost of Repair

In our ongoing stainless steel vs aluminum trailer comparison, we’re left with one item left in the bag. Up to this point, we know that aluminum trailers beat steel versions in terms of weight and sturdiness. It’s strong, too.

Aluminum may be a bit more expensive to repair, but when it comes to maintenance, it really is easier than metal. Aluminum trailers, given that they don’t corrosion, will never need the use of rust-resistant materials. The light weight aluminum oxide that may possess built up over time can be quickly taken out with an acidity bath. Alternatively, metal trailers should be rust-proofed.

Light weight aluminum trailers are lighter than metal trailers. Also, they are rust-proof, easy to keep, and equally solid. Steel trailers, alternatively, are strong and incredibly rigid and could be a great deal cheaper to correct. Ultimately, the decision is certainly yours.

aluminum oxide

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