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Curtain side Straight Truck?

bsg

New member
I'm in the process of buying a 18' box truck, wondering if the box can be converted to a curtain side truck?

If it costs too much to convert, any idea on price on a new curtain side, also what manufacturer would you recommend?

Thanks for any guidance!

Kevin
 

matt_isserstedt

Moderator
One issue with a traditional curtainside 53' trailer is that the back end has a triangulated brace structure to resist the force of tensioning the curtain (its almost like a load binder deal at the front of the trailer). The structure is removable but takes up a good 6ft of space from the back end.

Not sure if that's a big problem with your intended useage but it sounds like a pain if one was constantly having to R&R it for long loads or if the truck is intended to be fully loaded with stuff.

Another angle is the collapsed curtain can be rolled front or back but it also always occupies some space, let's just say 6ft total but then you'd never be able to put an 18' piece on the truck from the side, would be limited to about 12' of max length. Again not sure if that's a problem with your intended useage.

I think if you had a straight flatbed and just invested in some actual Heavy Duty tarps that would be suitable for long haul trucking it would be a whole lot cheaper at the end of the day. Made up in more labor to fold/stow/tension the tarp but it all boils down to the amount of useage, whether that's 5x per year or 5x per day.
 

bsg

New member
One issue with a traditional curtainside 53' trailer is that the back end has a triangulated brace structure to resist the force of tensioning the curtain (its almost like a load binder deal at the front of the trailer). The structure is removable but takes up a good 6ft of space from the back end.

Not sure if that's a big problem with your intended useage but it sounds like a pain if one was constantly having to R&R it for long loads or if the truck is intended to be fully loaded with stuff.

Another angle is the collapsed curtain can be rolled front or back but it also always occupies some space, let's just say 6ft total but then you'd never be able to put an 18' piece on the truck from the side, would be limited to about 12' of max length. Again not sure if that's a problem with your intended useage.

I think if you had a straight flatbed and just invested in some actual Heavy Duty tarps that would be suitable for long haul trucking it would be a whole lot cheaper at the end of the day. Made up in more labor to fold/stow/tension the tarp but it all boils down to the amount of useage, whether that's 5x per year or 5x per day.

The curtain side box trucks have a frame around the opening, only need a removable support in the middle depending on the size of the truck?

I have a 1 ton dually now with a trailer, also have the professional truckers tarp with d-rings, tarping loads consume most of the time tying down loads and it sucks!

I bought a 18' box truck, now I'm going to sell the pickup and trailer, with the proceeds I will put it into a curtain side body.

This will be mainly for hauling smaller machines.......a friend bought 8 lathes out of Nevada a few years ago, they were loaded on a curtain side truck, just thought it would be the best of both worlds, depending on cost?

IIRC, the curtain occupied about 2' of the front of the trailer while loading?

Kevin
 

jmead

New member
I think that’s a great idea for a straight truck that size, but I think it will end up being a custom install. If there’s a commercial trailer repair shop around they might point you the right direction for design and materials.
 

Ox

Moderator
I have seen at least one curtain side straight truck before.
It's been done.


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

Ox

Moderator
The issue with that - is that you cannot crane.

If you go with the Conastoga (?) type, then you can.
BUT - then you are not covered when loading either - like you are here.

It's all a trade off in this life...


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Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

Steve in SoCal

Active member
A curtain side "flat bed trailer can be rated to support concentrated loads, a flat bed body for a straight truck? It looks like these bodies are designed for bulk load type use. Small machines are not an issue but, a heavy machine with a small footprint may be more than the bed can support.

I agree with Ox that a curtain side Vs a Conestoga are trade offs, both have good/bad aspects. In "flat bed trucking" curtain side trailers are a distant second choice because of loading limitations. That may not be an issue for your needs, the strength or lack there of may be more of a problem in machinery transport?

Steve
 

john.k

Active member
You ask a driver to unroll and tie down a 150lb tarp and curtains now,he d jus look at you.....unless hes over 60 ,and remembers the bad old days.....consequently its all curtainsiders,the only flat decks are for bulk bags,steel ,or timber ......I know at my shop,I used to get a dozen calls a week to unload trailers with the crane,curtainsiders was forklifts only ,and everyone has a forklift..........next to me was a boat shop....he had plenty of problems getting boats out of curtainsiders.....with the crane ,I could drop them onto the tow hitch of his pickup.
 

Spud

New member
I was in ATL last week and saw that exact truck sporting a Gexpro logo on it.

I forgot how many box trucks lived in metro Atlanta - might be a place to start looking for a turnkey unit, even though you already have a truck....


The great thing about curtain side flatbeds is that you don't have to fuss about trying to cover up equipment from the rain.
 

bsg

New member
Time to update this thread!

Got some quotes back on the curtain-side conversion, $40,000!
Well, that's not going to happen!

I did use the truck a couple of times after fixing the brakes......and after having a breakdown on the freeway, I'm rethinking on what I might end up doing with the truck, not convinced this is the best route for me after getting a $1500 quote to have the truck towed!!!!

I think I will just stick to my pickup and trailer......

Kevin
 

digger doug

New member
Time to update this thread!

Got some quotes back on the curtain-side conversion, $40,000!
Well, that's not going to happen!

I did use the truck a couple of times after fixing the brakes......and after having a breakdown on the freeway, I'm rethinking on what I might end up doing with the truck, not convinced this is the best route for me after getting a $1500 quote to have the truck towed!!!!

I think I will just stick to my pickup and trailer......

Kevin

Can you fab up some stake pocket bows to make tarping easier ?
 

digger doug

New member
Eggzachary, but didn't want to suggest carrying all those plywood sides as well.

I think a well thought out bow design could be fabbed up easily, and being in the stake pockets, no bracing needed for front/back.

Removable pin in the middle (at the roof ridge), might make them more storable as well.
Bunch of "L"s to carry.
 
In Europe the majority of the trucks have curtain sides For flexability mainly
Loading/unloading is done mainly by forktrucks So with a full truck they can unload something at the middle of the truck and load something else at the next stop there
With a box truck it is first in last out Good for full loads but a PITA for partly loads(Groupage ???)

Many of them can also slide the roof open easaly

Peter
 

RC Mech

New member
Of course they make roll tarp straight trucks. They’re all over the place here in the North. A friend of mine has a plasma shop and a 16’ Hino with a roll tarp.

Glider Systems comes to mind. Maybe “roll tarp” or “ez glide”. Something along those lines are on local trucks.
 
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