April 18, 2022 12:00 PM, EDT

Prepare for Their Worst


Have you ever witnessed a forklift driver loading and unloading your dry van? It’s a sight to behold! There are the aces who slide in pallets with unbelievable precision. It seems as if they take pride in doing their job well, keeping your side wall in good condition. Then there are those forklift drivers who feel the need to rush as if they’re on the racing circuit. Your side walls are of no concern. 

Our engineers think about the risks your trailers face at the dock. We’re aware that the only person who may care about your side walls is you. We’re committed to innovations that make our trailers productive, light weight, and strong. We habitually strive to improve the performance, durability, and quality of our trailers.

A lot of thought went into the design of the side walls of our 4000D-X Composite® dry vans. A closer look shows how we made them special. First, our engineers did something you cannot see. An injected polyurethane foam core securely bonds the exterior skin with the interior lining panels. This technology increases side wall strength and durability, without increasing the trailer tare weight.


Second, we engineered a Snag-Free® interior lining. Our galvanized interior lining panels are squeeze-riveted with fully recessed fasteners to the outer skin and side posts, creating a Snag-Free®, high strength composite wall. This proves to be highly resistant to lift drivers on a collision course.

Third, our composite side wall also features 80K flush steel logistics posts. This engineered and track-tested design optimizes side wall strength and provides greater cargo securement versatility. This uncompromising design also enables the dry van to maintain 101" of inside width.


We took great thought about the exterior of the side wall as well. Tested for optimum performance, our strong, light weight, and .040" thick aluminum exterior side skin uses the strength of the foam bonded to the interior lining panels to distribute side wall stress. We also coat the exterior side wall with Ultra Road Shield™ Plus (URS+). ASTM proven, this two coat acrylic system with urethane primer enhances corrosion protection, minimizes the effects of weathering, and keeps the trailer looking better, longer.

We engineered the 4000D-X Composite® TBR for heavy-duty applications. The tall bottom rail is 10” taller and 50% thicker at floor level than on our standard dry van.  The high mounted wearband provides more strength and durability against a careless forklift driver.


Beyond the side wall, we added a stainless steel rear door frame. This corrosion resistant frame reduces maintenance costs and increases resale value, and its 110 1/2" door opening height allows increased forklift clearance. Finally, our 27" deep integrated threshold plate is fully welded to the buckplate and side gussets. This eliminates floorboard decay under the threshold, and delivers the optimal strength to resist dock plate damage and fork truck impact.

A lot of thinking went into making our side walls stronger, more durable, and better for the customer. For more information, contact your local Utility dealer.  You can find them at



Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company is America's oldest privately owned, family-operated trailer manufacturer. Founded in 1914, the company designs and manufactures dry freight vans, flatbeds, refrigerated vans, Tautliner® curtainsided trailers, and aerodynamic technologies. Utility currently operates six trailer manufacturing facilities across North America. Utility’s 3000R® and the 3000R® multi-temp refrigerated trailers are manufactured at the Atkins, Virginia, Clearfield, Utah and Piedras Negras, Mexico plants. The 4000D-X Composite® series and 4000D® dry vans are manufactured at the Glade Spring, Virginia and Paragould, Arkansas plants. The 4000AE®, 4000S®, and 4000AE® Drop Deck flatbeds as well as the Tautliner® are all manufactured at the Enterprise, Alabama facility. Utility also has an extensive independent dealer network with over 100 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America. Visit: for more information.


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