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  • Gracie Strawser

Van vs. Tautliner: What's the Difference?

At Ned Bard & Son, Co., we only use vans and Tautliner trailers; no flatbeds. We often get asked what the difference between vans and Tautliners are, and why we don't have any flatbeds. We'll explain and show you what the difference is between vans and Tautliners, along with the advantages of using Tautliners.

Our van sides are made with alternating steel and aluminum, and the sides are completely fixed in place. This also restricts shipping and receiving to load and unload from solely the back of the trailer. But our Tautliner sides are made with a PVC-laminated polyester substrate material and Panama weave, which is held together by buckles and hooks at the bottom of the trailer. The buckle and hook assembly allows the Tautliner sides to be secured during travel and opened during loading and unloading. This gives us the ability to haul most flatbed type freight and gives the shipper and receiver the flexibility to load or unload from the side or from the rear at a dock. It's also much easier for our drivers to move and secure a curtain than it is to tarp a load on a flatbed.

Using vans and Tautliners has made a big difference! It's easier for our drivers, as we don't require our drivers to tarp any loads like they would with a flatbed; all they need to learn is how to secure the curtains. It's also more flexible for shipping and receiving, because they can load and unload using the back or sides of the trailer. Loads are very safe and secure, as they aren't subject to the elements. If you're looking for the flexibility of a Tautliner or need a van for your specialized product, the Bard Team is here to help.

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