Why are aluminum trailers so expensive?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Why are aluminum trailers so expensive? We will review the pros and cons of aluminium trailers and compare them to steel trailers. We will talk about durability, costs and maintenance. 

Why are aluminum trailers so expensive?

The main reason why aluminium trailers are so expensive compared to steel trailers is that they tend to be more durable, easier to maintain, rust-free, and thus have a higher resale price

The advantages of an aluminum structure versus a steel structure are as follows:

  • A weight 2 to 3 times less for the same resistance
  • Increased loading capacity
  • Fuel economy
  • No possibility of rust
  • Increased trailer life
  • No maintenance required
  • New appearance throughout its life
  • Very low depreciation over time. 

The pros and cons of aluminium trailers

No rust or corrosionMore expensive
Lightweight, in turn, allows a greater load capacity.More difficult repairs/welding, etc.
The resale value is much higher than steel.Acid washing is recommended as an additional piece of maintenance
Many aluminum trailer companies have a longer towing warranty.Aluminum can stain, especially with heavy use
It usually has more features and better components.Aluminum floors can dent and cannot be easily replaced

Aluminium VS Steel Trailers: an honest comparison

Aluminum is one of the most abundant materials on the planet. It ranks third behind the other common chemical elements, oxygen and silicon. It is the most common metal on Earth, covering about 8% of the mass of the Earth’s core.

Aluminum is light, durable and functional. You can find it in almost every aspect of your daily life. Whether it’s the house you live in, the car you drive, the trains and planes you use for long-distance travel, the cell phones and computers you use every day, or food and drink containers in your refrigerator. About 75% of the aluminum produced since the aluminum industry has existed is still used today.

Aluminum offers a rare combination of valuable properties:

  • Lightweight – almost 3 times lighter than iron
  • Durability: almost as strong as steel.
  • Ductile – easy to work, does not magnetize and easily forms alloys with other metals.
  • Corrosion resistance: thanks to a thin oxide layer naturally present on the surface.
  • It is also a superb conductor of heat, which makes it an excellent material for making radiators.

Aluminum can be easily pressure treated, hot or cold. It can be rolled, drawn and stamped. Aluminum does not catch fire, does not require special painting and, unlike plastic, is not toxic. It is also more cost-effective than other metals and materials and can be easily recycled. This is why we have chosen to make our electric heaters from this fantastic and high-quality material.

Aluminum is an excellent heat sink, with thermal conductivity of around 209 W / (m * K). In addition, it is a lightweight, corrosion-resistant and waterproof material.

The difference between steel and aluminum 

WeightThe first difference between steel and aluminum is their weight. Aluminum profiles are much lighter than steel profiles, which makes them more suitable for small structures, often temporary and placed on mezzanines. 
In contrast, steel profiles are more suitable for stable and durable structures, such as concrete constructions.
Corrosion resistanceSteel, due to its nature, is more prone to corrosion than aluminum, therefore implying that the strength of aluminum profiles is higher. 
However, if the steel profiles are made of stainless steel, a material that does not corrode and is very resistant to weathering, the difference between steel and aluminum is reduced with profiles having the same level of corrosion resistance.
CostAluminum is more expensive than steel, which is why aluminum profiles are generally more expensive than steel ones. 
In any case, the cost of a profile does not only depend on the raw material, but also on the treatments and processes to which it must be subjected. 
Therefore, the cost of aluminum profiles and steel profiles will vary depending on the specific needs of the application.
Ease of productionAnother difference between steel and aluminum is the ease of processing. Aluminum profiles are easier to make because aluminum is a much more malleable material than steel. Therefore, the processing costs are generally lower.
Ease of installationAluminum extrusions are joined together with fittings, while steel extrusions are usually welded to each other. Thus, aluminum profiles are easier to install and dismantle, and this is the reason why they are often used for temporary structures.

Which are better: Aluminium or Steel Trailers?

Each type of metal has its own advantages and disadvantages that easily translate into the type of end product that they are used to making, in this case, trailers. Knowing and comparing the attributes of galvanized and aluminum trailers lead any towing enthusiast to make informed decisions about purchasing one.

Are aluminum trailers worth the money?

Yes, aluminium utility trailers are worth the money. They are perfect for both personal use and business use. Lightness thanks to the aluminum and also stability, solidity, quality are the keywords of these utility trailers. 

Aluminum is a metallic element, and an average of 29 million tons of this material are produced in the world each year. Approximately 25% is recycled, so it is proven that the material is economical to use in minimal quantities. It is especially good for light and compact trailers designed to transport small volume loads. 

The material is not as strong as steel, and it does not have the same level of flexibility. This means that under the same pressure, the aluminum will bend more and will not be able to handle the amount of heavy load effectively. This material is also not suitable for transporting cargo over longer distances, as it fatigue and spoils faster than steel. 

Aluminum has become popular as a recyclable material for use in inexpensive homes and trailers.

You should choose an aluminium utility trailer for several reasons:

  1. Due to its robustness: greater resistance and rigidity. Compared to fibre, aluminum has greater strength. This is a great virtue for towing, as the load suffers less damage and inconvenience. In addition, thanks to its flexibility, aluminum has a greater capacity when it comes to receiving impacts, therefore the trailer suffers less wear.
  1. Greater safety: aluminum is a practically fire-retardant material, so it does not burn in the event of a fire.
  1. Simple repair: in case of damage caused by impact or deformation, the repair is simple and the properties are restored without a problem.
  1. Greater resistance to the sun: it is a material with great durability capacity against sun exposure.
  1. Lower maintenance cost: being an anti-corrosive material, aluminum does not need any additional treatment.
  1. Reduces the tare of the vehicle: as its density is low, it makes the trailer reduce its tare, allowing more cargo to be loaded.
  1. Emissions reduction: weighing less makes the vehicle towing the trailer spend less, reducing consumption per km.
  1. Long life: being more resistant and easy to repair, the life of aluminum is longer.
  1. High flexibility: its properties make it easily conform to different shapes, making it a material that can be used in different places on the trailer.

Final thoughts

Many consider aluminium trailers better than steel, and we can see why.  All aluminium trailers are made of metal, except the axles and hitch. This makes them more durable.  They are more expensive than steel trailers and have a higher resale value even after years of use. Also, aluminum trailers are lighter than steel ones and can be towed easier. 

Which one would you choose? Let us know what you think!

FAQ on Why are aluminum trailers so expensive?

Which is stronger: steel or aluminum?

Steel will hold about 4 times more impact than aluminum. Steels: are heavier than aluminum, they are also more resistant. Raw steel has the disadvantage of rusting so it must either be protected or made stainless.

Are aluminium boat trailers better than steel?

Many consider aluminium boat trailers better than steel, and we can see why.  All aluminium trailers are made of metal, except the axles and hitch. This makes them more durable.  They are more expensive than steel trailers and have a higher resale value even after years of use. Also, aluminum trailers are lighter than steel ones and can be towed easier. 

Do aluminum trailers crack?

Yes, the aluminium trailer can crack, if there are plenty of stress cycles put into it. Aluminum is said to be weaker than steel, therefore trailers need additional reinforcement leading to an overall trailer weight similar to a steel trailer. Aluminum is also more prone to metal fatigue and shear and tear when damaged.