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Why Do Some Semi-Truck Trailer Doors Have Quilted Patterns?

A semi-trailer truck or just simply a semi-truck is the combination of a tractor unit and one or more semi-trailers that are utilized to carry freight. If you’ve seen one of these on the road, you’re probably wondering why their doors have quilted patterns. It’s not a design flaw, nor is it merely for aesthetics. What is the reason behind this pattern and how does it help us?

Some semi-trucks have a quilted pattern on their trailer doors to minimize the glare the vehicle behind them would experience. The quilted steel stops light from reflecting directly backward. 

The Simple Science Behind the Quilted Pattern

On any road trip, semi-trucks and their trailers are our stable friends on the road. If you spend a lot of time driving, you can most certainly attest that the highway is their natural habitat. But even if we see them often, there are certain details that will catch our eyes and wonder what would be their purpose, for example, quilted rear doors.

These diamond pattern stainless steel doors, to be specific, were developed by the Utility Trailer. There is a specific reason for this pattern. According to the manufacturer, the quilted steel stops the light from reflecting directly backward. It divides bright reflections and angles them away from the driver. 

However, this design is an option on both dry or refrigerated vans, but they are often used for reefers. 

The door skin is easy to clean and resists corrosion, while the high gloss quilted design presents a unique appearance and reduces glare to following vehicles.

The Utility Trailer

The maker values cleanliness, which I observed would matter for a trailer that would be of use for years of service and travel thousands of miles, but considering glare is just as important. (Source: Jalopnik)

Is it Costly to Have Trailer Doors Quilted?

That’s the question I have asked the Utility and they have responded quite fast. According to them, the main reason why all trailers don’t have quilts is that they cost more. The price is more affordable than you might expect. They estimate around $800 to $1000 on dry vans. Companies usually order a high-spec trim that has aluminum wheels, chrome trailer bits, and quilted stainless doors. That package runs from $3,000 to $4,000 extra. 

Although white default doors on dry vans are efficient with reflections, they are cheaper and do a much better job at absorbing light than steel finishes on older trailers. You can still notice the classic stainless finish on some tankers, but because of their cylindrical construction, dangerous reflections are less of a concern. In the end, we can still select what would matter best for us: our safety on the road, cost, and effectiveness, or the appearance while on the road. It is best to take into consideration every part of the truck, for that matter, to be useful especially when it comes to the safety of everyone on the road. (Source: Jalopnik)

1 thought on “Why Do Some Semi-Truck Trailer Doors Have Quilted Patterns?”

  1. James E O'Riley

    So the idiot coming up behind you with his Bright lights on doesn’t blind his ass.

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