The reason that some semi-truck trailer doors have quilted patterns on their rear doors is to reduce glare on the vehicles following them.

This Is Why Truck Trailers Have Quilted Rear Doors: A Brief Explainer

Semi trucks and their trailers are our stalwart friends on any road trip. Those who spend a lot of time driving can attest that the highway is the natural habitat of these hulking machines. But even if we see them all the time, a lot about trucks is a bit of a mystery to us outside of that world, and one of these mysteries caught my attention a few days ago: quilted rear doors.

If you want to be specific, these are “diamond pattern stainless steel doors” according to Utility Trailer, the manufacturer. The reason they look that way is simple yet pretty clever: The quilted steel stops light from reflecting directly backwards. It breaks bright reflections and angles them away from drivers.

That’s right. Truck drivers and tractor traile… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

6 thoughts on “The reason that some semi-truck trailer doors have quilted patterns on their rear doors is to reduce glare on the vehicles following them.”

  1. MalcolmYoungForever

    Refrigerated trailers use stainless steel doors because of the moist or even iced down food products. There’s a lot of condensation and drainage going on at the rear of the trailer. Stainless steel doors without the quoting pattern would indeed be blinding.

    Source: 20 years in trucking, 10 pulling “reefer” trailers.

  2. kozmonyet

    I don’t buy it. It sounds more like a story invented after the fact than before.

    As a stainless fabricator myself, quilted is used because it allows a thinner sheet to be chosen as it adds a tiny bit if stiffness but mostly because it is really good for hiding visual (reflective) defects. Shiny flat sheet would enhance and amplify every minor imperfection in the sheet’s lay but quilted sheet fools the eye by breaking the visual defects up. We tend to use what’s called “rigidized” sheet which is like a pattern of small dimples–it hides about anything while adding even more stiffness to the stainless than quilting.

  3. BrooklynBookworm

    Today you taught me…

  4. Aluzionz

    This must be an American thing predominantly? Never seen this driving in the UK or EU.

  5. fugly16

    Maybe we can somehow transfer this to trucks with bright headlights blasting my rearview mirror.

  6. Billy_T_Wierd

    Also if you get stranded in cold weather quilted is warmer

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