The Hidden Dangers of Overheated Cargo Trailers: What You Need to KnowAugust 25, 2023 by Kyle McFarlane
Cargo trailers are useful vehicles. The enclosed spaces protect against the elements, which is ideal for things like landscaping equipment, power tools, and sensitive building materials.
While the trailers are effective haulers, overheated cargo trailers present a significant danger to the owner and bystanders. Installing ventilation and taking appropriate precautions is essential to ensure operational safety.
If you are a new cargo trailer owner or looking to invest in your first, you must understand safe storage and operation, especially if you plan to store heat-sensitive or combustible materials inside. Discover the danger of an overheating cargo trailer and how to prevent such catastrophes.
Understanding Cargo Trailers
The number one rule when reviewing cargo trailer safety tips is to keep it cool. Depending on the material of the exterior trailer — its walls and roof — its interior can become like an oven, exposing stored items to extreme heat. The rising temperature can create a combustible environment for some items, especially fuels.
A simple search online will show numerous examples of cargo trailers ablaze. In almost every situation, the fires are a result of improperly stored items and a lack of proper ventilation. To protect your cargo and yourself, it is crucial to understand the dangers of overheating trailers and how to prevent them.
What Is Overheating in a Cargo Trailer?
In the summer, it is nothing for a nonventilated, metal cargo trailer to reach temperatures of 60° C or more. Overheated cargo trailers present a risk to cargo and owners.
If you regularly work inside your trailer, you might become overheated. Anyone who must work in their trailer should ensure all doors remain open to allow maximum air circulation and ventilation.
If you store mechanical equipment with a fuel tank, ensure there is enough ventilation in the trailer to prevent a buildup of fumes and combustible vapours. Excessive heat is often enough to ignite a spark or volatile fumes.
Why Is Overheating Dangerous?
Overheating is dangerous for a few reasons. First, excessive heat presents a significant fire hazard. Depending on your cargo, a fire hazard can become explosive, presenting a substantial risk to neighbourhoods, bystanders, or other drivers.
Second, excessive heat present a real threat to your physical health. If you spend too much time in a cargo trailer, you might experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both conditions are dangerous, but heat stroke can inhibit the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, presenting a real threat to survival.
Finally, excessive heat can affect your haul. Some materials, including plastic, wood, and various metals, do not respond well to heat. While some woods can handle the heat, you might find lumber warped if the cargo trailer is also humid. Plastics, such as PVC pipes, will likely melt in extreme temperatures. Aluminum may corrode faster when left in a cargo trailer because of the heat and oxidation.
How Can You Prevent Overheating in Your Cargo Trailer?
Preventing a cargo trailer from overheating is easy if you know what you are doing. First, park your trailer in shaded spaces whenever possible to avoid direct sun. Second, if your trailer has windows or doors, open them to allow for ventilation.
If your trailer does not have windows, install one or two. If you do not want windows, install proper vents and fans. You might even consider installing a roof vent.
Avoid Overheated Cargo Trailers With McFarlane Venting Accessories
Overheated cargo trailers are dangerous. They present fire and safety hazards. Installing proper ventilation can help prevent many overheating issues. If you want to improve the ventilation in your trailer, check out McFarlane Trailer Sales for accessories and tools.