Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Is Exotic Hardwood Trailer Flooring Better Than Domestic?

Trailer flooring takes a lot more abuse than regular hardwood flooring or decking. Even if you aren't a huge shipping company and only use your trailer bed for hauling every now and then, the flooring needs to be stronger, more durable, and more resistant to the elements than anything you might install in your home. At, we sell Apitong, the tough-as-nails exotic trailer flooring material trusted by industry professionals for years. But does trailer flooring need to be exotic? Can domestic hardwood work just as well as trailer flooring? The answer, in our opinion, is no. Here's why:

Janka hardness rating is probably the most important factor when considering trailer flooring material. A wood's hardness plays a big part in determining how much weight it can carry and how resistent it is to dents, scratches, and other common wear. The hardness rating of Aptiong trailer floorig is 1,270 pounds. Most common domestic hardwoods, such as Cherry, Pine, Fir, and Cedar, have hardness ratings upwards of 1,000 pounds and as low as 350 pounds. In short, exotic hardwoods almost always have a higher hardness rating than domestics, making them much more suitable for trailer flooring.

There are many factors that contribute to a hardwood species' durability; namely, strength, stiffness, and density.
Strength refers to how much weight the wood can carry before it will break. Stiffness refers to the bending strength of the wood; in other words, how much pressure the material can take before being deformed or warped. Combined, these two metrics can tell you a great deal about how much weight your trailer flooring will be able to hold. Apitong has strength and stiffness ratings of 19,900 PSI and 2,070 1000 PSI, respectively. Domestic hardwoods tend to have strength and stiffness ratings that are much lower; anywhere from 7,500 PSI - 12,600 PSI for strength and 800 1000 PSI - 1,700 1000 PSI for stiffness.
Density is another important factor when determining a wood's durability. The more dense the wood, the less susceptible it will be to changes in temperature and humidity. A high density also means the wood is less susceptible to wood-boring insects. Apitong has a density of 790 KG/m3, while domestic hardwoods usually fall into the range of 670 KG/m3 - 260 KG/m3. Clearly, exotic hardwood trailer flooring is more durable than its domestic counterpart.

While domestic hardwoods tend to have a smaller up-front cost, because they are less durable than exotics they tend to need replacing more often. Apitong, for example, can last in normal above-ground working conditions for up to 15 years. You'd be lucky to get a good 5 years out of some domestic hardwoods. The larger up-front cost of exotic trailer flooring may seem intimidating, but you'll save yourself a whole lot of time and money in the long run.

As you can see, exotic hardwood makes for a much stronger and more reliable trailer flooring material. Want to learn more? Contact TrailerDecking today to talk with one of our knowledgeable sales reps. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Angelim Pedra VS Apitong: Which Flooring Material Is Right For You? [INFOGRAPHIC]

For years, Asian Apitong has been the standard hardwood choice for trailer flooring and truck bed applications. More recently, another hardwood species has made an impact on the trailer flooring world: Angelim Pedra. Both are great options for industrial uses such as trailer flooring, but which is the right choice for you?

The following infographic compares the two species by four important metrics; hardness, strength, stiffness, and density. We hope this helps shed some light on the issue and gives you the information you need to decide which is best for you. Enjoy!

apitong vs angelim pedra trailer flooring

As you can see, both varieties have their pros and cons. Angelim Pedra beats Apitong in both hardness and density, while Apitong is the clear choice in terms of strength and stiffness. Both are superior trailer flooring products, so the choice is often a matter of personal preference. Which do you prefer? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Top 3 Lumber Choices for Trailer Flooring

Not every hardwood species or variety of species is appropriate for trailer flooring applications. Some species are too soft. Others are too susceptible to inclement weather. Here at TrailerDecking, we get a lot of questions about what are the best lumber choices for trailer decks and beds, so we decided to compile a list of our favorite species and varieties. These choices represent the strongest and longest-lasting trailer flooring options on the market. Enjoy!

apitong trailer flooring

Apitong Truck Flooring
Apitong is our most popular truck flooring product, and for good reason. It is incredibly strong (10,500 psi) and has a hardness rating of 1,270 lbs. While it is not naturally very resistant to wood boring insects or inclement weather, it works great with an application of high-quality sealant. It is also a great trailer flooring choice for dry climates or covered beds.

Angelim Pedra Truck Flooring
Considered one of the most durable truck flooring options, Angelim Pedra has a hardness rating of 1,720 lbs and a strength of 8,990 psi. What it lacks in superior strength it more than makes up for in stability and durability. Angelim Pedra truck flooring is one of the most stable hardwood options you can pick, second only to Purpleheart, meaning it is much less likely to warp and buckle over time. It is also rated very resistant to both white-rot and brown-rot fungus, making it a great choice for more humid climates.

Laminated Truck Flooring
Laminated truck flooring isn't exactly a specific species, obviously, but it is still one of the most popular options on the market today. Laminated truck flooring, or LTF, is used strictly in dry van trailers as it can't withstand exterior exposure. This frees up manufacturers to use softer woods that wouldn't otherwise be appropriate for trailer flooring applications, such as Red Oak and mixed light hardwoods from Southeast Asia.

Have questions about which trailer flooring choice is right for you? Contact today to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives. We'd be happy to help!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Caring for Your Apitong Deck, Part 3: Regular Maintenance Tips

Welcome to the third and final installment of our ongoing blog series, Caring for Your Apitong Deck. As you'll recall, our first two installments covered environmental dangers to your deck and picking the right finish for your deck, respectively. This week we'll take a look at five regular maintenance tips you can follow to keep your trailer flooring functional and look good. Enjoy!

1. Clean!
This is an important but often overlooked step in regular trailer flooring maintenance. You may not think that cleaning your truck or trailer flooring is important - it's a work truck, after all! You're not trying to win any beauty contests! - but the reality is that dirt, dust, mold, and mildew can cause unnecessary wear and rot on even the toughest decks. Sweeping and washing on occasion can really help extend the life of your trailer flooring.

2. Fix popped nails.
They're not only bad for the boards, they're hazardous to you and your work crew as well. Look out for popped nails whenever you're loading, unloading, or cleaning, and replace them when you find them.

3. Replace busted boards.
The great thing about hardwood trailer flooring is that when a board warps, rots, or breaks, most of the time you can replace it without having to tear out and replace the entire bed. If you are a fairly competent DIYer, removing and replacing a board or two in your trailer flooring shouldn't be a problem.

4. Refinish.
If your trailer flooring is still structurally stable but is looking a little worse-for-wear, it might be time to refinish it. This may seem like a purely aesthetic maintenance step, and it mostly is. However, even the best hardwood finish loses its protective qualities over time. Refinishing regularly will help protect the wood from the elements and extend the life of your trailer flooring.

5. Replace.
Hardwood trailer flooring is a natural material, and despite your best maintenance attempts, it will degenerate over time. If the majority of your boards are warped, bent, and busted, it's probably a good idea to replace the entire deck. Call the professionals at TrailerDecking today to discuss your options when replacing your entire deck.

We hope you've enjoyed reading this blog series as much as we've enjoyed presenting it to you! Stay tuned to the TrailerDecking blog for more helpful trailer flooring tips and information!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Caring for Your Apitong Deck, Part 2: Picking the Right Finish

Welcome to part two in our three-part exclusive blog series, Caring for Your Apitong Deck. As you'll recall, the last installment discussed the environmental dangers your Apitong trailer decking can face in the course of its lifetime. This week we'll be taking a look at the different types of finishes you can apply that will help protect your trailer decking from those dangers. Enjoy!

Many trailer owners skip finish applications because they think the cost is too high. While the finish cost and the cost of labor to apply it to your flatbed deck may seem steep at first, it is modest when compared to the potential damage and degradation your deck can face from the elements. Efficient finish applications usually take no longer than an hour or so and require just a few gallons of deck treatment. Again, it may seem like an annoying add-on, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.

In order to avoid damage caused by the elements, there are two basic types of deck treatments to consider: 1.) a semi-transparent oil stain, or; 2.) a water-repellent preservative.

Oil stains are the treatment option most often preferred by hardwood industry professionals. The finish soaks deep into the wood surface and provides an attractive even color while still allowing the natural grain to show through. If you're looking for a protective finish that will feature your deck's natural beauty, oil stains are the right choice.

If you decide on an oil stain you will be faced with another decision - the type. There are two common types of oil stains: 1.) natural oils like linseed oil, and; 2.) more expensive synthetic oils. Both oils do an excellent job of sealing and preserving the wood and they both produce a beautiful deck.

Natural oil stains have a tendency to support mildew and discoloration, so if you live in an area with moderate to severe humidity and rain you may want to think twice about this choosing this type of finish. The better natural oil stains contain mildewcides (or they can be added), but black mildew can reappear in a year or so so regular applications may be necessary. Synthetic oil stains, on the other hand, are specially formulated and eliminate the problem of black mildew.

That brings us to the second option you have when choosing a deck finish: water-repellant preservatives. Clear water repellent preservatives are often made of a wax- or a silicon-base. This base seals the wood but doesn't soak as deeply into the wood. The water repellant preservatives are often less expensive (about half the cost of good quality oil stains) but they need to be reapplied every year. If you decide on a silicon- or wax-based preservative, check the label to make sure it contains not only water repellents but also mildewcides and UV blockers.

Still unsure what kind of finish to use? Contact the professionals at today to discuss your options. And don't forget to tune in next week when we'll conclude the series with "Caring for Your Apitong Deck, Part 3: Regular Maintenance". Till then!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Caring for Your Apitong Deck, Part 1: Environmental Dangers

Unless you leave your truck in the garage 24/7, your flatbed trailer will naturally be exposed to the elements. This exposure can cause major damage to your hardwood trailer decking material. In this series, we'll take a look at the different environmental dangers facing your Apitong wood trailer, the best ways to prevent exposure-related problems, and what to do if damage occurs. Today we'll be focusing on the different ways changes in temperature, humidity, and air quality can harm your trailer boards.

caring for apitong trailer decking

Moisture and Humidity
Wood is a hygroscopic material, which means it naturally takes on and gives off water to adjust to its surrounding environment. Wood shrinks and swells when it lose or gains moisture below its fiber saturation point. This natural behavior is responsible for some of the problems encountered when wood dries. For example, cracks and checks can result from stresses induced in a piece of wood that is drying. As the piece dries, it develops a moisture gradient across its section (more dry on the outside, more wet on the inside). The dry outer shell wants to shrink as it dries below fiber saturation; however, the wetter core constrains the shell, which can cause small cracks called “surface checking” or “season checking” to form on the surface.

Temperature Changes
Moisture isn't the only enemy of Apitong trailer decking; high temperatures can also potentially damage your floors. Damage of this nature typically takes the form of shrinkage to the face of the decking. The result is abnormally large spacing between boards. This can also sometimes be accompanied by concave cupping of the deck boards.


Much like your own skin, excessive exposure to the sun can cause major damage to the cellular structure of Apitong trailer decking. UV rays break down the materials that hold the wood fibers together. You have seen how UV rays can destroy your deck chairs and cushions – the same holds true for your Apitong floors!

Keep in mind that wood is a product of nature and, as such, will acclimate to its surrounding environment. Even properly seasoned decking can change dimensions after installation given the right conditions. It is important to understand that excessive seasonal swings during summer and winter will take their toll on decking.

Tune in next week when we'll be taking a look at a few of the ways you can prevent exposure damage by applying the right finish. If you can't wait a week, give us a call at 1-855-APITONG; we'd be glad to answer your questions!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Welcome to the Official Blog!

Welcome to the brand new Blog, your source for news and information about the trailer and truck decking and flooring industry.

At, we strive to keep our customer’s wheels turning and their businesses running strong. The vision of is to be the customer's first choice for Apitong flooring and related trailer and truck products. We meet the needs of our customers by offering a value package that includes an assortment of innovative products and a high level of personal service.

At, our goal is to be the toughest, strongest, and smartest Apitong flooring provider in the country. Here's how we do it:

We bring the unmatched and time-tested advantages of Apitong products to truck trailers, bodies and related equipment. By providing physical and mechanical properties not found in other wood species, Apitong provides the value, durability and reliability that so many of our customers demand.

We set up on the premise that our customers didn't want to pay any unnecessary mark-ups to brokers and wholesalers who don't add value to the transaction. We buy all our material directly from the manufacturers overseas, we inspect it ourselves, and we don't use brokers or wholesalers to get the job done.

Led by our dedicated customer sales and service team, is the only company that offers you a complete one-stop solution for all your Apitong wood product needs. With a diverse product offering, multiple locations throughout the country, and quick order turnaround times, we back our customers with our strong network of service and support to fill each customer’s specific needs.

Contact now to discover all the benefits of Apitong products and see how can work for your business.