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!