In the world of heavy haulage, there is a range of different vehicles to suit every application. When you want to protect a load against the elements (or hide it from prying eyes), a curtainsider trailer is often the go-to option.

A curtainsider – sometimes called a Tautliner or Euroliner – has curtain sides that can be opened to provide easy access for loading and unloading.

Once the trailer is loaded, the curtains are closed and secured in place, creating a visual barrier and a protective shield around the contents.

This is as opposed to the older technique – still in common usage – of sheeting the load on a flatbed trailer with tarpaulins, secured with ropes under tension or ratchet straps.

Why use a curtainsider?

Curtainside trailers offer a degree of protection for the contents of the trailer, making them a good option for transporting delicate loads, especially during poor weather conditions.

They also have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ benefit, as they prevent passers-by from immediately seeing the contents of the trailer, reducing the risk of opportunistic theft.

Finally, because the curtains can be rolled or retracted, curtainside trailers can be easier to load and unload – allowing loading not only from the rear of the vehicle, but also from the sides and, in the case of the Euroliner, even from above.

Curtainsider, Tautliner and Euroliner

Tautliner and Euroliner trailers are specific types of curtainsiders. They were developed by Boalloy, a heavy haulage trailer manufacturer based in Congleton, Cheshire.

What is a Tautliner?

A standard curtainsider has fixing points where the curtains are fastened down. On a Boalloy Tautliner, the curtains are fixed on rails and, when closed, are tensioned to hold them taut – hence the name.

This helps to prevent the curtains from billowing in the wind, or in turbulent air when driving, and can also help to retain the load inside the trailer if it shifts during transit.

Legendary Boalloy cab designer Gerald Broadbent invented the Tautliner in 1969 and the first Tautliner – sold to Louis Reece – is now a part of the Science Museum’s Road Transport Collection.

What is a Euroliner?

The practical difference between a Tautliner and a Euroliner is that the Euroliner features a retractable roof, allowing goods to be loaded and unloaded from above (using a crane or similar lifting equipment).

It was almost 20 years before the Euroliner would be introduced – Boalloy perfected the design in 1987 for P&O Ferrymasters.

In particular, this specially adapted version of the Tautliner had optimised tensioners and bulkheads, to offer the maximum possible loading capacity, and was aimed at drivers on unaccompanied ferry routes between the UK and Europe – again, hence the name!

Chris Bennett’s curtainsiders

The Chris Bennett Heavy Haulage fleet includes both 45ft flatbeds and curtainsiders, including 40-tonne Tautliners, articulated Euroliners and rigid 7.5-tonne Tautliners for smaller loads.

If you would like to book any of our curtainside trailers, make a specific enquiry about our Tautliners or Euroliners, or you have a question about any of the vehicles in our fleet, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and our team will be happy to help.