A 53-foot-long trailer can fit a maximum of 30 pallets on the floor of the trailer. To pack a trailer with 30 pallets, industry standard pallets of 40 inches by 48 inches must be packed in two rows with the wide sides facing the front and back of the trailer.
Another common pallet configuration is to place pallets in two rows with the narrow sides facing forward. Twenty-six pallets can be packed in a trailer using this configuration. A third style of packing pallets is called "chimney style" or "pinwheel style." Using this configuration, a pallet with the wide side facing forward is loaded right next to a pallet with the narrow side facing forward. This configuration allows 28 pallets to be loaded in a 53-foot-long trailer.
In practice, few 53-foot-long trailers are packed with 30 pallets. Weight, overhang, pallet configuration and non-standard pallet sizes are a few factors that affect how many pallets can be packed in a trailer. One of the biggest restrictions on how many pallets a trailer-truck can safely carry is the maximum load of the truck. The truck can carry fewer pallets if each pallet is loaded with heavy items. Cargo that overhangs the footprint of the pallet also limits the number of pallets that can be packed in a trailer.