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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

How do you tell intermodal equipment (IME) chassis from other types of trailers?


To tell IME from other types of trailers:

  • Look at the lower corners. Intermodal containers transported on IME have “twistlocks” at each lower corner to secure them to the chassis
  • Look for the retro-reflective tape. On van trailers, it is applied around the lower perimeter of the trailer walls. On IME, the marking will be on the chassis itself, not on the container that is being transported
  • Look at the lower frame. Many types of IME have a large beam that runs along their length. You can see this beam under the exterior floor of the container. Most types of van trailers do not have a large beam that you can see below the floor
  • Look at the information on the rear doors. A container is generally marked with several items of information about the container’s capacity: maximum gross weight, tare weight, net weight, and cubic capacity. Dry van trailers are rarely marked with information at this level of detail

Last Updated : April 3, 2014