2024 Guide of What is Container Side Loader

Have you encountered the problem that unloading containers becomes a hassle in a confined space? Then it’s time for our protagonist to shine, Container side loader – the semi trailer specially designed for loading and unloading by itself. It’s very practical and has a pivotal role in the logistics.

1. What is the container side loader?

When we work in specific locations, sometimes there is limited space in the front and back of the container to load and unload the container, and the container side loader is the perfect solution. It is ideal to use the container side loader for delivery after transporting the container to the designated location. We can use the container side loader by placing the container parallel at half a meter and landing between the outer lifting feet. (container side loader for sale)

container side lifter trailer for sale

40ft side lifter truck for sale

2. Why use the container side loader?

We often see the container side loader on the dock. It facilitates our life, especially in some cases of limited space. Container side liter always does the task excellently.

The shipping and transport industry is the backbone of our global community. In essence, the shipping and transport industry is more than just moving things; it’s about keeping our world interconnected and thriving. The container side loader is an important part of the global transportation industry.

3. Side loader trailer images

40ft container side loader truck

40ft side loading container trailer for sale

20ft side loader traielr

20ft sidelifter container trailer for sale

4. Container sideloader specifications

Brand: PANDA Mech

Maximum lifting capacity: 37 tons

Dimension: 12000*2500*4000mm

Suspension: Mechanical

Axle: 3

Tires: 12

Material: High strength steel

Crake: WABCO emergency valve

Kingpin: 2/3.5 feet

Landing gear: Jost

Power source: Power take-off/diesel APU

Operation method: Wireless remote control and manual operation

5. Application

Side lifter trailers can use the side lifter trailer not only for transportation in containers but also for other purposes, which are well illustrated by the following pictures. (such as prefabricated concrete, swap bodies, cable drums, drilling & crane rigs, pipes, and stacking containers)

side lifter application

side loader container truck application

6. Features:

The container side loading crane has two cranes, front and rear, installed on the semi-trailer floor, transmits hydraulic power through the tractor, can slide along the chassis front and rear, remote control wireless operation, and retains manual process, which can realize the self-loading and unloading of container transportation.

With compact structure, reliable operation, simple operation, and high operational efficiency, the use of the location is mainly in the port, car show, yard, and other occasions of container loading and transportation.

20ft side loader trailer

20ft sidelifter for sale

7. Types of PANDA container side loader

With the development of the economy, the demand for container side loaders is also increasing. It can help many customers reduce transportation costs, increase profit, better seize the market, and get more market share.

The types of side loader containers include 20ft, 40ft, and 45ft. The cargo consists of 16 tons, 21 tons, 25 tons, 37 tons, etc. Generally, the maximum load of container side loader is 37 tons. If it exceeds 37 tons, some reinforcement and design are needed.

20ft side loader trailer

Three axles 20ft side loader for sale

Chassis classification

Lattice Chassis – The initial design is to use a lattice chassis, which is unique. Although it is light in weight, it is also very strong.

I-Beam Chassis – This was introduced to provide customers with an alternative chassis benchmark. Customers can choose according to their own needs, according to the actual use, our business manager will provide you with the most professional advice.

side loader trailer drawing

side loader trailer drawing

Terms of power

The front end directly provides power, the other is through the diesel engine to provide energy, equipped with power is PTO or diesel APU.

8. How to operate the container side loader?

Container side loader work can be directly controlled by remote control. We have to ensure that the ground is hard and flat. Otherwise, problems are likely to occur. Usually, the PANDA container side lifter is equipped with a wireless remote control, but the Container side loader must fix the receiver on the side loader truck. The receiver needs to be well protected. Although it is robust, it would be better to put it in the electric control cabinet, which will salt the receiver’s life.

How to operate the container side loader

operate container side lifter

9. Structure

Side loader trailer welding structure using high-strength steel, try to ensure the high strength of the case and reduce its self-weight, which needs to make a good design. Each side loader truck container has a 2-stage telescopic boom operated by a double-acting telescopic cylinder integrated into the boom gear.

Crane module – The crane module is an important part of the container side loader work. It uses hydraulic power. Through the crane, the container/goods can be transported from the ground, another vehicle, dock, warehouse, etc. to the designated location. The crane is on the top of the container side lifter truck trailer chassis and moves on the chassis track through hydraulic motors and hydraulic cylinders so that goods or containers of different widths can be loaded.

container side lifter drawing crane module1

Drive power unit – The power unit is generally powered by a separate diesel engine, but some are also powered by a truck tractor, also known as a PTO.

Stabilizing legs – The stabilizing legs are hydraulic, their main function is to support the ground through the stabilizing legs so that the vehicle body remains stable when the container side loader is working, and there will be no rollover, especially in some uneven inside In some places, the role of the stabilizing leg is very important, and the extension of the outrigger can provide additional support when lifting in some narrow positions.

stabilizing legs side loader

side loader stabilizing legs

Tractor – Usually used to pull the container side loader, but sometimes it is also used as a power unit, and it also provides compressed air for the trailer’s brakes. Only after the tractor and the side loader truck are connected, the side loader trailer can work safely, because the tractor ensures the normal operation of the brake after supplying compressed air, and also plays a very important role in the stability of the container side lifter.

Chain – There will be a special linking device at the bottom of the container to link the chain to the container, and then start loading or unloading.

side loader trailer chain

side loader trailer chain

Chassis – The role of the chassis is very huge. It carries the weight of the crane and the cargo/container, so the requirements for the strength of the chassis are very strict, and only high-strength steel can do the job.

Remote control – When the side lifter trailer is working, there is a certain danger. When we are in control, we use the remote control, which can effectively avoid the occurrence of danger. It is more convenient to view the cargo/container from multiple angles through button and joystick operation, using a wire or radio signal connection.

wireless remote control

10. How does the side loader trailer load the container onto the trailer?

  • 1. We need to dock the side loader trailer next to the container, parallel close, the distance is about 0.5m best, container side loader power is provided by the tractor or diesel engine.
  • 2. spread the crane legs and brace them on the ground. Side lifters should note that the environment must be hard and flat to prevent the legs from overturning when the force is applied.
  • 3. after propping on the ground, you can use the chain to connect to the container. The chain will be fixed in the dead corner of the container using a selected device.
  • 4. Then start lifting. When lifting, pay attention to the driver to stay away, and use the Side loader trailer can control the remote control.

Tip: Sometimes, we will transport 20ft and 40ft containers. They are of different sizes. We are loading. First of all, the crane will slide along the chassis to a more suitable position before working so that the loading process is more accessible and safer.

11. What is the difference between using a side lifter and the traditional loading method?

The use of a container side trailer saves workforce and time. The traditional way of unloading containers first needs to flatbed semi trailer or container chassis docked at the designated location, and then use a forklift or crane loading, the overall time-consuming and labor-intensive, high cost. There is a certain This is time consuming, costly, and dangerous.

what is the difference between using a side lifter and the traditional loading method

Crane and side loader trailer manufacturers

Using a container side lifter requires only one person to operate it, and basically, it can be loaded within 2-5 minutes and is much safer.

12. How to unload the container side loader

  • 1. Dock the side lifter trailer at the designated position, then extend the telescopic arm and legs to ensure the stress point is flat and firm.
  • 2. Use the chain to lift the container, and then put it in the designated position to finish unloading.

13. Buy or lease

Compared with container chassis, flatbed semi trailer, container side lifter price is higher, so we need to consider it seriously.

If we need to use it for a long time, more than 2 years, it may be more cost-effective to buy it, if it is shorter than 2 years, it will be more appropriate to rent it.

13.1 How much does container side loader cost?

20Ft side loader trailer price:  $26,500-$65,900

40FT container side lifter price: $30500-65,900;

45Ft container side loader price:  $38,500-68,900.

How Much Does a Container Chassis Trailer Cost?

14. How to choose a container side loader manufacturer?

  1. Size: Match the chassis length to the size of the containers you’ll be transporting. Some chassis are extendable for various sizes.
  2. Material: Look for high-quality steel construction for durability and longevity.
  3. Terrain and Environment: Think about the conditions where the chassis will be used. For rugged terrains, a more robust chassis may be needed.
  4. Regulatory Compliance: Verify that the chassis meets all local, state, and federal regulations, including safety standards.
  5. Budget: While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that quality and safety should never be compromised.
  6. Brand: Brand is a very important choice, a good brand tends to be more durable and last longer, such as Panda Mech.
  7. Place of Origin: As we all know, China has a lot of inexpensive goods, likewise, container side lifter is no exception.


After reading this article, I believe you have for what is container side loader already have more understanding of it, whether it is the size, structure, use, we have been in the article in detail, container side loader is the world’s logistics and transportation industry in an important part. No matter what problems you encounter with the container side loader, we will assist you in solving them, even if you did not buy from us.


If there is no container side loader, how should we transport containers?

We can use container chassis trailers, gooseneck container chassis, or tilt container chassis trailers to transport containers. (Related: What is container chassis trailer?)

How many tons can be loaded in a container?

A container can be loaded with a max of 37 tons, for safety reasons we usually load less than that.