Prioritizing Driver Safety and Comfort in Trailer Design

thoughtful trailer design with driver comfort and safety in mind

thoughtful trailer design with driver comfort and safety in mind

There are few factors that fleets depend on for success more than driver retention. With the average cost of new driver onboarding exceeding $10,000 in some cases, keeping drivers satisfied and motivated to stay behind the wheel is crucial for any fleet. One of the best ways to do this is by prioritizing driver comfort and safety via thoughtful truck and trailer design.

“One of Great Dane’s highest priorities is listening to our customers and their drivers so we can understand their safety needs and tailor our products for those needs. Drivers are the ‘users’ of this equipment and are one of our most important stakeholders. Their feedback has helped us improve everything from work lights, backup cameras, and steps with appropriate grab handles, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Tim Miller, Truck Body Product Director at Great Dane

Here are some of the latest design choices keeping drivers behind the wheel.

The Latest Technology

Great Dane’s smart trailer telematics system, FleetPulse, was designed and continues to evolve based on feedback from drivers and fleets to help increase efficiency and productivity. Fleets depend on the telematics system for everything from pre-trip inspection efficiencies to keeping drivers safe.

“Great Dane constantly designs and tests our products and solutions to improve driver safety and ease of use. FleetPulse now comes standard with ABS fault code monitoring, and this is a huge commitment from Great Dane to improve highway safety,” says Justin Garver, FleetPulse Sales Executive. “Being able to provide all Great Dane customers with proactive information about critical ABS faults shows a commitment to keeping our customers, their drivers, and the general motoring public safer.”

Great Dane also offers the industry’s smallest wireless camera powered by a wireless auto-pairing system. This rear-mounted, wireless camera increases drivers’ awareness of what’s going on behind them on the road, in parking lots, and during docking maneuvers.

Comfortable, Practical Amenities

One of the first places that comes to mind when considering driver comfort is the cab, and many fleets find focusing on factors like comfortable chairs and ample space to move around to be a good investment. However, thoughtful, ergonomic trailer design can also greatly increase driver comfort.

Depending on what they’re hauling, it isn’t uncommon to find drivers spending hours a day loading and organizing their cargo. For these drivers, features on many Great Dane trailers, such as easy-access grab handles and doors, an easy-access front gladhand, and an electrical box connection mounted on a replaceable pan, can improve both comfort and efficiency. Many Great Dane trailers also feature LED work lights above the side and rear trailer doors, and inside the trailer.

Motion sensor dome lights and high-output LED strip lights are also available for maximum visibility. Of course, a well-maintained truck also significantly contributes to driver comfort.

“In general, one of the biggest things that can impact drivers’ satisfaction is dealing with things that keep them from being able to do their job and get home at the end of the day. Improperly maintained equipment leads to safety issues and potentially unplanned roadside breakdowns that affect driver satisfaction,” Garver says. “FleetPulse helps give visibility into potential issues before they become a problem on the road.”

Staying Safe

Nobody wants to feel unsafe at work, so Great Dane offers multiple options for safe entry and egress in its trailers. Great Dane reefer trailers also feature a heavy-duty safety-grip floor that increases driver safety and reduces cargo movement.

In addition, Great Dane offers an optional and exclusive four-in-one backup alarm in its trailers, featuring Grote’s integrated lamp that combines all stop/tail/turn and backup functions into one industry-standard size lamp. The alarm system works completely independent of the ABS system on the brakes.

With driver retention more critical than ever, fleets find mindful truck and trailer design exceptionally helpful for business. Read more about how Great Dane designs trailers with drivers top of mind. 

Prioritizing driver comfort and safety in trailer design isn’t just a matter of satisfaction; it’s a strategic investment in your fleet’s longevity. Our designs don’t just meet expectations, they set new standards, ensuring your drivers stay with you for the long haul. 

Why Drivers Love Great Dane Trailers

The trailer is an important safety aspect often overlooked in the trucking industry. Great Dane values driver feedback and has continuously enhanced trailer design to prioritize driver well-being. Some of these include:

  • Safe ingress and egress—including steps, pull-out platforms, ramps, gates, grab handles, and doors
  • A unique continuous hinge-style side door lock design, prioritizing driver ergonomics
  • Easily accessible front gladhand and electrical box connection design, mounted on a replaceable pan for driver convenience
  • Break-award shore power plug
  • Optional backup alarm devices
  • Microban-infused PunctureGuard lining (standard on Everest and Alpine models) makes surfaces easier to clean by resisting stains, odors, and damage
  • Long-lasting safety grip solution at high-friction zones with SLIPNOT (standard on all 2025 Everest models with roll-up and side doors)
  • LED strip lighting for increased brightness and better dispersion of light


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