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Channel vs. I-Beam Frame?

You might be asking "which is better? channel or I-beam frames?" If you are confused as to why different trailers offer different frames, and which one you need, you are not alone. You want to make sure you are buying the best quality trailer on the market, and we are glad you are doing your homework. There are a lot of different frame materials available when buying a trailer, angle, tube, channel, and I-beam.

We've made a simple and easy to understand comparison for you to determine which frame you need on your trailer, channel or I-beam.

C Channel

In the Lamar Trailers manufacturing shop, we just call C channel "channel."


  1. Strong for how light weight it is, which can increase payload.

  2. All surfaces can be coated to prevent corrosion.


  1. Not as strong as tubing or I-beam.

  2. Under high stress, it can twist or bend sideways, it is not great for long unsupported spans.


Channel is remarkably strong for how light weight it is which makes it great for smaller payloads like our equipment haulers and utility trailers. It can be coated from all sides, unlike tubing, which can massively decrease corrosion on your main frame. We use channel on almost all our trailers for floor cross pieces.



  1. Can handle vertical and horizontal stress

  2. Best weight-to-strength ratio for high payloads.

  3. Open construction can be coated on all surfaces to prevent corrosion.


  1. Under high amounts of stress, long pieces are susceptible to twisting. (all our trailers over 36 feet have a torque tube to prevent twisting.)


I-beam is best suited for high payloads on large trailers, that's why you'll find it on Lamar deckovers and dumps. It requires re-enforcement to prevent twisting, and that's why Lamar has torque tubes and underframe bridges standard on longer trailers. If you are looking for strength, I-beams are the way to go, look at buildings, especially steel buildings they are all made out of I-beams.

Here at Lamar, we use a variety of frames on our models, based on their payload and use. Check out our angle frame utilities, channel frame utilitys, channel frame equipment trailers, channel frame tilt trailers, I-beam frame deckovers, I-beam frame dump trailers,

If you are looking to buy a well engineered and high quality trailer, check out our trailers here.

Information gathered from Mechanical Elements


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