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Understanding the Appearance of the Galvanized Finish

Hot-dip galvanizing finish trailers appearances

Recently on our blog, we shared the benefits of hot-dip galvanizing your trailer (read it here). A popular option in coastal areas or on salty roads, hot-dip galvanizing offers protection from corrosion and rust. At Felling Trailers, we have received some questions about the appearance in the finish of the hot-dip galvanizing – in particular, the varying shiny and dull finish that can occur.

Why Are Some Hot Dip Galvanized Trailers Shiny and Other Hot Dip Galvanized Trailers Dull?

Felling FT-3 Hot Dip Galvanized Trailer - hot dip galvanizing finish trailers appearancesIt is common and acceptable for galvanized steel to have different appearances that appear both shiny and dull. The reason for the different appearance comes from the chemistry of the steel pieces, specifically silicon and phosphorous. A thicker coating can make the appearance look different. Highly reactive steels also tend to have a matte gray appearance rather than a typical bright or shiny coating. Much of this is out of the galvanizer’s control, especially if welded pieces or even the same piece of steel have different light and dark appearances due to steel chemistry. Regardless of the galvanized trailer having a varied dull and shiny appearance, it still has an equal amount of corrosion protection from the hot-dip galvanizing.

Preserve Your Hot Dip Galvanized Finish and Protect Your Trailer

Felling FT-6 T Hot Dip Galvanized Trailer - hot dip galvanizing finish trailers appearancesSometimes it is necessary for the galvanizer to repair areas on the trailer after the initial dip. To someone who is not familiar with the repair procedure of galvanizing, the area that was repaired can appear like a dull gray spray paint compared to the shiny coating on the rest of the trailer. Typically the dull gray paint that they see is actually done by the galvanizer using the methods in ASTM A0780 to repair after the initial dip. Felling Trailers’ galvanizing company, Valmont – West Point, actually purposefully uses a dull zinc coating when doing touch up because it will blend better when the shine wears off, rather than if they used a shiny zinc coating for touch up, that will likely stand out.

Understanding the Hot Dip Galvanizing Finish

Felling FT-10 DTHD Hot Dip Galvanized Trailer - hot dip galvanizing finish trailers appearancesHot-dip galvanized trailers have outstanding corrosion protection to the base steel. But hot-dip galvanizing is also an industrial process, so the finish is not always uniform, unlike paint or powder coating. Occasionally, hot-dip galvanizing is requested for appearance purposes, but more often, hot-dip galvanizing is specified for the trailer to protect the steel from the environment and corrosion. At Felling Trailers, we want our customers to be empowered and understand the differences that can appear in the finish with hot-dip galvanizing – such as dull and shiny parts on the same piece. If you have additional questions or concerns about your trailer purchase or the hot-dip galvanizing process, please feel free to contact us here or call us at 888-335-5464.


  1. Chris kremer says

    I’m trying to buy parts for my trailer but you say they can’t be shipped to my address,how do I get the parts I need to repair my trailer?
    I need #13 and #24 ,144” x 20” box side and the front box part also 20” tall and the width of my 12’ dump trailer.

    • Hello Chris,
      The items you are looking at are a call to order items, please call our Parts Department @ 1-866-335-5464. Our Parts and Service team can help you with any questions you might have.

      Hope this helps,
      Felling Trailers

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