Die-cast tractor trailers are one segment of the die-cast vehicle market. Tractor-trailers are attractive to collectors because they are available in many customized schemes as well as company representations. Many collectors focus solely on die-cast tractor-trailers, while others will choose a few models to add to their die-cast vehicle collection. Impranted tractor-trailers can be good gifts for people who collect a certain brand, such as Boston Red Sox merchandise. In any case, die-cast tractor-trailers provide an interesting collecting alternative to the die-cast cars that are available.
Die-cast tractor trailer models have been around nearly as long as the trucks themselves. Some current manufacturers are resurrecting old tractor-trailer designs from the 1950s and 1960s and re-releasing them to new audiences. Older die-cast tractor-trailer models are more difficult to come by. They were not manufactured as prolifically as automobiles.
While there are many die-cast tractor-trailers that can be classified as toys, the majority of tractor-trailer replicas, especially those in the larger scale ranges, are designed as collectables.
Die-Cast Tractor-Trailer Manufacturers
Many of the manufacturers that produce die-cast automobiles and other vehicles also manufacture die-cast tractor-trailers. Some of these manufacturers include:
– New Ray: Manufactures a wide variety of tractor-trailer replicas from big rigs to construction vehicles
– Tonkin: Manufactures a Precision series that can be highly customized
– Ertl: Tractor-trailer replicas include John Deere branding and other farm themes
– Die Cast Promotions: Tractor-trailer replicas include major trucking and interstate freight companies
– Ulrich: Manufactures vintage tractor-trailer models
– Upper Deck Collectibles: Manufactures primarily sports imprinted tractor-trailers
In most cases, the tractor-trailer replica lines are only part of a manufacturers product catalog, which could include other vehicles such as automobiles, farm equipment, fire trucks, and construction vehicles.
Types of Die-Cast Tractor-Trailers
There are two types of imprinted tractor-trailers. The first are trailers that replicate the imprinted trucks seen on the highways. These trucks can include food service companies such as Sysco and Papa Johns Pizza, trucking companies such as Interstate Systems or Carolina Freight, or high-profile retailers such as Wal-Mart or Target.
The other type of imprinted tractor-trailers focuses on the collectibles market. These tractor-trailers can include college and professional sports teams, retailers, and companies who have tractor-trailer models custom made as promotional products.
In most cases, all types of die-cast tractor trailer models are based on actual vehicles. Trucks from manufacturers such as Peterbilt, Freightliner, Kenworth, and Mack are found in miniaturized form in die-cast tractor-trailer models.
However, the world of die-cast tractor trailers includes more than simple box trailers. Available die-cast models include military vehicles, construction vehicles, flatbed trucks and even horse trailers.
Some manufacturers even offer customization packages for their die-cast tractor-trailers. Customization of tractor-trailer replicas has gained interest since the debut of TV shows like Trick My Truck on CMT. These customization packages allow collectors to create a truly unique tractor-trailer for their collection.
Die-Cast Tractor-Trailer Scales
Because of their size, tractor-trailers are generally replicated in smaller scales than other die-cast vehicles, such as automobiles. Scales for die-cast tractor trailers generally range from 1/24 on the large end down to 1/87. Any scale larger than 1/24 is impractical for collecting and storage. Some collectors prefer to collect only one scale of tractor-trailers, while scale is less important to other collectors.
Die-cast tractor-trailers appeal to truck enthusiasts, die-cast vehicle collectors, and collectors who focus on a specific brand. A display of die-cast tractor-trailers can be quite impressive, and even a single die-cast tractor trailer makes an interesting conversation piece.