The rich history of Knapen Trailers


Knapen’s Wagenbouw started life in the 1950s-60s in the years following the second world war. At the time, the bodywork of vehicles was often made of wood and steel. In the late 1970s, Jan and Piet Knapen took over the business from their father. In 1984, the brothers decided to divide up the company to pursue their own ambitions. Knapen Trailers was founded in the same year under the management of Piet Knapen. 

Initially, Piet Knapen and his team built lightweight aluminium tankers and trailers for bulk transport, with a focus on the Dutch, German and Swiss markets. The early days of a rich history perfectly encapsulated in the slogan "no guts, no glory".


1984 Foundation of Knapen Trailers


1988 – Self-supporting construction

In 1988 Knapen Trailers came up with a revolutionary invention that is still found in every moving floor trailer today: the well-known self-supporting construction. This self-supporting construction is what made moving floor trailers a really interesting proposition. The volume increased from 80 m³ to 90 m³ and the own weight was reduced even further to 7980 kg.


1990 Factory opens on Theo van Doesburgstraat


1993 – Europe's first moving floor trailer with side doors

In 1993, Knapen Trailers was the first moving floor trailer manufacturer to develop and produce a moving floor trailer with side doors. It was a revolutionary concept for the era.


1994 – Self-supporting construction for side door trailer

In the year after the launch of the revolutionary side door trailer, the first side door trailer with a self-supporting chassis was produced. To make this achievement possible, a version with a single side door was developed in 1994.


1995 First watertight moving floor trailer

Another first of its kind! In 1995, Knapen Trailers surprised the transport world again with the first watertight moving floor trailer. It was designed specifically for the customer and delivered to their complete satisfaction.


1999 Introduction of the Goldstar


2000 Winner of test award of trade journal Verkehrsrundschau in Germany


2003 – Knapen Trailers focuses on moving floor trailers

From 2003 onwards, Knapen decided to shift its focus and specialise in the construction and further development of moving floor trailers. The production of tippers stopped. The undisputed number 1 position of Knapen Trailers in Europe is enduring proof that this decision to specialise was the right choice.


2003 – 'Trailer of the Year' winner in the UK


2004 Launch of new Heavy Duty moving floor trailer

2004 saw the introduction of the K110, the heavy duty moving floor trailer with continuous chassis for extremely heavy duty applications. The trailer was rigorously trialled and proved to have the ideal construction to cope with rough roads and uneven terrain. In 2019 this tried and tested version was renamed the HDX.   


2005 – Foundation of Knapen Trailers Service Centre


2010 First LHV with a moving floor

In 2010 Knapen Trailers was the first moving floor trailer manufacturer to produce an LHV combination with a moving floor. This combination with a total length of 25.25 m consists of a lorry and a dolly.


2011 Huckepack moving floor trailer

2011 Foundation of Trailned

2015 New premises Knapen Service/ Trailned - Completely self-sufficient


2015 – PowerSheet  nominated for SV Innovation Award

The PowerSheet®  from Knapen Trailers is the ideal way to close the top of your moving floor trailer and ensure it is watertight within just 30 seconds. This innovation was nominated for the SV Innovation Award by the independent jury of the RAI in Amsterdam in 2015.


2016 NEXT - Proven quality improved

The introduction of the NEXT by Knapen Trailers set the new gold standard in the market: an unsurpassed design, a fully robotic welded construction for maximum reliability and based on over 30 years of specialised product expertise and experience. The result is problem-free operation, the lowest operating costs and the highest residual value.


2016 Introduction of Code95 training for drivers


2018 – EXTREME - Scrap & Waste

In 2018, Knapen Trailers launched the EXTREME as the safe alternative to the large volume scrap tipper trailer. This moving floor trailer is made of exceptionally wear-resistant steel so the EXTREME is ideal to transport heavy abrasive materials.


2019 – Member of the Krone Group

On 24 June 2019, Krone Commercial Vehicle Group acquired 100% of the shares of the Knapen Group. As the European market leader for moving floor trailers, Knapen joined one of the largest and leading European commercial vehicle manufacturers and a world player in agricultural machinery. An outstanding platform to capitalise on future opportunities in both sectors.


2020 EXSIDE - Side door moving floor trailer with opening of 12.9 m

Knapen Trailers introduced the EXSIDE, a moving floor trailer with side doors that makes all previous side door models obsolete. This moving floor trailer can effortlessly transport any load thanks to the widest possible side door opening of 12.9 m and its amazing flexibility.


2021 – Winner of the Trailer Innovation Award

The pioneering and innovative design of the EXSIDE was recognised with the Trailer Innovation Award 2021. This prize was awarded by a professional jury of 15 experts. The EXSIDE was deemed to be revolutionary as the new concept is superior to all existing moving floor trailers with side doors.


2022 Knapen introduced HD AXLE


2023 Knapen KX moving floor trailer 

Knapen Trailers introduced the KX range of moving floor trailers in 2023 in collaboration with KRONE. A unique model, equipped as standard with specific agricultural options ideal for multifunctional use.


2023 Introduction of pull-back bumper


2024 – 40 years of Knapen Trailers! 


40 years of Knapen Trailers


2024 is a special year for Knapen Trailers. 
It's our 40th anniversary! A unique milestone.


Together we can raise a toast, looking back proudly on past achievements and 
looking forward to an innovative future!

Moving the Future