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Dumps: Views of the market and trends from dealers and manufacturers

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

by Tom Berg & Kate Harlow

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Smooth-sided Bullet belly dump products were aquired from bankrupt Beall by Nebraska-based ShirAul LLC, and continue to be built in the same plant in Washington state.
Smooth-sided Bullet belly dump products were aquired from bankrupt Beall by Nebraska-based ShirAul LLC, and continue to be built in the same plant in Washington state.

The ‘Bullet’ survives bankruptcy

A bottom-dump design widely used in the West and elsewhere is the Beall Bullet, fashioned of aluminum sheeting and interior bracing that is aerodynamic in performance. Beall, the company, is now in bankruptcy and liquidating its assets, but the Bullet survives and will be produced by a new owner.

Bullet operations, including a plant in Sunnyside, Wash., have been bought by ShirAul LLC, of Scotts Bluff, Neb. Lanny Lucara, vice president of sales and marketing at Aulick Leasing, a ShirAul arm in Billings, Mont., said the acquisition was effective January 7.

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“We acquired a backlog of orders, and in this last month we've taken some additional orders,” he said in mid-February. “Some demand was out there, kind of on hold, while customers were waiting to see what happened with Beall.”

With the acquisition, production continues. The Bullet is offered with numerous axle configurations and capacities for use in various states, with double-trailer combinations grossing up to 140,000 pounds, Lancara said.

The Bullet's aero design saves fuel because the trailer is easier to pull, Lancara said, but Beall couldn't use “aerodynamic” in its claims since a competitor complained in 2007. Beall never tested the trailer, but some customers reported 10% to 14% better fuel economy with it.

Beall, based in Portland, Ore., meanwhile sold off other businesses as part of the bankruptcy. Its tank trailer operations went to Wabash National through Wabash's recently acquired Walker Group, another tank-trailer and body manufacturer. And Beall's widespread parts and service business went to Polar Corp. Those two transactions were announced in January by Polar and Wabash.


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