Trailer Talk

Cold in Roanoke, a Shiny Overnite Rig, and a Volunteer Named Wizzy. How About That?

It was really cold when Senior Editor Tom Berg toured the Transportation Museum of Virginia in Roanoke, and found a brighter-than-life Overnite rig.

Stainless steel sides of '47 Fruehauf were so bight it was difficult to shoot a photo.

January 24, 2014

Piggyback and container trains were running on an O-gauge model railroad, and little big rigs were backed into loading docks, just like in the real world.

Tags: Railroads, Mack, Museums, Overnite, Fruehauf, Trailers, History

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, January 24, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

‘Super Cube’ Rig Among Finalists for TWNA Tech Achievement Award

Editor-members of the Truck Writers of North America have nominated, debated and voted for the next recipient of their award for technical innovation. One candidate is a l-o-n-g tractor-trailer.

January 10, 2014

Walmart Canada is testing its high-capacity 'Super Cube' rig in Ontario. Is it neat enough to win a big award? Senior Editor Tom Berg discusses it.

Tags: Walmart, Super Cube, long combination vehicles, TWNA

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

North Dakota’s Cold and Hot, Thanks to Weather and the Bakken Boom

The Great Plains and Midwest are one big ice box right now, but the economy's so heated up in North Dakota that unemployment's nil.

January 7, 2014

Senior Editor Tom Berg looks at a photo of a frigid scene in North Dakota and spots a lone semitrailer, parked perhaps with a load of processed feed, waiting to be offloaded. He wondered, will that trailer even roll? The photo sparked a conversation with a North Dakota trailer dealer for his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, Maintenance, North Dakota

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, January 7, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Portable Vac-Mounted Vibrator Works Where Grain Loads Jam

Vibrator weighs under 10 pounds and is easy to move around. It runs off air from a tractor’s compressor.

December 30, 2013

A frustrating part of being a bulk commodities driver is having a jam occur somewhere in the trailer during offloading, interrupting the material flow and setting him to work trying to break it free. That usually means hammering on a trailer’s side walls, but a Midwestern carrier has found a new product that’s effective, portable, lightweight and easy to use.

Tags: Trailers, Dry Bulk

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, December 30, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Wabash Builds Its 500,000th DuraPlate Van

Duane Acklie, chairman of Crete Carrier Corp. (left), and Tonn Ostergard, president and CEO, receive Wabash National’s 500,000th DuraPlate van trailer.

December 16, 2013

Half a million is a lot, especially when it describes how many big 53- by 102 trailers have been made by one manufacturer. Wabash National Corp. last week said it had produced its 500,000th DuraPlate model since introducing it 17 years ago. Senior Editor Tom Berg has the story in this Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, Wabash National, Crete Carrier Corp.

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, December 16, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Snow on the Roof? Knock It Off with Compressed Air, Driver Says

November 26, 2013

Snow is spreading across much of the country, and maybe everyone’s biggest worry is just getting there. But if you’re motoring down the highway and a trailer ahead of you starts shedding sheets of snow and ice, that’ll make your trip even more interesting.

Tags: Trailers, Winter, Safety and Compliance

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, November 26, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Nice Trailer, and It’s Ready for Somebody to Just Hitch Up and Haul It Away

Empty but well-equipped flatbed sits in plain view on a lot along a highway in Ohio, its kingpin bare and waiting for a trucker-thief to back on and pull away. However, most thieves steal trailers for their loads, says a maker of kingpin locks.

November 18, 2013

Senior Editor Tom Berg writes about an parked trailer he recently happened upon while on a Sunday drive.

Tags: Trailers,, Carrier Security Corp., Kingpin locks

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, November 18, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

WD-40 Among Tools Used by Edwards Crew to Move Massive Transformer

Crew uses extended-boom forklift to place rails under the load on the railcar, which has been jacked off its springs for stability.

November 4, 2013

Since its initial haul of a transformer to a new electrical substation in Ohio (“Count the Wheels Under This Heavy-Haul Trailer,”), Edwards Moving & Rigging has delivered three more of the huge and heavy pieces of equipment. There’s one more to go.

Tags: Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, November 4, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

The Winner of the ATD Commercial Truck of the Year Is…

Who won the 2013 Commercial Truck of the Year award? Sorry, I can’t tell you, even if I knew.

Three heavy duty entries rest at day's end. From left, Kenworth T880 dump, Peterbilt 579 sleeper-cab tractor and International ProStar+ daycab tractor.

November 3, 2013

Senior Editor Tom Berg writes about his experience judging the ATD Commercial Truck of the Year contest.

Tags: Hino, Kenworth, International, Peterbilt, ATD Commercial Truck of the Year

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, November 3, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

YouTube Video Shows Why That Forklift Driver Can’t Destroy Your Trailer’s Liner (Maybe)

October 24, 2013

Tom Berg has rediscovered on YouTube some of the wonder of watching "Industry on Parade" as a kid, with a video about the technology behind one company's wall liners, which he shares in his latest Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, US Liner

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Just an Old Trailer? No – It’s Part of Intermodal History

Well used trailer is a former Flexi-Van bought about 1968 by the Santa Fe Railway. It was for sale at a rental and leasing company in Omaha in 2004.

October 15, 2013

This Strick trailer is part of intermodal history going back more than 50 years. It was one of a large group bought by the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway for coast-to-coast Flexi-Van service it ran with the New York Central System. This particular trailer was spotted in 2004 in Omaha, Neb., after it was retired from piggyback service.

Tags: Trailers,, Strick, Flexi-Van, CSX, BNSF

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Count the Wheels Under This Heavy-Haul Trailer!

First nine “lines” of wheels are hydraulically steered left and the last nine are steered right as the trailer makes a sharp left turn onto a parking lot.

October 6, 2013

Sometimes really interesting things happen right near home. A few weeks ago I was on a Sunday jaunt with my wife and a granddaughter, driving through Sunbury in central Ohio, about nine miles from where we live. We spotted something big and heavy being moved through the village on a trailer that seemed to have a hundred wheels.

Tags: Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, October 6, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Quality Parts Should Go Into Trailer Electrical Systems, Updated TMC Recommendations Say

Typical wiring harness for a van trailer and explanations of its circuitry and other details are among the illustrations in TMC’s RP-704C, an update to old equipment recommendations. TMC members recently approved it.

September 24, 2013

Updated recommendations from TMC for trailer electrical systems say sealed wiring, water- and corrosion-resistant connectors and low-amperage lamp designs are the things to get for long life – not new advice, but information newly included in the group’s Recommended Practice 704.

Tags: TMC, Trailer, Trailer Lighting Systems, Trailers, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Maintenance

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, September 24, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

47-Year-Old Trailer to Work Again Following On-Line Auction Sale

What’s the oldest working trailer you know of?

Lots of steel went into this ’66 Easton side-dump trailer that just sold on-line for $2,500. The internet has changed how auctioneers do business, but Dan Pate of Pate Auction Service still prefers to personally inspect equipment.

August 29, 2013

What’s the oldest working trailer you know of?

Tags: Trailer, , Easton

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

‘Steer Cars’ and ‘Jeeps’ Bring Up the Rear of Long-Beam Hauls

A 162-foot-long, 168,000-pound concrete beam has arrived at the job site aboard a 14-axle rig. I-5 bridge over the Skagit River is being rebuilt after a section was knocked down by an oversize load aboard a semi. Photos by Washington state Department of Transportation.

August 19, 2013

Last week we ran a news story about the hauling of long, heavy concrete beams for reconstruction of the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in northwestern Washington. You may recall that a section of the aging steel truss bridge tumbled into the water on May 23 when an oversize load hit an upper support beam.

Tags: Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, August 19, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Careful Spec’ing Cuts a Ton of Tare Weight from Beverage Distributor’s New Vans

Wine-toting Great Dane vans use aluminum crossmembers, wide-base single tires and wheels, and aluminum roof sheeting to cut 2,000 pounds from each one. Small portholes along the top of each side let in sunlight that fiberglass translucent roofs do on older, heavier trailers. Cheap natural gas motor fuel lessons the need for heavy side skirts.

August 5, 2013

With tractors getting heavier, Monarch Distributing in Indianapolis needed to lighten up its trailers to recapture payload capacity. Its latest group of 53-foot vans from Great Dane accomplish this by scaling 2,000 pounds lighter than previous units.

Tags: Trailers,

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, August 5, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

‘How Durable is TrailerTail?’ Watch This Video

July 24, 2013

Makers of trailer aerodynamic improvers are well aware of truckers’ suspicions that the devices will be damaged, sooner or later. That’s why many of the latest ones are made with materials that are flexible and impact resistant.

Tags: TrailerTail

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Are 2.23% Fuel Savings Too Modest to Sell this Aero Improver? Maybe Not

Tractor AeroKit panels and wheel covers smooth air flow around the tandem. Devices are made of rugged thermoplastic olefin.

July 9, 2013

It takes a tractor to move a trailer, which is why we’re looking at this new product from a small company: Tractor AeroKit from Flow Below Aero Inc., in Austin, Tex. The kit saves fuel by smoothing air flow around the vehicle’s drive wheels.

Tags: Aerodynamics

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, July 9, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Schneider Begins Installing Container- and Trailer-Tracking Devices

By the end of September, a Qualcomm tracking box will be attached to the nose of every Schneider National intermodal container. All van trailers will have them by December 2015.

June 28, 2013

It’s 11 p.m. Do you know where my load is? That’s a shipper asking a trucker the whereabouts of the trailer or container carrying his cargo. He’s not asking about a tractor and its driver; he wants to know about his load. From that point of view, it’s odd that trucking companies attached the first satellite and cellular-based tracking devices to tractors years ago, when products became available.

Tags: Qualcomm, Technology, Trailer, Schneider,

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Advanced All-Steel Bottom Dump Trailer Claims Light Weight, Smooth Operation

American Carrier Equipment's all-steel, tandem axle, semi bottom dump trailer is the culmination of a two-year research, development and field-testing program aimed at producing a tough, lightweight trailer.

June 25, 2013

It looks like a common western belly-dump trailer, but this new model from American Carrier Equipment is 30% lighter, has 300% greater structural integrity and accommodates a 12.5% greater payload than competitive offerings, according to the builder.

Tags: Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, June 25, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Hydraulic Ramp Modules Now Convert High-Floor Vans into Auto Haulers

Decking modules are battery powered and contain their own hydraulic equipment. This system is for a low-floor van; the designer is preparing modules for high-floor trailers.

June 12, 2013

Household goods movers haul not just furniture, but sometimes automobiles owned by the people making the move. This of course enhances truckers’ revenue.

Tags: Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Why Better Underride Guards, and Maybe Other Stuff, Are Worth It

When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested underride guards in 2010, one guard failed. That trailer manufacturer has since redesigned its guards, and it worked properly in the IIHS&#39; latest round of tests.<br />

June 3, 2013

Senior Editor Tom Berg offers some personal insight into trailer underride guards and why they're so important in his "Trailer Talk" blog.

Tags: IIHS, Safety, Trailers, Underride

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 3, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

TV News Reporter Does a Good Job on an Underride Story

May 21, 2013

We in the industry are sometimes irked when we see inaccurate or incomplete stories about trucking in the general news media.

Tags: Trailers, Trailer underride guards

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

See-Through Trailer’s Intriguing, Even If Wonder Woman’s Not Inside

Lexan panels in the right-side wall of Ancra&amp;rsquo;s display trailer lets truck show viewers see what&amp;rsquo;s displayed inside. But you&amp;rsquo;ll want to go in there yourself.

May 8, 2013

Maybe you saw it in March at the Louisville truck show – that transparent trailer in Ancra International’s booth. I spotted it earlier in the month, at the TMC’s annual meeting and expo in Nashville. Story-wise, the why of it is obvious: It’s a rolling stage on which Ancra displays a number of its freight handling and tie-down products.

Tags: Trailers, Ancra

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, May 8, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Over the years, from old pull trailers to multi-axle configurations

Two of three modules of a &amp;ldquo;3-3-2&amp;rdquo; multi-axle configuration were shown by Talbert in its booth at the Louisville show. Missing is the 2-axle &amp;ldquo;booster&amp;rdquo; that would be attached to the rear.

April 29, 2013

Heavy-haul equipment has always fascinated me, ever since I was a little boy watching “steam shovels” dig basements in our then-expanding neighborhood in post-World War II Milwaukee. The shovels (which were actually gasoline- and maybe diesel-powered) were carried to job sites on low-slung pull trailers. The trailers were pulled by dump trucks which, after parking the trailers on the street, also carried away some of the dirt from the new holes.

Tags: Trailers, Mid-America Trucking Show, Talbert

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, April 29, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Author Bio

Tom Berg

Senior Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.

Sponsored by

Newsletter

We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.



GotQuestions?

LUBRICANTS

The expert, Mark Betner from Citgo will answer your questions
Ask a question

Sponsored by


WHEEL ENDS SOLUTIONS

Wheel end expert Jeff Geist from STEMCO will answer your questions
Ask a question

Sponsored by

Magazine