Trailer Talk

England's Double-Stack Operation Saves Fuel, Cuts Emissions, Wins Energy Award from TK

C.R. England is building a fleet of 53-foot-long refrigerated containers that will total 300 by early 2011

December 7, 2010

Long-hauling of perishable commodities by rail using advanced temperature-controlled 53-foot containers last year saved C.R. England more than 3.5 million gallons of fuel compared to over-the-road operations. For that, the carrier won Thermo King's Energy Efficiency Leader Award, with a ceremony set for today

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, December 7, 2010 8:30 AM | » Comments(0)

Tracking Trailer Trends

Wabash dry van trailers were the top brand in new registrations tracked by Polk.

November 30, 2010

New commercial trailer registrations for the first nine months of the year were up 42 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Polk's quarterly Commercial Vehicle Market Intelligence Report

Tags: Trends

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, November 30, 2010 12:02 PM | » Comments(0)

High-Tech Trailer Aero Systems

November 12, 2010

A couple of new, sophisticated trailer aero add-ons were on display caddy-corner to each other on the show floor at the recent American Trucking Associations management conference and exhibition

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, November 12, 2010 6:19 AM | » Comments(1)

Minnesota to Honor Thermo King's Fred Jones, Who Invented Early Mechanical Transport Reefers

Weight was a problem even when Fred Jones invented his early transport refrigeration equipment, and he found ways to wring out many pounds from Thermo King units while making them hold up to road vibrations.

November 3, 2010

It's been 72 years since Fredrick McKinley Jones devised what is claimed to have been the first successful mechanical refrigeration system for truck-trailers, and his story goes beyond invention

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, November 3, 2010 6:27 AM | » Comments(0)

How to Move 1.98 Million Pounds

October 27, 2010

Reader John M. King Jr. sent us this description and photos of the hauling of a massive load in the Carolinas. The contractor employed a pair of "multi-line" platform trailers from Mommoet in Holland, with each line being a row of hydraulically suspended and steered wheels

Tags: Specialty

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, October 27, 2010 12:26 PM | » Comments(2)

Rising Demand for Trailers Should Go into 2013, Forecaster Says, But Beware of New Regs

October 18, 2010

Trailer merchants listened to good news about their immediate business prospects from forecaster Eric Starks, who predicted steady sales increases into 2011 and through '12 and '13, though he observed that a dismal 2009 will make percentages larger and better than actual production numbers

Tags: Dry Vans

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, October 18, 2010 9:43 PM | » Comments(1)

Like Late-Blooming Perennials, Trucks and Tractor-Trailers Appear for the Harvest

Harvest-service rigs with hopper-bottom trailers pause at sunset along U.S. 23 in northwestern Ohio. Tomorrow they’ll resume working, hauling grain that eventually will arrive at far-away markets. (Photo by Tom Berg)

October 10, 2010

'Tis the most glorious time of year, when the air turns cool and crisp, tree leaves turn red, gold and yellow, and trucks and tractor-trailers begin working with cutters and threshers to bring in the harvest

Tags: Specialty

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, October 10, 2010 2:57 PM | » Comments(0)

Hello, Dolly! New TMC Recommendations on Dolly Details

Large handles on a dolly’s tongue help a driver raise it without undue strain. Tongue jacks eliminate most lifting, but jacks need safeguards to avoid damage.  (Photo courtesy TMC)

September 28, 2010

Converter dollies have been around so long that you'd think every one on the road is built about as correctly as can be. But some lack handles that drivers can grasp to lift dollies' front ends, and those might also be the ones that don't have enough counterbalancing weight

Tags: Specialty

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, September 28, 2010 8:24 PM | » Comments(0)

Vanguard's Mudd Sees Extra Strong Trailer Sales

September 19, 2010

Vanguard Trailer's president, Charlie Mudd, agrees with industry economists in repeating sales forecasts of 90,000 dry vans for 2011 and 120,000 for 2012.

Tags: Trends

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, September 19, 2010 11:57 AM | » Comments(0)

Innovative Fleet Installing 3,500 Sets of Trailer Aero Improvers

September 15, 2010

Mesilla Valley Transportation, known for its efforts at saving fuel, is equipping its entire fleet of 3,500 long-haul trailers with side skirts and a folding boat tail that together claim an economy betterment of almost 12 percent at highway speeds

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:31 AM | » Comments(0)

Dealers Offer Maintenance Tips for Neglected Trailer Brakes

Dealers caution trailers owners to use good-quality brake chambers; this is one from TRP Aftermarket Parts, made with 10-gauge reinforced stud-mounted housing.

September 9, 2010

With more freight moving as the economy revives, fleets are pulling dormant trailers away from fences and putting them into service. But those trailers probably sat through at least one harsh winter and summer, and maintenance on them may have been neglected.

Tags: Maintenance

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:17 AM | » Comments(0)

Trailer Side Skirts Save This Trucker 8.94% in Fuel

Greg Decker says his Windyne skirts save him about $4,400 a year in fuel. They fold up for access to the trailer's undercarriage. (Photo by Jim Park)

August 31, 2010

Some truck owners have begun buying trailer side skirts because they need them to legally run in California

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:49 PM | » Comments(1)

Federal Program Helps Interstate Install Aerodynamic Skirts on 2,058 Trailers

Interstate Distributor Co. will install Freight Wing AeroFlex skirts on 2,058 reefer and dry van trailers as part of a grant program. More trailers will follow, the fleet says.

August 20, 2010

After several years of testing showed trailer side skirts save considerable fuel and therefore cut exhaust emissions from tractors that pull them, Interstate Distributor Co. has begun installing them on 2,058 reefers and dry vans at its maintenance facilities in the Pacific Northwest

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, August 20, 2010 8:20 AM | » Comments(0)

Champion Drivers, Equipment Don't Always Match

August 10, 2010

It takes people and equipment to put together ATA's National Truck Driving Championships each year, and on both sides there are some unusual linkups. Some drivers compete in vehicle classes they don't normally work in, and some tractors pull trailers they don't normally touch

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, August 10, 2010 12:20 PM | » Comments(0)

Oh-Oh! Over She Goes!

August 5, 2010

A short video now making the rounds of truck folks' e-mail boxes shows a huge and heavy steel I-beam girder, and the trailer dollies it's on, falling over in a freeway curve

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, August 5, 2010 7:57 AM | » Comments(2)

53-Footers Usually Too Long, But Customers Demand 'Em

July 27, 2010

Fifty-three feet became the predominant length for vans and temperature-controlled trailers by the end of the 1990s, when they replaced 48-footers in most fleets. But while shippers demand 53s, their full volume is seldom used

Tags: Trends

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, July 27, 2010 9:24 AM | » Comments(0)

Tanker Trucks and Trailers Helping in Oil Cleanup in Gulf

Tanker trucks are shown on a barge in this TV ad from BP about their cleanup efforts.

July 21, 2010

Vacuum tankers are playing a big part in the cleanup of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, as shown in TV news footage and a BP commercial now seen on the airwaves

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, July 21, 2010 1:44 PM | » Comments(0)

Tips for Inspecting and Maintaining Air Suspensions

July 7, 2010

Air suspensions are in wide use on trailers and getting more popular. To some fleets, air-ride equipment is new, and maintenance people might not be aware of proper inspection and repair procedures

Tags: Maintenance

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, July 7, 2010 3:03 PM | » Comments(0)

Man Holds Onto Trailer 'For Dear Life' as He Calls 911

(Photo by Highway Trailer Sales)

June 28, 2010

The semitrailer had a ladder, which proved a lucky thing for a man who jokingly climbed aboard in the wee hours of Friday, June 18

Tags: Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 28, 2010 3:06 PM | » 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.

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