Trailer Talk

Plug in pallet jack's batteries right in the trailer with TAPS

Plugging motorized pallet jacks into warehouse power supplies is so old. There's a new solution to the battery charging chore. Leave it in the trailer and charge it right there READ MORE

Tags: Maintenance

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, August 1, 2012 9:24 PM | » Comments(0)

Standard on-board trailer scale adds operating value, suppliers say

On-board scales allow users to load to the maximum every time with no need to check-weigh or rework the load,

About twelve years ago, while on a real-life run with a produce-hauler, I watched as he drove 19 miles off route to weigh his load -- at the consignee's request. While he backtracked, I thought that this was a great argument for on-board scales READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, July 25, 2012 4:41 PM | » Comments(1)

Clever images entertain German motorists ... or do they?

German graphic artists are at it again, vinyl-wrapping semitrailers with eye-boggling images of products on their way to market. But wait.. READ MORE

Tags: Specialty

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, July 11, 2012 8:18 AM | » Comments(0)

Testimonials aren't new, but they're still convincing

Guy Lacasse, who runs a handsomely painted and intelligently equipped rig out of Quebec, says he gained 8.2% in fuel economy after installing ATD's Transtex trailer skirts and more than 7% from a TrailerTail.

ATDynamics in South San Francisco, Calif., is among the most active makers of trailer aerodynamic improvers, both in designing and selling its products and in promoting them via the media. Its website,, now includes testimonials from happy customers, including a Canadian featured below. READ MORE

Tags: Trends

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, July 3, 2012 11:57 AM | » Comments(2)

Mack trailer among vehicles at company's Allentown museum

Mack made more than 6,000 semi- and full trailers similar to this one from 1929 to 1944.

Did you know that Mack Truck at one time built trailers? I didn't until last week when, along with other truck writers, I toured the Mack Museum in its recently established Customer Center in Allentown, Pa READ MORE

Tags: Flat Beds

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, June 27, 2012 6:43 PM | » Comments(0)

UFO on a trailer bares the truth about Roswell!

Please understand that I still believe that something significant happened near Roswell, N.M., back in 1947, in spite of what the public was told. READ MORE

Tags: Specialty

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, June 15, 2012 12:20 PM | » Comments(0)

Semi splashes syrup onto Buttermilk Pike -- really

Cleanup crews needed more than knives and forks to clear a mess made by a semi that sideswiped a barrier on Interstate 71 and 75 in Fort Mitchell, Ky., just south of Cincinnati READ MORE

Tags: Dry Vans

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 11, 2012 3:16 PM | » Comments(0)

Paschall improves CSA scores with contract 'readiness' program

A fleetHQ technician inspects a trailer where it's parked, and after a go-ahead from Paschall Truck Lines, will fix whatever's wrong.

With more than 2,700 trailers scattered across the lower 48 states and Mexico, conducting regular trailer inspections and repairs has been a daunting task for Paschall Truck Lines. But a contract service adopted more than a year ago has effectively complemented the fleet's effort READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:38 AM | » Comments(0)

'Teardrop' trailers save 2%-5% for British beverage distributor, but shape's not new

British beverage distributor Tradeteam placed its second order for 60 Don-Bur aerodynamic Teardrop trailers.

Streamlined "teardrop" trailers are saving enough fuel money for Tradeteam, a British beverage distributor, that it's buying a second set of them READ MORE

Tags: Fuel Economy

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, May 24, 2012 12:28 PM | » Comments(0)

Trailer-mounted fueling station lets customers ease into LNG

Encana Natural Gas Inc. can park a mobile fueling station right on your premises.

Let's say you and your boss want to go "green" by trying out some natural gas-fueled trucks or tractors that you're getting on loan or lease, but you want to fuel them at your terminal, where diesel fuel islands already are READ MORE

Tags: Trends

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:48 PM | » Comments(0)

Little rig belies owner's big heart toward children

An ambitious and dedicated French Canadian fleet owner has taken a detour with a miniature tractor-trailer that is making the rounds on YouTube READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, May 9, 2012 5:00 PM | » Comments(0)

Witte Bros. plugs in to keep cold cargoes cold

Fuel savings have more than paid for installation of 460-volt, 3-phase wiring and outlets at the fleet's home terminal in Troy, Mo. Trailer TRUs run on electrical stand-by power while they're parked on weekends.

You won't hear many reefer diesels running in the yard at Witte Brothers Exchange in Troy, Mo., because the trailer-mounted units are plugged into electrical outlets and running on so-called standby power READ MORE

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, May 2, 2012 10:01 AM | » Comments(0)

Hardwood forests are healthy and growing in Appalachia, trade group says

Hardwood forests now cover 65.7 million acres in 12 states in the eastern U.S., an increase of 300,000 acres since 2007.

"Save a tree," environmentalists preach. That's not an option when you're building anything with wood, like a hardwood-composite floor for a van trailer. READ MORE

Tags: Trends

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:26 AM | » Comments(0)

14,000-pound trailer's an easy toss for a twister with 100-plus-mph winds

A Schneider 53-foot van weighs about 14,000 pounds empty. Winds of more than 100 mph lifted the trailers off the ground when tornados touched down in Dallas last week.

How much power does it take to pick up a semitrailer and throw it hundreds of feet through the air? That question must've been on the minds of everyone who watched TV news video shot during the passage of a savage tornado through Dallas last week READ MORE

Tags: Dry Vans

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, April 5, 2012 4:33 PM | » Comments(0)

What's inside that tanker? A polyurethane coating

During a stroll through the trailer areas at last week's Louisville truck show, I turned a corner and encountered a chemical tanker. Its rear access cover was open, and people were pausing to peek inside. "What's in there?" I wondered READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, March 28, 2012 12:50 PM | » Comments(0)

What are drivers thinking before they get rammed at railroad crossings?

"Stop, Look and Listen." You'd think professional truck drivers, of all people, would heed that warning at railroad crossings, but not all of them do READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, March 9, 2012 10:39 AM | » Comments(1)

Big Kitchen Trailer Serves Thousands in Wake of Disaster

The other night my wife and I were watching a Modern Marvels episode on "food trucks," primarily custom-built catering rigs based on walk-in van chassis. The producers also zeroed in on Manna One, a big kitchen built on a semitrailer frame specifically for disaster relief READ MORE

Tags: Specialty

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, March 2, 2012 8:55 AM | » Comments(0)

Feds want anti-rollover systems on tank trailers and tractors

The feds have become believers in electronic roll-stability control (RSC) systems, and want tank-trailer operators to buy them, though it won't be right away, reports the American Trucking Associations READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:26 PM | » Comments(2)

Electronics can cut rollover wrecks; so can structural stiffness and lighter weight, Fontaine says

Box sections replace crossmembers in Fontaine Trailer’s Revolution flatbed, making it more resistant to flexing and rollover.

Rollover wrecks by tractor-trailers are among the worst kinds of accidents, safety people say, because property damage is high and driver injuries are severe READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, February 17, 2012 8:29 AM | » Comments(0)

Underride guards in Japan look weaker but cover more area than here

Like all commercial vehicles of any size, this trailer sports underride barriers on three sides. Its tractor's engine was idling, like all other heavy vehicles at this Japanese truck stop.

Underride guards are becoming topical in the United States as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is petitioning federal safety authorities to toughen the regulation that govern the design on rear bumpers on trailers. READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, January 20, 2012 2:09 AM | » Comments(0)

Pickup bed coating wards off corrosion from calcium chloride, this fleet manager finds

Dark blue Herculiner material covers the lower third of this steel tanker owned by Peckham Materials. More than six years later, the coating is still in good condition.

What's the best way to combat corrosion caused by aggressive anti-road-icing salts? One fleet manager has coated the undersides of trucks and trailers with a product used to line pickup beds READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, January 8, 2012 5:44 PM | » Comments(0)

Forget the evils of CO2. It's actually an environmentally safe refrigerant, Carrier says

First NaturaLine units will be for use in temperature-controlled sea containers. Later, the CO2 concept might be used in trailer reefers.

The way that environmentalists bad-mouth carbon dioxide, it should be a four-letter word. Of course it is abbreviated to three characters - CO2. READ MORE

Tags: Reefers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, December 28, 2011 9:33 AM | » Comments(0)

Oil boom needs special equipment on trailers and trucks

Crude oil analyzer was installed on this Heil tanker by Rush Peterbilt's shop in San Antonio as part of its work to support the oil boom in the region, says Service Manager Fred Scott.

No one wants to haul a load that's going to be rejected, so checking the commodity before loading makes a lot of sense. That's why Rush Enterprise's Peterbilt store in San Antonio has been installing a special piece of gear on tank trailers at a customer's request. READ MORE

Tags: Specialty

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, December 13, 2011 2:37 PM | » Comments(1)

Strong, versatile van provides two-way haul for truckload fleet

Steel coils are easily supported by the XD-35's strong floor and underframe. The Wabash National van can also carry other dry freight and protect all cargo from theft and inclement weather.

Operations people at Nussbaum Transport had a couple of one-way hauls involving the same customer, and wanted to turn them into a more efficient and profitable headhaul and backhaul on the same semitrailer. READ MORE

Tags: Dry Vans

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, November 21, 2011 5:58 PM | » Comments(0)

'Fracking' requires sand, which boosts 'air can' use in Marcellus Shale area

Sidley plans to soon have 50 pneumatic tankers hauling fracking sand to area natural gas wells. Photo by Tom Berg.

A recent visit to northeast Ohio put me face to face with people involved in the production of shale gas that I've been hearing and reading about in the news READ MORE

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, November 14, 2011 6:34 PM | » Comments(1)

Author Bio

sponsored by

Tom Berg

Senior Contributing 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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