Trailer Talk

Trailers

1  -  25  of  103

Thoughts From Staring at Semis' Rear Doors

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

December 9, 2017

Stainless or galvanized steel will make that trailer last longer. So will extra door locking rods, which stiffen a van's structure.

Tags: Trailers, Snow, Image, LED Lighting, Vehicle Cleaning

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Saturday, December 9, 2017 9:11 AM | » Comments(0)

Special Vans Haul Horses from the Fairgrounds

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

“If a trailer’s not full, they make it full” with tack and other items needed where the horses are going. In this case, it’s to winter quarters in central Florida, more than 900 miles away.

November 28, 2017

For horse trailers, corrosion resistance is important because of urine. Strength is, too, so trailer structures don’t twist on rough ground and its doors can freely open. Learn more in Tom Berg's Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Vans, Trailers, Specialty Vehicles, Horse Hauling

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, November 28, 2017 12:57 PM | » Comments(0)

Talbert Celebrates Removable Gooseneck’s 70th Anniversary

News and blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

Present-day gooseneck low-bed trailer is one of many heavy-haul products made by today’s Talbert Manufacturing, now in Rensselaer, Indiana.

November 14, 2017

The mechanical gooseneck revolutionized equipment loading by eliminating the need to drive machinery up and over the trailer tires, says Talbert. Tom Berg has more in the Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Gooseneck, Heavy-haul trailers, Lowboy Trailers, Talbert Manufacturing, Trailers, History, Trucking History

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:37 AM | » Comments(0)

End Dump Plays the Middle Man in Grain Transfer Operation

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

Soybeans move from Killbros field cart (right) into East end dump and then into a silo for storage. Photos: Tom Berg

November 8, 2017

A big two-wheel field cart has brought beans directly to a silo but needed the semi to dump them into an auger. Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

Tags: Trailers, Dump Trailers, Military Trucks, Farm Equipment

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, November 8, 2017 6:40 AM | » Comments(0)

Interesting Equipment at the New Atlanta Show

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

Floor, front wall and hoist well of the Godwin dump are formed of abrasion-resistant Hardox 450 steel. Sidewalls and most structural members are of aluminum.

October 6, 2017

Whether or not North America needed another truck show, based on attendance and quality of exhibitors, the new NACV is likely to have a real future.

Tags: Trailers, Flatbed Trailers, Lowboy Trailers, Truck Shows, NACV Show

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, October 6, 2017 3:30 PM | » Comments(0)

This Fleet Promotes Good Causes with Vinyl Graphics

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

Finding a cure for breast cancer is one of the causes promoted by Mike Culbertson's materials-hauling rigs. Vantage end-dump displays a pink ribbon and Kenworth T680 tractor wears the special pink hue.  Photos: Tom Berg

September 29, 2017

Vinyl wraps are common on van trailers, but not on workaday end-dumps as operated by Mike Culbertson in central Ohio.

Tags: Dump Trucks, Dump Trailers, Vehicle Graphics, Truck Graphics, Charity, Trailers, Image

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, September 29, 2017 11:06 AM | » Comments(0)

Wheels Bring 'Thrills' to the Delaware County Fair

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

Large electric power generator is housed in a van trailer that's pulled from fair to fair by a late-'90s Volvo tractor that looks new. Gray box contains a transformer.

September 20, 2017

Youthful riders are unaware that their gut-churning rides are mounted on special trailer chassis. Tom Berg reflects in a visit to the fair in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Specialty Vehicles, Safety, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:30 AM | » Comments(0)

'High-Water Vehicles' Take Many Forms in Harvey Rescue Work

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

Most civilian trucks, including this tractor that seems to be hitched to a drop-deck trailer, could not cope with Harvey's deep waters. As winds subsided, air boats joined outboard-motor-powered craft and helicopters in rescue efforts. Image: Screen capture, ABC News

August 31, 2017

Trucks perform vital work, but explosions at a chemical plant near Houston involved refrigerated trailers that stored temperature-sensitive compounds. Tom Berg also explores some of the various vehicles, including trailers, being used in relief efforts in this Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, Military Trucks, Hurricane Harvey, Natural Disaster, Disaster Relief

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, August 31, 2017 7:11 AM | » Comments(0)

‘Oh, Shift!’ What Slamming On The Brakes Will Do

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

Stack of steel members slipped forward and rammed the tractor's sleeper. It could've been worse. Images: Tom Berg, from YouTube

August 10, 2017

What do you do when the load on the trailer shifts, ramming your sleeper just behind you? Thank the Lord that the stack of steel didn’t stab you in the back. Then call for a wrecker. Tom Berg muses on the topic in his latest Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Flatbeds, Safety, Load Securement, Wreckers, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, August 10, 2017 12:54 PM | » Comments(1)

Quick Feet Help in Parking Trailers with this Machine

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

The Dutch device can move a trailer weighing up to 20 tons, according to the company's website.

August 3, 2017

V-Move Electrotrekker is a walk-behind (and -ahead) device from Verhagen Leiden, an outfit in Holland. It's electric powered and runs on 36 volts.

Tags: Trailers, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Terminal Tractors

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, August 3, 2017 5:49 PM | » Comments(0)

Driver Keeps Hands Off As Eaton System Docks a Trailer

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

Dock Assist tractor pushes van toward a simulated loading dock at a creep speed. It’s very slow, but precise. Photos: Tom Berg

May 26, 2017

Docking was precise and gentle, but it took much more time than an operator would have patience for. However, as development continues, the system should get faster and more capable.

Tags: Trailers, Autonomous Vehicles, Eaton

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, May 26, 2017 8:46 AM | » Comments(0)

Railcar Wins Swedish Steel Prize, But Wabash’s Entry Still Admirable

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, senior contributing editor

External spiral rails grab Helix Dumper's load-carrying tub and smoothly tip it to discharge the load, then set it back on the railcar's frame. This won the annual Swedish Steel Prize for Kiruna Wagon. Photo: Tom Berg, from Kiruna Wagon video

May 18, 2017

The Helix Dumper is a major advance and worthy of a prize. But I'd have voted for Wabash National's RIG-16 rear impact guard.

Tags: IIHS, Highway Safety, Sweden, Wabash National, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, May 18, 2017 2:08 PM | » Comments(1)

Airplane Hits Trailer in 'Amazing' Encounter

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

The airplane left part of its landing gear, including a wheel and tire, near the left-front corner of the 53-foot van. Photo: Sandusky Register

May 11, 2017

The plane came in too low and its landing gear clipped the top of the South Shore van, tearing off and embedding itself in the roof and side panels. The plane continued on and its pilot put it down safely on its belly.

Tags: Collision Repair, Trailers, Safety, Airports

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, May 11, 2017 9:00 PM | » Comments(0)

Drop Decks, Aluminum Transition Radii, and the Romans

Blog by Tom Berg, Contributing Senior Editor

Can you see a Roman arch in the radius under the transition area of this Mac single-drop aluminum trailer? The radius directs weight away from the 90-degree joint above.

April 7, 2017

I looked at the transition radius on a Mac aluminum drop deck and it occurred to me that the radius is an arc, a portion of an arch – that engineering marvel devised by Roman engineers more than 2,000 years ago.

Tags: Aluminum, Dropdeck Trailers, Engineering, Trailers, Steel

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, April 7, 2017 12:10 PM | » Comments(0)

Semitrailer Inventor August Fruehauf to Enter Automotive Hall of Fame

The semitrailer, Hemmings.com says, “triggered the wide-scale distribution of modern consumer goods."

August Fruehauf, a German immigrant and blacksmith, found inspiration for the semitrailer from the horses he shoed.

March 29, 2017

Fruehauf, as a blacksmith, noted that horses that pulled rather than carried loads were in better shape. He reasoned that trucks would likewise last longer if they towed rather than toted loads.

Tags: Trailers, Trucking History, Fruehauf, Semitrailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:09 PM | » Comments(0)

Jackknifes Happen Often on Dry Roads, Too

This all occurred in just a second or two, though it took several seconds for the rig to stop, the trailer jammed against a corner of the tractor’s sleeper.

The rig lurches to a stop with probable damage to the tractor's sleeper and who knows what else. No word of any injuries.

March 13, 2017

Anti-lock braking systems are supposed to keep brakes from locking, but this time didn’t. Why might that be?

Tags: Trailers, ABS, Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, March 13, 2017 8:47 AM | » Comments(4)

Regulations Will Widen Use of Aero Devices, Wabco Says

Operators will realize solid fuel savings that will pay for the devices in under two years, unless the devices are damaged or need other repairs.

Trailer skirts are common on vans and reefers, and soon will become standard equipment. Other devices will be necessary to meet federal requirements by 2021. Photo: Tom Berg

March 5, 2017

Starting Jan. 1 of next year – fewer than nine months from now – all new 53-foot box-type trailers will come with trailer skirts, like ‘em or not. Tom Berg has more in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics, Emissions, EPA

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Sunday, March 5, 2017 10:30 PM | » Comments(1)

FlowBelow Shows Aero Device for Trailer Wheels

The Trailer AeroKit uses wheel covers plus fairings in front, between and behind the wheels, similar to a tractor AeroKit.

Trailer AeroKit includes fairings ahead, between and behind the wheels on a trailer's tandem. Photos: FlowBelow Aero

February 27, 2017

Wheel covers and fairings smooth the complex air flow around trailer wheels and suspension. They complement other trailer aerodynamic devices. Tom Berg highlights one of the newest entrants in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Fuel Economy, Aerodynamics, Trailers, FlowBelow

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, February 27, 2017 12:20 AM | » Comments(0)

The Twin 33s Idea Returns. Will It Fly This Time?

Revival might be riding on enthusiasm over President Trump’s pro-business beliefs and his promise to improve America’s infrastructure.

A pair of 33-foot pups would have 10 feet more floor space for cargo than a set of 28s, as the labels on this concept trailer show. And two 33s would have 13 more feet than a single 53-foot van. Will truckload shippers demand their use?  Photo: Tom Berg

February 8, 2017

A pair of longer pups would haul more than two 28-footers, so LTL carriers and shippers are in favor. But truckload carriers still want no part of them.

Tags: Fleet Management, Productivity, Trailers, TCA, Double Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, February 8, 2017 11:13 AM | » Comments(3)

Why Are So Many Trailers Just Sitting There?

Very few of the trailers seen from the passenger train were at loading docks; most sat in long rows, side by side, looking forlorn and forgotten.

Because of the tracking device on its nose, Schneider dispatchers can find this van any time. Photos: Tom Berg

January 10, 2017

Managers strive for “productivity” and “equipment utilization,” but how many trailers are moving freight even half the time in their lives? Tom Berg's Trailer Talk blog muses on the number of trailers just sitting around.

Tags: Fleet Management, Trailers, Trailer Tracking, Fleet Productivity

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, January 10, 2017 10:26 AM | » Comments(1)

Fruehauf’s 'Engineering' Story Told in New Book

“A truck is like a horse. It can pull more than it can carry,” was the slogan of August Fruehauf and his company, and it appeared as part of the firm’s advertising for years.

December 19, 2016

Vintage ads help Ruth Ann Fruehauf, granddaughter of the founder of Fruehauf Trailer Corp., tell how the company designed and built trailers for many uses.

Tags: Trailers, Automotive History, Trucking History, Fruehauf

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, December 19, 2016 12:32 PM | » Comments(0)

Lights Help with Hooking Up, But Inspections Still Necessary

Whoops! Landing gear collapsed and the trailer fell on its nose as a tractor pulled away.  Photo: "Trailer James" via YouTube.com

November 14, 2016

There’s dropping trailers, as in hook-and-drop operations, and there’s dropping a trailer, as in whoops! In his Trailer Talk blog, Tom Berg looks at two recent product announcements aimed at addressing the potential of trailers coming loose from fifth wheels.

Tags: Fifth Wheels, SAF-Holland, Purkey's Fleet Electric, Safety, Drop and Hook, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, November 14, 2016 10:47 AM | » Comments(0)

Powered Trailer Axle Provides an Off-Road Boost

Run off the tractor's wet kit, the hydraulically driven axle adds traction in rough conditions and can eliminate 4x4s used by some European operators.

The 4x2 tractor can't get the rig moving on a slippery upgrade, so the trailer's powered rear axle provides a boost. Photo: Tom Berg from SAF-Holland video

November 4, 2016

“SAF Trak” axle is powered from the tractor’s hydraulic wet kit. On the trailer, two hydraulic motors, one at each axle end, turn the wheels to help get the rig moving in slippery conditions.

Tags: Trailers, SAF-Holland, Dump Trailers, Global Trucking

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, November 4, 2016 8:12 AM | » Comments(1)

For Tankers, 'Vapor Recovery' Works Two Ways

Hauling fuel for this company is a lot easier than dealing with heavy freight containers, says driver Jeff McMannus.

Driver Jeff McMannus checks progress as he delivers a load of biofuel through an appropriately green hose. He was careful to avoid spills. Photos: Tom Berg

October 14, 2016

He stood at an open pipe at the tanker and held his hand in front of it, checking air as it flowed inside. During product loading, vapor-laden air is drawn out of the tanker to keep it from bursting.

Tags: Biodiesel, Environmental Protection Agency, Trailers, Biofuels, Tankers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, October 14, 2016 9:59 AM | » Comments(0)

SuperDuty Pickups Ably Tow, and Back, Heavy Trailers

Towing is a big deal for some pickup-truck owners, and Ford says its 2017-model SuperDuty pickups are more capable than ever.

This Load Max gooseneck trailer, laden with block and stone, weighed 29,960 pounds, a Ford engineer said. The F-450 easily handled it. Photos: Tom Berg

September 30, 2016

The heftiest trailer was a Gladiator Load Max gooseneck, loaded with concrete blocks and decorative limestone, and weighing almost 30,000 pounds.

Tags: Trailers, Safety, Ford F-450, Ford F-250, Ford F-350

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

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