Trailer Talk

Trailers

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Here’s to Tequila Patron, Which Made This Trailer Possible

Senior Editor Tom Berg's day is brightened by this clean and colorful van. But what's inside?

Don't the graphics on that clean trailer make you want to sip a bit of Mexican tequila?

August 20, 2014

“Now why would a trucking company that hauls booze advertise it?” I mumbled. “That’s asking for a hijacking.” Senior Editor Tom Berg investigates in his "Trailer Talk" blog.

Tags: Image, Trailers, Specialty Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, August 20, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Liquid Nitrogen – How Cool is That?

Guest post: Toss the diesel and pump in some liquid nitrogen for super-cold cooling.

The Cryometrix CB-40 pollution-free reefer.

August 8, 2014

Reflect Scientific says a Cryometrix CB-40 transport refrigeration unit made history by delivering its first commercial load of frozen foods using a new pollution-free refrigeration technology.

Tags: Cryogenics, Reefers, Transportation Refrigeration Units, Trailers

Author: Rolf Lockwood, Executive Contributing Editor | Posted @ Friday, August 8, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

How Important are Claims About Towing Capacity?

Who's really 'best in class,' and do customers really care?

The latest truck maker to claim towing capacity superiority is Ford, which has upped the horsepower and torque of its Power Stroke V-8 diesel to propel an F-450 pickup and a trailer as heavy as 31,200 pounds.

July 31, 2014

Senior Editor Tom Berg branches out a bit in his Trailer Talk blog this week to talk about how much trailer load heavy pickups can haul. In a demonstration a couple of weeks ago, Ford pitted a pair of Power Stroke-powered F-450 pickups against a Ram 3500 dually pickup with a Cummins Turbo Diesel to demonstrate towing capacity.

Tags: Ford F-Series Super Duty, Ram Heavy Duty, Pickup Trucks, Trailers, Ford

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Curved Upper Edge on Trailers Avoids Tree-Branch Damage

The idea came from truck bodies, but Darry Stuart put it to use on trailers.

July 8, 2014

Tree branches batter top nose rails and corner caps of trailers because they snag on the sharp channels. Tom Berg talks to one fleet manager who found curved surfaces up there let the branches slide past harmlessly.

Tags: Vehicle Damage, Hyundai Translead, Trailers, Dry Vans

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, July 8, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Squinty Tail Lights Have a Reliability Benefit

July 2, 2014

Tom Berg spots an unusual trailer lighting system on the road. Grote LED light bars need only three pigtails to connect to the sealed wiring harness, reducing the chances for corrosion and electrical failures, he explains in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, Fontaine, Grote, Lighting, LEDs, Flatbed Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, July 2, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Solar Panels Cure Problem of Run-Down Liftgate Batteries

There are various remedies for weak batteries, but Darry Stuart, a contract fleet manager, looked to the sun for a solution.

June 23, 2014

A single 100-watt solar panel keeps the trailer's four Group 31 batteries charged and the liftgate operating reliably.

Tags: Trailers, Idle Reduction, Reefers, eNow, Solar Charging

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 23, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Done Properly and Legally, Supplemental Signal Lights Enhance Safety

In heavy street traffic, a flashing light cues motorists to react early by slowing down or moving over to avoid being delayed -- but they also can cause confusion.

June 16, 2014

The Transportation Safety Equipment Institute reports that its member companies are seeing an increase in requests to add innovative lighting devices, and questions arise about their legality. Senior Editor Tom Berg takes a closer look in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Lighting, Auxiliary Lighting, Transportation Safety Equipment Institute, Truck-Lite, Peterson Manufacturing, Trailers, Safety, Regulations

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 16, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Get to Know Hucktainers, Says Alcoa Fastening Systems

Several manufacturers use it to assemble van trailers and truck bodies, and it claims strength and vibration resistance.

June 6, 2014

The compact Hucktainer has a head, sleeve and pintail, and is installed quickly with a special tool, clamping together the wall and sill materials and crimping off the excess length of the sleeve in a spiral-locking process.

Tags: Trailers, Truck Bodies, Hucktainer, Alcoa Fastening Systems, Huck

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, June 6, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Big-Fleet Demand for Vans Leads Surge in Trailer Orders

Switch to 33-foot pups could cause new business, ACT's Frank Maly thinks.

The growth of the dump business could be threatened by the lack of progress on a highway bill in Washington.

May 27, 2014

Freight growth gives fleets confidence to buy, while low cancellations push backlogs to six months. Tankers are also up strongly, but lack of a highway bill could upset dump-trailer business.

Tags: Trailers, Fleets, Freight, Tankers, Trailer Sales, ACT Research

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

One Kingpin Locked, Another Bare in North Carolina

Here's an atta-boy to the driver who slapped this lock in place.

May 6, 2014

This intelligently locked reefer trailer was parked in a small truckstop in western North Carolina. Three slots away was a loaded flatbed with its kingpin bare, just waiting to be swiped.

Tags: Fleet Management, Vehicle Theft, Cargo Theft, Security, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, May 6, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Twin 33s Would Be Safer than 28s, U of Michigan Researcher Says

A 33-foot trailer's 5-foot-longer wheelbase would make it more stable when part of a doubles combination.

April 23, 2014

Double-trailer rigs with a pair of 33-foot trailers would be “inherently more stable” and therefore safer than the twin 28s now running throughout the United States, according to John Woodrooffe, director of commercial vehicle research at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

Tags: Vehicle Safety, Safety, Doubles, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Trace Down Circuits Before Replacing Liftgate Parts

Lower green cord is the “stinger” that carries power and a return ground line to trailer batteries that operate the liftgate. Connector cord should remain plugged in to keep a load on the line while its circuit is tested. Photo: Con-Way Freight

April 14, 2014

Proper methods of testing for voltage drop on the circuits that power trailer liftgates were discussed at TMC’s recent annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. Senior Editor Tom Berg has more in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Trailers, Idle Reduction, Technology & Maintenance Council, Purkey's Fleet Electric, Electrical System, Batteries

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

X-Ray Van, Old Winnebago Take Doctor’s and Nurses’ Medical Care to the ‘Hollers’

An 18-wheeler and an old RV carry medicine and hope to Appalachia.

April 7, 2014

Senior Editor Tom Berg was moved by Sunday's "60 Minutes" story on Health Wagon, carrying medicine and hope to Appalachia -- and intrigued by the X-ray trailer and the medical director who went to tractor-trailer school to learn to drive the rig. He has more in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Charity, Medical Fleets, Truck Driving Schools, Trailers

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

Amber Rear Turn Signals Are Safer Than Red, But Few Use Them

A light flashing yellow means "turn" and one flashing red means "stop." The result is less confusion for drivers behind.

Tanker fleets are more likely to use amber turn signals than other operators. This trailer also has white backup lights.

March 13, 2014

Lights on the rear of most vehicles have all red lights because that's all the regulation requires. Maybe that should change.

Tags: Safety, Trailers, Lighting, Truck-Lite, Wabash National

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Passing Thru Zanesville: Forlorn Trailers, the ‘Y-Bridge’ and a ‘Telltale’ Warning

Why are all those old trailers parked there? Been over the "Y-Bridge"? Stay off Linden Avenue or....

February 10, 2014

Tom Berg see items of trucker interest in old Zanesville, Ohio, along the historic National Road.

Tags: Trailers, Van Trailers, Bridges, Retired Trailers, Low Overpasses, U.S. 40, National Road

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, February 10, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(4)

Nothing Blocks a Highway Like a Semi Whose Skidding Wheels Led It Astray

But on ice, controlling anything becomes really difficult.

January 31, 2014

Recent news photos remind senior editor Tom Berg of some anti-jackknifing training he had a while ago.

Tags: Winter Driving, Driving Safety, Jackkniffing, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, January 31, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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