Trailer Talk

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

May 8, 2013

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

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.
The right side consists of vertical posts with panels of see-through plastic. The wall seems to say, “Look what I’ve got inside!” It reminds me of the old Wonder Woman comic books in which the heroine flew a transparent airplane.
The other day I called Ancra to learn more about the trailer. Tom Leone, vice president of product development and former general manager of Ancra’s Cargo Division, says the display trailer was built about three years ago in the shop of Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer in Indianapolis.
Workers started with a retired 28-foot Wabash pup obtained from Old Dominion Freight Lines. They tore it down to the waterline and below, installing new landing gear and new running gear, including a Meritor tandem suspension and new wheels and tires.
On the frame they installed a new floor, sides, nose and top. The left side is a sheet-and-post structure with injection-molded plastic panels containing A- and E-track fixtures. Toward the front is a display of tie-down straps, chains, and winches, especially the kind used inside vans.
Also on the wall are sections of Ancra’s Lift-A-Deck II system, like those now installed in about 60,000 trailers, according to Jim Calico, executive vice president of sales and marketing. Deck sections stow against walls and fold down to safely double-stack freight. The nose has a polyboard bulk head.
A portion of the floor has an Ancra roller system for loading and unloading cargo containers, like those used for air freight. The rollers raise and lower pneumatically. The rear door rolls up for easy access by means of a fabricated aluminum stairway.
Leone says Ad Ex, a trade-show display company in Cincinnati, arranges to have the trailer pulled to the two truck expos, along with Ancra’s booth display. Ad Ex then stores the vehicle and the display until they’re used again.
Miles should stay low, so this might be a good second-hand buy when the trailer as a display item gets “old” -- as long as shippers don’t mind cargo being on display.


  1. 1. William Surran [ February 11, 2014 @ 08:13AM ]

    I use E-track systems all the time, but what is A-track? A search of equipment sights came up empty. What have I missed?


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Author Bio

Tom Berg

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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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