Trailer Talk

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

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What holds a trailer or truck body together? Various types of fasteners, usually rivets and threaded encapsulated types, depending on the body design and manufacturer.

There’s another device that Alcoa Fastening Systems wants us to know about: the Hucktainer. Akin to husky Huckbolts used to assemble truck frames, the Hucktainer is a compact item consisting of a head, sleeve and pintail. It’s 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.

Here’s a YouTube video that shows the process:

The result is a high strength joint with consistent clamp that can be verified with simple visual inspection. Heavy zinc plating and available plastic encapsulation, along with an integral seal make the Hucktainer MC ideal for applications where corrosion and weather resistance are required, the company says.

There are two types of Hucktainers: the Standard for fiberglass-reinforced plywood walls and the new MC, for use in the increasingly popular metal clad walls in dry vans, according to James Wollard Jr., a design engineer at Alcoa Fastening Systems.

The MC accommodates thinner “stackups” of metal-and-foam sandwich materials for walls. Like the original standard type, the Hucktainer MC provides strength and vibration resistance, but in walls as thin as 3/16 (0.817) inch. The steel sleeve’s diameter is 3/8 inch.

“The Standard Hucktainer is currently being used by Great Dane in FRP trailers and by Utilimaster in truck bodies,” Wollard said in an email. “Some other trailer and truck body manufacturers that are currently using the standard HLP are as follows: Hyundai, Manac, Strick, Utility, Stoughton, Wabash, and Wilson.”

How many are used in a typical van? Wollard said 280 for a truck body and about 500 in a 53-foot trailer. Go count ‘em.

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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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