July 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story
Strick Trailers unveiled an updated Open Top trailer design to add to its lineup of sheet-and-post dry van trailers. The standard Open Top model features Strick’s impact-resistant TF1 snap-in HDPE side lining and a Shurco tarp system.
“We designed a new heavy-duty aluminum top rail for our Open Top in order to lighten the weight and decrease corrosion,” said Steve Burns, Strick Trailers’ general manager. “We believe that this product fills a niche in the marketplace, as not many manufacturers offer 53-foot-long sheet-and-post open-top trailers,” he said.
Open-top trailers are used for loading and unloading cargo from the top of the trailer, as opposed to most dry van trailers where cargo is loaded from the rear by forklift or by hand truck. Shippers often use Open Top trailers for transporting relatively long and thin products such as aluminum extrusions.
Strick teamed with Shurco as the primary supplier of the tarp system. In addition to the tarp, Shurco provides removable roof bows, a ground level crank and roll stops for the tarp.
Strick also provides a swing-away rear header on its Open Top trailer for loading and unloading with a crane. The updated Open Top design can be customized with a variety of options in order to meet a customer’s specific needs.
Talbert Manufacturing introduced its 40-Ton Lightweight Trailer, which can be customized for customers who need to remain below the superload weight limit in states with 120,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating restrictions.
The 40-Ton Lightweight trailer can be designed for the transport of excavators, small to mid-sized dozers and other construction equipment, and it weighs just over 18,000 pounds. When paired with a truck, the unit can transport equipment at full capacity – up to 80,000 pounds – while remaining under the 120,000-pound superload limit.
To best accommodate the height of an excavator, Talbert can customize the trailer with a 22-inch deck height and a deck boom well. This 6-foot-long recessed portion in the rear of the trailer is roughly 6 inches deep and plated for the bucket of an excavator. This lowers the overall height of the boom to ensure the load is a legal height.
The three-axle, 26-foot trailer features a four-beam deck design and auxiliary crossmembers for extra floor support. Talbert manufactures the trailers using 16-inch beams, consisting of T-1 flanges and 80K webs, to reduce empty weight and achieve the target trailer weight and deck height. The trailer can also be built with Walther EMC Dura-Light Hubs as a lightweight hub solution and CentriFuse brake drums. The trailer’s aluminum wheels also help keep the weight low.
The 40-Ton Lightweight trailer also features a new ratchet neck design. This design eliminates the need for changing adjustment blocks and enables the operator to adjust the ride height of a trailer from one side of the trailer.
Trail King’s Continuous Belt Super Hi-Lite Rolled Side Ag Trailer features a smooth, continuous 48-inch 2-ply SBR rubber belt driven by a dual reduction planetary gearbox with heavy-duty roller chain and steel Z-Bar support to deliver fast, horizontal discharge of the load and hopper clean-out in one revolution or less.
This continuous belt design also reduces the risk of cross contamination between loads in several ways. First, unlike a segmented belt, a continuous belt has no voids created by overlapping belt sections where product can be trapped.
Second, Trail King’s continuous belt has a “banner” edge, or flange, along both of its outside edges. These edges, together with flashing that fits snugly against the belt flange, help prevent product leakage or build-up that can lead to cross contamination.
Because the hopper of the ASHR-C is extended almost a full 12 inches beyond the tailgate, the tailgate swings inside the hopper walls to close, “sweeping” the rubber seals into position to conform perfectly to the hopper shape.
Trail King has designed the belt drive chain to be housed in its own protective cavity outside the hopper. This effectively isolates it from contact with the load and, thereby, protects it from the corrosive effects of products such as fertilizers or bio-solid sludge.
The new Continuous Belt version of the Super Hi-Lite still features the smooth rolled-side design of its Segmented Belt predecessor with a one-piece extruded aluminum main frame. This rolled-side design effectively funnels the load down to the belt.
The Continuous Belt Aluminum Super Hi-Lite Ag Trailer is available in a variety of models, ranging in capacities from 55 to 105 cubic yards and overall lengths of 43 to 53 feet.
Transcraft (a subsidiary of Wabash National)
Transcraft Corp. recently introduced its first specialty trailer meant solely for hauling steel coil.
Transcraft collaborated with the original Wabash National engineering team to perfect a new bolt-together cradle system. With a natural low center of gravity, this trailer makes for a smoother ride and minimizes the chances of a catastrophic rolling event.
The new trailer design increases the frame rating for a total payload capacity of 90,000 pounds. The removable bulkhead combined with the optional load bars offer back-haul versatility. The redesigned canopy, now constructed of Wabash DuraPlate composite panels, is weatherproof and protects freight while reducing loading time by thirty minutes.
Utility Trailer Manufacturing
Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company introduced the Utility Side Skirt 120A-4, the company’s new advanced aerodynamic side skirt design.
The USS-120A-4 is U.S. EPA SmartWay verified to achieve greater than 5% fuel savings and can be used in combination with low rolling resistance tires on Utility trailers to achieve California Air Resources Board compliance for California operations.
“The new USS-120A-4 design is engineered to achieve greater ground clearance to reduce impact damage while maintaining the EPA ‘advanced’ trailer skirt designation,” said Craig Bennett, senior vice president sales and marketing at Utility.
The USS-120A-4’s galvanized high tensile steel bracing system allows the side skirt to flex both inward and outward, which can be bent back to their original shape if damaged. The side skirt is also manufactured with a UV protected bi-directional Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic construction. To further reduce impact damage the forward edge of the skirt is securely bolted with a spring attachment at the support leg assembly.
Utility offers a five-year warranty on the USS-120A-4 and is now available as a factory or dealer installation option for new Utility trailers. Retrofitting for existing trailers is available through Utility’s Aftermarket Department.
Wabash’s latest innovation for dry vans is the MaxClearance Overhead Door System, which offers a header-to-sill opening comparable to that of swing doors, providing a maximum overall vertical door opening of up to 110 inches.
Unique to Wabash National is the EZ-Adjust winding gear, which uses a patent-pending design. The new winding gear replaces winding plugs/cones, allowing for a more efficient and simple maintenance process. In addition, the new door system includes a new hinge system, which locks the door behind the rear header in a full horizontal position, eliminating impact damage to the bottom door panel – a common and costly maintenance issue for fleets.
Wabash also improved its DuraPlate composite trailer with the use of high-strength bonding technology. Bonded composite sidewalls eliminate the need for rivets, allowing for a smoother sidewall appearance, clean graphics application and eliminate potential leak points resulting from damage.
In addition, a bonded composite roof is brighter, snag-resistant and puncture-resistant, while eliminating roof bows and liners for additional cube space.
Also new this year from Wabash are two new models of its DuraPlate AeroSkirts, which are made from DuraPlate composite material. One is designed for less-than-truckload pup trailer applications, while the other is designed for tank trailer applications.
In track testing, two 28-foot double trailers equipped with the new skirt averaged 5.1% fuel-economy improvement. In field tests with a leading liquid tank carrier, tanks equipped with the new skirt averaged 7% fuel-economy improvement.
Wilson’s new aluminum side rail and securement design is fully supported, top and bottom, with a new full-height TJ style aluminum crossbar design providing unitized strength to the aluminum floor, rail and crossbar connections.
The patented rail has an integrated double “L” winch track, which reduces weight, adds strength, and allows winch and strap securement to slide easier. Aluminum components resist corrosion.
Standard on Premier all-aluminum and Roadbrute combo flatbed and dropdeck models, the new side rail is available in two distinct styles: a TJ style that incorporates an in-floor receiving rail for quick tie plates, and a more conventional C style using stake pockets and pipe spools.
The TJ rail is designed to use the tie plates on the outside rail and below floor level, allowing wider loads to be secured at multiple locations and not be susceptible to mud, ice and gunk build-up. Large cutouts in the outside rail easily fit 4-inch-wide winch straps.
Wilson’s Premier Drop Deck is a true all-aluminum trailer with its attachment of the one-piece aluminum main beams to the aluminum gooseneck.