"Box" and tank trailers can carry any number of things, and their interiors are specially designed for durability, long life, low maintenance and light weight. We found a number of interesting examples at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., in late March.
The interior of this J&J steel vacuum tanker interior is protected with a polyurethane paint called CorroCote II PW from Madison Chemical Industries.
The interior of this J&J steel vacuum tanker interior is protected with a polyurethane paint called CorroCote II PW from Madison Chemical Industries.

For the past several years, Hyundai Translead and Vanguard Trailer have had adjacent booths at MATS, and they seem to try to outdo one another by displaying clever engineering, so we'll start there.

Hyundai's display included a Hyundai Translead HyCube GL van using galvanized steel composite side panels for strength and rigidity and, of course, resistance to corrosion.

The panels have a smooth, anti-snag surface to avoid damage to themselves and cargo. Liners on rear doors, the door frame, side posts and roof bows are also of galvanized steel, as are key external components such as landing gear and the rear underride guard. Interior width is 99 inches.

The Hyundai Translead ThermoTech MC II reefer was also constructed for maximum cube. The sides are 1.5 inches thick and made of aluminum sheeting, extruded aluminum posts, composite liners and urethane foam insulation. Interior width is 97 inches. Roof sheeting is also thin; it was made of corrugated aluminum designed to expand and contract in changing temperatures without the insulation separating. Maximum capacity is 3,744 cubic feet.

Vanguard showed a van with a fiberglass-reinforced urethane floor, said to be impervious to moisture and contaminants. It consists of 12-inch-wide pultrusions that can directly replace wood planks. In the 53-foot trailer displayed, it weighs about 400 pounds less than a wood floor, a Vanguard rep said. The product is called Eko-Flor, from Conforce International, which is working with Beyer Material Science to market it against oak laminates and tropical hardwoods traditionally used in trailer and container flooring.

Great Dane said its Everest series of refrigerated trailers has been re-engineered for greater durability and longevity, and a lot of those changes were inside. Standard features include a stainless steel rear frame to resist corrosion; a patented corrugated aluminum roof that flexes with ambient temperatures and resists separation of insulating foam; PunctureGuard lightweight glass-reinforced thermoplastic interior lining; sealed aluminum doors and a high-rated flooring system to eliminate moisture intrusion; and wall panels with injection-molded insulation for maximum thermal efficiency.

Options include a triple-sealed gasket on rear doors, as well as more efficient ThermoGuard multi-layer wall liners.

Utility Trailer Manufacturing sees its Sustainability Forestry Initiative program as a form of social responsibility. Wood from trees that are grown for this purpose is a sustainable material because new trees are planted every year. Another industry source says American hardwood forests now include 1.6 times the number of trees that are harvested for this purpose. SFI also includes use of paints, undercoatings and caulking that contain few or no volatile organic compounds, Utility says.

A Utility trailer also was the venue to show off Kinedyne's K2 Kaptive Beam. To get full productivity from a tall van, cargo ought to be stacked to the ceiling. However, that can't be done with some commodities that are damaged if weighted down. That's why decking products are on the market. The latest is the K2 Kaptive Beam, shown off in a 4000-X Composite van.

Beams and tracks are lightweight aluminum, and the system is adjustable for maximum flexibility. The upper deck can support up to 500 pounds per linear foot or 26,000 pounds in 53 feet. Utility said the K2-equipped display van weighed 13,120 pounds including side skirts.

Havco Wood Products says its Composite Floor combines the ruggedness and sustainability of oak laminate with the advantages of artificial materials. Its lower surface is a bonded fiberglass composite that sheds water and salt and keeps them out of the trailer. The floor holds up to many years of hard service. The product has been available since the 1990s, but recently, a 12-year-old trailer's floor tested out as strong as new, still smooth and flat on its top side, and the bottom-facing composite surface was still undamaged. A Havco Composite Floor is 90% stronger than a comparable all-oak floor and weighs about 200 pounds less on a dry-weight basis, the company says.

J&J Truck Bodies & Trailers' display featured a vacuum trailer lined with what appeared to be a cream-colored paint. A J&J executive explained it was actually a polyurethane coating designed for the tanker's mission of carrying water and nasty fluids, often those used in gas-well drilling - a booming business right now.

The coating is called CorroCote II PW, from Madison Chemical Industries. It's "a two-component, instant setting, 100% solids polyurethane developed to protect potable water, fuel and chemical storage tanks from internal corrosion and abrasion," the company says in a handout. It "cures to form a tough, durable, non-toxic polyurethane solid that will not impart any taste to the contents of the tank, even at elevated temperatures." It's sprayed on the interior surfaces in any ambient temperature and in any desired thickness. House paint should be so unfussy.

From the May 2012 issue of HDT