Trailer manufacturers have developed new products, made modifications to existing products, announced partnerships, and expanded production capabilities. Here is a sampling of what they have been doing:
American Carrier Equipment
A new western belly-dump trailer from American Carrier Equipment is 30% lighter, has 300% greater structural integrity, and accommodates a 12.5% greater payload than competitive offerings, according to the builder.
It’s made of ultra-high-tensile-strength steel, and comes standard with fuel-saving wide-base single tires and lightweight aluminum wheels.
The vehicle’s design, materials, and construction make it the lightest all-steel bottom-dump trailer available anywhere, the company claims. At 9,680 pounds, its tare weight rivals aluminum and steel-and-aluminum trailers.
Engineers used finite element analysis (FEA) to simulate a variety of dynamic stresses, from extreme heavy-haul loads to punishing off-road conditions and accelerated aging. Front and rear structural members are tapered because FEA showed that this alleviates stress points throughout the trailer, creating a stronger framework and a lighter vehicle in the process.
Towing properties have been enhanced by use of a fully oscillating kingpin. Unlike the sleeve-type designs used in some trailer kingpins, the ACE bottom dump kingpin functions as a solid, finished bearing, helping to absorb and disperse the lateral stresses exerted on the trailer through pull and brake torque.
Beall Trailers recently began manufacturing its 406 petroleum and dry tank trailer models at Walker Group manufacturing facilities in Fond du Lac and New Lisbon, Wis., in addition to its Portland, Ore., location. The expanded manufacturing makes it easier and less costly for customers throughout the Midwest and East Coast to own Beall trailers, the company says.
Brenner Tank, a division of Wabash National Corp., has expanded production to Wabash National’s facilities in Lafayette, Ind. The company says the move will give customers greater access to its tank trailer products.
The company said expanding technology, manufacturing processes and expertise will help accelerate growth and increase customer access in key tank markets.
Brenner Tank has an extensive line of aluminum and stainless steel tank trailers to meet a wide variety of needs in the chemical and petroleum markets. The Lafayette operation will expand its activities into aluminum, carbon steel, and FRP tank trailers, and will produce and expand Wabash National’s truck-mounted equipment offering.
Carrier Transicold’s Tru-Tech and Tru-View computer applications allow for custom settings of transport refrigeration units and operations analysis.
Tru-Tech software manages data, sets operating parameters, and diagnoses malfunctions. Tru-Tech comes with Tru-View refrigeration data analysis software, which provides insight into system performance.
Tru-View also is available as a stand-alone application for data analysis, without the unit set-up and diagnostic capabilities of Tru-Tech.
Compatible with the latest Windows operating systems, the new programs are designed for use with Carrier Transicold’s Vector, X4, X2, and X-Series trailer units, as well as Supra truck units.
Tru-Tech software’s intuitive screen layout makes it easy to create error-free IntelliSet commodity profiles, the company says. IntelliSet profiles, which are used with Carrier Transicold APX and Advance controls, direct the unit’s microprocessor to automatically adjust operating parameters for a particular load when the driver selects a commodity or customer name from a list on the control display. Fleets can use IntelliSet profiles to help maintain the best balance between temperature control and fuel economy.
Tru-Tech software also can be used by technicians to monitor system parameters, such as sensor inputs and other data that may be downloaded for tracking, performance evaluation, record keeping, or analytics. The Tru-View component can generate graphic reports, showing specific system performance over time, and data can be exported into Excel spreadsheets or PDFs for easy sharing.
The company also introduced its multi-temperature Vector 8500 and 8600MT trailer refrigeration units. They are diesel-electric “hybrids” and use no drive belts.
The Vector platform’s signature E-Drive all-electric refrigeration means cooling and heating operations are 100% electric, powered over the road by an on-board generator driven by the unit’s diesel engine. Electric standby capability is built-in, allowing haulers to plug into electric outlets to run the system when parked. Operation is quiet and emissions-free, costs up to 70% less than diesel operations, and conserves fuel for the highway.
The Vector 8500 uses the first fully hermetic electric scroll compressor in a North American trailer refrigeration unit, Carrier claims. Proven efficient and reliable in marine container systems, the scroll compressor has 70% fewer moving parts and is 200 pounds lighter than a traditional reciprocating compressor.
Both units incorporate Carrier Transicold’s ecoForward components, including a 2.2-liter diesel that has been made smarter with sensors and an electronic control module that communicates with Carrier’s APX control system. The engine meets the U.S. EPA’s Tier 4 emissions requirements.
The Vector 8600MT allows adding one or two “smart” remote evaporators to the unit’s host system, supporting up to three refrigerated compartments within a trailer, each maintained at a different temperature set point by electronically controlled evaporators. They automatically adjust to varying conditions to ensure optimized cooling and efficient fuel use, Carrier said.
A Vector 8600MT uses up to 20% less engine power while providing up to 4% higher cooling capacity at 60,000 Btu at 35 degrees and 24,000 Btu at -20 degrees.
East Manufacturing launched a new aluminum drop-deck beavertail trailer with a level deck ramp system for robust heavy-duty applications. It offers a structural load rating of 80,000 and 60,000 pounds in a 10-foot area. The beavertail allows easy loading over the trailer’s rear and otherwise performs like East’s aluminum drop-deck trailer.
The company says the strength of the drop deck trailer is the dual-T extruded main beam and exclusive crossmember design, which increases durability and balances load stress evenly for long life and low maintenance. The T-beams are of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy and are welded, not bolted. Seamless tubed crossmembers are more twist resistant in a turn than conventional C-shaped and I-beam cross members, the company says.
The trailer is rated at 23,000-pounds per axle. The ramp section folds up to become part of the usable deck surface, and decks are available in all aluminum or wood. The trailer comes standard with a Hendrickson HT250US air-ride suspension. East also offers load scales for accurate weighing of payload when it’s put aboard. Hendrickson’s Tiremaax Pro automatic tire inflation system is an option. Alcoa 17.5-inch aluminum wheels are standard, as is Jost International’s AX150 Alumilight Series landing gear.
The beavertail’s hollow-core side rail design, Securelight, provides a conduit for wiring to be fully enclosed, and is standard with LED PC-rated surface-mounted lights. The fully sealed rear panel is said to be water-resistant. Recessed grooves protect conspicuity tape and rubber dock blocks, and a heavy-wall bumper provides added protection.
East also introduced an all-aluminum flatbed trailer with a narrow-neck design. The company combined its new flatbed with Sliding Systems’ aluminum Curtainside unit, resulting in one of the lightest weight trailers in the industry, East said.
The van configuration of the flatbed has a 106-inch clear height and a 101-inch inside load width. It also accommodates up to 50,000 pounds concentrated load in 4 feet on a 48-foot-long spread-axle trailer.
The trailer features high-tensile aluminum, and main T-beams and structural cross members use 6061-T6 aluminum. Curtains are constructed with a 26.5-inch PVC-coated polyester fabric that is horizontally and vertically reinforced with webbing for added strength.
Fontaine announced an all-aluminum flatbed trailer with independently sliding front and rear axles. The Revolution SuperiorSide can be configured as a closed tandem set at the rear, a closed tandem set at the front, a full 10-foot spread axle, and any combination in between.
The company says its dealers were the inspiration for the product, as they heard from fleets that some states were enforcing kingpin-to-axle regulations and drivers needed a way to stay in compliance. They can with the sliding axles.
The trailer features a unitized floor design that the company says eliminates racking and twisting, so tire scrub typically seen in spread-axle applications is reduced. The trailer is said to deliver bigger payloads with lower tire and fuel costs.
Fontaine also launched two dropdeck trailers that comply with regulations in all 50 states and Canada. The Revolution Rear Slide Dropdeck features all-aluminum construction, while the Infinity version features steel main beams, steel crossmembers, and aluminum flooring. Both trailers include the company’s Routed Aluminum Side Rail.
The 53-foot total length for both trailers is made up of an 11-foot upper deck and 43-foot lower deck. This geometry combined with a rear slide-axle gives versatility to stay legal as the vehicle travels from state to state and throughout Canada.
Great Dane says its Freedom LT flatbed trailers can be protected from rust and corrosion resulting from stone impingement and road debris by spec’ing them with CorroGuard, a spray-in-place thermoplastic coating that boasts long-term protection and improved appearance.
CorroGuard is an alternative to galvanizing and claims the highest physical properties of undercoating materials, including tensile, tear, and elongation strength. The company also says the textured surface and color of CorroGuard are long-lasting and attractive, and enhance a fleet’s image.
The company also offers ThermoGuard lining, a metal barrier layer that helps seal a refrigerated trailer’s foam insulation. The barrier is said to reduce thermal degradation and weight gain over time from moisture intrusion through the lining. This results in reduced reefer run time and maintenance, and lower fuel costs. The company says the lining is strong, durable, and puncture-resistant.
It protects the trailer’s sidewalls, ceilings, and floors to boost thermal efficiency and impact resistance. The lining is said to extend the useful life of the trailer and improves resale value.
Heil Trailer International entered the stainless steel segment with a line of general chemical tank trailers that are built with a focus on quality and performance.
Custom-developed, ultra-high-definition laser cutting achieves tight barrel fit-up, while size-optimized, laser-welded barrel joints require little to no grinding or post-processing. Clean interiors and high durability are the results. Heil will later offer up to 3-A sanitary compliance in stainless steel food grade trailers.
The company also introduced larger capacities to its dry bulk trailers, allowing customers more options to handle commodities they transport. An ultra-cleanable 1611 trailer will be introduced for the food-grade industry.
ATDynamics and Kentucky Trailer say they’ve formed a partnership to offer a DropFrame version of the TrailerTail as a standard order option on new trailer orders.
DropFrame uses the basic TrailerTail with taller side panels to accommodate the additional height of the low-frame trailers that Kentucky specializes in.
Drop-frame trailers are ideal candidates for TrailerTails due to their larger rear surface areas, which cause more aerodynamic drag than a normal dry van or refrigerated trailer, ATDynamics says. The device has been tested to save over 11 gallons of fuel for every 1,000 miles the trailer is pulled at road speeds.
The first 89 TrailerTail DropFrame units installed at the Kentucky Trailer factory came off the production line in April 2014 for a major private fleet.
Landoll Corporation announced a non-ground bearing detachable-gooseneck trailer designed for heavy hauls. The 855C-Construction trailer is standard with 110,000-pound capacity within 12 feet, 102-inch width, hydraulic quick couplers, Grote wiring harness and LED lighting, and a centralized grease system. The trailer has air/spring brakes on three axles and a 4S/2M anti-lock braking system.
The gooseneck’s patented design has seven ride heights to choose from. The operator can lower the deck to within a few inches of the ground or fully operate the trailer with 6.5 inches of loaded ground clearance. The gooseneck is 12 feet, 5 inches long with dual drop-in pin settings of either 108 or 90 inches.
The lowboy gets zinc-rich powder primer and a powder coat paint finish. Landoll trailers are covered by a 5-year limited warranty.
MAC claims its Roll-Off trailer is one of the lightest such trailers on the market, enabling users to maximize payloads. It features a heavy-duty aluminum frame that carries a severe-duty rating, and has a 75,000-pound hoist capacity. The Roll-Off offers multiple axle configurations and comes in lengths from 26 to 46 feet.
Stoughton Trailers has begun putting more emphasis on a variety of specialty vans, including drop-frame furniture vans. The company says that as the housing market has recovered, the need for this type of van trailer has grown.
Stoughton furniture vans have multiple side doors for easy access to a trailer’s interior for efficient and flexible handling of household goods. An optional belly box adds capacity for plywood and other large materials.
The furniture trailer comes standard with Stoughton features like a dual tension roof, strong front coupler, and a superior painting process.
Strick has begun developing a trailer for the next generation, dubbed NEXGEN 1.0. The company says the focus of the project is to research, test, and fully vet new technologies that promise value for the end user.
As part of this effort, Strick is continuing to explore ways to make trailers more aerodynamic. The company says it is developing a more aerodynamic rear frame because the rear of the trailer provides a considerable amount of aerodynamic drag.
Another goal is to increase a trailer’s lifespan. Advances in this area include a fully galvanized understructure, including a galvanized upper coupler.
Talbert has designed three trailers specifically for the oil and gas industry. The series consists of a 3-axle, 35-ton step deck; a 4-axle, 60-ton fixed-gooseneck; and a 5-axle, 65-ton fixed-gooseneck. They are designed to handle skid-mounted generators, compressors, oil rigging equipment, pipe sections and housing units employed in oil drilling and extraction.
Winches, tail rollers, and optional pop-up rollers allow quick pulling of equipment onto trailer decks. Weevil pins line the sides of the trailer and serve as vertical rollers to guide the equipment straight onto the trailer. Two pair of pipe pockets on the 60- and 65-ton trailers allow operators to insert large stakes vertically to stack and securely haul pipe sections.
The 60- and 65-ton trailers also feature a high-arch profile, which aids travel over rough terrain. This design provides additional space between the tractor and the bottom of the gooseneck to prevent the two from making contact in bumpy conditions.
The trailers come in lengths of 53 to 56 feet. The 65-ton trailer is rated for 120,000 pounds in 16 feet or 130,000 pounds evenly distributed throughout the lower deck. The 60-ton version is rated for 110,000 pounds in 16 feet or 120,000 pounds evenly distributed. The 35-ton is rated for 70,000 pounds in 10 feet or 100,000 pounds distributed.
The Precedent S-Series trailer temperature control platform is said to deliver double-digit fuel savings, best-in-class performance, and lower life cycle costs while complying with emissions regulations.
The Precedent S-600 meets a variety of transport refrigeration demands with strong pull-down and two-speed evaporator operation. In addition to claimed fuel savings and high performance, this greater-than-25 horsepower single-temperature unit is compliant with California Air Resource Board Ultra-Low-Emissions Transport Refrigeration Unit In-Use performance standards. It does not require a diesel particulate filter or engine emissions system.
The Precedent S-700 is the only deep frozen reefer unit with shore power capabilities. It can protect pharmaceuticals, fresh seafood, or other deep frozen loads through hot climates. It is fully compliant with EPA Tier IV Final regulations.
Thermo King also introduced the X430P compressor that was engineered to exceed industry standards for fuel efficiency and longevity. The compressor uses integrated oil filters to reduce leaks and installation time. The company says the compressor’s shaft seal design results in 85% improved reliability.
In celebrating its 40th anniversary, Trail King will introduce the All-Aluminum Center Frame Step Deck, model TK80AACS. The company says the trailer provides superior resistance to corrosion.
It features all-aluminum framing, armor-coated landing gear, and zinc-plated steel components. Its low deck height allows it to accommodate taller payloads. It comes in multiple cargo configurations. The company expects to release the trailer to the market this fall.
Transcraft has expanded its hybrid flatbed offerings. Beam capacity ratings now range from 80,000 to 125,000 pounds evenly distributed and 47,000 to 73,000 pounds in 4 feet.
The newest addition to the line is the 474 with 47,000 pounds in 4 feet, 53,000 pounds in 10 feet, or 80,000 pounds evenly distributed. Other models include the 554 with 55,000 pounds in 4 feet, 60,000 pounds in 10 feet, or 93,700 pounds evenly distributed; the 654 with 65,000 pounds in 4 feet, 70,000 pounds in 10 feet, or 110,400 pounds distributed; and the 737 with 73,000 pounds in 4 feet, 80,000 pounds in 10 feet, or 125,000 pounds distributed.
All Transcraft hybrid platform trailers are shot blasted prior to applying primer and paint. With ultra-high-zinc epoxy primer, galvanic coating, and automotive-grade Valspar acrylic paint, the trailers are said to be corrosion-resistant.
A new shallow roll-up door header for Utility’s stainless steel rear door frame provides increased vertical clearance for forklifts and high payload capacity.
The new door is available for both the 3000R and 4000D-X Composite, and with a Whiting roll-up door only. The 3000R’s increased opening height is up to 5 inches with an 8-inch header and 2-inch door, depending on the insulation package. The 4000D-X Composite offers a 1-3/4-inch higher rear door opening.
Utility also announced a product update on the 4000D-X Composite dry van. The company is adding a steel wall front lining to the existing design that currently consists of extruded aluminum cover posts, four 2-inch-deep steel posts and four steel tees welded to the approach plate turn up. The two 0.016-inch Grade 80 galvanized steel panels are pre-painted white with rolled edges. A 14-inch-high, galvanized steel Grade 80 wearband has been added for extra protection from impacts. The steel front wall lining is standard on all 4000D-X Composite trailers.
Utility announced that Hendrickson’s new Ultraa-K air slider system is now standard on new orders of Utility’s 3000R refrigerated trailer beginning with July 2014 production. Engineered with an optimized strength-to-weight ratio and heavy-duty slider box, the Ultraa-K is said to be stronger than other standard and heavy-duty 40K slider models. The suspension features a Zero Maintenance Damping design and a Quik-Draw slider repositioning system.
Wabash National recently debuted an ultra-lightweight DuraPlate dry van trailer weighing less than 11,000 pounds. The trailer is constructed of aluminum high-performance composite materials, and lightweight coupler, hubs, drums, and spring suspension. It features bonded sidewalls that eliminate more than 100 rivets per seam. This reduces trailer weight and reduces potential leak paths.
The company also announced that it is continuing to expand its sales and service locations, recently adding new dealers TEC Equipment on the U.S. West Coast and Mezz Trailer in Australia.