It looks like a common western belly-dump trailer, but this new model 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.

The trailer is the culmination of a two-year research, development and field-testing program, said Rick Hutcheson, managing member, new business development, for American Carrier Equipment (ACE). 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 unique design and exceptional material construction make it the lightest all-steel bottom dump trailer available anywhere, Hutcheson said. 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.

The interior bed slope has been engineered to promote optimum load release flow when the gate is opened. The design promotes complete emptying and reduces the potential for load material, such as asphalt, to “bridge” or form into no-flowing masses that remain in the trailer bed.

A video of the new ACE bottom dump trailer is below.