NASHVILLE — Stoughton Trailers has upgraded and refined many of the design features for its Z-Plate and Aluminum Sheet & Post Trailers and shared those with reporters at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting.
The redesign will reduce fleets' maintenance burden and parts inventories by commonizing and standardizing many components so they can be easily interchanged between the Z-Plate and the aluminum Sheet & Post body styles. In some cases repairs that once required two workers can now be done by a single tech from inside the van, eliminating the need for scaffolding and fall risk.
Top Rail & Roof Bows Assembly -- The new top rail design allows for the side-wall sheet to extend up behind the lower portion of the top rail to improve water shedding. Eliminating the drilling holes in the top rail improves water tightness, Stoughton says. The roof bows are now connected using a T-Bolt & Slot design. This allows replacement roof bows to be installed entirely on the inside of the trailer, reducing installation time and the need for exterior scaffolding. The roof bow is pushed up into position, making the replacement process cleaner. There is no caulk smearing, which occurs on competitive trailers where the roof bows have to rotate up over a flange.
Front Wall Assembly -- Dry van corner posts and top corner castings are now common corner components, allowing them to be interchangeable, reducing the number of parts needed for trailer repair. In addition, the new design increases the Sheet & Post corner panel to 0.125 inch from its original 0.050-inch thickness. The casting profile overlaps with the top rail to provide improved fit and better water shed. The new corner posts create a square interior corner, allowing full-width cargo placement to extend to the front lining.
Z-Plate Lower Rail -- With Stoughton's new Z-Plate lower rail design, the lower rail is 3.5 inches taller, allowing rivets to be placed 3.5 inches higher. Moving the rivets away from the scrape zone keeps them out of harm's way from forklift loading. The new aluminum side rail & scuff combination has been increased to a full 12-inch height. The scuff prevents damage from loading and unloading with no exposed attachments that loads can snag or tear out.