New Schmitz Chassis Uses Lockbolt Assembly Schmitz Cargobull AG, Germany's largest trailer builder, introduced a new modular chassis at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Frankfurt. The modular chassis, appropriately name Modulos, is bolted together rather than welded. The modular components (Modulos) can be fabricated and finish painted in a central manufacturing plant or furnished by off-site suppliers. The assembly plant can be in another country or overseas. After Huckbolting the parts together, the finished trailer frame does not need further painting.

This new generation of chassis was specifically designed for refrigerated trailers and tilt trailers (platforms covered with a fitted tarp and ideal for side loading). Schmitz claims a 65% share of the reefer trailer market in Germany. Its subsidiary plant in the UK has a 35% share of that market. The Schmitz Ferroplast reefer body is already designed for assembly at satellite plants. The modular Ferroplast panels, measuring approximately 40" x 100", can be assembled with adhesives to form trailer-length sidewalls and roof, which are again joined by adhesives to form the insulated body.

The Modulos chassis exhibited at the IAA in Frankfurt was assembled from two fabricated I-beams that had been prepunched completely for all mounting holes before welding and painting. Crossmembers and longitudinals were also fabricated with end-clips and punched before painting. Individual pieces were then bolted together with Huck-Spin lockbolts that have a spiral fit-up thread. After the collars are spun on by hand, the swaging tool applies the proper clamping force. There are no pintails to break.

Schmitz says that the flexibility of the bolted chassis provides better stability, and it is stronger because of less heat distortion and stresses introduced during welding. It is easier to repair by bolting prepunched and prepainted service parts to replace the damaged parts. Transport costs are reduced because the assembly workshop can be in the same area as the customer.

Several Modulos chassis underwent comprehensive durability tests in the field before the IAA show in September and went into regular production soon after. Individual I-beams for the mainframe and all other parts are formed, punched, welded, and painted in the main Schmitz fabrication plant in Altenberg. The ready-to-assemble parts are shipped to Schmitz assembly plants in Europe. Besides existing satellite plants, Schmitz is planning to set up other assembly operations in southern Europe and in middle European countries. Schmitz Cargobull AG, Bahnhofstrasse 22, D-48612 Horstmar, Germany.

IAA for the Best and Brightest Trucks THE IAA (International Automobil-Ausstellung Nutzfahrzeuge) for commercial vehicles was held September 23 to 30 in Frankfurt, during favorable economic times. New registration of multi-axle trailers and semi-trailers in Germany increased substantially in 1999 and again in 2000. Export sales, which had been weak the previous year because the Russians didn't buy, were strong again in 2000 because the Russians were back in the market. Overall production in the German truck trailer and truck body sector was close to DM 12-billion ($6-billion).

But the IAA is an international show. Only half the 1,314 exhibitors are German. The other half are from 41 other countries, including 44 from the United States and 52 from the United Kingdom. The largest number of non-German exhibitors are from Italy (90), France (70), the Netherlands (64), and Sweden (61).

To say that the IAA commercial vehicle show is the biggest and best truck show in the world may be an understatement. The show attracted 240,000 visitors interested in commercial vehicles (as opposed to passenger cars). One out of five visitors was from outside Germany. The press corps alone numbered 2,609 journalists from 55 countries. They included Trailer/Body Builders senior editor, Paul Schenck, who photographed most of the trucks shown on these and following pages.

The president of VDA (association of German automotive industry), Prof Dr Bernd Gottschalk, puts the importance of the IAA show into perspective for those of us in the United States:

"In the global test of strength, the European commercial vehicle league - and its German players in particular - has taken active charge and has emerged as the most important decision-making center for the world-wide commercial vehicle sector. Today, for example, more than 60% of heavy truck sales in the USA and more than 80% in Brazil are achieved by brands maintaining their group headquarters in Europe, with the majority of them actually based in Germany."

Kassbohrer Auto Hauler Rides on 17.5" Single Wheels An enclosed auto transporter exhibited at the IAA truck show in Frankfurt demonstrates the lengths that European trailer manufacturers will go to to gain a little extra cube.

The trailer rides on 17.5" wheels and has a coupling height of 980 mm (38.6") to stay within the overall height limit of four meters (13'4"). The semitrailer has an overall length of 14,025 mm (46 feet) including the rounded nose possible when the swing radius from the kingpin is by law a maximum of 2040 mm (80.3").

To gain extra space inside, the rear of the trailer can be extended rearward hydraulically 1500 mm (59"). This allows it to carry six large cars such as Mercedes-Benz S-class. With the extension retracted, it can carry six smaller cars. This extension is legal in Germany with a permit for open car-hauling trailers. The legality of the extension with a fully enclosed car-hauler has not been determined yet.

Forty of these auto transporters are already on the road, but in an earlier version with two axles and dual wheels. This is the first one on a tri-axle suspension with single wheels mounting 245/70R 17.5 tires. This gives it a floor height at the axles of 650 mm (25.6") and a space between the wheel wells of 2000 mm (79").

The second deck platform is raised on pillars by four mechanical screws. The telescoping rear body is extended by a single hydraulic cylinder in the floor, with cables and pulleys keeping the top of the extendible van in alignment. The rear door is a one-piece loading ramp, and it is raised hydraulically.

The van body is unusual in that it uses Schmitz Ferroplast panels (sandwich panels having prepainted steel skins and a foam core). Three side doors on the left side provide access to the cars. The roof panel has 30 mm of insulation (1.2" thick). This gives the van an inside height of 3350 mm (132") from the top of the ramp to the ceiling.

Manufacturer of the semitrailer is Kassbohrer Transport Technik of Salzburg, Austria. It was founded recently by some members of the family that for many years had operated the Kassbohrer company, formerly the largest trailer manufacturer in Germany.

The idea behind this very specialized transporter is that fine cars can be shipped from the factory fully prepared and ready to sell. They don't even need washing at the dealership and because of the very tight van body, they don't have to be covered. Tare weight of the semitrailer is 11 metric tonnes (24,250 lb) and it has a payload capacity of 14 tonnes (30,850 lb). It carries a price tag of about DM250,000 ($125,000).

Kassbohrer Transport Technik GmbH, Peter-Pfenninger-Strasse 26, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria.

Kogel Two-Piece Trailer Frame Bolted Together Kogel demonstrated its modular concept at the IAA in Frankfurt, bolting interchangeable modules to a basic platform frame in order to change the specifications of the chassis. In this concept, the basic frame is a typical I-beam centerframe from the landing gear to the rear of the trailer. To this basic frame is bolted a choice of three-axle bogies and one of four upper coupler frame necks.

The standard main frame is 400 mm (16") deep. Depth of the neck frames varies from 75 mm (3") to 170mm(6.7"), and the trailer weight varies even more. The choice allows customers to pick the best interior height when the platform is equipped with a fitted tarp body over a post-and-slat framework. This pritsche or tilt trailer is the standard dry freight hauler in many European countries.

To get a full 3000 mm (118") height inside, the customer would need a 75 mm (3") deep frame neck, and the complete trailer and body would weigh 7300 kg (16,100 lb). To get a 2750 mm (108") inside height, the customer could choose either a 90 mm (3 1/2") neck resulting in complete trailer weight of 6300 kg (13,900 lb) or a 100 mm (4") neck and total semitrailer weight of 6700 kg (14,770 lb). If interior height is not a problem, the trailer could use the ultra lightweight option - a 170 mm (6.7") neck with 2650 mm (104") inside height and a trailer weight of 5900 kg (13,000 lb). The neck frame selected (complete with upper coupler) is bolted directly to the main portion of the frame.

The choice of running gear also affects frame height and the available interior height. For example, the two 3-axle bogies in the demonstration were equipped quite differently. One bogie was equipped with 385/55 R22.5 Continental tires on Alcoa polished aluminum wheels and SAF axles and Knorr disc brakes. The other bogie had ultra low profile Michelin 445/45R 19.5 tires, BPW axles, and Knorr disc brakes.

The bogies are pre-assembled complete with the three air tanks, three electronic braking systems, and three completely dressed axles. Two workers require only 30 minutes to roll the pre-assembled bogie under the trailer, raise it into position, bolt the six air suspension hangers in place, and hook up the pre-plumbed air lines and pre-wired electrical system. Each suspension hanger is bolted directly to the frame flange with four 16 mm (5/8") Huck lockbolts.

Kogel Fahrzeugwerke AG, Daimlerstrasse 14, D-89079 Ulm, Germany.

Krone Cool Liner Squeezes in One More Pallet Krone came up with a new solution to the problem of limited interior cube by presenting an insulated trailer with room for 34 Euro pallets. The maximum for most semitrailers is 33 pallets on one level. To get the necessary interior length of 13.62 m (44' 8"), Krone engineers pushed out the interior front corners so that the thinnest portion of the front corner has only 5 mm (.2") of insulation. To keep the same insulation value, the sidewalls are slightly thicker, providing an inside width of 2470 mm (97 1/4"), versus the standard interior width of an insulated van of 2480 mm (97 5/8").

The second design innovation to get the necessary interior length for 34 pallets was to utilize the European road regulation that says the lifting tailgate is not counted in the overall length if it is less than 200 mm (8") thick. The Zepro tail lift in the 34-pallet trailer serves as the rear door. What is more, the deck of the tail lift is only 20 mm (.79") thick. This one-piece deck plate is actually a stainless steel vacuum-insulated panel. Of course, the tail lift encloses only the bottom two-thirds of the trailer rear. The top one-third of the opening is enclosed by a top-hinged flap door.

The Krone 34-pallet trailer has sufficient interior height for a second deck and thus provides 68 pallet positions. The floor-to-ceiling height is 2750 mm (108"), but under the two ceiling-mounted evaporators it is only 2650 mm (104") thick. To lose only 100 mm (4") to the evaporator means that the two FrigoBlock evaporators must be recessed into the ceiling. The insulated roof is 110 mm (4.33") thick. The two recesses above the evaporators are 40 mm (1.57") deep, leaving only 70 mm (2.76") of insulation above the evaporators.

Sidewall insulation is 60 mm (2.36") thick and the front wall is 70 mm (2.76") thick. The front wall is smooth on the outside, since all the refrigeration machinery is under-mounted. On the inside, the front wall has a 40 mm (1.57") airflow space behind an aluminum bulkhead. Tracks for the aluminum second-decking beams are recessed into the sidewalls during manufacture.

This prototype 34-pallet semitrailer was manufactured in the Krone-Wabash joint venture plant in Denmark. There the trailer-length panels are made using fiberglass and foam sandwich panel technology and assembled using composite technology.

Weight of the complete tri-axle semitrailer including the FrigoBlock refrigeration equipment and Zepro tail lift is 8,850 kg (19,500 lb). The air suspension running gear is equipped with a new Continental low profile tire. The 385/55 R22.5 tires reduce trailer height by 70 mm (2 3/4") compared with the European standard 385/65 R22.5 tires used on most tri-axle semitrailers. Fahrzeugwerk Bernard Krone GmbH, Postfach 1148, D-49753 Werlte, Germany.

Expanding, Sliding Body Shell Protects Aircraft Components One of the most specialized semitrailers exhibited at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Frankfurt was the Orthaus transporter for aircraft component parts. Specifically, the aircraft is the EuroFighter military jet that is being assembled in each NATO country: UK, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. The components are also being manufactured in each of the different countries.

The job of the Orthaus transporter is to pick up individual components in one country; transport them to the assembly plant in the next country; again pick up other parts to go to the next plant, etc in a round-robin distribution circuit. The transporter is equipped to carry a right and a left wing on one leg of the trip, a fuselage on the next, cockpit and tail section on succeeding legs.

The prototype semitrailer on display at the IAA has already hauled components for the prototype EuroFighters. The trailer has 400 mm (16") deep pockets in the deck to fit the large wings. Intermodal container corner fittings are recessed in the floor to act as hold-downs for the stillages (pallets or racks) that hold the aircraft components. Twistlocks on the bottom of the stillages fit into specific fittings and secure them against any movement.

The semitrailer is a dropdeck with a 4.5 m (15 ft) long upper deck over the fifthwheel and a 9.1 m (30 ft) lower deck. The body built on this dropdeck can open by sliding forward and aft. That is, the shell over the upper deck slides forward, and the shell over the lower deck slides to the rear. This permits the very large aircraft parts to be top-loaded or side-loaded easily.

To protect the largest parts such as the wings and fuselage from damage, the 9.1 mm (30-ft) rear portion of the body shell moves outboard 200 mm (8") on each side before the shell is pulled to the rear. To load or unload, the sides of the shell are pushed out and legs at the rear of the shell are set down. As the driver pulls forward, the rear shell slides to the rear and is supported by the two grounded legs and the rear of the transporter. Then the driver uncouples the trailer and lowers two legs at the front of the trailer. The tractor pulls the front shell forward. Thus, the full length of the drop-deck trailer is open on both sides and above for loading.

The body shell is manufactured of aluminum honeycomb panels for lightest weight and greatest interior cubic capacity. The sandwich panels have aluminum sheet on each side of aluminum honeycomb core. Fahrzeugwerk Orthaus, Harmate 20, D-48683 Ahaus (Wullen), Germany.

New Van Body Construction Method Uses Polypropylene Honeycomb Sandwich Panels WIHAG introduced a new bodybuilding material and assembly technique at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Frankfurt. MonoPan is a sandwich panel made of polypropylene honeycomb with a face sheet on each side made of polypropylene with fiberglass reinforcement.

The face sheets are fusion bonded or welded to the honeycomb core. No adhesives are used. This makes the MonoPan truck body panel easier to recycle, as it is almost pure polypropylene. WIHAG says the panel has high energy absorption without core deformation. It deflects impacts without crushing.

The new body assembly technique is thermal welding. Panel edges can be closed by heat. No closure strips and profiles are needed. Panels are joined by fitting together and heating. Grooves and local recesses can be made thermally, such as for metal load track that is later secured by gluing, screwing, or welding. With a standard thickness of 30 mm (1.18"), the MonoPan panel weighs 4.5 kg/m superscript 2 (.92 lb/sq ft). This is about one-quarter the weight of 3/4" plywood.

The MonoPan panel is easily paintable because of a special primer applied at the factory. It can be repaired by cutting out the damaged part and welding in a new part cut to that size. In case an entire sidewall needs replacing, the thermal strips applied during manufacture are heated to free the wall, and a replacement wall is welded in place.

WIHAG has built a new manufacturing plant to produce MonoPan. The panels will be manufactured in different thicknesses up to a size of 2.78 x 13.6 meters ( 9 x 44 1/2 feet).

A companion product for deep-freeze bodies is called MonoIce. It is a pure grade polypropylene foam of different density, and face sheets are polypropylene reinforced with fiberglass fabric. The foam is vapor-diffusion tight and absorbs no moisture, WIHAG says. The intersecting edges of the panels are thermally deformed and closed.

The panels are bonded together by thermal welding during assembly. The corners are closed by radiused corner caps. MonoIce panels weigh about 5 kg/m2 (1 lb/sq ft) in an 80 mm (3.15") thickness. MonoIce was presented at the IAA as a study and is expected to be available by midyear. WIHAG Nutzfahrzeugtechnik, Artur-Ladebeck-Strasse 171, D-33647 Bielefeld, Germany.

General Trailers Designs All-Aluminum Half-Round Dump Trailer Half-round dump trailers are relatively new in Europe, and very new at General Trailers, the company formed from the alliance of Fruehauf, Trailor, Benalu, Blond Baudouin, and the equipment manufacturer SMB. General Trailers claims to be the European market leader with a 19% penetration in its markets.

What is most remarkable about General Trailers' new all-aluminum half-round dump trailer is its resemblance to General Trailers' tipping dry bulk tank, also of all-aluminum construction. Old-timers will recall that the first half-round dump trailers in the USA were steel cylindrical railroad tank cars cut in half and mounted on a dump trailer chassis. The General Trailers half-round dump trailer appears to be the bottom half of the tank of General Trailers' dry bulk tipping tank, even to the curved front wall. Both have an all-aluminum step-frame, three-axle air-suspension running gear bolted directly to the aluminum flanges of the I-beam frame, and front-mounted telescopic hoist.

The AstroRunner half-round dump trailer has 6 mm (1/4") sides and 8 mm (5/16") floor. This 27-ft short tipper has a volume of 24 m superscript 3 (31 cubic yards) and load capacity of 30 tonnes (66,000 lb). It is designed for hauling sand, gravel, coal, and beets. It has a tare weight of 5,035 kg (11,100 lb).

The PowderLiner dry bulk tipper displayed by General Trailers at the IAA has a volume of 58 m superscript 3 (2050 cubic feet) and a tare weight of 6,600 kg (14,500 lb). General Trailers redesigned all its dry bulk tippers to take advantage of the EU regulation allowing 2550 mm (100.5") total width. This 50 mm (2") increase in width of the tank increased each tank volume about two cubic meters (70 cubic feet). General Trailers France SA, 2 Avenue de l'Aumette, F-91131 Ris Orangis Cedex, France.

Galvanized Trailer Frames Last 50% Longer The Sommer curtainside semitrailer frame is hot-dip galvanized to provide a longer service life. If a standard painted chassis frame lasts 8 to 10 years, the galvanized frame will last 15 years, says Carl Franz, chief engineer at the Sommer headquarters plant in Bielefeld, Germany.

The fabricated I-beam mainframe with web holes and clips for crossmembers is welded in the normal fashion, but drain holes for the hot zinc are provided. The full-length (45-ft) frame is sent out for galvanizing. During later assembly, formed Z-section aluminum crossmembers are riveted directly to the welded web clips. No isolating tape or other preparation is needed between the aluminum and zinc-coated steel.

The outer frame is a substantial aluminum extrusion that is riveted to the 4.5" deep crossmembers. This outer rail also serves as the track for the rolling side posts and tiedown for the curtain straps. The outer rail also has a special groove just inside the curtain so that web cargo straps can be hooked into the rail at any point.

Including front wall of hollow aluminum extrusions, full-opening roof, and galvanized steel rear frame with swing doors, the typical Sommer CargoLight curtainside trailer has a tare weight of 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). It has proven popular for hauling paper rolls (over 800 on the road), cable coils, and bottled drinks.

The Sommer corporate group includes seven production sites in four countries. Besides Bielefeld, western plant sites are Potsdam, Bremen, and Laucha in Germany, and Marmoutier, France. In the East, Sommer invested DM3 million ($1.5 million) in a newly built plant in Zapole, Poland, and DM2 million ($1 million) to erect a large factory in Novgorod, Russia. The product range includes furniture transport vans, hanging garment trailers, swap body systems, tank trucks and trailers, refrigerated vans, and straight truck bodies. Sommer Fahrzeugbau GmbH, Rembrandtstrasse 1-3, D-33649 Bielefeld, Germany.

Hinged Drawbar Permits Front Loading A Jumbo-Transporter from Orthaus has two huge advantages. One is an inner volume that is hard to achieve in Europe by any other vehicle configuration. The center-axle trailer and its companion truck with curtainside body have a combined useful load length of 15.65 meters (51'4"). Semitrailers are limited to about 44 1/2-ft load length, about 7 feet less than the Jumbo. With small tires, the Jumbo center-axle trailer has an interior height of 3100 mm (122") within an overall height limit of 4 meters (13'1 1/2"). This gives the truck and center-axle trailer a combined useful volume of 121 cubic meters (4,273 cubic feet). With a COE truck and only 750 mm (29 1/2") between the truck body and trailer front wall, the overall length is 18.75 m (61 1/2 ft).

The second advantage is five-side loading. That is, the trailer can be loaded from either side, either end, or the top. A new innovation shown at the IAA in Frankfurt is a swing-away drawbar so that the trailer can be loaded from the front. This was done at the request of a customer who hauls carpets and loads from the front and the rear. The curtainsides permit opening up both sides as well. The retractable fabric roof permits top loading. Fahrzeugwerk Orthaus, Harmate 20, D-48683 Ahaus (Wullen), Germany.

Lamberet launched its new generation SR01 design refrigerated semitrailer at the IAA in Frankfurt. The three-axle bogie was moved forward 280 mm (11") to avoid overloading the tractor drive axle and to meet turning circle requirements even when the forward axle is lifted. About 80% of the refrigerated semitrailers built by Lamberet are equipped with a lift axle. The new wheelbase of 7.4 meters (291") has been marketed in Italy since 1992 and is now an EU directive to meet the 12.5 m (41 ft) turning circle outside radius.

Lamberet engineers also designed a new air suspension with a wider track to provide more stability. The suspension will be produced for Lamberet by BPW.

Other underbody improvements include a new plastic fuel tank with a capacity of 200 liters (53 gallons). The new tank can be fueled from either side of the trailer. A larger pallet box provides room for 46 Euro pallets or 38 pallets and two spare wheels. A bigger toolbox is provided at the rear, as well as a 30-liter (8-gallon) water bottle for drinking water and hand washing. To work out of either rear door, two sets of stairs are standard. For meat haulers and others transporting heavy goods, a seven-step slide-away stair is standard.

Lamberet produces 6,300 to 6,500 refrigerated vehicles a year, ranging in size from one cubic meter to 100 m superscript 3 (35 cu ft to 3,530 cu ft). About 2,600 of these are refrigerated semitrailers. Lamberet Constructions Isothermes, BP 43, F-01380 St-Cyr-sur-Menthon, France.

Samro Reduces Weight with Bolted Chassis Samro claims to have the lightest unladen semitrailer on the market. It also has a bolted chassis frame that permits mixing materials to get the optimum balance between highest strength and lightest weight. Its neck section 90 mm (3.5") deep gives it a 2800 mm (110") inside height. To beef up the shallow neck, two extra long sills at the front of the trailer reinforce the neck assembly and bear directly on the kingpin plate.

The 13.55 m (44.5 ft) main frames are welded as individual I-beams with cutouts for the formed channel crossmembers. These steel crossmembers have generous lightening holes and are tapered at each end. They are bolted to the main frame members and to the aluminum outer rails.

The three trailer axles are DaimlerChrysler Discos axles with air disc brakes and EBS electronic actuation. Tires are 385/65 R22.5 on the standard trailer. For an extra 150 mm (6") inside height, 445/45 R 19.5 tires can be specified and the tractor fifthwheel height is then 950 mm (37"). When fitted with a curtainside body with aluminum side posts, unladen trailer weight is 6100 kg (13,450 lb). With 19.5" wheels and tires, the weight is 100 kg (220 lb) less.

The bolted construction makes this trailer very easy to assemble at distributor locations. The parts for eight trailers can be shipped on one assembled platform. Samro has a network of distributors throughout Europe. Samro, BP 175, F-85203 Fontenay-le-Cedex, France.

Dautel Speeds Body Swaps The Dautel swap-body system has been refined to take most of the hand work out of it. It permits the driver to exchange one body for another without assistance. The manual work consists only of placing legs under the body to be removed from the chassis and pulling the legs out of the sockets after the new body is on the chassis.

Four hydraulic cylinders on the truck raise the auxiliary frame, and a fifth cylinder slides the body forward into the lock-down cams. It also slides the driveshaft for concrete mixers forward into a clutch engagement with the power source. The Dautel swap body system can handle all kinds of mechanized equipment such as hydraulic cranes, street sweepers, salt spreaders, tank bodies, and fifthwheels, in addition to the obvious three-way dump bodies and concrete mixers. Dautel GmbH , Dieselstrasse 33, D-74211 Leingarten, Germany.

Mechanical Screw Replaces Winch Huffermann makes a full line of front-loading and side-loading refuse trucks as well as solid waste container systems. A new product exhibited at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Frankfurt was a roll-off container chassis that uses a long screw between the tilt-frame members to pull the drop-off container aboard instead of using some kind of winch or a hook loader. Huffermann Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH, PO Box 1365, D-27780 Wildeshausen, Germany.

Accordion-Tarp Platform Trailer Martin Bate, one of the youngest exhibitors (31) at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Frankfurt, designed the Martin Bate platform trailer with traveling bow tarp system for rapid covering of the load. The Tarpex system has standing bows and X-bows mounted on rollers to open the trailer accordion-like from either the front or rear. When the tarp opens from the rear, the rear doors and door frame travel on rollers with the tarp and bows to the front. When opening from the front, the tarp and bows are unlatched from the stationary front wall. Besides trailer sales, Martin Bate has his own leasing company, now five years old. Martin Bate Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH, Max-Planck-Strasse 18, D-27283 Verden/Aller, Germany.

Wingliner Side-Opening Doors Soar Above the Body The Wingliner is a side-opening system for body builders. At the press of a button, the wings unlock and swing out easily, opening the entire side of the body in about 10 seconds. The hydraulic swing-out and raising motion can be stopped at any point from just cracking open the side to all the way vertical.

This side-opening system has been especially popular on beer and other beverage bodies. There are dry freight models and insulated ones for foodstuffs. There is even an open-top model in which both sides and the roof are raised over the top of the truck, all at the same time.

Wingliner is a powered door-opening kit sold to truck body builders. However, the newest Wingliner is designed to cover the entire side of a 44-ft trailer, and it is available only as a finished trailer with doors and power-opening mechanism fully mounted. Wingliner has teamed with Schwarzmuller UniVan SpA to produce this side-opening trailer complete because of the precision required in mounting such long doors.

The Schwarzmuller insulated trailer with Wingliner side-opening doors exhibited at the IAA in Frankfurt had a tare weight of 9 tonnes (19,850 lb) with Thermo King unit mounted. In spite of the full-length door-openings, the trailer was certified for deep-frozen operation. Wingliner Produktions & Vertriebs GmbH, Klausgasse 32, A-5730 Mittersill, Austria.

Hydraulic Disc Brakes for Lowbed Trailers Scheuerle, manufacturer of lowbed and heavy-hauler trailers, developed a new hydraulic disc brake system for its hydraulically suspended and steered swing axles. The disc brakes were exhibited on four-axle and six-axle heavy-hauling semitrailers with extendible frames. Scheuerle Fahrzeugfabrik GmbH, Ohringer Strasse 16, D-74629 Pfedelbach, Germany.

Goldhofer Triple Extendible Trailer The newest development Goldhofer showed at the IAA in Frankfurt was a triple extendible four-axle flatbed semitrailer with turntable steering. In the closed position this is a road-legal 44-ft platform with a bed height of 1330 mm (52"). Each of the three extensions extends the total length about 21 feet. Fully extended, the trailer has a length of 32.55 m (107 feet).

The four axles mount 305/70R 22.5 tires. Each axle line has a rated capacity of 10 tonnes (22,000 lb). With a fifthwheel load of 18 tonnes (40,000 lb), the trailer is rated at 58 tonnes (128,000 lb). Trailer weight is 21 tonnes (46,000 lb), leaving 37 tonnes (82,000 lb) for payload.

The triple extendible trailer is used for hauling long pipes, laminated wooden beams, concrete beams, wind power stations, and crane jibs. Goldhofer can produce this triple-extendible design with up to six axles and payloads ranging up to 70 tonnes (154,000 lb). Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft, Postfach 1364, D-87683, Memmingen, Germany.

Easy-Opening Curtainside Trailer Meusburger, an eight-year-old manufacturer in southern Bavaria that is specializing in custom-tailored vehicles, made a big splash at the IAA in Frankfurt with this curtainside trailer introducing a new generation of curtain buckle. The trailer itself is a "super-lightweight" 32-pallet trailer on three axles with forward lift axle, air disc brakes, and aluminum wheels. Fully equipped and with curtain in place, it has a tare weight of 5,800 kg (12,800 lb).

The new Direktspanner 2000 (direct tensioning) buckle uses no belts or straps. The buckle is riveted directly to the reinforcing web straps sewn into the curtain. To adjust the tension on the buckle, a threaded bolt under the buckle handle is turned. The over-center buckle hooks directly on the aluminum side rail of the platform.

The portrait painted on the side curtain of the show trailer is of a model with very long fingernails. This same model, fingernails and all, demonstrated the ease of opening and closing the new buckles on this trailer at the IAA. Less than 60 seconds is required to open or close the buckles. By using the flat of the hand, the high-maintenance fingernails are protected from damage. The DirektSpanner buckle system and aluminum profile side rail are supplied by Franz Miederhoff oHG, P O Box 1352, D-59833 Sundern, Germany. Meusburger Fahrzeugbau GmbH, Kollmering 7, D-94535 Eging am See, Germany.

Back to Hanover in 2002 The IAA International commercial vehicle show is held every two years in Germany. The dates for 2002 will be September 12 to 19. The venue will be Hanover. The exhibition was moved to Frankfurt for the 2000 IAA only because Expo 2000 had taken over the entire exhibition grounds in Hanover. The IAA is organized by the VDA, the German automotive industry association, which celebrated its 100th birthday on January 19 in Eisenach, birthplace of its predecessor organization, the VDMI.

Food Tanker and Chassis All Stainless Steel The Maisonneuve liquid food product tank is stainless steel throughout, including the tank, jacket, piping, hose tubes, fenders, and chassis frame. The 32,000-liter (8,450 gallon) tank has three compartments: 11,500, 7,000 and 13,500 liters (3,000, 1,850 and 3,550 gallons). It was designed for transport of orange juice, liquid sugar, milk, chocolate, glucose, gelatin, coconut oil, and wine in the German market.

Insulation is 100 mm (4"); that is, 70 mm of rock wool compressed to 50 mm (2") and 50 mm (2") of polyurethane foam. The outlets and valves are insulated, as are the manholes and dome covers. There is a quarter inch insulation between the stainless steel chassis and the tank. Operating temperature range is 0 to 120C (32 to 248F). The tank is heated by water from the tractor.

Tare weight of the tank semitrailer is 6,850 kg (15,100 lb). Maisonneuve makes a full line of food transports and milk pick-up tanks, chemical, liquid waste, and hydrocarbon tankers, and LPG delivery trucks. Maisonneuve SA, B P 5, F-50510 Cerences, France.

Chassis Hauls 45-ft Containers Legally Nooteboom claims that its Flexitrailer is the lightest multifunctional and extendible container chassis with the largest payload capacity. In the closed length, the trailer can haul rear-mounted 20-ft and heavy 20-ft containers. Extended, it can haul two 20-ft or one 40-ft or a 45-ft container. However, European Directive 96/53 makes it difficult to meet both the 2040 mm (80.3") nose radius from the kingpin and the 12 meter (39.37 ft) dimension from the kingpin to the rear of the trailer when hauling 45-ft boxes.

To solve the problem, Nooteboom developed Flexilock, a telescopic front bolster, for its Flexitrailer, which already had a telescopic mid section and extendible rear. The Flexilock front bolster is extended manually before loading a 45-ft container on the chassis. The ends of the bolster are tapered so that the nose radius is within the 2040 mm dimension. Royal Nooteboom Trailers BV, PO Box 155, 6600 AD Wijchen, the Netherlands.

Schweriner Specialized Chassis The Schweriner chassis at top will be mounted with an insulated food transport body having full-opening folding side doors for backhauls of timber products from Norway. The air suspension bogie has a self-steering lift axle at the rear for operation on Ro-Ro ships.

The bottom gooseneck chassis, also from Schweriner, is a multi-purpose high cube (for 9'6" high containers) chassis for hauling a 40-ft or two 20-ft containers. The tail section can be cranked to the rear 1314 mm (52") for these long loads. In the closed position, it can haul one heavy 20-ft container in the center position or one standard 20-ft container at the rear position. It is sold to Paul Gunther Leasing, a company that has over 1,000 Schweriner chassis. In Europe, container chassis are often bought as single orders, or sometimes as many as 5 or 10 at a time. An order for 100 chassis for one company would be exceptionally rare. Schweriner Nutzfahrzeuge is represented in the European market by Inner Circle of Viborg, Denmark. D & W Stahl-und Anlagenbau GmbH, Wiesenring 32, D-19370 Parchim, Germany.

Nooteboom Preloads Flat Chassis Beams Minimal deflection is important in heavy lowbeds, especially when the chassis is extendible and beam lengths are greater. Royal Nooteboom Trailers has precambered its low loader beams for many years, but the convex floor causes other problems in some load configurations. The situation has worsened with increased use of high quality steels that have more deflection.

Nooteboom has developed a new design of preloaded chassis beams for extendible lowbed semitrailers. When retracted, the load floor is completely flat. Preloading takes place during extension so that the extended trailer is also perfectly flat. Koninklijke Nooteboom Trailers BV, Nieuweweg 190, 6603 BV Wijchen, the Netherlands.

Esterer Shows Low-CG Cylindrical Gasoline Transport Esterer exhibited a new cylindrical gasoline tank trailer at the IAA in Frankfurt. Developed in close cooperation with Van Hool, the Belgian commercial vehicle manufacturer, the TAMOS was designed with many safety features. Perhaps foremost is the cylindrical shape that is capable of withstanding higher internal pressures in an accident without bursting.

Another safety design is positioning the round tank low and between the wheels. With an overall trailer width of 2500 mm (98.5"), the width between spring centers is 1400 mm (55"), and the track width with single wheels is 2140 mm (84"). The tank is nested between the tires so that the overall height is only 3300 mm (130"). Overall trailer length is 11,660 mm (38 ft).

Tank capacity is 42,500 liters (11,230 gallons) in five compartments. The aluminum tank has a 5.2 mm (.205") shell and 8 mm (.315") thick bottom. It is mounted on a lightweight steel frame. It has a 4S/2M WABCO ABS and EBS. The forward two axles are liftable. Total weight unladen but with the hydraulically operated product pump (1,000 liters or 265 gallons per minute) meter and safety systems for a five-compartment tank in place is about 5,300 kg (11,700 lb).

A safety add-on that is required by some of the largest European petroleum companies is a rearview camera mounted high on the tank so the driver has a clear view of the blind spot behind the trailer. Dr Ing Ulrich Esterer GmbH & Co KG, D-34298 Helsa, Germany.

Tipping Tank Hauls Bulk Sugar This bulk sugar transport is one of 31 tanks that Feldbinder exhibited at the IAA in Frankfurt. It is a tipping silo with a volume of 43,000 liters (1,520 cubic feet). The aluminum tank is on an aluminum frame, but the tank saddles and upper coupler are of steel. It has two interior baffles and is insulated with 50 mm (2") rock wool and 50 mm of polyethylene foam. It has electric heat pads. The four dome covers on top are enclosed, and the rear discharge valve is enclosed in a cabinet with overhead-acting door.

The tipping tank has a front-mount HYVA telescopic hoist to raise the silo for pneumatic discharge at the rear through 100 mm (4") lines and a 150 mm (6") valve. With a gross vehicle weight rating of 34 tonnes (75,000 lb), the trailer has a tare weight of 5,900 kg (13,000 lb) and payload capacity of 62,000 lb. Feldbinder Spezialfahrzeugwerke GmbH, Gutenbergstrasse 12-56, D-21423 Winsen, Germany.

Rohr Cylindrical Tank for Fuel Delivery The Rohr gasoline delivery semitrailer has a cylindrical shape for maximum cargo security, and the four compartment dome covers are recessed into the tank for protection in an accident. The aluminum vessel with a capacity of 42,800 liters (11,300 gallons) has a wall thickness of 5.12 mm (.202"). Both the subframe and the underbody compartments are of aluminum also. Basic trailer weight is 5770 kg (12,700 lb).

This trailer is set up for delivery from either side. The four compartments have capacities of 16,900, 3,900, 12,800, and 9,200 liters (4,465, 1,030, 3,380, and 2,430 gallons). The bottom-loaded tank has both electronic and pneumatic overfill protection.

The three-axle bogie is fitted with air suspensions, ABS, EBS, and six single tires (385/65R 22.5). It was displayed at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Frankfurt coupled to a Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor. Introduction of the Actros Truck with an electronic braking system at the IAA two years ago speeded the adoption of EBS by trailer manufacturers in Europe.

At the rear of the tank are high-mounted brake lights and running lights. A rear-mounted camera is enclosed in a box with a flap door that opens when the truck is shifted into reverse. Rohr AG & Co Fahrzeugwerke KG, Ittlingerstrasse 157, D-94315 Straubing, Germany.

Cement Hopper More Compact Spitzer reduced the length of its three-axle cement trailer by almost one meter (3 ft) in order to make it more maneuverable. The new wheelbase is 6,560 mm (21 1/2 ft), and the overall length is 9,300 mm (30 1/2 ft). Distance between the air-suspended axles was reduced to 1,310 mm (51.6"). The rear hopper discharges between the forward two axles. The two-hopper tank is now full height. Tare weight stayed the same at 4,400 kg (9,700 lb) and the payload is 29.6 tonnes (65,000 lb). Spitzer Silo-Fahrzeugwerke, Industriegebiet, D-74834 Elztal-Dallau, Germany.

Dana Spicer Driveline Technologies The Spicer Driveshaft Group of Dana Corp announced a number of new technologies for driveshafts at the IAA commercial vehicle show in Frankfurt. Two were adhesive technologies - adhesive bonded tube yokes and UV FlexBond balance weights.

"The newly designed tube yoke has semi-elliptical grooves or channels that make it easy for the adhesive to migrate into the channels and bond with the tubing," said Jim Duggan, chief engineer of advanced design for Spicer Driveshaft. "The adhesive is contained inside the tubing during assembly and requires no pressure feeding, making it a cleaner process, providing a more consistent fit and improved dispersion of the adhesive." The technology may be applied to steel, aluminum or a metallic mix, or to composite driveshafts.

The new UV FlexBond balance weights replace traditional heat-welded counterweights that can cause deflection of the driveshaft in the balancer. The new process cures in two stages. The ultraviolet light stage cures the surface adhesive instantly to allow easy handling. The chemical reaction continues to cure the adhesive underneath the balance weight.

A third technology is a patented, electronically controlled, magneto-rheological (MR) center bearing. The MR fluid can change the apparent stiffness of the mount. In the presence of a magnetic field, the fluid rapidly changes shear characteristics from fluid to semi-solid. The semi-active driveline suspension system will provide real-time control of driveline vibrations caused by the center bearing support.

Another technology is magnetic-pulse welding for joining ferrous and nonferrous materials. The process creates an intense magnetic field by downloading large amounts of electrical energy into a specifically designed coil over a short period of time. When an aluminum tube is subjected to the magnetic field, it collapses inward with sufficient force to weld itself onto a stationary component, such as a steel or aluminum end fitting. This solid-state welding uses no heat and has an energy level of about one-tenth that of a MIG welder.

Also Dana Spicer has added a new Quick-Disconnect tube yoke to its medium-duty Spicer Life driveshaft assemblies. The new tube yokes replace a full-round design and let maintenance personnel reduce the time it takes to remove or install a multi-piece driveshaft by as much as 75%.

Arvin and Meritor Combining Technologies Truck and trailer makers - OEMs - are increasingly pursuing strategic opportunities to out-source, said Prakash Mulchandani, senior vice-president of Meritor Commercial Vehicle Systems, at a Meritor press conference during the IAA in Frankfurt.

"OEMs want integrated systems and modules, not single components," Mulchandani said. And in an effort to streamline processes and reduce costs, OEMs are cutting their supplier lists to the relatively few that can provide the systems and modules they need. To meet these changing needs, suppliers are consolidating to provide more complete systems.

"It should come as no surprise, then, that two of the industry's leading suppliers - Arvin Industries and Meritor Automotive - have taken advantage of these industry trends and combined our expertise and global resources into one powerful, well-integrated organization. In doing so, ArvinMeritor is solidly positioned for growth as the supplier of choice to the global transportation industry."

The merger creates a $7.5-billion global supplier of intergrated systems, modules, and components for the transportation industry, Mulchandani said. Arvin has a solid reputation as a manufacturer of automotive components: exhaust systems, ride and motion control products, filters, and gas-charged lift supports. These components join the strong lineup of Meritor commercial vehicle axles, brakes, and drive-lines.

Among the new developments resulting from the merger will be ArvinMeritor's entry into the heavy-duty exhaust market and emissions reduction area. "The spiral-lite muffler (silencer) will offer weight reductions by providing a stainless steel material with improved acoustic properties," Mulchandani said.

"The merger also brings to our customers Gabriel ride-and-motion control products, specifically shock absorbers," he said. "Initially these products are going into all of our trailer suspensions - both RHP in North America and the ROR system in Europe.

"We're currently in the concept stages developing electronically adaptive shock absorbers that integrate ride control with axles and brakes," Mulchandani concluded. "This is exciting stuff."