Trailer manufacturers focus on weight savings, aerodynamics at this year's Mid-America Trucking Show
May 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Paul Schenck
Manac brings Trailmobile back to USA
Manac had a big exhibit booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, focusing exclusively on the products it manufactures in the United States. This is unusual for a company so Canadian that the telephone operators greet callers in the French language spoken in Quebec. The company logo has a winged Canadian moose to symbolize ruggedly built products that are light in weight.
Trailmobile, a trailer industry legend almost as old as Fruehauf, was downsized a few recessions ago and its manufacturing plant moved to Canada. Manac Inc purchased the assets and intellectual property of bankrupt Trailmobile Canada in September 2009. As of January 2010, Manac is building the Trailmobile UltraPlate composite sidewall dry freight van in Kennett, Missouri.
Manac opened the Kennett plant in 2007 to build platform trailers. It is 75 miles from Oran, Missouri, where Manac builds its bottom dump trailers, after buying CPS Trailers in 2002.
A new Manac trailer introduced in Louisville is the side dump trailer, which will be manufactured in the Oran plant along with bottom dumps. Side dumping trailers are popular in the Western half of the nation, where they can be operated as doubles capable of dumping without breaking up the train.
The side dump is mounted on the same steel frame designed for Manac's platform trailers. Also new is the option to have the entire steel frame hot-dip galvanized for use as either a platform or side dump. Hot-dipping the entire trailer frame is a popular way to fight corrosion in Europe, but requires a huge dip tank full of molten zinc.
Dump body liner doubles as load-bearing member for new dump trailer
Jimmy Wink is redefining how composite dump body liners are used. Instead of keeping bulk material from sticking to the metal sheet, he eliminates the metal sheet and builds only a metal skeleton frame. The composite liner both supports the load and keeps it from sticking.
Wink Trailer Corp of Rockport, Indiana, showed two new dump trailers at Mid-America in Louisville, one a square body and the other half-round. Both use the UHMW plastic liner as dump body sidewalls and floor, thus saving about 1,000 pounds in empty weight. Wink claims that this not only saves weight, but also reduces repair costs.
The UHMW liner (ultra-high molecular weight) is not riveted or bolted to the skeleton frame. Instead, the composite liner floats inside channel extrusions that capture the liner edges. This allows the liner to expand and shrink in response to temperature changes.
East combines round bottom, square sides
The newest evolution in Genesis dump trailers at East Manufacturing is still undergoing testing, but it holds many promises for safer and more efficient transport of bulk materials. It is a combination of a half-round floor and straight, flat sidewalls. It was on display at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.
The biggest advantages are a two-yard greater capacity compared to traditional half-round dump trailers, and a seven-inch lower center of gravity. Dave Tate, president of East Trailer in Randolph, Ohio, says the stronger, more rigid body resists twisting and has better stability when dumping. The flat sidewalls are easier to repair than curved shapes.
Both the clean underside and no-post sidewalls contribute to better aerodynamics and fuel mileage. The sidewalls use 2" by 10" hollow-core extrusions vertically oriented, as does the tailgate. The curved floor sheet is quarter-inch aluminum plate. The body measures 60" deep from the top rail to the center of the floor. The 39-ft, 102" wide trailer on display weighed in at 9,750 lb.
Trail King combines flat floor, curved sides
A curved plate sidewall with no sidewall stiffeners helps reduce weight in the new Trail King Industries ag trailer, designed for hauling seed, feed, and fertilizer. The 45-ft live bottom trailer exhibited at the Mid-America Trucking Show has 84" sidewalls and a 63" wide belt of segmented flaps over a drag chain. The sidewall sheets of .175" aluminum are rolled to achieve the curved shape, which provides better clean-out with less bridging of material. Capacity is 80 cubic yards. Weight including tarp is 14,900 lb.
MAC adds vacuum self-loader
After building a 15-year reputation in platforms, transfer and dump trailers, MAC Trailer launched a new line of aluminum pneumatic dry bulk trailers at last year's Mid-America Trucking Show. This year MAC added to that line with the PneuMACvac self-loader. It is designed to pick up product directly from rail hopper tankcars at railroad transloading sidings.
This new version of the PneuMACtic has not only the added piping and air filtering equipment fore and aft, it also has a stunning paint job and shine usually not seen on road haulers. That aesthetic treatment is thanks to the fleet owner who already logged 50,000 miles and a couple of truck shows on the trailer before appearing at Mid-America. And the 2007 Peterbilt tractor with the same classy paint job had 325,000 miles already logged. The owner, First Class Services Inc of Lewisport, Kentucky, has its own body shop and invests heavily in the company image and reputation.
Next Page: With new regs in place, first DEF tank truck ready to deliver
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus