Catom Trucking hauls heavy. The company has been hauling heavy loads in the Chicago area for 35 years and needs trailers to operate that can more than handle it. Company policy is to beef up lowbeds so they don't have a problem on the road. Customize new trailers after delivery — before any problems develop.

When heavy-duty trailer manufacturer Talbert Manufacturing found how its customer's shop was modifying, cutting and reinforcing after delivery, Talbert suggested, “Let us customize the trailer for all your needs before delivery. We would like to engineer the changes in the factory, not in the field.”

The result was on display in the Talbert Trailer booth at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville. It was a 65-ton detachable gooseneck heavy hauler on three axles plus a three-axle jeep up front and equipped for other axles on a stinger at the rear. The buyer, Catom Trucking in Geneva, Illinois, was also in the booth explaining the changes it had requested and why.

“We want to be prepared for everything, especially in off-road situations,” says Tom Stellman, owner of Catom Trucking. “We routinely haul incredibly heavy loads. We know the engineers at Talbert Trailer design with a safety factor, and we occasionally have to test that safety factor---almost all of it.”

“We also buy 10-ft and 15-ft load bed extensions. If we add both extensions to the standard 30-ft load bed, we can haul a 55-ft long load. That adds a lot of stress to the structure, but we need the extra length for some refinery towers and concrete abutments we haul.”

To add that extra peace of mind, Stellman and his director of operations, Todd Sauer, asked Talbert to redesign the crossmember above an axle, and put extra steel plate reinforcing into the gooseneck. But Catom stresses they are not criticizing the basic trailer design.

“The Talbert Trailer has the best geometry to pick up a 65-ton load,” says Stellman. “It is the most construction friendly and the fastest to hook up.”

With the extra reinforcing plates and bump guards that Talbert added to this customized trailer, it also may be strongest 65-tonner capable of hauling over-size loads.

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