MANY trailers exhibited at the Kortrijk show were equipped with belt conveyors for unloading agricultural products, especially potatoes — an important food in the Dutch and Flemish diet. The most innovative of these was a super-lightweight, self-supporting composite trailer by FLOOR BV.
The hopper-shaped body of this trailer is constructed entirely of foam epoxy laminate sandwich panels that also form the longitudinal frame. The upper body walls are vertical, while the lower portion angle inboard toward the belt conveyor. This functional shape is covered with nicely sculptured side panels of polyester FRP. The belt drive at the rear is also enclosed in a polyester FRP enclosure with well-rounded corners. Driving the belt conveyor is an electric motor that plugs into dock power.
The conveyor-bottom hopper has a capacity of 50 m3 (1,765 cu ft or 65 cu yards). It is built for a load capacity of 36 metric tonnes (79,400 lb) for use in Holland where the maximum combination weight is 50 tonnes (110,230 lb). Trailer tare weight is 6,000 kg (13,200 lb). Rear axle steering is necessary to negotiate many Dutch and Flemish farmsteads, and this would add 750 kg (1,650 lb) to the tare weight.
FLOOR BV is a 50-year-old family firm with TÜV and ISO 9001 accreditation. It has had six prototype potato transports on the road since 1994. These prototypes had steel and aluminum parts in addition to the composites. All the repairs that were required were on the metal parts, not the composites. Therefore, it was decided to go to an all-composite design that could better handle the expansion from temperature changes. FLOOR BV, Havenweg 4, Postbus 30, 6600 AA Wijchen, the Netherlands.