The state of Mexico

AS a key member of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico has been attracting the attention of its neighbors to the north in recent years.

Such was the case at the recent ANPACT Expo Transporte, the annual commercial trucking exhibition held November 16-18 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The annual event attracted an array of exhibitors and attendees from throughout North America. Sponsored by the Asociación Nacional de Productores de Autobuses, Camiones y Tractocamiones (National Association of the Manufacturers of Buses, Trucks and Tractor Trailers), the show was put on by the Mexican subsidiary of Messe Frankfurt, the company that conducts the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show every other year in Hanover, Germany.

But the attention has gone both ways. Mexican companies increasingly are targeting their products to the market north of the Rio Grande. Meanwhile, U S and Canadian firms are viewing Mexican fleets and manufacturers as buyers for trailers, truck bodies, and component parts.

The 2006 edition of Expo Transporte will be held November 15-17 at the same location. Sponsors expect a turnout that fares favorably with this year's event: more than 26,000 visitors from 23 countries, more than 287 exhibitors from 10 countries, and an exhibition that will occupy 32,000 square meters (345,000 square feet).

Here are some of the participants in the 2005 version, including the Mexican companies and international companies reaching out to the Mexican market:

From tanks to bodies. Construcciones Industriales de Aguascalientes has entered the truck body business. The company, with more than 25 years as a manufacturer of steel and fiberglass tanks, began building multi-compartment truck bodies a year ago. The company, in Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico, is exploring options for its new product, including exports to the U S.

Another beverage application was exhibited by Manufacturas Industriales Gami, Escobedo, Nuevo Leon. This curtainside model is one of several types of trailers the company manufactures. Others include dry-freight and refrigerated vans, along with drop-deck and conventional beverage trailers. The company sells to major beverage companies in the U S and Mexico.

Adding U S components. Vilchis dump trailers are available with ArvinMeritor lift axles, supplementing the leaf spring suspension that the trailer manufacturer also produces. Three 30,000-lb axles provide the trailer with a 90,000-lb GVW rating. Grupo Industrial Vilfer S A de C V, with sales offices in Mexico City and a plant in Lerma, Estado de Mexico, has been producing dump trailers for about 30 years. Platform trailers, such as the one supporting the new dump trailer offering, have been part of the company's product line for four years. Other products include a line of converter dollies and several models of dump bodies.

New dump trailer from Remolques Lozano has a lot in common with its U S counterparts, including Holland kingpin and landing gear, ArvinMeritor axles, and 4S/2M ABS, and Meritor automatic tire inflation system by PSI. Fabricated from Hardox high-strength steel, the third generation dump trailer is produced by Remolques Lozano s.a. de c v, Benito Juarez, Nuevo Leon.

Fruehauf reminded visitors that it is still producing trailers at its plant in Coacalco, Estado de Mexico. This refrigerated van is equipped with Hendrickson HT300TB suspension and 2s/1m ABS. The company also displayed a curtain-side van, part of a product line that includes dump trailers, container chassis, and tanks.

Made for Mexico. Hyundai Translead, San Diego CA, has modified its HyCube dry-freight van specifically for the operating environment in Mexico. Sidepost spacing from the landing gear forward is 12-inch centers. Crossmembers are on eight-inch centers the entire length of the trailer. The 5/16-inch upper coupler plate is thicker than normal, and six posts help strengthen the front wall. Other specifications remain the same as the U S version. The concept will be standard for Mexico, and Hyundai Translead is planning corresponding adjustments to add toughness to its refrigerated vans that will be sold for use in Mexico.

Improved quality is making longer warranties possible at Gallegos Trailers, Gomez Palacio, Durango. Warranties are three years, with plans for five-year warranties scheduled for 2006. An ISO 9001:2000 manufacturer, the company will add two welding robots to its production line this year. In addition to producing tanks such as the trailer shown here, the company manufactures dump bodies and trailers, platforms, lowbeds, hoppers, refrigerated and dry-freight vans, and converter dollies.

Heil Trailer International participated in this international show with its Mexio Super Flow Vac tank trailer. Designed for transporting plastics, cement, and powders such as flour and corn meal, the trailer has a reduced height, smooth interior, and is available with four or five hopper cones. Heil Trailer International, Chattanooga TN.

Great Dane Trailers, Savannah GA, displayed its SSL model dry-freight van. The 53-ft trailer is designed for high-cube applications, with 101-inch inside width. Special roll-formed logistics posts on 12-inch centers help reduce sidewall thickness.

Utility's 4000D-X dry-freight van has 101-inch inside width, resulting in 4,085 cubic feet of interior space. Contributing to the thin-wall design are squeeze-riveted lining panels and sideposts designed for increased stiffness. The trailer is available with 12-inch-high galvanized steel wearband, stainless-steel rear door frame, integrated threshold plate, and modular electrical system. Utility Trailer Manufacturing, City of Industry CA.

Trail King Industries, Mitchell SD, crossed into Mexico with a cross section of its line of drop-deck and utility trailers.

Wabash National, Lafayette IN, displayed its DuraPlate dry-freight van. DuraPlate vans are made of composite sidewall panels that provide 101" interior width. Standard features include 1" oak floor and 18-gauge, 80,000 psi steel scuff.

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