GATS grows even bigger

The Great American Trucking Show (GATS) set a record for overall attendance — 47,980, a 4.5% increase over the previous record of 45,914 set in 2006.

GATS, held August 23-25 at the Dallas Convention Center, featured 571 exhibitors, including all truck OEMs, all engine manufacturers, and over 20 trailer manufacturers.

The attendance for owner-operators increased 15.3% over 2006 to 17,546, and the attendance for fleet owners and fleet-management executives increased 28.6% to 5295.

The gross square footage of 525,000 was an 11% increase over 2006.

Overall, the show has experienced 22% growth in the past four years.

The next GATS is scheduled for Aug. 21-23, 2008, at the Dallas Convention Center.

Here's a rundown of the key products displayed:

Hyundai Translead's HT Composite Trailer allows for rapid side-panel replacement

Hyundai Translead launched the company's newest product — the HT Composite Dry Freight Van Trailer.

The company says it is different than other composites in its reparability. If damage occurs to the sidewall panel, the sidewall design allows for easy and rapid individual side-panel replacement without having to remove the stiffeners. This results in less down time, increased utilization, and greater profits.

The trailer comes with the standard Hyundai Translead five-year warranty and 10-year limited warranty on the composite sidewall panels. With a full 101 ½" panel-to-panel interior width, the composite design provides a larger cubic capacity, resulting in increased productivity and revenue, ensuring a faster return on investment.

The interior is fitted with fully recessed vertical logistics slot plates on 48" centers throughout the trailer. These logistics slotted plates also can be easily replaced if they become damaged. Interior rivet heads also provide a smooth, snag-free interior surface to prevent cargo damage.

The lower area is provided with a full-length, one-piece extruded aluminum bottom rail with integral 6" high scruff, adding strength and rigidity to help reduce sidewall bulging while protecting the lower panel area from damage. Front-wall posts are reinforced with special angle clips and welded to the upper coupler for maximum strength.

The trailer also comes standard with the HT Corrosion Resistance Package for optimal corrosion protection on premium features seen on all Hyundai Translead dry-freight trailers. It includes hot-dipped galvanized steel rear frame, rear-impact guard, landing-gear mounting brackets and bracing, license mounting plate, and mid-turn-signal bracket.

“We anticipate great success with the HT Composite Trailer,” COO Glenn Harney said. “We feel this fills out our dry-freight van product lineup.”

In conjunction with the trailer launch, the company has revamped its brand image with a new logo, advertising campaign, and tagline.

Utility Trailer

With its 4000D-X dry van, Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co became the first trailer manufacturer offering a qualifying model to be certified by the EPA as a SmartWay trailer.

Utility's SmartWay 4000D-X offers aerodynamic enhancements, low rolling resistance tires, and overall weight reduction that qualify it under the EPA's SmartWay Partnership.

Utility participated in the special SmartWay “Get Green” Trucking Summit at GATS, hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The event showcased the numerous achievements of the EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership, a progressive collaboration between the US EPA and the freight industry to increase energy efficiency, with an emphasis on fuel-saving technologies. The 4000D-X dry van is the natural accompaniment to other environmentally friendly options that advance fuel saving technologies.

“Utility is very proud to be certified by the EPA as offering a qualifying model that meets the SmartWay specifications. Our 4000D-X thin wall dry van was designed to offer weight reduction, increased cubic capacity, and greater productivity while providing fleets and owner operators with a durable and low-maintenance alternative to standard plate trailers,” said Craig Bennett, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing. “We believe in the EPA's goal of reducing fuel costs, conserving energy, reducing emissions, and improving the environment.”

Wabash National ArcticLite maximizes efficiency

ArcticLite refrigerated vans incorporate standard features that maximize thermal efficiency and performance in a lightweight design.

Computer-controlled, high-pressure foam injection eliminates voids in sidewalls for maximum thermal efficiency. A heavy-duty 1" Z-post allows more insulation in the sidewall. A recessed 10" extruded aluminum scuff liner with hidden fasteners provides heavy-duty impact protection in the lower sidewall. Hardwood backers between the scuff liner and vertical posts reduce foam damage, increasing durability and extending the sidewall life. The scuff liner is fastened to posts and bonded to foam for superior strength, and a single-piece interior cove angle provides additional thermal efficiency. There are posts on 12" centers over high-stress areas.

The high-strength floor system includes: high-density polyethylene (HDPE) floor firings that reduce weight and resist corrosion; a single-piece Bulitex subpan that reduces weight and prevents water from entering floor insulation; 1" deep extruded aluminum duct floor that delivers strength without excess weight; outer aluminum floor extrusion interlocks with scuff angle to prevent water from entering the floor; an outer floor seal that provides easy access to air and electrical lines; rot-free composite stringers that prevent heat transfer and keep fasteners secure; crossmembers on 8" centers with 2½" wide composite stringers in the rear 48" of the trailer that provide strength in the high-impact area; and a single-piece FRP sub-pan that provides durability and reduces trailer weight.

SolarGuard roof material prevents UV rays from being absorbed by the roof panel. SolarGuard is fiberglass-reinforced and designed to improve the thermal efficiency of refrigerated vans. The SolarGuard material is uniquely formulated to prevent ultraviolet (UV) rays from being absorbed by the roof panel. Because the roof sheet absorbs significantly less heat, the trailer can maintain its cargo area temperature without excessive operation from the cooling unit — even in extreme heat conditions.

The Advantages of SolarGuard: reflects heat-generating UV rays; improves the trailer's ability to maintain interior temperature; reduces cooling unit run time; reduces fuel consumption and costs; extends cooling unit life; and is strong, durable, and puncture-resistant.

Travis Body & Trailer

Using all-aluminum construction, Travis Body & Trailer Inc in Houston, Texas, was able to design a 28-yard bottom dump trailer with a 10,200-lb tare weight. The 39-ft, 2-inch-long trailer has a 10' rear gate, 20' hopper width at the top, and 69' side height. The trailer displayed at GATS was outfitted with an Air Weigh electronic on-board scale.

Running gear also contributed to weight savings on the dump trailer. In addition to a Hendrickson HT 300 air suspension, the trailer was outfitted with Michelin X One wide-base single tires, Airgo tire-inflation system, and Alcoa aluminum disc wheels.

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