TBB Time Travelers: May 1963 - Piggybacks & Bat(tery)mobiles

Are electric trucks finally viable? TBB asked the question ... 55 years ago. Travel back to the future with this month's gallery from the archives, including the year's TTMA convention highlights.

Don’t call it a comeback.

Electric vehicles have been here for years, threatening their diesel-powered peers and putting oil companies in fear.

But, full disclosure, Trailer/Body Builders did claim EVs were coming back – 55 years ago.

In our May 1963 story “Electric Delivery Trucks Will Challenge the Detroit Chassis,” we highlighted Battronic Truck Corporation’s new Battronic battery-powered delivery truck, which reportedly had the “speed, pickup, stamina and operating economy required for highly concentrated stop-and-start service.”

Sound familiar? Unless you’ve been hiding under a trailer, it should.

Philadelphia-based Battronic touted the vehicle’s cost savings, both in operational and maintenance expenses, and ease-of-use on the dreaded last-mile – much like EV companies do today.

The May 1963 TBB also touched on the rise of “piggyback” trailers, which pretty much are just rolling trailers loaded onto rail cars for long-haul, in another trend that’s making a comeback thanks to online-shopping giant Amazon and the driver shortage.

And last, but certainly not least, we had front-to-back coverage of the 1963 Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association convention, including the growth in the size of trailers, the newly formed TTMA tank conference, and plenty of photos of TTMA members living the good life in Boca Raton FL.

Here’s a peek inside the well-aged pages of the May 1963 print edition of the only magazine published specifically for those who produce and sell commercial truck bodies, trailers and truck equipment.

TAGS: Truck Bodies
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