ALLIED members of the National Trailer Dealers Association gave trailer manufacturers an update of new products and services at the NTDA's annual convention in Toronto. Here is a summary:
- New family of long-life wheel ends
ArvinMeritor's new systems are factory-assembled and designed to minimize trailer downtime and eliminate adjustment and maintenance guesswork, said Rarun Rao. They come with three-, five-, and seven-year warranties, including parts and labor.
The Triad system includes high-performance seals and anti-back-off washers, along with a three-year/300,000-mile warranty. The TL and TA axle systems include advanced seals, bearings, and a specially formulated grease preloaded into a packaged bearing system and assembled to a long-wearing hub, along with a five-year/500-000-mile warranty. The TB axle has a unitized hub assembly made of bearing steel, along with a seven-year/750,000-mile warranty.
- New trailer tire for Bridgestone/Firestone
Bridgestone/Firestone introduced the R195F premium radial at the OEM level in May, according to John Carr. It is primarily designed for over-the-highway close tandem applications and is resistant to rapid shoulder wear, edge wear, and irregular wear. The sidewall protector feature has a scuffing tread pattern designed to kick out or resist stone retention and reduce heat to improve tread life.
The R195F is an addition to the Bridgestone radial tire product line for trailer applications, joining those with shallow tread (R194), sidewall protection (R194F), spread-axle application (R196), and high-scrub ribs (RRR250F).
- Clement introduces lightweight steel trailer
Clement Industries' StarLite trailer has the strength of steel with the weight of aluminum, said Bill Garrison. At 10,340 lb, there is no other 38' steel or aluminum trailer that matches its performance, he said. The starting point was the basic body shell of Clement FleetStar's 28' steel end dump.
Features: the rear FlipLite design swings lights and flaps out of the way automatically when the gate lock opens; the sides are 12-gauge, 50,000 psi, 35" high; 29-cubic-yard capacity; 26,000-lb suspension; 22,500-lb, parallel spindle axles; and 6" aluminum sideboards providing a maximum of 33 cubic yards.
- Dana unveils integrated air-ride suspension
The AdVANtage suspension has a reinforced slider rail, improving rail stiffness and reducing the possibility of rail buckling, said Pat Brandt. The new lightweight air-ride module helps save 30 lb per axle.
Axle tubes are 5" in diameter, improving their strength-to-weight ratio, and are easily aligned using Dana's Stay-Align mechanism. EZ Pull pins enable a single person to reposition the slider box easily. Brandt said large air springs reduce the operating pressure while providing a better ride. The braking system includes truck-style brakes that make trailer and truck components interchangeable. Cam enclosures contribute to improved lubrication, and at the loading dock the AdVANtage advanced rider height lock eliminates dock walk.
- Dealer Software's integrated system
Dealer Software, a new NTDA member based in Woodland Hills, California, is a dealer business system provider to the heavy-duty industry, primarily trailer and truck dealers, said Vic Watson. Its new DSI business system is a full-featured, fully integrated system designed to handle data processing needs.
The software is designed to handle everything from multi-locations or multi-company situations to small, single locations. It works in a relational database and is platform-independent, and therefore can run on various operating systems, such as Windows 2000, NT, AIX, Unix, and Linux.
- East Mfg refines smooth-side trailer
After two years of development, East has unveiled Genesis, a new concept in design to lead the bulk commodity transport business in a new direction while reducing operating costs and increasing profits, said Charlie Wells.
Its smooth sides make it aerodynamic; there are no external posts to create drag. He said the mileage is 5-10% better, and, depending on speeds, hauling distances and the price of fuel, that could mean savings of up to $3,000 a year. He calls the smooth sides a “rolling billboard” that allow the increased use of personalized graphics.
The side walls are built on a series of double-wall aluminum extrusions that are 10" wide and 2" thick and robotically welded together. He said they are stronger and more able to resist bowing than traditional sheet and post counterparts. Each side panel has vertical ribs that connect the inner and outer skins, with a vertical rib every 3" instead of every 25".
- Ravens releases new drop deck trailer
The Ravens Eclipse II drop deck trailer is engineered to increase payload capacity, said Bill Young. With ground clearance under 15", it hugs the road, while the air-ride suspension — at a ride height of 6½" — absorbs the movement.
Features: two 5" axles, 25,000-lb capacity, 122" spread; two heavy-duty aluminum bumpers secured with 60" horizontal braces; one-piece, full-width front channel, 9¾" deep; multi-hollow-core extruded aluminum floor; maximum versatility from 11' upper deck and 37' lower deck.
- Unit-inventory module from Karmak Inc
Karmak Inc, a supplier of software to the heavy-duty industry, has released a new module that handles unit inventory. The Windows-based program will handle any jpeg or bitmap picture for storage, said Duff Bell.
It can store any quotes and an unlimited amount of trailer characteristics. It is an add-on module that will integrate into traditional business systems.
- Walking-floor trailer from Keith Mfg
Keith Mfg has designed a filter system to capture any contamination that might bypass the user's system, said Phil Bortz. He said this should reduce service calls, noting that research has shown that 94% of their calls are related to wet kits.
Grab handles no longer are welded to the cylinder barrels; instead, they are attached with fittings so that any maintenance is kept simple.
Bortz said Keith operates Walking Floor International, which maintains a full supply of parts and service technicians.
- Trail King produces new 5-Star series
The Red River Manufacturing Division of Trail King Industries has released a new 5-Star series aluminum trailer offering 38 to 110 cubic yards to agricultural markets such as feed, seed, sludge, fertilizer, and potatoes, said Marv Odegaard.
The other new series is the Super Highlight, with a 63" floor with quick discharge suitable for silage, recycles, and compost, featuring unloading times as low as 90 seconds.
- Coil hauler from Thru-Way Trailers
The coil hauler EXP is a tandem coil well trailer with a special patented coil well design that allows coils to be hauled at low center-of-gravity, eliminating the need for special side kits or high tarp bows, said Dave Mizgala.
Coil sits low, eliminating the need for conventional tie-downs. Self-locking variable-pitch crossbars hold coils in place. The trailer is designed to be adaptable to receive curtain siding system of the major siding systems in North America. Apitong wood flooring on the front and back platforms is designed to carry slitter coils as well as other freight.
All steel parts are sandblasted to white metal — two coats of primer, two coats of polyurethane paint, which eliminates premature rusting, provides a better appearance, and lasts longer.