Associates supply component news

June 1, 2002
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS of the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA) gave trailer manufacturers an update of new products and services. The presentations,

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS of the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA) gave trailer manufacturers an update of new products and services.

The presentations, limited to four minutes, included a wide range of components and materials. They also included two companies, Ancra International and U S Liner Co, who made presentations for the first time.

Here is a summary of what these companies have to offer:

Ancra introduces cargo control, material-handling equipment to TTMA

Ancra International, an established manufacturer of cargo restraint and material-handling equipment, made its first presentation at TTMA this year.

The company has been serving the industry since 1969, Paul Wolford said. He mentioned three categories of products that Ancra provides:

  • Cargo restraint equipment includes ratchet and winch strap tie-down assemblies, winches, E and F logistic products, and cargo bars.

  • Lift A Deck II decking system helps maximize trailer cube. It is based on aluminum decking beams that can be adjusted in one-inch increments.

  • Retract A Roll II pneumatic roller track system. The low-pressure system uses the tractor air supply to raise and lower the floor-mounted roller conveyors. The rollers require less than 15 seconds to rise from the stored position to accept pallets of cargo for loading or unloading. It comes with centralized controls and a safety interlock. If the operator does not lower the rollers, the control valve does so when the vehicle's brakes are released. Ancra International, Hawthorne CA (

Bulitex: resisting a speeding bullet

It may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but ballistic-grade liner material from U S Liner Co has proved to be more powerful.

Used as scuff and wall liners, translucent roofs, and reefer walls, Bulitex composite material can withstand the impact of a .38-caliber bullet fired at a distance of 20 feet, says Michael LaRocco.

Bulitex uses a thermoplastic composite with a proprietary woven fiber. Its ability to absorb energy makes it resistant to punctures, cracks, and tears from speeding forklifts. The material can be specified for new trailers or for use in existing vans. U S Liner Co, Pittsburgh PA (

Accuride: reinventing the lighter wheel

A new wheel from Accuride Corp has taken a major step in the incremental process of developing lighter wheels.

During the past few years, the weight of standard wheels has been trimmed by six pounds, according to Accuride's Terry Rone. But fleets can now save 990 pounds when they switch to wide-base single 14-inch aluminum wheels combined with wide-base tires.

Rone also introduced a new 22.5" × 8.25" steel wheel that weighs 65 pounds — 13 pounds less than the two-hand hole standard wheel. This results in weight savings of 104 pounds per dual-wheel tandem axle. The wheel, made of high-strength, low-alloy steel, has 10 hand holes and a disc thickness of .437". It comes in a choice of white, gray, or black powder topcoat. Accuride Corp, Evansville IN (

ArvinMeritor adds life to wheel ends

A family of long-life trailer wheel-end systems is getting bigger at ArvinMeritor.

This new family of wheel-ends are factory-assembled and designed to minimize trailer downtime and eliminate adjustment and maintenance guesswork, ArvinMeritor's Jim Sharkey said. The family includes three members:

  • The Triad system, the most cost-effective, includes high-performance seals and anti-back-off washers. It comes with a three-year/300,000-mile warranty.

  • TL and TA axle systems include advanced seals, bearings, and a specially formulated grease preloaded into a packaged bearing systems and assembled to a long-wearing hub. It comes with a five-year/500,000-mile warranty.

  • The TB axle has a unitized hub assembly made of bearing steel that eliminates the need for separate bearing cups. It comes with a seven-year/750,000-mile warranty. ArvinMeritor, Troy MI (

Bendix adds air disc brake

A new air disc brake designed specifically for the North American market is coming from Bendix, according to Bill Gantz.

The ADB 225 brake has a mono-block design. Despite being new to the North American market, the internal mechanism, internal automatic adjustment, and the internally sealed mechanism all have been seen millions of miles of global service.

The brake is 30 pounds lighter than the company's current air disc brake and is comparable in weight to S-cam packages with cast-iron drum and iron hubs, Gantz said.

Additional weight savings will result from a splined rotor that Bendix is planning to introduce. More than just lightweight, the rotor will be easy to remove — only 20 minutes per wheel — without removing the caliper, carrier, bearing set, or hub.

Bendix plans to roll out the ADB 225 later this year. The company also plans to produce the brake domestically in 2004. Knorr-Bremse, the Bendix parent company, has more than three million of these in service. They also are being tested in the United States, and an order for 500 trailers with the ADB 225 disc brake is being finalized. Bendix, Elyria OH (

Bridgestone/Firestone has new trailer tire

Bridgestone/Firestone introduced its R195F premium radial designed primarily for over-the-highway free-rolling wheel positions — particularly close tandem trailer positions.

According to John Carr, the R195F has a four-belt casing that is well-suited for nine-inch procured retreads. The tire has sidewall protectors, defense grooves, and braking force control ribs in the shallow tread pattern.

The R195F is an addition to the Bridgestone radial tire product line for trailer applications. The company also offers radial tires with shallow tread (R194), sidewall protection (R194F), spread-axle application (R196), and high-scrub ribs (RRR250F). Bridgestone/Firestone, Nashville TN (

Dana cites suspension AdVANtages

The AdVANtage trailer suspension is the first in a series of integrated suspensions being introduced by Dana Corp.

The AdVANtage suspension has a reinforced slider rail, improving rail stiffness and reducing the possibility of rail buckling, Pat Brandt said. The new lightweight air-ride module helps the AdVANtage save 30 pounds 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. Large air springs reduce the operating pressure while providing a better ride, Brandt said.

The AdVANtage 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.

The AdVANtage trailer air suspension comes in three fully assembled models. Dana, Toledo OH (

Hadley unveils smart suspension controls

Electronics enable Hadley Products to control suspensions like never before.

Smart Suspension Controls is Hadley's electronically controlled height control valves system, said Gordon Virginski, sales manager. Among its capabilities are side-to-side stability, a dump system, the ability to raise and lower the vehicle, and a scale system.

“The advantage of our system is that it is designed to be customized for the customer's specific needs and wants,” Virginski said.

The electronic systems offers three advantages, Virginski said: reduced cost per mile, improved driver comfort and safety, and enhanced product differentiation. With Hadley's electronic air suspension system, the vehicle profile can be lowered to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel economy.

Virginski also announced Hadley's new manual dump/auto refill control system. It offers simplified plumbing and uses the dumping capabilities of the Hadley 2K 500 Series height control and integral dump valve. Hadley, Grandville MI (

Hendrickson axle trims trailer weight

A new 5" trailer axle simultaneously saves weight and adds strength, according to Gary Ciapetta.

Hendrickson's larger tube allows the use of a slightly thinner wall for more efficient application of materials. Road-proven in Europe, the axle trims up to 27 pounds from its tare weight and increases the bending and torsional stiffness by more than 14% compared with a five-inch axle.

Soon to be standard on Hendrickson Intraax and Vantraax integrated suspensions, the axle will be available in a full complement of spindles and wheel-end options. Hendrickson, Canton OH (

Huck U-Spin keeps U-bolts in place

The new U-Spin lockbolt system from Huck Fasteners uses the patented Huck-Spin design to clamp U-bolts in place when mounting fixed or slider suspensions on trailers, said Jim Hutchison.

A multiple-spindle installation tool swages all four bolt ends simultaneously, distributing the load among the legs. The tool's hydraulic manifold equalizes pre-loading on all four bolt legs while the anvils swage the collars, forcing collar material into the treads and creating a permanent installation. U-Spin lockbolts never have to be retorqued, Hutchison said.

The fasteners help save time on the trailer production line, he added. Two U-Spins can be installed in 12 seconds or less. Huck, Waco TX (

Zig-zag technology tightens floor joints

Zig-zag technology from Prolam is designed to provide trailer flooring with tighter joints, reducing by 90% the number of joints that need to be sealed, said Jim Jannell.

A replacement for the old hook design, the zig-zag edges of the planks transfer load weight from the floor to the crossmember, reducing fatigue caused by forklifts. The increased performance and durability of the floor reduces repairs, replacements, and cargo damage claims caused by moisture, Jannell said.

Zig-zag technology will be standard on Prolam floors by the end of June, said Jannell. Prolam, Cap St Ignace PQ (

Replacing wood with fibrous composites

High-strength fiber-filled composite products are becoming viable alternatives to wood in trailer applications, according to Jim Pace.

Uses in trailers include floors, continuous decking, and sidewall panels. Among advantages the material offers are:

  • Moisture resistance.

  • A choice of strength and durability. This can be achieved by varying the chemical composition.

  • A choice of width and length. Because the material is extruded, it can be produced in any reasonable dimension. If dimensional requirements exceed manufacturing abilities, adhesives can bond the pieces into moisture-resistant assemblies.

  • Can be designed to be lighter than wood. R•O•M Corp, Belton MO (

Getting more strength from steel

Southern Fabricators Inc (SFI) introduced TTMA to a new generation of high-strength steels. According to Rick Quinn, the steels are formable, easy to weld, and available in strengths up to 200,000 psi.

Using the new 200 KSI steel for the bumper tube and uprights produces an assembly that is up to 50% lighter yet stronger than conventional alloys.

“Just this one application can reduce trailer weight by at least 50 pounds,” Quinn said.

SFI selected a bumper tube in order to test the material's formability and weldability. SFI, Memphis TN.

Truck-Lite lights up single-diode lamp

Truck-Lite Co Inc has pioneered a combination stop/turn/tail lamp that uses only a single diode.

The Super 66 red six-inch oval lamp is the first of a series of single-diode safety lamps that Truck-Lite has been developing. Less directional than standard multiple-diode lamps, the Super 66 was developed with the use of the company's Advanced Optics Design software to produce a more homogeneous light pattern that resembles an incandescent lamp, according to Mike McGowan.

The single LED also has the advantage of other Truck-Lite LED products, including a lamp life rated at a minimum of 100,000 hours, narrow wavelength light that produces an intense color, low amperage draw, instantaneous glow time, and resistance to shock and vibration.

Produced in QS-9001-registered facilities, the Super 66 comes with a limited lifetime warranty. When the lamp is used in conjunction with the company's Series 88 sealed wire harness system and other Truck-Lite LED lamps, the lifetime warranty covers the lighting system for the entire trailer. Truck-Lite Co, Falconer NY (

Tuthill introduces integrated suspensions

Tuthill Transport Technologies introduced its latest integrated fixed-axle air suspensions for heavy-duty trailer applications.

The Reyco/Granning Models 20AR and 22AR combine a new lightweight trailing arm suspension design with industry-standard axles to produce a suspension system that weighs as little as 509 pounds, said Ray Mueller.

All have the patented Rey Align System that enables one person to align the suspension. A choice of flange-mount, weld-on, undermount, and bolt-on attachments is offered. With capacities of 20,000 and 22,000 pounds, they can be used in a wide range of fixed-axle applications, including single-, tandem-, and multi-axle configurations. They come standard with straight axles, but they can be purchased with drop-center axles for dry-bulk service. They are available in 14" to 17" mounting heights with 71" or 77" axles. Tuthill Transport Technologies, Springfield MO (

Valspar celebrates 27 years of sales growth

Tom McAfee gave TTMA attendees a four-minute introduction to the coating protection provided by Valspar.

Founded in 1806, Valspar had sales of $2 billion last year — a 27-year record of increased sales. The company has 80 locations and 6,800 employees worldwide.

Product applications cover a wide range of industries. For the trailer industry, the company offers epoxy, zinc epoxy, and universal primers; alkyd and urethane topcoats; undercoating in a variety of colors; zero-VOC wood coatings; and wax crossmember coatings. Valspar Truck Trailer Development, Virginia Beach VA (