It happened this month (October)

Oct. 1, 2009
Looking back at industry milestones of the past five decades

In our first October issue… Lone Star State. Utility Trailer purchases a 22-acre site in El Paso, Texas, and plans a 20,000-square-foot facility that is expected to expedite new trailer deliveries to Colorado, Arizona, and Texas distributors.

Trust in truss. One of the newest developments in flatbed trailers by Aluminum Body Corp in Los Angeles has an entire truss framing of aluminum, mostly square tubing. The truss materials weigh only 231 pounds.

Lowdown on lighting. The trucking industry has to comply with a new ICC lighting regulation that requires all vehicles to be equipped with turn signals that previously were not required, and most must be Class A, Type I.

Great Dane develops a trailer that allows the hauling of frozen foods and fresh produce at the same time, with a Thermo King refrigeration unit for the front compartment and a second unit in the rear compartment.

October 1969 Shipping containers caught the imagination of U S manufacturers in the late 1960s. Our October 1969 cover showed a van container with hinged sidewalls that enable the container to fold up for more efficient backhauls.

Southern comfort. Fruehauf announces plans to build a 257,000-square-foot plant on 57 acres in Charlotte, North Carolina, to produce Model F van trailers.

Southern comfort, Part II. Kershaw manufacturing Co Inc in Montgomery, Alabama, announces the beginning of production at its new 60,000-square-foot plant. The line includes trailer axles and brakes with capacities ranging from 14,000 to 65,000 lbs.

Legislation update. The Federal Highway Administrator is considering revising Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 207-208-210, meaning seat belts would be required in trucks at each designated seating position.

October 1979 Passing the test. The Department of Transportation moves closer to publishing a proposed underride standard following two successful crash tests involving a Fruehauf van trailer equipped with a Quinton Hazell Underider.

Introducing at ICUEE. What do you get when you cross a contractor body with a service body? Knapheide's answer is the Knapheide Karry All.

Crystal ball. The number of dry van trailers constructed of fiberglass-reinforced plastic plywood will grow to 34% of total production in the next five years, according to one forecast.

Changes coming. As part of Ford's largest truck program ever, both the light- and medium-duty trucks are completely redesigned to meet the energy standards of the 1980s.

October 1989 Taking exception. The NTEA files a brief in its lawsuit against NHTSA in which the court is being asked to review NHTSA's decision denying the NTEA's petition for reconsideration of the final rule amending FMVSS 204 (Steering Control Rearward Displacement).

And the survey shows … According to a Trailer/Body Builders report, almost half of the 120 parts specialists who responded to a questionnaire believe that getting and keeping qualified personnel is the biggest single issue facing their parts department.

Improved parts service. Great Dane's new 34,000-sq-ft parts distribution center in Memphis will take some of the pressure off of the company's centers in Savannah, Georgia, and Brazil, Indiana, in serving Great Dane dealers through the central United States.

Coming back strong. Schweigers Inc is back in full production as a truck equipment distributor after its 9000-sq-ft shop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, after a fire destroyed it in February 1988.

October 1999 No go. NHTSA denies a petition from the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association to revise underride guard test procedures as part of FMVSS 223.

Heavy-duty network. FleetPride Inc, which started as Alco Equipment with one location in a suburb of Springfield, Massachussetts, now belongs to a network of 170 locations nationwide with the merger of Quality Distribution Service Partners and HDA Parts System Inc.

Trending up. Trailer dealers are on track to sell an average of $1.69 million in parts during 1999 — a 20% increase over 1998 — according to a Trailer/Body Builders survey.

As part of our 50th anniversary coverage, each month Trailer/Body Builders will present items of interest from archived issues.

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.