Merker, the new entrant in the European trailer market, made its first IAA exhibition in Hanover, displaying a wide range of trailers.
The spotlight was on a Bertone design that added aerodynamic side skirts and a glamorous paint job to the basic curtainsider. Its chassis frame has the classic double T longitudinals with slotted web to allow the crossmembers to pass through.
Manufacturing the high-tensile steel frame is a largely automated process. After shot blasting, the steel frames are primed using cathodic dip coating (MerkerCatprocess) and finished with waterbased paint.
Also displayed was the Merker refrigerated trailer that uses a Univan body of standard European panel construction. A new tank trailer by OMT, which Merker bought in 2001, is a low-CG petroleum distribution prototype that OMT hopes to make standard. Merker even has a half-round dump trailer and a three-axle drop-deck trailer that is extendable to 30 m (100 feet). The trailer includes hydraulic load ramps.
Although its manufacturing plant is located far to the south in Italy, Merker is regarded as a serious threat because of its huge production capacity. When utilized fully, it can make approximately 40,000 trailers annually.
Merker Corporate is based in Como, Italy. Merker SpA, the manufacturing subsidiary, has its highly automated plant east of Rome in Tocco da Casauria, where about 450 people are working. Subsidiary companies are in France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Some 15 dealers have been named in Italy and 12 in Germany. Merker SpA, Via Tiburtina Valeria, km 193.06, I-65028, Tocco da Casauria, Italy.