Letter to the Editor

To realize more fuel-efficient trailers, technology envelope must be pushed

Dear Editor:

I enjoy Trailer/Body Builders magazine and find interesting articles every month. You certainly can be proud of the 50-year record.

Often new technology is mentioned, and the need to improve mileage and performance is stated over and over. What does the industry do to address these issues? Is there a communication with Europe's builders on better trailer designs? Are wind resistance issues explored?

Obviously, any weight reductions, airflow improvements, and better utilization of equipment should always be foremost in planning.

Has the urethane tire from Amerityre (Boulder City NV) been tested on trailers? It is to be recyclable, 45% lighter, non-flammable, and has lots more benefits. Being flat-free, is the rolling capacity improved by 40%? Could it be an answer to better mileage?

What better ways can be implemented to improve the road-rail network? The intermodal system, I am sure, could be made even better, easier, and faster. Using computer programs to better shuttle and deliver freight is another area to explore. What improvements can all be made to truck trains? Are the industries working together for the common good?

Are side and rear air-foil fairings understood and required? What fuel savings are mandated so we pay less? A government-university-industry study may come up with real improvements. Has your network encouraged such?

I am just giving some thought-starters here. Has the industry really studied the applications and come up with out-of-the-box (trailer) ideas? Encourage design and test studies; are grants available for such?

The future trailer is to be desirable so sales increase, the industry prospers, and the consumer benefits. It requires a dedication from all stakeholders. Your publication can do much to encourage such innovations. Keep up your good job of informing, but also push the envelope to make the trailer world even better.
Henry Sommerstorfer
The Design and Manufacturing Alliance and a retired engineer for General Motors Clinton Township, Michigan

TriMark Corp. debuts China initiative

TriMark Corporation officially announced the full operation of its new design and manufacturing facility in Xuzhou, China at the recent bauma China Trade Fair in Shanghai, China. TriMark made this substantial commitment to better serve the growing China domestic markets. As the boom in the construction industry continues, with China and East Asia still experiencing double-digit growth in the construction machinery sectors, China is expected to continue to have excellent prospects for the future. The bauma event was held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) in November 2008. It is a leading trade fair for the construction and building-materials industries in Asia.

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