Martin Marietta launches plant for composite trailers

Martin Marietta Composites has begun production of trailers in its new plant in Sparta, North Carolina.

The company commemorated completion of its first trailer December 18. The first trailer was built for the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County, Florida. Accepting delivery were Mike McClanahan, the authority’s assistant director, and Matt Chapman, supervisor of maintenance support services.

The 48 foot, live-floor transfer trailer, is constructed primarily of glass fiber reinforced polymer materials. Exceptions include the kingpin (but not the upper coupler plate), landing gear, axle and wheel components, and miscellaneous fasteners.

The new trailer manufacturer, a subsidiary of Martin Marietta Materials Inc, acquired its facility early in 2003 and equipped it with fixtures that were designed specifically to produce trailers made of composite materials.

More than half of the 185,000-sq-ft facility is dedicated to trailer production. Other products, including decks for highway bridges, are produced in a separate area of the plant.

With the launch of live-floor trailers, production of tipper trailers expected to join the product mix soon. The trailer lines will complement the composite bridge decks that Martin Marietta Composites has been manufacturing for more than eight years.

Delivery of the company’s trailer was the result of an almost three-year effort. The company first acquired a license for the basic design from Compossittrailer of Belgium. Martin Marietta then had to modify the design work to comply with U S DOT regulations and demands of the marketplace. Most of 2003 was spent preparing the plant for production.

TAGS: Trailers
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