TALBERT Manufacturing produced special commemorative trailers for its 50th and 60th anniversaries, so it was only natural that there would be a 75th anniversary version this year.
Talbert's 75th anniversary trailer package will be available on a limited number of select trailers: the 55CC, 55SA, 55SA-RC, and 55SA-HX models.
The basic anniversary package includes cosmetic detailing throughout the length of the trailer, topped off with special Talbert 75th anniversary decals. Featured on both sides of the trailer, these decals appear on bright stainless steel in each of the gooseneck insets. In addition, there are special stainless steel insets in the rear light panels as well as stainless steel mud flap brackets with throwback script lettering of Talbert cut out. Customers also are able to request a “Made Especially For…” custom placard decal that will be affixed to the gooseneck.
Outriggers are powder-coated and metallic silver in color to stand out from the anniversary trailer body. Special 75th anniversary conspicuity tape lines the sides of each anniversary trailer. The trailers, which are offered in standard Talbert Red or Talbert Black, also feature a clear coating to boost the color and provide a distinct shine.
Beyond the basic package, customers can get options such as aluminum wheels, special lighting and other custom parts and accessories. Package prices will vary depending on each custom design and will be determined by each dealer.
Greg Smith, vice-president of sales and marketing, said Talbert originally set out for limited-edition run of 75 trailers, but because of high demand, production is going to “shoot past that number substantially by the end of the year.”
“The reaction has surprised me, since there isn't anything fancy,” he says. “We didn't come out with any new-fangled concept. We took some of the more popular trailers and came up with this package to commemorate the occasion. We've put on various stainless steel things to dress up the trailer. We went with powder-coated outriggers, which is a bit of a departure for us. And with the scripted items, it wasn't set up as if we made a big package and said we were going to produce a ton of these.
“I'd have to say the reception has been really nice. We've gotten comments from all over the country expressing interest in our package. As a matter of fact, we've had to turn some down because we released it to basically be on our 55-ton trailer, and had requests to put on a special package on a lot of different trailers.”
The reaction is typified by Bill Fryer, vice-president of sales for Hale Trailer Brake & Wheel Inc in Voorhees, NJ, a dealer for Talbert.
“I have been around Talbert trailers since 1973 — long enough to witness the evolution of the low-bed and heavy-haul trailer from its infancy,” he says. “There isn't a better manufacturer in this industry. Talbert has created the benchmarks, from non-ground-bearing goosenecks to T-1 steel fabrication, and they have worked to be the best for 75 years. Talbert's technical support and their out-of-the-box thinking give me the confidence that they will help our customers solve any hauling problem that arises.
“The 75th anniversary trailers provide a nice combination of quality and appearance and welcome our customers to be a part of Talbert's celebration.”
Smith says the 75th anniversary trailer, manufactured at the main facility in Rensselaer, Indiana, should help Talbert exceed last year's trailer production at the main facility and the other facility in Francisville, Indiana.
According to Trailer/Body Builders' 20th annual survey, Talbert was North America's 27th-largest truck trailer manufacturer in 2012, producing 731 trailers — a 26.9% increase over 2011.
“At this point, our forecast is for 2013 to be a better year,” Smith says.
And a very exciting one.
“We have a lot of positive changes happening,” Smith says. “Many people in the business know that Talbert for many years was involved with military trailers. We had a significant amount of production going toward the military. We all know in this country there have been cutbacks, so we've really rededicated ourselves these past several years on commercial sales.
Featured on both sides of the trailer, these decals appear on bright stainless steel in each of the gooseneck insets.
“So we flushed out our product line from small tag trailers up to custom trailers and really increased a lot of excitement with our dealer base, which know that we've got a nice product offering that comes from small to large trailers. There aren't really any holes in our lineup.
“We made some changes at our plant to increase production across the board. We have a brand new plant manager. And we'll have a little celebration in June that will involve employees.”
To coincide with the 75th anniversary trailer, Talbert made some changes in the 2013 models of the 55-ton trailer.
“Years and years ago, we had a trailer called a 55SA,” he says. “People today would think SA means standard air ride. Well, in our industry today, it'd be difficult to find a 55-ton hydraulic detached trailer that wasn't standard with air ride, so SA would be confusing. 55SA is actually a spread-axle trailer, meaning it can accept an axle extension or our nitrogen-dampened equalizing system. To eliminate confusion, the SA now stands for spread axle, and those trailers that are closed-couple only we call CC.
“So basically, we split our 55-ton to 55 closed couple and 55 spread axle. From our dealer standpoint, we were trying to have all our suffixes mean something. Over the years, they had lost their definition and created confusion.”
The 75th anniversary trailer comes on the heels of the September 2012 launch of the 50CC-PS hybrid “paver special” trailer.
Combining the benefits of a close-couple low-bed design with roller paver accessibility, the 50CC-PS offers a longer loading incline and a lifting capacity that Talbert says is the best in its class. This allows the 50CC-PS the ability to haul a greater range of equipment, from loaders and excavators to rollers and pavers. Additionally, the specialty design provides versatility for a larger audience of contractors including general construction, grading, excavation, and pavement.
With a deck length of 26 feet, the 50CC-PS offers the space for full construction fleet loads, while also featuring a specially designed slope to allow easy transport of rollers and pavers. The design slopes from the bottom up to create a more moderate incline over a greater distance, approximately a third of the deck length.
Finish height at the front of the main beams is 8¾ inches. Additionally, the trailer features a bolt-on ramp to provide a more gradual load angle at the rear, 15 degrees rather than the standard 35-degree angle. The 50-ton capacity 50CC-PS offers a deck width of 8 feet, 6 inches, and a low deck height of 20 inches.
Designed for ease of operation, loading and unloading, the 50CC-PS is a non-ground-bearing hydraulic gooseneck trailer. Air ride suspension provides a smoother ride, while Talbert's +3/-3 control system allows fast and easy height adjustment of the lower and back end.
The 50CC-PS is four-axle capable, offering even greater versatility. It features three axles with fourth axle pin-on configuration. Axle capacity is 25,000-pounds each. To accommodate varying state laws, the trailer offers a dual kingpin setting of 108 and 90.
With the 50CC-PS hybrid “paver special” trailer and the 75th anniversary edition in the books, Smith and the rest of the Talbert team are looking ahead.
“We are very proud of our history as a company, and we are excited to celebrate 75 years of success,” he says. “At the same time, we look forward to a bright future and another 75 years of manufacturing the best custom trailers on the market.”