Lode King Industries, one of Canada’s largest commercial trailer manufacturers, this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
To mark the milestone, the company is adding a 40th anniversary badge to its entire 2020 trailer lineup, and refreshing its Distinction trailer series with a host of new options and features, including redesigned chute frames and ladders.
“In the 40 years since Lode King Industries began manufacturing trailers, our surroundings have changed, our tools have changed, the world has changed,” the company said. “But some things never change—you can count on that. We stand behind the quality and attention to detail that goes into every one of our trailers.”
Lode King, headquartered in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada, has grown from 30,000 square feet in 1980 to more than 300,000 square feet in 2020. They’ve also continued to update and improve their manufacturing equipment, which now includes more automated machining tools, enabling precision parts production.
With nearly a quarter of its employees boasting 15 or more years with the family-owned company, Lode King credits its teamwork and family atmosphere for its success, along with consistency, dedication to quality over quantity, and product support.
“To make a trailer from the beginning to the end takes a lot of different skills,” said Helen Bergen, Lode King’s human resources director. “We have a lot of hands-on craftsmen and women, who build these trailers hands on, (so) it takes a variety and it takes everyone, and it takes a team to do it.”
The newly introduced Distinction Series 40th Anniversary Super-B trailer carries many of the same features offered in 2008, the company said, but, through customer feedback, Lode King made several refinements and added new options.
Traditionally, the Distinction trailer is offered in white or black. For the 2020-21 model year, Lode King is offering an all-new option—Graphite Metallic. The sidewalls have a smooth finish, and there are no ribs or corrugations, making for an easier clean.
Lode King also redesigned its chute frames to move away from the chain drive. They now utilize a rack-and-pinion design, while maintaining a 16″ x 24″ opening customers recognize. Also new, the venting now is located in the tarp hoods of the trailer.
“We have eliminated the vents on the interior wall skin to prevent debris from accumulating inside the wall,” the company said.
Airlines and electrical lines between the two trailers now are underneath the bridge, eliminating any hazard and forming a clean walkway between the trailers, and the ladders at the front and back of the trailer are redesigned. The back ladder of the pup trailer has had the step removed, making it a folding ladder with a low entry point.
Trailer walls continue to be an aluminum monocoque construction featuring a two-piece extruded lower main rail, an extruded top rail, and structural outer skins riveted to Z-posts inside the walls and to the top and lower main rails. The interior skin serves as a cover to keep product out of the wall cavity, Lode King said. All of the beltline fasteners are a 3/8” diameter to keep everything secure and travelling straight down the road. And a new option added this year is the stainless steel end walls. The rear still features steel tow hooks.
The company is using Jost aluminum landing gear because it’s lightweight, corrosion-resistant, handles well in low temperatures, and moves easily. The landing gear comes with a five-year maintenance-free package and 10-year warranty.
“We’ve changed the angle of our chute shafts,” Lode King said. “They’re now coming straight off of the hopper, allowing you access for your swing augers. The chute is an all-aluminum construction with a Teflon replaceable wear strip above the door. The chute doors are supported on hard nylon rollers. The chute door and rack are cut from stainless steel, so the components are more corrosion resistant. The optional Michel’s Chute Opener will have the power unit on the curbside of the trailer, as well as a set of buttons on the roadside, that allow you to operate from either side of the trailer. The electric chute opener option package includes a wireless remote control as well.”
Another new option is aluminum air tanks, included on both the lead and pull trailers. Keeping with aluminum, the company added slight weight savings over the steel air tanks previously used. Each trailer is equipped with an air gauge box, affording the option of adding an air chuck if an air source is needed. This particular trailer is equipped with an access window so users don’t have to open the box to check the air gauge. And the air gauge box on each trailer also incorporates a dump valve for the air ride suspension.
Lode King also offers a new stainless steel fender-style mount. The company removed the round pipe at the front and back of the fender, and moved to a smoother design to make it easier to clean. Inside, a sloped fill plate allows moisture and debris to drain off.
Standard on all of Distinction Series trailers is the Intraax 23K suspension supplied by Hendrickson with several wheel-end options. The standard is an oil-lubricated wheel end with National Seal, the Hendrickson Precision nut inside a sealed hub cap. The hub is set up with a fill plug in case an operator needs to add oil. Another option is a semi-fluid grease lubricant package, which has the same components, except with a semi-fluid synthetic grease. Optional features available on the Intraax suspension include the Tiremaax Pro inflation system, disk brakes and the HXL5 extended service wheel ends.
The steps are accessible, allowing easy movement between the two trailers and up the ladders into the hoppers. Inside the hoppers, Lode King offers steps that run down to the bottom, enabling easier cleanout. A catwalk option also is available on either trailer.
The manufacturer offers three lighting packages for the trailer. The standard is the minimum legal DOT package, which uses Truck-Lite Model 21 rectangular lights.