MATS sets records in 2015

June 5, 2015
A massive throng of 81,768 attendees shatters 2012’s attendance record for the Mid-America Trucking Show, with 1,064 exhibitors displaying their offerings

THE 2015 Mid-America Trucking Show was another record breaking event for the heavy-duty trucking industry. The 2015 show set an all-time record for attendance with 81.768 attendees, surpassing the previous record set in 2012. The event, held during the last week of March, had 1.2 million square feet of exhibits and 1,064 exhibitors.

Next year’s show is scheduled for March 31-April 2, 2016. Here are some of the new trailers and truck bodies that this year’s record crowd saw:
Slipping through the airstream. Great Dane revealed this prototype aerodynamic van, one of several that the company has built. A special version of the company’s Champion CP composite plate dry van, the sidewalls feature bonded lap joint sidewalls to provide a smooth exterior surface. Other features include 15.3” scuffbands, a corrosion-fighting EnduroGuard swing door frame; Prolam hardwood flooring with sliding J-Hook tracks, PuR undercoating and WaxIn 100 top coating; full-length A-track bonded to the interior liner; a Hendrickson/Bendix disc brake system; and galvanized steel I-beam cross members on 12” centers.

Primary reductions in aerodynamic drag come from an array of devices. Among them: a nose faring designed to reduce the gap between the tractor and trailer and stabilize the vortex. Tests indicate the device is especially effective in cross winds. The open design allows air and electrical hookups to the trailer. The Smartway-designated device is a product of Laydon Composites Ltd.

Laydon also manufactured the full-length skirt that the Great Dane trailer is wearing. and

Going deep. Utility unveiled a prototype tall-bottom-rail van trailer. The model shown here has a 16-inch-deep bottom rail, but the specifications for the design are fluid at this point, Utility’s Jeff Bennett explains. Remaining specs are the same as the company’s standard 4000 DX dry-freight van.

The question Utility is examining is the extent the bottom rail can be damaged without requiring the trailer to be taken out of service. Utility engineers have been intentionally damaging the rail and evaluating the rail’s ability to perform. Once repair and out-of-service criteria are established with confidence, the company would then evaluate next steps.

Utility made the prototype a focal point of its MATS exhibit, seeking input from the flow of customers and potential customers to fine-tune the design.

Sidelight. Who says interior lights have to be in the center? Hyundai and Vanguard both promoted the concept of replacing dome lights with a series of LED lights installed in the corners. Wiring is run behind the cove molding, keeping it out of harm’s way. and

Reintroducing the steel end dump. Trail King displayed a prototype steel trailer that would mark the company’s return to the steel end-dump trailer market. The new TKSHR32 is designed to haul sand, gravel, demolition or rip rap. It features abrasion resistant steel, inverted angle designed top rail, and a high-lift tail gate. The prototype has a lower center of gravity than before and a maximized footprint, both of which contribute to improve stability. The ability to haul increased payload is a result of the 24” flat floor structural design.

“Trail King has never been a company that shies away from filling a need that the market demands,” said Rick Farris, Trail King’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “Extensive research has determined that the Steel End Dump is an essential component of the materials hauling industry’s current needs. Now, Trail King offers a complete line of products to our customers that support specific markets and varying regulatory requirements.”

The prototyped steel end dump is expected to become a regular production model in the near future.

In addition, Trail King launched a new online parts database system that the company has labeled Peak Performance Parts. The system provides an easy to navigate interface that authorized Trail King certified dealers, fleets, and service facilities can use to access up-to-date parts information, same-day shipping and live online support.

[email protected].

New in steel. MAC Trailer, noted for its wide range of aluminum trailers, introduced a new end dump made of AR 450 steel. Because of the extremely high strength of the alloy, MAC is able to use 1/8-inch steel for the sides and 3/16-inch material for the floor—without the use of bolsters.     

Opening new doors. Clement Industries has redesigned the rear door of its MonStar steel half-round end-dump trailer. The company also has replaced the top rail with a new 90-degree angle that wraps around the one-piece sides. The rail is made of AR 450 steel, resulting in lower weight and higher strength compared with the rail that it replaces. The MonStar 99 provides 99 cubic yards of cargo capcity.

Star of the pavement. The PaveStar asphalt hauler has lost a few pounds, courtesy of an aluminum tailgate, combined with a set of aluminum wheels and the extensive use of 1/8-inch AR 450 high-strength steel. Chute at the rear helps material flow accurately into the paving machine. One nice touch is the retractable underride guard that can be lifted out of the way when necessary.

Removable mini-deck. XL Specialized Trailers introduced its XL 60 hydraulic detachable mini-deck trailer at the Mid-America Trucking Show. XL Specialized Trailers’ new XL 60 Mini-Deck lowboy goes down the road with only four inches of ground clearance. XL Mini-decks are available with a hydraulic gooseneck, mechanical gooseneck, or mechanical gooseneck with an air hatbox. The hydraulic version is shown here.

The XL 60 HDG Mini-Deck has a capacity of 60,000 pounds overall and 60,000 pounds in 16 feet concentrated. The trailer, which is comprised of T-1 flange and 80K web, features has an 11-foot long low-profile hydraulic neck full-width platform, which provides additional loading or storage space. A 13-hp Honda engine provides the power needed to raise and lower the neck into one of five ride height positions.

A three-beam design uses a center box beam to provide additional strength at a low tare weight. Four-inch junior I-beams on 18-inch centers join the box beam and the side rails. The design has steel over the center deck and apitong decking in the outer bays for added traction when loading.

New tricks.  Great Dane has redesigned its 48’ Freedom XP aluminum flatbed trailer, adding new features based on the results of an extensive survey of its customers.

Great Dane’s new design is rated for a 52,000 lb. load concentrated in four feet. It is nearly 1,200 pounds lighter than a comparable steel-aluminum combo trailer, and is available with low- or high-camber arches. Among the many new features in the redesigned flatbed this year are a lighter, stiffer beam assembly that has been re-contoured for improved swing clearance; a sure-grip floor surface, a streamlined wiring harness assembly; and low-profile turn signals.

The 48’ MATS show trailer features the XP’s optional appearance package, designed to enhance the trailer’s visual impact with features such as polished filler plates, added mud flaps and additional LED lighting. Other optional features on the show trailer include CorroGuard-treated landing gear; a Hendrickson Maxx 22 disc brake system; a single-coil hauling package; Hendrickson’s TireMaxx Pro tire inflation system; and Accurride aluminum disc wheels.

Light weight, heavy load. Manac’s Darkwing trailer shown here is 48 ft x 102” yet weighs only 8,600 pounds thanks to an extensive use of aluminum. Despite its light weight, it is capable of carrying 60,000 pounds concentrated over four feet. Polished beams have been added, and painted steel surfaces have been replaced with hot-dip galvanize. Manac builds the Darkwing at its Orem, Missouri, plant.

The Beast from East. East Manufacturing display its latest Beast—the Beast II Narrow Neck. This model is an aluminum flatbed with a newly designed eight-inch neck. According to East, the new neck design provides the same strength as its Beast II model, but it can be equipped with curtainside and rolling tarp enclosure systems, creating a van that offers 106 inches of inside height.

The neck may be skinny, but the trailer is strong. It can haul loads of up to 50,000 pounds concentrated over four feet when equipped with a spread-axle tandem. It also is rated at 60,000 pounds over 10 feet and can haul evenly distributed loads of up to 80,000 pounds.

Have axle, will travel. Talbert Manufacturing showed off its 4050 TA trailer, part of its Traveling Axle Series designed for towing and recovery service. Talbert engineers have been able to trim two inches off the deck height. The resulting 36” height makes loading just a little bit easier. So does the new cylinder performance that speeds up axle travel.

Talbert TA trailers are available in five models, with capacities ranging from 35, 000 to 55,000 pounds. Each model offers a 14-degree loading angle.

Coming up short. Length matters in the trailer business, and this new, shorter roll-off trailer from Clement Industries enables haulers to use a trailer instead of a straight truck to relocate waste containers. This new model shown here is 28 feet long.

New moving floor trailer. MAC Trailer introduced the MAC V-Slat moving floor trailer for asphalt applications. The steel V-slats are designed for high-wear loads, including sand, aggregate, and rock as well as asphalt.     

New market for established company. This bobtail tank, designed for the propane delivery market, made its debut. The bobtail tank marks a major addition for 55-year-old J & J Truck Bodies & Trailers, a Somerset PA company known as a manufacturer of dump bodies and trailers. The company has developed a line of tanks with capacities ranging from 2,800 gallons to 5,500 gallons. The tanks consist of 80-inch diameter shells and one-piece hemispherical heads, all of which are made of SA612 NQT steel. Bolt-in baffles are made of aluminum.

Ejector dump. J & J Truck Bodies & Trailers unveiled its Horizontal Ejector dump body targeted for snow and ice control applications. The horizontally acting blade provides a controlled discharge of the load without the worry of a driving down a road with a raised dump body. According to J & J, the design also costs less than conveyor/auger designs, particularly when maintenance expenses are considered.

The stainless steel body is built in 11-ft or 16-ft lengths, providing 8- and 14-cubic yard capacities, respectively. The ejector has two seasonal operating modes—controlled for winter loads and a summer mode which can empty the body more quickly.