Trailers dominate the Mid-America Trucking Show

June 4, 2016
The Mid-America Trucking Show exhibit hall looked noticeably different this year, with the continent’s largest such event playing host to mostly trailer and truck body manufacturers

It wasn’t your father’s Mid-America Trucking Show—or even your older brother’s truck show this year.

The truck manufacturers weren’t there. That may have been disappointing for those in the market for a new truck. But truck body and trailer manufacturers gladly filled the vacated space.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and trade show managers do, too. When the truck manufacturers chose to skip MATS this year, multiple truck body and trailer manufacturers were quick to fill the abandoned prime real estate.

A couple of the leading van trailer manufacturers also used the sports fan’s refrain—wait until next year. The next result was an opportunity especially for specialized trailer manufacturers to display their wares in highly visible places that were previously not available. Case in point: Manufacturers of heavy hauler trailers designed to transport wind turbine blades.

The 45th annual Mid-America Trucking Show remained the largest show of its type in North America. The event attracted 74,937 attendees and had the fourth-largest number of exhibitors (1,102 Exhibitors) on record.

Show management has begun work on the 2017 show. It is scheduled to be held March 23-25, 2017 in Louisville.

Here are some of the truck bodies and trailers seen at this year’s event:

Trail KingWind picking up. With interest in wind energy on the rise, Trail King has responded with this trailer capable of transporting two short blades or one long one. Trail King has addressed the wind industry’s continued desire for longer blades. The trailer is equipped with self-aligning axles. Based on input from the fifthwheel, the rear axles steer, reducing the need for the operator to steer the trailer through tight corners from the street. The steering system can be overridden if necessary. The turning radius of the trailer can be adjusted to accommodate blades of different lengths.
XL Specialized TrailersBlade runner. The Blademate trailer from XL Specialized Trailers is built specifically for transporting wind turbine blades. It expands from a base of 53 feet to as much as 184 feet, thanks in part to trailer beams and pullout bumper that travel on greaseable rollers. The 20-ft-long pullout bumper is adjustable in 24-inch increments.

Axles automatically rotate to keep the trailer behind the truck. The kingpin rotates, prompting the axles to track with it. However, an override system powered by remote control allows the operator to retain complete control when negotiating challenging turns.

Main deck of the trailer has beams made of T1 steel flanges and 80,000-pound webs. The trailer rides on Hendrickson 25,000-pound capacity suspensions with manual ride height control.

Doonan Specialized Trailer LLCNew coil hauler. Doonan Specialized Trailer LLC displayed its new specialty coil hauler trailer. The new custom 48’ x 96” Black Gold coil hauler trailer was developed specifically for hauling steel coils shotgun style (where the eye of the coil is facing forward), recessed inside a well.

Coils are generally some of the toughest types of freight to haul because of their concentrated weight in one small area on the trailer. Coils can range in size from relatively small like 5,000 pounds to over 60,000 pounds. With a GVWR of 98,000 pounds (based on a tri-axle trailer with disc brakes), Doonan’s new flatbed coil hauler trailer is designed to haul them all.

Doonan has engineered the coil well closer to the axles, in order to transfer more weight onto the trailer axles. Designed with two outer perimeter beams with 1” x 5” top and bottom flanges, the trailer features a well opening in the center that measures 19’ long x 76” wide, with recessed concave beams to safely secure the coil load.

The trailer is also designed to have a tarp system installed, so the coils are protected from the elements. Nine custom pockets were installed along the sides of the trailer for this application.

Kalyn Siebert KSHR 6Prototype heavy hauler. Shown here is the first KSHR 6 model that Kalyn Siebert has built. It is capable of transporting 100,000 pounds, including 90,000 pounds concentrated over 16 feet. To get that capacity, Kalyn Siebert uses four 18-foot main beams fabricated with 130,000-psi steel flanges and webs made from a minimum of 100,000-psi steel. The outside beams are slightly shorter than the interior beams to prevent curb rash. The loaded deck height is only 23 inches, providing easy loading and a low center of gravity.
Landoll Corporation Trailer DivisionNew generation of travelers. Landoll Corporation Trailer Division unveiled the “Next Generation Landoll” (NGL) 900D Series Traveling Tail Trailers. The 900D Traveling Tail trailer is equipped with a new hydraulic operating system, nicknamed “HOSS” and an all-new Grote lighting package. The Traveling Tail has been transformed with increased operational speed and the dynamic “High Visibility” lighting package that increases visual awareness and driver safety during night operations. Overall, operational efficiencies, less heat buildup and noise reduction, along with improved driver safety are key points in the Next Generation trailer. Operational speed increases dramatically with the new HOSS system operating at 20 GPM.

To make it more ergonomic for the operator, Landoll located the control panel at chest height, improving visual sight lines and allowing other optional features to be installed directly onto the control panel.

According to Landoll’s Jim Ladner, the new hydraulic system increases operational efficiency reduces noise levels and improves safety of the operators by getting them out of the danger zone faster.

East ManufacturingNew siderail design for cargo control. East Manufacturing introduced its new patent pending integrated extruded aluminum side-rail system to accommodate a Double-L winch with flat-hook straps for cargo securement. Available on both sides of the East Beast or Beast II flatbed trailer, the flat hook tie downs are interchangeable, allowing torque to be applied evenly to stabilize the load. Each tie down is movable so it can be positioned exactly where needed to firmly secure the cargo. Once the flat hook is engaged, the design of the rail holds the hook in place while the strap is tightened. The East design accommodates double-L winches wherever cargo securement accessories are sold.

The side rail maintains the standard features of East’s exclusive Securetight cargo control system, a specially designed adjustable chain tie-down and winch strap capture system, where movable tie-downs across the top of the side rail provide positive locking every 8 inches. Straps go inside, not over top of the rail, protecting the strap from chafing against the winch hook and from shearing or cutting should the trailer be involved in a mishap. The system combines versatility and safety in cargo handling. The new side-rail system meets the 5,400-pound maximum load rating standard for flatbed trailers set by the Federal Motor Safety Administration.

Talbert ManufacturingNew portal for dealers. Talbert dealers have a new portal at the trailer manufacturer’s website designed to make it easier for dealers to take care of business. It’s a place where dealers can go to find information on parts, sales, and service—including the ability to download the latest brochures and spec sheets. The company also showed a “revitalized” version of its 4050TA trailer. The trailer has an 80,000-pound capacity and can carry 50,000 pounds distributed over a 10-foot span. Features include a bulkhead that comes with work and strobe lights, a 20,000-pound planetary winch with air tensioner, six-function wireless remote control, two-speed electrically powered landing gear, centralized lube system, and Ridewell air-ride suspension. Talbert’s 4050TA features double-keyhole tie-down slots in the side beams and deck center line for maximum flexibility for securing equipment. A metal basket below the main deck holds the tie-down chains to prevent excess movement that could damage the main cylinder. The 4050TA also features Talbert’s signature, large-diameter, piggy-back cylinder and a lockable toolbox that includes a weather-resistant door seal, high-quality hardware and a chain rack. The toolbox is in the gooseneck along the curbside.
ManaSaying “no” to rust. Manac reports that customers increasingly expect to get 15 years of service from a platform these days and are increasingly intolerant of corrosion—even though today’s road chemicals create a more hostile operating environment for steel trailers. Manac displayed several corrosion-resistant trailers, including an aluminum model on the bottom and two galvanized trailers.
Clement IndustriesRocking RollStar. Clement displayed its redesigned RollStar 2-Box roll-off hoist. It is built around two 30-inch fabricated I beams. A rear-mounted tilt frame is powered by twin 6-inch by 79-inch hydraulic lift cylinders for loading boxes up to 24 feet long. Once the first box is loaded, it is moved forward and rearward by a hydraulically driven chain conveyor to accommodate the second box.

The redesign includes centralized controls installed on a console on the left side of the trailer, reducing the amount of walking the driver must do. New stop blocks can be placed where needed to assist in positioning the boxes. Plus, an electric winch is now available to position the winch cable at the rear of the trailer to pick up the next box.

MAC TrailerMaking the (food) grade. MAC Trailer added to its growing line of tank trailers with the AeroMAC-1615 monocoque frameless food grade trailer. Weighing in at 9,340 pounds, the patent-pending design is 400 pounds lighter than previous designs. The trailer features clean bore smooth interior, with external rings and front and rear void section. Made of 0.190-inch 5454-H32 aluminum, the trailer is designed to carry product at up to 185° F and a maximum operating pressure of 14.7
Trail King IndustriesSeed or feed. Trail King Industries’ AHTC aluminum hopper trailer is available with a conveyor to deliver seed or fertilizer. The conveyor uses a belt, rather than an auger, to reduce the rise of damage to the seed. Trail King stressed that the conveyor is not an aftermarket add-on but rather a piece of equipment that comes with a guaranty from the trailer
Trout River IndustriesLive bottom. Trout River Industries rolled out its line of live bottom and shuttle-floor trailers. The rounded tub trailer shown here is equipped with an all-season belt capable of asphalt when temperatures are as low as -4° F. The conveyor chain has a pull strength rated at 70,000 pounds. A reversing valve comes standard to provide additional load control. The company also promoted its aluminum transfer trailer equipped with a shuttle
Stargate ManufacturingStargate gazing. Mid-America Trucking Show visitors check out the Stargate Dura-Wall transfer trailer from Startgate Manufacturing in Milton, Ontario. The sidewalls of the aluminum trailer are made of interlocking extrusions that produce a smooth surface. The thinner profiles also reduce interior with by four inches compared with previous
Hilbilt ManufacturingA tougher Mongoose. Hilbilt Manufacturing has begun using AR 450 steel for its Mongoose dump trailer line. The trailer, designed to transport abrasive materials such as shot rock and heavy demolition debris. The dump trailer is available from 22-feet to 32 feet, in two-foot increments.
MAC TrailerIt’s a steel. Known for its aluminum dump trailers, MAC Trailer showed a sample of its line of steel dump bodies at Mid-America. They are available in a range of styles, including square, radius, and half-round. Options include 18-22” radius, AR460 steel in 3/16”, ¼”, and 3/8” thicknesses, coal doors, and multiple light packages.
Hyundai TransleadLighting, cargo securement options. Hyundai Translead introduced several new options for its van trailers. Most visible in this photo is the cargo net that is easily adjustable to conform to the configuration of the load. Helping make the cargo net visible is the interior lighting option. It, too, is easily adjustable to put light where needed and can be equipped with a motion sensor so that it automatically turns on when required. Hyundai also touted the integral LED stop, tail, and turn lamps from Grote Industries that are available on Hyundai trailers.
Keith ManufacturingUnderloader. Keith Manufacturing displayed a specialized version of the walking floor system normally found on trailers. The company’s Utility Underloader can be used to unload mulch, sand, gravel, and other
Good Roads by GodwinRiding on air. Godwin complemented its dump body line when it acquired Good Roads several years ago. The latest addition to the Good Roads by Godwin product offering is a new air-ride plow option designed to extend the life of the cutting edge. This option uses an air spring to provide upward motion, relieving much of the weight that otherwise would be placed on the cutting edge. According to Godwin, the air-ride option provides several advantages over hydraulic systems that perform the same function. Among them: no need to modify the truck hydraulic system, the air spring inherently cushions the plow and offers a smoother ride over irregular road surfaces—all at a cost that is roughly half that of a hydraulic
Godwin ManufacturingCelebrating half a century. Godwin Manufacturing celebrated its 50th year of business during this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show. Shown are: Pat Godwin Jr, corporate president; Pat Godwin Sr, chairman, Phyllis Norris, corporate vice-president and secretary; and Patrick Godwin III, corporate marketing manager. The cake was supplied by Custom Hoist.