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:
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. www.xlspecialzedtrailer.com
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. www.Doonan.com
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. www.landoll.com
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. www.eastmfg.com
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.