St. Louis-based Bull Moose Tube and Manchester, Iowa-based XL Specialized Trailers recently announced the successful test of an XL-designed bottom dump trailer that incorporated Bull Moose’s Stratusteel hollow structural steel tubing in place of traditional steel tube to remove weight and add durability.
The trailer, similar in design to XL’s 60 BD model, was tested by Sacaton, Arizona-based customer Gila River Sand & Gravel from April through October 2017, receiving positive reviews and showing no signs of wear.
“We were excited to have the opportunity to work with a manufacturer with XL’s reputation in the industry, and we’re proud that the results serve as a proof of concept that our Stratusteel can remove weight from current designs without sacrificing strength or durability,” said Mark Abernathy, manager of field applications for Bull Moose Tube.
By replacing traditional tube steel with Stratusteel, Bull Moose and XL removed 1,100 pounds from the trailer’s frame weight versus the traditional XL 60 BD model, without sacrificing strength or durability. Bull Moose provided valuable input and advice throughout the process, including Finite Element Analysis (FEA), thermal testing and a welding guide to ensure successful welds at lower temperatures.
“We stand poised to provide this level of support and commitment to manufacturers seeking to remove weight and add strength to their current products,” continued Abernathy.
The trailer endured a six-month test period, hauling eight to 12 loads of rock and concrete sand per day across both dirt roads and paved highways at Gila River Sand & Gravel’s Maricopa facility in Sacaton, Arizona. According to representatives from Gila River, the trailer experienced no performance issues and showed no evidence whatsoever of cracking in the frame, the fifth-wheel pin or plate, brakes or air systems.
“The removal of nearly one-fifth of the original XL 60 BD trailer’s frame weight equates to an extra 1,100 pounds that the trailer could haul within legal load limits – or one ‘free’ load for every 50 loads hauled,” added Abernathy. “The pay-back period to recoup the incremental investment of incorporating Stratusteel is currently three years. By maximizing trailer design and removing elements without sacrificing strength and durability, we feel we can remove up to 3,000 pounds from this particular model, for a payback period of only one year.”