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New trailer products explained

TRAILERS have a lot riding on the products discussed at the associate member presentation at the TTMA convention.

Of the 13 companies that participated in the session, most of the presenters provided information on products that support trailers — items such as wheels, wheel ends, and suspensions.

Each presenter had four minutes to explain what his product does and the benefits it provides.

Bendix system helps stabilize trailers

A new electronic system that integrates with ABS helps prevent trailer rollover.

The TABS6 Stability System for Trailers from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems is designed to improve trailer stability and reduce the risk of rollover without driver intervention, according to Paul Waszkowski. As weight comes off one side of the vehicle, the system applies the brakes on the heavy side to bring the vehicle under control.

“The system provides a safety margin above and beyond what you can get without it,” Waszkowski said.

The system is based on European technology that has been converted to the North American market.

Bendix TABS-6 Stability System for Trailers is a roll-stability, ABS-based technology that replaces the company's current TEBS-4 trailer stability system. The new system continues to build on the TABS-6 platform.

The Bendix TABS-6 Stability System for Trailers is compatible with single, double, and multiple axle configurations, as well as trailer dollies. It works with multiple ABS configurations, from two-sensor, two-modulator (2S/2M) up to 6S/3M configurations. It functions with electrical power configurations from 8-volt to 32-volt systems with no need for an external power converter.

The system includes a power line carrier (PLC) circuit, which eliminates the need for a remote PLC device. An additional pneumatic auxiliary port provides for enhanced auxiliary design language (ADL) functions.

ADL is a customization feature that accommodates unique subprograms on the braking system electronic control unit (ECU) while strictly maintaining the integrity of the ABS and stability function.

Current ADL applications available include rear-axle speed interlock to prevent drivers from removing air from the rear trailer axle above 10 mph and speed interlock for bottom-dump trailers to prevent drivers from accidentally dumping their loads at highway speeds.

A trailer information module (TIM G2) is also available with this new system. The module can collect and store information such as mileage, trip distance, service interval status, brake diagnostics, and stability events.

Ridewell introduces heavy-duty air-ride

A new suspension from Ridewell, a heavy-duty air-ride suspension — the mono-pivot HD 247 — is available from Ridewell Suspensions, Springfield MO.

The new suspension mounts in the same envelope as the company's 240 Series, according to Ridewell's Rick Rickman. The difference is a rugged design makes the 247 suitable for the most severe air-ride applications of any suspension that Ridewell manufactures. The suspension is also compatible with disk brakes and all riding heights.

The suspension includes the Ridewell monopivot bushing, a design that promotes lateral stability and long life. When the bushing does need to be replaced, a new one can be installed with hand tools.

Also included is a lock nut that is designed to retain clamping force, particularly at the pivot location where air-ride suspension maintenance problems are concentrated.

Twistlocks convert flatbeds to container chassis

Two new products from Bumpers USA expand the hauling ability of flatbed trailers, John Hove reported.

The height-adjustable retractable twistlock is designed for standard flatbeds. The now-you-see-it, now-you-don't device retracts fully when the full deck is required, but it can be raised from its storage position when the carrier has an opportunity to transport conventional ISO containers. Height is adjustable up to three inches. The twistlocks can be installed so that a standard flatbed can transport one or two 20-ft containers or a single 40-foot container.

The company also provided details on a companion product — a height-extender twistlock for double drop-deck trailers. The height-extender is designed to bridge the gap between the height of the main drop deck and the level over the rear axles. Both are available from Bumpers USA, Jacksonville FL.

ArvinMeritor takes the slip out of sliders

ArvinMeritor has an answer to the potential operation of trailers with disengaged slider locking pins.

In a recent study, 6,473 trailers in North America were examined. The study found that 38 of these trailers were operating with disengaged locking pins on their sliding suspensions. By ArvinMeritor calculations of a typical fleet operation, this means that every trailer in the fleet would operate at some point during the year with disengaged locking pins.

To address this problem, ArvinMeritor has introduced its RideSentry trailer suspension with PinLoc slider locking mechanism.

The PinLoc mechanism reduces the potential for incidents by using an angled pin design and an air assist with a parking brake interlock to securely engage the slider pins before the trailer is put in transit.

PinLoc combines an air assist, parking brake interlock and angled pins. These features combine to compensate for operator error and ensure pins engage in body rails. If the trailer is operated without pins engaged and trailer brakes are applied, conventional pins will ratchet down body rails until the slide box impacts with the stop bar.

Tests have shown that at speeds above four miles-per-hour conventional pins will not engage. But PinLoc has been tested up to speeds of 70 mph with the pins engaging in the first body rail hole every time, according to the company.

Production is expected to begin in July, according to ArvinMeritor's Jim Sharkey.

Alcoa expands global wheel production

Alcoa aluminum wheels are now more readily available, thanks to incrementally expanded production worldwide.

Alcoa Wheel Products now has plants in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America, according to Alcoa's Antonius van Hulten.

Van Hulten also talked about the company's Dura-Bright wheels, a product introduced several years ago. Dura-Bright wheels are designed to keep their shine without polishing. Dura-Bright treatment penetrates the aluminum itself, protecting the wheels from corrosion and enabling them to clean up with soap and water. The Dura-Bright surface treatment is warranted for five years (additional wheel warranty may apply). It is available in hub piloted or stud located ball seat mounting systems and on select wheels for transit applications.

Valspar shows what it can do

The coating capabilities of Valspar Corporation were highlighted in a video shown by Tom McAfee.

According to the video, Valspar coatings are on 15 of the top 20 trailer manufacturers. The company's coatings range from automotive-quality polyurethanes to traditional alkyd coatings. They include simple one-coat primers to reactive cure systems.

The company can match the paint of virtually any automotive color, and the company works with manufacturers for a custom approach to meet their needs.

Hendrickson explains Quaantum mechanics

Hendrickson's new Quaantum FX trailer suspensions were the subject of a brief video shown by Baine Adams.

The highly integrated systems include air springs, shock absorbers, brakes, and wheel ends all designed to work in conjunction with one another. The suspensions feature Hendrickson's proprietary P90 spindle, along with HNP and Hendrickson Unitized System wheel-end technologies.

The suspensions are available in a variety of models for vocational trailer applications up to 25,000 pounds.

Options include the company's Tiremaax tire inflation system, under beam lift that adds operational flexibility, and Wide HXS extended service brakes.

Adams pointed out that Hendrickson International has been supplying the trucking industry since 1913. Hendrickson's Trailer Suspension Systems operation is headquartered in Canton OH.

PSI option warns of overheated wheel-ends

Pressure Systems International has been around for 13 years. The company's tire-pressure monitoring system uses the trailer air supply to regulate tires to a preset value, keeping the tires properly inflated. Air is added whenever tire pressure falls below the fleet's specification.

ThermALERT is a new value-added option. It is designed to alert drivers when wheel ends reach a specific temperature so that the driver can take action before serious damage occurs.

“ThermALERT reduces downtime, risk, and operating costs,” Al Cohn said.

Research indicates that roughly half the fleets surveyed have experienced problems with wheel end heat build-up. Fleets average 2.8 wheel-end failures per year, two wheel losses, and 1.4 trailer fires.

ThermALERT provides an in-cab warning lamp that indicates elevated wheel-end temperatures. When the lamp comes on, the driver should pull over and assess the problem. The new option is available now from Pressure Systems International, San Antonio TX.

Phillips reveals power management products

A family of power management products is being offered by Phillips Industries, Santa Fe Springs CA.

Phillips' PermaLogic product family targets several common trailer-related electrical problems. The products use the brake pedal to turn off electrical applications that otherwise would drain the battery. They include:

  • PermaLogic trailer dome lamp controller. The fully electronic controller requires no air pressure switch.

  • PermaLogic TC liftgate battery charging system. This is for trailers with liftgates and no dome lamps. It provides a 14.4-volt, 20-amp charge to the trailer liftgate battery.

  • PermaLogic TC Plus trailer dome lamp controller and liftgate battery charging system.

  • PermaLogic Reefer trailer dome lamp controller for refrigeration units.

New lightweight wheels from Accuride

Accuride has reinvented the wheel — introducing next-generation steel wheels that are lighter than previous versions.

The company's Accu-Lite steel wheels, weighing approximately eight pounds less than comparable steel wheels, result in a total weight savings of 64 pounds per trailer.

The wheels are available in standard 22.5" × 8.25" sizes with either two or five hand holes. The weight savings is achieved in part through the use of high-strength, low alloy steel, a redesign, and state-of-the-art welding techniques.

Benefits of the lighter wheels include the ability to transport increased payload, fuel savings, interchangeability with other Accuride wheels, and the ability to offset some of the additional weight required by 2007 emissions regulations, Terry Rone said. Accuride is based in Evansville IN.

SAF Holland touts technology

Darrell Thompson, SAF Holland, displayed a brief video outlining his company's mastery of engineering and manufacturing technology to produce quality products.

The company uses state-of-the-art engineering software to design products for the trucking industry, and the integration of this engineering with manufacturing technology enables SAF Holland to manufacture those designs consistently and efficiently.

SAF Holland, Holland MI, produces a line of transportation-related products, including fifthwheels, mechanical and air suspensions, landing gear, couplers, and kingpins.

Ancra winch makes torque easy

A new cargo control winch from Ancra International can be tightened with a six-inch crank instead of a standard 34-inch winch bar.

The company's new E-Z Torque winch uses the mechanical advantage of a gear drive rather than straight leverage of the winch bar. A hand wheel can be turned to remove the slack from the cargo straps. Then a few turns of the handle tightens the strap to the proper tension — up to 1,500 pounds. It does so with ⅓ the effort of a winch bar.

The E-Z Torque is the latest in a series of new product introductions from Ancra International, Erlanger KY. Others include the Silver Cap ratchet winch and Silver Cap Overdrive, a retrofit product that can convert standard cargo control winches into ratchet winches.

Sta-Tite fastening system stays tight

Primary benefit of the Sta-Tite system is that it can be easily installed and removed, and the fasteners are reusable up to five times.

The fasteners exhibit clamp load characteristics comparable to swage-type fasteners. The fasteners combine a proprietary bolting technology with a Step Lok self-tensioning nut. They can be installed with conventional tools.

Tests show that Sta-Tite fasteners retain approximately 15,000 pounds of clamp force after 1,000 test cycles.

An organic coating on the fasteners protects against corrosion. Other coatings are available to meet specific user requirements. Introduced in 2005, the fasteners have been used by tractor and trailer manufacturers to secure frames, engine brackets, and fifthwheels.

MacLean Vehicles Systems, Mundelein IL, is a MacLean-Fogg company, which produces a variety of products from metal, rubber, plastic, and composite moldings.

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