Wabash National Corporation (NYSE: WNC) will introduce its new composite proprietary molded structural composite technology at the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) annual meeting February 29–March 3 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The company’s exhibit will feature Wabash National’s prototype composite refrigerated van. Molded structural composites are used in a wide range of applications, including aerospace, automotive, marine and commercial construction. This is the first time the technology is being used in trailer and truck body manufacturing.
“What this means for our customers is improved thermal efficiency, reduced fuel costs, increased payload and cargo capacity, optimized utilization and enhanced durability,” said Brent Yeagy, group president, Commercial Trailer Products. “We’re excited about the potential molded structural composites have for our industry, and we look forward to the feedback from our customers so our engineers can take this technology and our designs to even greater levels of performance.”
In refrigerated van trailer and truck body applications, the molded structural composite technology provides up to 25 percent improvement in thermal performance and is up to 20 percent lighter, compared to conventional designs, while significantly improving puncture and damage resistance. In addition, the molded structural composite floor systems support higher floor ratings—up to 24,000 pounds in the refrigerated van trailer.
“Wabash National was founded on the idea that we could do things differently,” said Dick Giromini, president and chief executive officer. “That guiding principle is apparent in our legacy of innovation and history of firsts in the trailer industry. The use of molded structural composites in our trailers and truck bodies adds to a growing list of ways we’re helping our customers reduce operating costs and improve efficiencies.”
Wabash National’s DuraPlate, introduced in 1996, was the first sustainable and most successful composite panel for the dry van trailer market. It set a new standard in durability and started a shift in the industry away from sheet and post trailers. Wabash National’s engineering team has more than 100 years of combined experience studying and commercializing composite design and manufacturing processes.
“By employing engineering science and technology, Wabash National led the industry to a new level of equipment performance with our DuraPlate dry van trailer,” Yeagy added. “The way we’re using molded structural composites in our patent-pending engineering designs overcomes the structural deficiencies of previous composite designs in refrigerated transportation. We believe it has the potential to advance the cold chain market in the same way DuraPlate transformed dry van trailers.”
The exhibit at TMC will also feature Wabash National’s new Cold Chain Series and Final Mile Series truck bodies, a range of aerodynamic solutions, and the latest safety innovations, including the TrustLock Plus System, the ID/Aux Stop Light System, and RIG-16 —a new rear impact guard design that is being introduced for the first time at TMC.