[What's new in:] Flatbeds

There's a bewildering array of choices out there for your special trailer needs, whether you're taking your fleet and hauling wind energy components or opting for fuel-saving models. Whether you're buying new, built-to-your-specs trailers or finding the best used deals, here are some highlights to help you make the best equipment decision. Hank Prochazka, vice president of sales at Fontaine Trailer

There's a bewildering array of choices out there for your special trailer needs, whether you're taking your fleet “green” and hauling wind energy components or opting for fuel-saving models. Whether you're buying new, built-to-your-specs trailers or finding the best used deals, here are some highlights to help you make the best equipment decision.

Hank Prochazka, vice president of sales at Fontaine Trailer Co., said more of the company's flatbed customers are asking for equipment that can deliver “weight savings and load securement that address the new rules under CSA.”

Prochazka detailed the new Revolution series of trailers with unitized construction. “This construction technique reduced the overall weight of the trailer by 1,000 lbs., increasing the amount of payload it can carry. It also increased the strength of the trailer, creating better tracking and reducing tire wear by 45% [through] a more aerodynamic underside with a low drag coefficient.” And there's more good news: Technology Maintenance Council testing determined overall fuel savings to be 3%, he said.

“In the load securement area,” Prochazka continued, “we added routed single-piece side rails; friction stir welding on the deck [that] provides greater floor strength and lighter deck weight; and an integrated load securement system with module connectors that slide exactly where they provide the best position to safely secure a load.”

The wiring harness of the flatbed and drop deck Revolution trailers is set underneath the center to protect the lighting system from bad weather or tire spray.

The Fontaine Revolution Hybrid combo forged from steel and aluminum carries as much as 54,000 lbs. concentrated load in as little at 4 ft. With fewer than half the number of parts used to build a standard trailer, the all-aluminum trailer series weighs in at just 8,960 lbs.

East Manufacturing Corp. features its East MMX Flatbed, with an extra-strength main beam made by joining dual T-beams at their axis. This maintains the same ground clearance no matter the load and allows clearance for lift axles as well. It can handle loads up to 72,000 lbs. concentrated in 4 ft. on a 48-ft. trailer, and up to 145,000 lbs. distributed over multiple axles. The trailer is built of aluminum alloy, which weighs 56% less than high tensile strength steel, the company said. Its East BST, or Beast flatbed, is rated to handle loads up to 50,000 lbs. concentrated in 4 ft. on a 48 ft. trailer; up to 60,000 lbs. spread over tandem axles. With selected options added, the Beast can handle concentrated loads like steel coil. East also carries drop platforms.

CUSTOM ORDER

When the experts at Kalyn Siebert say they'll “super-size that for ya,” they mean it. The company's biggest trailer to date is a monster 29-axle heavy-haul model. The subsidiary of Heil Trailer International has experience in specialty transport trailers dating back to 1901. Meeting today's needs, the company's trailers are equipped with wind energy components that allow the transport of such equipment as blades extending to 148 ft. with a 20-ft. bumper slide-out. Platform, drop decks, double drop and extendable trailers can all be built to spec. Flatbed trailers are all steel, and standard drop decks include two or three axles with twin beams built from T1 steel. Double drop decks have a deck height of only 18 in., and a widespread double drop is also available.

Prairie Trailer has a hydraulic detachable gooseneck (narrow neck) on its XL Specialized 80 Series HDG with 80,000-lb. capacity, three axles and auto slack adjusters along with seven positions for fifth wheel height. The XL 80 MDE gooseneck has a mechanical detachable gooseneck with a 16-in. kingpin setting and 84-in. swing clearance with a main deck clearing the ground by 6 in., and double box beam construction. Prairie also offers a flatbed flip axle with a width of 102 in., as well as repair and custom components like retractable tarps.

Rogers Brothers Corp. has a 60-ton capacity, three-axle trailer that can carry a Cat 375 excavator neatly slotted into a boom trough in the lower rear channel. The SP60GR-3XAR also sports a patented detachable gooseneck with fenders and a heavy-duty lift package. The company builds everything from tag-along trailers to fixed gooseneck lowboys with high ground clearance but low deck height up to and including 100 tons.

Its Ultima Series features detachable goosenecks on lowbed trailers hauling 35, 50 or 55 tons. Models have a 1/2-deck length load concentration and are built of 100K and 130K minimum yield steel and can be customized. Rogers Brothers also carries trailers for hauling paving machines and oil field work. The specialized trailers have a 25- to 150-ton hauling capacity.

GETTING EVEN LIGHTER

Utility Trailer Manufacturing's 4000A flatbed has been re-engineered and built of aluminum and steel for lighter weight. The 4000A model has a plasma cut one-piece main beam web, but adds a “hat-shaped” top flange to which the adjacent aluminum floor planks are attached. The pipe spools, which are welded by robots, surpass DOT specs for load securement points, the company notes.

The workhorse all-steel flatbed 4000S series has the same plasma cut main beam web. All Utility flatbeds have a beam capacity up to 80,000 lbs. when evenly distributed; up to 60,000 lbs. concentrated over 10 ft.; and up to 57,000 lbs. single coil capacity centered. To meet customer specs, extras like additional floor nailing strips, sliding suspensions, and special reinforcement packages are offered.

Wabash National Corp. has an array of trailers in its Combo Eagle flatbed series ranging from standard to heavy-duty and even extreme-duty models. Extreme-duty trailers come in various lengths up to 53 ft. and widths of either 96 or 102 in., with aluminum floor, front and rear plates and side rails, plus 5-in. floor sills. The beam rating, based on a 121-in. axle spacing, is 80,000 lbs. in 10 ft.; 73,000 lbs. in 4 ft.

Wabash also offers the Transcraft drop deck in lengths of 45, 48 and 53 ft. and widths of 96 or 102 in. Also available are 4-in. steel floor sills and apitong hardwood floors.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THESE WEBSITES:

East Manufacturing
www.eastmfg.com

Fontaine Trailer
www.fontainetrailer.com

Kalyn Siebert
www.heiltrailer.com

Prairie Trailer
www.ptrailer.com

Rogers Brothers
www.rogerstrailers.com

Utility Trailer Manufacturing
www.utilitytrailer.com

Wabash National
www.wabashnational.com

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