Wingliner tries to bend its way into North American trailer market

A pair of entrepreneurs have signed an agreement to market an innovative truck trailer with movable side panels in North America.

Bob Hakken and Duke De Leeuw of Holland, MI, signed a deal with Wingliner International to distribute Wingliner System kits in the Canada, Mexico and the U.S., according to web site Rapid Growth. The venture, dubbed Wingliner North America, will produce and sell the Wingliner kits in the hopes of revolutionizing the market.

“We just really believe in this product and see a bright future,” says Hakken. “This could really snowball into something really big because it’s cost effective. We’re very excited.”

The side walls of a Wingliner, which is popular in Austria, can be moved into nearly any position, including flat in less than 10 seconds by using hydraulics. The sidewall lifts up, folding in half as it goes up to eventually sit flat on the roof of the trailer, exposing the entire trailer.

The kits retrofit onto a chassis of any type of commercial vehicle, the guys said – truck, trailer, semi-truck, swap trailer, container or dump. The advantages of the trailers, they claim, is that goods can be accessed easily resulting in a reduction of time and operating costs associated with the loading and unloading process.

“In the trucking industry, pent-up demand is growing,” Hakken says. “So many fleet owners have been sitting on the sidelines due the economy. But as that turns, they’ll be faced with replacing equipment on the road. They’ll be looking for ways to become more efficient.”

Currently, Wagner Wood Products, owned by Hakken and De Leeux, uses one of the trailers; although there are a handful of others in operation the U.S. According to the Rapid Growth story, the pair learned of the Wingliner when they were looking for a more efficient trailer for hauling plywood.

If the product catches on here in the U.S., Hakken and De Leeux could become very rich men.