New Wabash composite reefer trailer ready to roll

Feb. 28, 2017
Introduced last year as a prototype, its new all-composite refrigerated trailer goes into limited production of 100 units over the next 18 months.

NASHVILLE. An all-composite refrigerated trailer introduced last year by Wabash National Corporation at the 2016 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) meeting as a prototype is now in a “limited production run” of 100 units over the next 18 months, Brent Yeagy, Wabash’s president and COO, told Fleet Owner here at the 2017 TMC annual meeting.

“Last year it was a concept; today it is truly ready for the road,” he said. “The one seen here on display in our booth is going to be out on the road in a few weeks with K&B Transportation.”

Wabash’s cold chain series refrigerated van trailer is made with its proprietary molded structural composite with thermal technology (MSCT), which Yeagy said improves the trailer’s thermal performance by up to 25%, lightens it by 20%, all while improving puncture and damage resistance.

In addition, the molded structural composite floor provides higher floor weight ratings of up to 24,000 lbs. to improve the unit’s backhaul capability so it can a more productive asset for reefer fleets.

The interior of Wabash's new production-ready composite reefer trailer.

Brock Ackerman, owner of K&B Transportation one of four “launch fleets” for the new trailer, told Fleet Owner that a key feature of this new design for food haulers like him is its smooth interior wall.

“That smooth wall means there are few areas where bacteria can get into and ‘hide’ within the trailer,” he explained. “With the new FDA [Food and Drug Administration] food safety rules coming out, that’s a big plus.”

To support production of its new MSCT units, Yeagy highlighted the $3 million investment Wabash made in early February at a manufacturing facility it recently acquired in Little Falls, MN; as part of a $10 million longer-term plan to expand production operations for molded structural composites (MSC) for both trailers and truck bodies.

Wabash said earlier that it selected the Little Falls location as the launch facility for its composite production efforts because of the “unique combination” of its experienced and skilled workforce in composite manufacturing processes, along with a fully equipped and highly engineered facility capable of producing large-size parts at high rates of volume. The company officially takes ownership of the plant in April.

“Our expanding portfolio of composite offerings is instrumental to that goal,” Yeagy explained. “The expansion of our MSC manufacturing capabilities, as well as our new licensed ThermHex honeycomb core composite technology that we announced last year, highlight this growing competency in advanced composites.”

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...