According to Craig Bennett, senior vp-sales & marketing for Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., his company’s new 4000 D-X composite model represents an important evolutionary step since the line was introduced back in 2000.
“What we’ve created is a lighter and safer 4000 D-X trailer model with this composite design,” he explained during a press conference at the Great American Trucking Show. “It’s an optimum balance of light tare weight, durability, cubic capacity, and low maintenance cost. In my personal view, we’re in high fuel cost environment from now on, so it’s critical that trailers are lighter yet still also withstand the abuse of the road.”
Utility’s 4000 D-X composite is built with a traditional sheet and post design, yet with walls made from polyurethane poured foam core sandwiched between a 0.04-in. thick aluminum exterior skin and a 0.019-in. thick steel interior skin. “The foam is more costly, but makes it less labor intensive to build the trailer,” Bennett noted. “That’s why the price of the 4000 D-X composite model will be comparable to current 4000 D-X pricing.”
Also, by using foam and an aluminum exterior skin, the composite trailer model is anywhere from 500 to 1,000 lbs. lighter than a typical plate trailer, giving fleets either a 0.2% improvement in tractor-trailer fuel economy or the opportunity to haul more freight, said Bennett. “The bonding force of the foam gives this trailer a long life expectancy, without sacrificing the 101-in. interior dimensions required by fleets,” he added. “From our destructive testing analysis, we figure we’ve got a two-lifetime trailer here – one that can last about 20 years – and probably more.”