Utility Trailer Manufacturing

Utility, Bendix celebrate 15 years of collaboration

Dec. 7, 2022
The country’s largest manufacturer of refrigerated trailers was the first trailer OEM to incorporate Bendix’s air disc brakes specifically engineered for trailers in 2016.

Utility Trailer Manufacturing and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems are celebrating 15 years of collaborating “to put the safest trailers possible on the road.”

Their partnership includes Bendix manufacturing, supplying, and working with Utility to develop solutions that deliver “safety, performance, and efficiency” to North American roadways, the companies said.

“Bendix’s partnership with Utility since 2007 is truly an example of what we mean when we say we’re shaping tomorrow’s transportation together,” said Nicole Oreskovic, Bendix vice president of sales and marketing. “Yes, we’re a manufacturer and supplier, but we have also teamed up with Utility to develop and enhance trailer-specific products that have helped change the commercial vehicle landscape. There’s a sense of pride seeing Bendix-equipped Utility trailers out on the road: They’re a reminder of what’s been possible for the past decade and a half, and an inspiration for what’s to come.”

Bendix, a North American manufacturer of active safety and braking system technologies, traces its roots back more than 90 years, while California-based Utility was founded more than a century ago, in 1914. Utility is the industry’s largest manufacturer of refrigerated trailers, as well as the oldest privately owned, family-operated trailer manufacturer in the United States.

“Both our companies have long, respected histories, and in all that time, our relationship with Bendix stands out,” Utility COO Stephen Bennett said. “Like us, Bendix has an unequaled commitment to helping improve commercial vehicle safety for truck drivers, fleets, and everyone on the road around them.

“Seeing everyone home safely at the end of a trip is what we’re all about, and everything we’ve worked on with Bendix has been toward that goal.”

Headquartered in City of Industry, California, Utility designs and builds dry freight vans, flatbeds, refrigerated vans, and curtain-sided trailers at six facilities across North America. Bendix technologies available on Utility trailers include spring brake valves, antilock braking systems (ABS), the Bendix EnduraSure Spring Brake, and Bendix Versajust automatic slack adjusters. Additionally, the Bendix TABS Advanced trailer roll stability system has been standard equipment on Utility Trailer 3000R base model refrigerated trailers since 2015, and Utility was the first builder to offer the Bendix ADB22X-LT—the first Bendix air disc brake engineered specifically for trailers—when it launched in 2016.

Communication and collaboration

“A strong, ongoing dialogue is the key that propels our relationship,” said Jon Intagliata, Bendix product group director for trailer controls. “So does the desire to leverage the array of braking system technologies to further boost trailer reliability along with enhanced efficiency and serviceability.

“The ADB22X-LT is a perfect example of an advancement that came out of our collaborative process with Utility, and a mutual desire to drive weight reduction in the trailer market. They came to us with some valuable thoughts and talked about the challenges surrounding equipping trailers with air disc brakes that were meant for tractors. We went to work, collaborating closely with the team at Utility to address specific features. The result was a breakthrough product that advanced the design of our industry-leading Bendix ADB22X and offered Utility a braking solution that met a wide range of trailer needs.”

Bendix continues to develop products in conjunction with Utility, and that two-way communication is a key driver.

“The success of the ADB22X-LT does not stand alone,” Intagliata said. “From the tip to the tail of the trailer, from brakes to ABS to roll stability to other electronics and more, it’s an iterative process.”

Intagliata noted that the duo is currently wrapping up work on yet another project to help streamline and optimize trailer communications. “We listen and engage,” he said. “They’ll propose a functionality or request a solution, and our experts provide options and design ideas. We work together through development and testing while making sure we’re all staying on target to deliver what the Utility team is seeking.”

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Commercial Vehicle Staff

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