Heavy Duty Trucking

JUL 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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d 32 HDT • JULY 2014 www.truckinginfo.com branches batter the top nose rails and corner caps of trailers because they snag on the sharp channels common- ly used. Stuart reasoned that curved surfaces would let the branches slide past harmlessly. Stuart talked with designers at Hyundai Translead in San Diego and got them to incorporate a curved surface in an order for 500 new HT Plate vans. The first two were done with steel. For subsequent units, he wanted ¼-inch aluminum, but that's hard to roll, so he settled for galva- nized steel. It only cost a little more than a standard design. The curve has a radius of about Tom Berg • Senior Editor Damage to trailers from overhang- ing tree branches got Darry Stuart to thinking. Stuart, a contract maintenance manager under his DWS Fleet Services banner and a former general chairman of the American Truck- ing Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council, considered the problem faced by a wholesale grocery fleet and came up with a solution: a curved upper edge. It might be a first for its applica- tion, but he doesn't claim originality. "The curved upper edges have been used on truck bodies for years," he says, "so I figured they'd work on trailers, even if no one offered them. They save some fuel, although it can't be measured, but what I was after was to reduce damage from branches." Tree limbs are common above streets and country highways and usually can't be avoided. These Keeping trailers safe from tree branches OnceAroundtheYard Specs Highlights • 48- and 53-foot Hyundai Translead HT Plate van trailers with standard galvanized steel underframe • Spec'd for a 15-year life with aluminum floors, extra cross- members, a 50,000-pound Hen- drickson air-ride suspension for its larger components, and dual steel wheels with Continental HSR2 tires. • Special spec: Replace top nose rails with curved galvanized steel. An upper radius panel replaces the top nose rail and corner cap on 500 Hyundai Translead vans. The curved surface allows tree branches to slide by rather than snag. 12 inches. It works as intended, and that kind of damage to these trailers has been greatly reduced, he says. "And if they do get damaged, it's easy to fix because you don't get into the roof." n

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