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2/12/2016 4:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Trailer Makers Finding Ways to Stretch 28-Footers

Strick Trailers
This story appears in the Feb. 8 print edition of Equipment & Maintenance Update, a supplement to Transport Topics.

While politicians, Hill aides and lobbyists worked on or against legislation that would have allowed twin 33-foot trailers on the national highway system, manufacturers and their fleet customers took note, and the trailer makers busied themselves with improving techniques for stretching 28-foot pup trailers into 33-footers.

The trailer provision, much desired by less-than-truckload and parcel carriers, was ultimately not included in year-end budget legislation, but the experience on how to do the work remains, in case it is ever needed in the future. Trailer makers were preparing because the 33-footers’ chances seemed greater in late 2015 compared with attempts in previous years, observers said. That anticipation also led to lighter sales of 28-foot pups.

Glenn Harney, chief sales officer of Hyundai Translead, told Equipment & Maintenance Update that his manufacturing company has stretched some 28-foot pups already for several customers in “anticipation of the law eventually getting passed.” He said the purpose was to determine beforehand which method each customer preferred.

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“Some were stretched by splicing top and bottom rails as well as the floor and roof. Some preferred new extrusions and roof but spliced the floor. Of course, there are longer electrical cords and air hoses required and those are mostly replaced with new, longer pieces,” Harney said.

“Is [greater use of twin 33s] dead forever? Who knows?” said David Gilliland, vice president of national accounts at Great Dane Trailers. “Obviously, the less-than-truckload guys would love to have it happen, and most of the truckload guys are the opposite.”

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By Roger W. Gilroy
Staff Reporter

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