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October 10, 2012 8:00 AM, EDT
Raildecks Equipment Gets U.S. Patent For Double-Stack Flatbed Technology
This story appears in the Oct. 8 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

Raildecks, the double-stack technology designed for flatbed trailers, has received a U.S. patent for its collapsible flat rack intermodal container, the company announced on Sept. 25.

Raildecks, Calgary, Alberta, launched the service last year, working first with flatbed truckers such as Boyd Bros. Transportation and later with other fleets. BNSF Railway, Fort Worth, Texas, handled the rail portion of the intermodal trips.

The issue of repositioning equipment empty movements is addressed by the collapsible feature that allows four-high stacking of the equipment for movement in a single double-stack car, a Raildecks statement said.

“This patented design strikes a great balance of meeting the safety needs of the intermodal industry while also delivering much needed value and cost savings to our customers,” said Murray Crane, vice president of business development for Raildecks.

The company in its statement said that it has applied for additional patents in the United States and other countries and is awaiting approval of them.

The equipment includes separate designs to minimize both front-to-back and side-to-side load shifting and a support arm that can be rotated among the loading, transport and collapsed positions.

Boyd Bros. tested the equipment on long-distance routes where backhauls typically were difficult to find and turned to intermodal as trucking costs rose, President Richard Bailey said earlier this year, when the Clayton, Ala., carrier bought 60 units (3-5, p. 35).

The flatbed equipment was tested by the Association of American Railroads at its test facility, and Raildecks’ statement said the company has developed a safety program to promote safe loading by drivers and created a repair and maintenance network.

Raildecks has signed an agreement with Reitnouer Trailers, Reading, Pa., to manufacture the equipment.