As carmakers look for extra capacity for the delivery of finished vehicles in North America and transport providers aim to provide it within ever-tighter investment margins, one equipment provider has revealed an alternative to the use of dedicated car carrying trailers by working with custom trailer maker, Kentucky Trailer.
Ernest Dandridge Carrier Design Services provides unitised cartridge-style modules for the loading of vehicles into enclosed trailers which the company claims will offer greater operational flexibility and quality control, at a lower cost than specialised carriers.
The company reports it is now in discussions with a number of other OEMs and trucking firms about the application of the technology.
Ernest Dandridge, the company’s founder and inventor of the technology, said that the modules will allow individual truckers and small business firms to adapt their equipment to carry vehicles. He added that the ease of use would also help the industry in its quest to attract and train new drivers.
“In addition to this equipment being available for large fleets, there is an entrepreneur spirit in the US and that also includes the trucking industry,” said Dandridge. “This is being offered as one tool in the tool box of the trucking industry’s auto hauling equipment to increase the auto hauling equipment pool.”
The modules comprise a hydraulic deck platform powered by hydraulic cylinders.
Modules are slid into the trailer and lock to the side walls. They facilitate a flat or an angular loading capability, with a variety of stacking options available, including the use of multiple modules. The load capacity in a 53-foot trailer is between five to six vehicles – three on the upper level and between two and three on the lower level. The equipment facilitates layouts accommodating mixed loads including SUVs. The upper hydraulic decks also can go down to the trailer floor to assist in loading and securing vehicles.
The other advantage such trailers offer, in conjunction with the modular equipment, is their ability to be coupled to most common freight tractors, according to Dandridge, something that can make it easier for a company to put into operation for new car hauling business.
“It is easier to purchase many common freight tractors to use as a pulling unit for these Kentucky van hauling packages,” he said. “Tractors are a large financial portion of a tractor-trailer unit. If a tractor becomes inoperable, it is easier to obtain a substitute freight tractor so the entire tractor trailer, including the revenue producing car hauling segment, is not also sidelined.”
Dandridge envisages the use of the equipment for the transport of higher value vehicles or for regional vehicle hauling for smaller volumes over more frequent but shorter distances, offering a faster loading and delivery cycle.