From Jack Roberts, TruckingInfo:
New composite materials show great promise in lightening trailer designs. But their use must be tempered by cost and maintenance concerns.
Commercial truck trailers are the kind of unsolvable puzzle engineers dream about. Regardless of what they are built to haul, all trailers conform to strict laws governing overall dimensions and weight that limit cargo-carrying capacity. But the lighter the trailer, the more payload that can be legally carried.
That pressure has always been there, says Craig Bennett, president and CEO of Utility Trailers. But with retailers such as Amazon and Walmart pushing for ever-greater efficiency, it is more intense than ever. And in Bennett’s mind, it’s a challenge that starts — and ends — with today’s driver shortage. “There just aren’t enough truck drivers to go around,” he explains. “And the ones that are out there don’t want to spend weeks going coast to coast. They want to go home at night.”