Alliance, Ohio-based MAC Trailer Manufacturing created plenty of buzz at the 2009 Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) with the latest addition to its product line Û a pneumatic dry bulker. The all-aluminum trailer on display was a 1,050-cu.-ft. model of 8,600-lb. tare weight.
Called the PneuMACtic, the new bulker was the centerpiece of MAC Trailer's display at the Louisville, Ky., event; and, it joins a construction-oriented product MAC offering that includes dump, platform and transfer trailers. We had a tremendous amount of booth activity as a direct result of the PneuMACtic trailer showcased in our display, says MAC Trailer Vice President of Sales and Marketing Philip Bortz. Our customers had been asking for some time that we develop a dry bulk trailer, and we moved ahead with the project in spite of the economy. We had already sold about 35 of the trailers prior to MATS, and from all the positive comments and interest generated during the unveiling, we are confident the pneumatic will be a strong product offering that will allow us to diversify and service another sector of the transportation market.
We are pleased with the overwhelming response from our current customers, as well as the fleets and independent operators; and, our dealers also are excited about the product, Bortz affirms. We may be new to the tank trailer market, but we have a knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated team that has been engineering and manufacturing tank trailers for many years.
Planning for MAC's dry-bulk and tank-trailer product line started about two years ago and included management team trips to European tank trailer plants in 2008. The influence of European dry bulk trailer design is evident in the new MAC Trailer offering. We saw the craftsmanship and attention to detail in their trailer designs, Bortz notes. They build premium products with application-specific engineering, and we wanted to incorporate their proven design features into our dry bulk trailer.
The prototype dry bulker was completed in January, and MAC Trailer wasted no time in launching full production at its Salem, Ohio, plant. At current production capacity with a single shift, the company has the ability to produce about 500 dry bulk trailers per year.
The pneumatic bulker is the first of what will be an expanded tank trailer line, including dry bulkers up to 2,200-cu.-ft. capacity for which MAC already has final designs. Also in final design stages is a vacuum-pneumatic self-loader, which should be available for launch in about six months. According to Bortz, MAC then will begin engineering tanks for other product categories. The dry bulkers will be marketed throughout North America by MAC Trailer's current dealer network. In addition, the manufacturer plans to add tank-specific dealers.
The PneuMACtic bulker stands out from the crowd with a Europe-influenced aerodynamic bulkhead at front and rear that adds structural reinforcement. The trailer has a full frame and is constructed of 5054 H32 bright aluminum alloy. The cement trailer has a relatively low center of gravity.
Tank componentry includes bolt-on hopper cones and aerators from Solimar Pneumatics. Other hardware includes Ultraflo butterfly valves, Bayco relief valves, Allegheny piping, and Knappco 20-in. manhole covers.
Piping is tucked out of the way to improve aerodynamics and reduce potential for driver injury. Morris Coupling connectors help ensure quick disassembly of discharge piping for cleaning.
The ladder providing operators access to the top of the trailer can be positioned at front or rear. The ladder is fully enclosed for improved aerodynamics, and a double handrail maximizes operator safety. Optional fall protection, including a folding rail, is available on the top walkway.
Additional trailer hardware includes Truck-Lite wiring and LED lighting, aluminum bolt-on light boxes, Jost Magnum A-400 landing gear, and a galvanized steel upper-coupler plate.
MAC Trailer's new dry bulker is available only with air suspension, and Hendrickson's Intraax axle and suspension system is standard. Antilock braking is from Meritor-WABCO.
Charles Wilson, editor, Bulk Transporter, a Penton Media publication; MAC Trailer Manufacturing, www.mactrailer.com, 800/795-8454