Great Dane Trailers Is On The Move

by TJ on January 10, 2012

The first thing you see when you visit Great Dane Trailer’s website is the company motto: “In evolution, there are no shortcuts.” Considering how long this company has been in the business of making trailers, it’s certainly in a position to know how true that motto is.

The company started in the early 1900s as a steel fabricator in the American southeast, making parts for sawdust collectors for sawmills. It soon branched out into the manufacture of steel framed trailers with the same aluminum wall construction so common on the world’s roads and highways today. By the 1940s, the company had changed its name to Great Dane Trailers and was the preeminent producer of the nation’s freight trailers.

Great Dane was the first company to add refrigeration units to its trailers, making possible longer hauls for fruits and vegetables and opening more markets to America’s farmers and ranchers. Anyone in the market for a used reefer trailer is still likely to end up purchasing a Great Dane product. In the 1960s it also began providing piggyback trailers for railroads.

Today, the company is still in the business of making quality trailers for the nation’s truckers, focusing mainly on the dry freight vans that were its first products, as well the reefers it innovated and platform trailers. But, these aren’t the same old trailers of yesteryear. Thanks to constant breakthroughs in engineering from its research and design department, the company’s products remain on the cutting edge with quality products that are durable, low-maintenance and versatile.

Recently, Great Dane introduced Double Dex, an innovation designed to add cargo capacity to increase average load size and revenue. The Double Dex system uses a factory-installed captive beam system to create a second cargo deck. Unlike similar aftermarket systems, the Double Dex beams are recessed into the trailer walls, meaning they need less maintenance and reduce cargo damage during load-ins and load-outs.

Also new at Great Dane is CorroGuard, an undercoating applied to trailers to reduce long-term corrosion on the road. The Federal Highway Administration reports the transportation industry loses some $50 billion annually to corrosion. CorroGuard puts a tough barrier between the underside of the trailer and salts, moisture, sand and road debris, as well as protecting against temperature extremes.

Great Dane is also protecting the insides of its trailers with new technology. PunctureGuard uses heat-fused polypropylene and glass fibers to create a thin, lightweight yet tough material for scuff bands and as an interior liner, helping protect the trailer walls from the day-to-day rigors of carrying cargo. The material is hard to penetrate, easy to clean, easy to repair and looks good, too.

Another welcome innovation is ThermoGuard, a lining for reefer trailers that toughens refrigerated trailers as it insulates them. Keeping the cold in and the heat out makes reefer units more efficient, and that means less money spent on fuel and maintenance. And because the material isn’t foam based, there’s less breakdown for a longer lifetime of use.

All in all, Great Dane Trailers is still putting out useful products of top quality that truckers can rely on more than 100 years into the business.

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January 11, 2012 at 2:06 am
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