It’s no surprise when those experts are often tapped to share their knowledge with the world, just like when David Baker, Vice President of Maintenance at Boyd Bros. Transportation, Inc., was asked to be a guest on The Dave Nemo Show during Tech Talk with TMC. During this segment of the show, David Baker discusses how trailers in the flatbed trucking industry are changing and how they will affect the future of the industry.
More specifically, David Baker shares his expertise concerning the development of aluminum trailers. While most flatbed trucking companies use combination flatbed trailers, many are making the switch to aluminum trailers due to the updated technology, improved features, and lighter material. According to David Baker, Boyd Bros. Transportation plans on having aluminum trailers on all of their trucks in the next few years.
Boyd Bros. Transportation has found opportunities for improvement through the strategic use of innovative technology. This attention to trends in the flatbed trucking industry is a major contributor to the growth of the company. This is representative of how Daseke has been able to grow successfully in recent years. The key is the commitment of the Daseke family of companies to strive to be the best they can be.
Listen to a few highlights from the radio show below to hear David Baker’s thoughts on aluminum trailers and their role in the future of flatbed trucking.
Aluminum Flatbed Trailers vs. Combo Flatbed Trailers
Combo trailers have led the industry for years, but aluminum trailers are becoming more popular for flatbed trucking companies to use.
“The trailer became the next target to find ways to economically reduce your tare weight to maintain the payload for the shippers. Aluminum trailers became much more attractive at that point.”
Flexibility and Repair of Flatbed Aluminum Trailers
Aluminum trailers differ from combination trailers both in material structure and repair techniques. Fortunately, the number of qualified technicians and shops across the country is steadily increasing to match demand.
“I can find a qualified shop pretty much across the country if for any reason that I do need a repair shop for an aluminum trailer. And that they have certified technicians and welders there to be able to make the repair. So I’m very confident that the support is out there for aluminum trailers.”
Brakes and Lights Technology on Flatbed Aluminum Trailers
Buying disk brakes becomes more cost effective for flatbed trucking companies due to aluminum trailers lasting longer than combination trailers.
“The disk brakes now can definitely pay for themselves, you definitely have a lower maintenance cost because of the disk brakes. And only really, in ten years having to replace the brakes two times, instead of drum brakes which are probably in the five times in the same ten year span.”
Visibility Features on Flatbed Aluminum Trailers
Visibility is important for flatbed trucking companies to ensure safety on the roads and preventing accidents with other vehicles.
“Boyd Bros. actually went one step farther than the regulation, and we use that same red and white tape on the main beam itself. So, when we are silhouetting from the side, as if the driver is driving across a lane of traffic, making a turn, they’re actually seeing two rows of that white and red tape just to give that extra visibility to prevent the possibility of someone going under from the side.”
Securing Cargo is Different on Flatbed Aluminum Trailers
Drivers may need additional training to learn the loading process for aluminum trailers due to the differences in flexibility in the material. Aluminum trailers will require a different loading process than the combination trailer loading process that many drivers use.
“If you are hauling a full length, for a beam lets say, where it’s taking up the full length of the trailer, there is actually additional training we provide all of our drivers to know how to block the front and rear of the product in order for it to be supported by the trailer.”
Looking to the Future of Flatbed Aluminum Trailers
David Baker envisions new safety standards in the future of the flatbed trucking industry when aluminum trailers become more popular among transportation companies.
“We put aluminum flooring in, I’d like to see them come up and make an anti-scuff or anti-slip flooring be as a standard in these floorings. It’s a safety factor and its something that can be very easily put in as a standard for the fleets.”