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Trailer Spec'ing Key to Maximizing Payloads

Optimizing your rig or fleet to most effectively carry a product is incredibly important when it comes to maximizing profit. Hauling certain trailers doesn't require a double endorsement on a license, some are easier to navigate into shipping and receiving docks and can be rear-loaded.

It all depends on what you primarily carry. Axle spacing can also be utilized to achieve weight-spec workarounds.

An aluminum chassis can save thousands of pounds worth of weight

Jim Burg, president and CEO of James Burg Trucking Co. in Warren, Mich. said of axle optimization, "We try to match it to a customer who can gain advantage of that -- two coils (of steel) instead of one, or three instead of two, or an extra skid of sheet or coiled steel, or any type of product.

With opportunity, however, comes responsibility, Burg notes. "You have to be sure weight is distributed properly. We run Michelin X-One (wide-base) singles and Meritor disc brakes. And lift axles are steerable, so they can stay down in turns and there's less fatigue on the trailer beams" and less scuffing of tire tread and pavement.

"Discs are safer and less troublesome -- there are no freeze-ups in winter. And because of the rotor-caliper mechanism, there's no way a wheel can depart the vehicle if a bearing burns and fails. The caliper holds the rotor and wheel in place. We learned that by experience, and that is worth the price of admission."