During the 2017 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) annual conference in Nashville, Tenn., Wabash National Corporation announced its highly-anticipated all-composite refrigerated trailer will begin a limited production run of 100 units over the next 18 months. It is the first trailer of its kind to be made with molded structural composites.
The trailer, owned by K&B Transportation, was first unveiled as a prototype at TMC last year, will be part of the company’s Cold Chain Series. Customers for the trailer include Werner Enterprises, Leonard’s Express and Combined Transport.
The trailer is made with the company’s proprietary molded structural composite with thermal technology (MSCT). Wabash says the technology improves thermal performance by up to 25 percent and is up to 20% lighter, while significantly improving puncture and damage resistance. In addition, the molded structural composite floor system promises higher floor ratings—up to 24,000 pounds.
“What this means for our customers is improved thermal efficiency, reduced fuel costs, increased payload and cargo capacity, optimized utilization and enhanced durability,” Brent Yeagy, Wabash president and chief operating officer, said in a December 2016 press release. He added “Refrigerated carriers see the superior performance benefits in our new molded structural composite technology. Many carriers have been very interested in participating in the launch program so they can better understand the value of the performance benefits on their operations.”
The news comes a month after Wabash announced plans to invest more than $3 million for a manufacturing facility in Little Falls, Minn., as part of a $10 million longer-term plan to expand production operations for molded structural composites. The facility is expected to create more than 100 jobs.