During the International Food service Distributors Association (IFDA) Distribution Solutions Conference in late October, a new player entered the market for Class 6 and 7 truck bodies. While hardly new to the industry, this will be Wabash National Corp.’s first line of dry and refrigerated truck bodies based on the technologies it employs in its trailers.
The launch of Wabash National’s truck body line comes in the midst of a surge in e-commerce, reshoring and re-urbanization, in addition to a changing regulatory environment, noted Brent Yeagy, the company’s group president of commercial trailer products. “As the transportation industry is faced with increasing regulations and rapidly changing shipper needs, we’re focused on designs that reduce weight, improve thermal and fuel efficiencies, reduce material costs, enhance corrosion resistance and improve safety,” he said. “These product offerings are a step toward that goal.”
Wabash National’s refrigerated truck bodies are constructed using bonding assembly technology combined with a composite panel that according to the company provides up to a 25% improvement in thermal efficiency when compared to conventional designs, and reduces weight by as much as 15%. The company’s dry freight truck bodies are constructed with the DuraPlate composite panels used in Wabash trailers for nearly 20 years, as well as other components.
New refrigerated truck bodies (pictured above) from Wabash National are available in 12- to 28-ft. lengths, widths from 96 to 102 in. and in 80- to 104-in. heights. The bodies have 2 in. of sidewall and roof insulation and 4 in. of insulation in front walls and floors. Composite sidewalls have reinforcements on 24-in. centers, 12-in. of scuff protection, and composite crossmembers beneath floors.
Insulated overhead rear doors are standard on the refrigerated bodies while tri-fold and swings doors can be spec’ed as well. Other options include: multi-temperature configurations; duct, grocery and textured aluminum floors; A-track and E-track logistics; lift gates and walk ramps; and a range of shelving and interior lighting choices.
DuraPlate dry freight truck body models from Wabash National are offered in 10- to 28-ft. lengths, 96- and 102-in. widths and 79- to 103-in. heights. Composite sidewall panels have bonded logistics seams on 16- or 24-in. centers and can be fitted with a variety of cargo securement options, including multiple configurations of A-track and E-track logistics.
Floor packages for the bodies are available in 1-1/4-in. laminated oak, aluminum, composite and combination kits, all on 3-in. steel crossmembers on 12-in. centers in the bay area and 8-in. centers in the rear. Scuff liners are available in wood, steel, aluminum and plastic.
The roof system on the dry freight bodies is built with 18 gauge galvanized steel roof bows on 24-in. centers and a choice of aluminum, translucent and DuraPlate composite panels. Rear frames have a standard 93-in. opening and are offered in a 97-in. option with an overhead DuraPlate composite door. Also available are swing doors and side door configurations.
“Responding to specific requests from select customers in recent years, we developed our dry freight truck body design utilizing our DuraPlate trailer technology,” Yeagy explained. “Earlier this year, we opened a dedicated facility in Lafayette, Indiana, for the production of truck bodies and other final mile equipment. Although we’re in a limited production phase currently, we will continue to ramp up production for both dry and refrigerated truck bodies over the next 18 months.”
Safety considerations and regulatory changes are addressed in both refrigerated and dry freight Wabash National truck bodies, which feature a rear underride guard tested to U.S. and Canadian standards.
“We’re very conscious of the shift happening in the trucking industry, fueled by re-urbanization and e-commerce trends,” Yeagy said. “With our new truck body line, we can support customers as they work to meet final-mile delivery needs with products that reduce costs, enhance productivity and maximize the life of the equipment.”