Savannah, GA,
08:26 PM

Lumber Support


Dodson Lumber continues to choose Great Dane combo platform trailers

"We're not in the trucking business. We're in the lumber business and the last thing we need is trailer trouble," says Derrick Chavez of Dodson Wholesale Lumber Co., Inc. That is why, since 1990, Dodson Lumber has used Great Dane flatbed trailers exclusively.


"We not only like the value for the price, with Great Dane we know we have reliable, productive equipment on the road," Chavez says.


Dodson Lumber's trailer of choice is the Great Dane Freedom LT, a combination steel-aluminum model. Currently, the fleet of 11 trailers includes 2010 model year 53-ft by 102-inch combos as well as a few 2002 model year flatbeds. The company's tractor fleet includes seven Peterbilts.


Based in Roswell, New Mexico, with a second facility located in Lubbock, Texas, Dodson Lumber has been a privately owned wholesale lumber, plywood, and engineered wood products dealer since 1955. It sells its "goods from the woods" to independent lumberyards and major chains in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma.


"Our typical haul is a few hundred miles and most of our trailers are back at our facilities every day," Chavez remarks. "Loads can include a single stop or as many as five deliveries, and we also haul some products back to our two locations. By fielding more trailers than tractors we can load empty trailers at our facilities a day in advance and always have enough vehicles available to meet customer needs."


The newest trailers in the Dodson Lumber fleet are equipped with Hendrickson air ride suspensions and tandem spread axles, sliding winch tracks on both sides, a toolbox fitted between the axles, and J hooks for tarp restraint. The 53-footers, when paired with a long wheelbase tractor, are capable of handling 60-ft engineered wood products without requiring a permit.


Looking ahead, Chavez says Dodson Lumber has a renewed interest in all-aluminum platform trailers from Great Dane. "In the past, we chose combo steel-aluminum trailers because there was too much camber in all-aluminum designs and the forks on our lifts could get caught between the load and the trailer floor," Chavez says. "Combo units avoided that issue but aluminum would be our preference for maximizing carrying capacity. Great Dane's newest all-aluminum designs are much more advanced and may work for us as well as our combo units have all these years."


"Regardless," he adds, "while we've shopped around we always come back to Great Dane every time. With Great Dane we're extremely pleased because we don't have any issues with the equipment or the service we get from the company. We have no intention of changing and look forward to many more years of this relationship."


Giving Customers a Strong Leg Up

Standard on the Freedom LT and all other Great Dane trailers is the Model 60 (GD60) support gear. The GD60, produced by leading global supplier SAF-HOLLAND, offers customers in all types of operations a new benchmark of durability. The patented design features a constant mesh gear box that provides smoother shifting even when fully loaded, eliminates high-to-low shifting problems and functions exceptionally well in cold weather.


The GD60 as a standard support gear outperforms all other stock gear models. It has the strength to handle loads up to 170,000 lbs, a lift capacity rated at 55,000 lbs and a side load capacity of 30,000 lbs. Backed by a five-year warranty, the GD60 is offered in a variety of travel lengths and fitted with proprietary replaceable shock-mounted sand shoes, reducing stresses in the mount by 50 percent. Customers also have the convenience of the low maintenance HOLLAND NoLube™ system and BLACK ARMOUR™ metal protection that, unlike a primer, paint or powder coating, chemically bonds with metal to form an impenetrable barrier to water and anti-icing chemicals.