Stretching the Limits
As freight demands increase over the coming years, we will see a greater need for trailers to efficiently handle more loads. Recently, some major carriers have been lobbying for increased trailer capacity and, interestingly enough, that request is not about taking on heavier loads, but rather increasing the length of trailers with the addition of 33-foot pup trailers. This seems to be a reasonable request given the fact that pup trailers often carry relatively lighter weight goods and cube out before they reach the weight limits. One carrier reports that the new configuration could increase its capacity by approximately 18 percent.
The Federal Highway Administrations predicts that long-haul (more than 50 mile trips) truck traffic will double by the year 2035 from 2010 levels, and fleets turning to 33-foot pups may indeed be the solution to cut down on some of this traffic. Part of the acceptance of the change comes from the determination that the addition of pups will not excessively increase wear or damage to the nation's existing highways—a concern that has been under debate.
The concept of adding 33-foot pup trailers certainly has strong appeal for those fleets that need to meet the increasing demand for freight. The pups, which boost shipping efficiency, may well be the best solution to the growing freight demand projected over the next 20 years.
Stretching 28' Pups
The industry is expecting the 33-ft pup law to pass in 2016, but that remains to be seen. One challenge is that due to trailer manufacturer capacity constraints—a result of the recent recession, replacement cycle purchases coupled with higher freight demands—the market is at full capacity. However, while trailer manufacturers may be challenged to build enough trailers to meet current demand, they can stretch new and existing ones. Great Dane is ready for the upcoming changes and is equipped with the largest retail network in the industry to stretch your 28' dry vans. For more information, call your nearest Great Dane location.