06:12 PM

Testing Proves High Value of Great Dane's MXP-120 All-Aluminum Flatbed

After two years of exhaustive performance and component testing, Great Dane's new all-aluminum MXP-120 flatbed has proven it can withstand the rigors of the most demanding hauls.

Testing of the MXP-120 began in 2008 at Great Dane's R&D testing facility in Savannah, Georgia. Included was static testing as well as many months on a Great Dane's one-of-a-kind road simulator. In addition, a test unit was sent to a major suspension manufacturer's lab for further evaluation of suspension connections.

Among the extensive laboratory and R&D tests performed on the MXP-120 were the following:

• Static Testing/Road Stress Measurement, which measured the displacement and strength of the trailer under both distributed and concentrated loads.

• Full Durability and Fatigue Life Estimation, in which the trailer was placed on Great Dane's Road Simulator for realistic "on-the-road" testing.

• Drag Turn Testing on Suspension, an estimation of the strength of the trailer's suspension and its attaching structure.

• Braking Fatigue, which gauged the effect of repeated panic braking.

• SG Lateral and Longitudinal Testing, an assessment and analysis of the load-carrying capability of the support gear attachment structure.

• Bulkhead Testing, in which the ability of the bulkhead to resist horizontal loading is tested.

In addition to testing in controlled environments, one dozen MXP-120 units were placed in real-life operation at several flatbed fleets hauling a wide range of loads under a variety of operating conditions. Data on these vehicles was sent to Great Dane's Engineering Department, which also inspected the test trailers on a quarterly basis. In all cases, feedback for the MXP-120 has been tremendous.

Great Dane's all-aluminum MXP-120 flatbed, offered in 48- and 53-ft lengths, is built with 4-inch aluminum crossmembers on 16-inch centers. The trailers feature two-piece overlapping extrusions for mainbeams that are fastened with stainless steel Huckbolts. The mechanical fasteners are not only much easier to control in the manufacturing process in comparison to welding, but also result in improved fatigue life for maximum durability.

Highly competitive for weight sensitive carriers, the MXP-120 all-aluminum flatbed can be specified in the low 8,000-lb range. The strength of the MXP-120 is reflected in its massive static frame ratings of 120,000 pounds for evenly distributed loads and 60,000 pounds for concentrated loads. Additionally, it is designed with approximately 5-1/2 inches of camber and will maintain positive camber with all kinds of typical highway loads.

Other features of the new Great Dane all-aluminum MXP-120 flatbed include a unique rear impact guard that meets U.S. and Canadian requirements, a steel upper coupler, two-piece heavy-duty outriggers, and a 1.25-inch extruded aluminum Sure-Grip floor with apitong nail strips. Standard as well as are a coil package with chain ties, sliding winch track on both sides that accepts standard Double L winches, Great Dane heavy duty support gears, LED lamps with Great Dane's Long Life wiring system and a Hendrickson INTRAAX air ride suspension. For corrosion protection there is a barrier between connections of dissimilar metals.

The Great Dane all-aluminum flatbed was developed based on the projected growth in demand from fleet customers. Those companies are realizing that there are several advantages to all aluminum models. In addition to maximizing weight savings and increasing payload capacity, all-aluminum flatbeds are nearly corrosion free, leading to an improved fleet image, lower maintenance costs and higher resale values. And because of Great Dane's thorough testing and analysis, the MXP-120 is a solid trailer that is sure to provide years of hardworking service.