The Freedom of Flexibility
The application impact of the new Freedom XP improvements, options
Flatbed trailer applications demand versatility. One day might call for hauling a distributed load, such as pallets of construction materials, while the next day's order is a concentrated load, like a steel coil in the middle of the trailer. Added to the application complexity are axle load laws that can vary from state to state; California being one of the most aggressive with an axle requirement that states the distance from the kingpin to the rear axle cannot exceed 40 feet. To meet the varied demands, Great Dane has updated its Freedom XP (FXP) lineup, offering improved construction and more spec variety.
The FXP has benefited from a new automated manufacturing process that ensures consistent quality. The new design features - which range from support gear and rear corner improvements to full-height suspension reinforcements and crossmember shelf bracing - were put through a rigorous testing regimen. Great Dane's research and development simulator testing replicated 10 years of road use, while Hendrickson's drag-turn testing was evaluated at twice the standard requirement. The result is a tough-as-nails flatbed that is 350 pounds lighter (when comparing the new FXP to the previous design) and sports both structural and cosmetic design improvements along with improved swing clearance.
The updates have led to the addition of a heavy-duty version of the FXP that has a 60,000-pound concentrated load rating vs. the standard trailer's 52,000-pound rating. While heavier than the standard trailer, the heavy-duty trailer is still lighter than the last generation.
Great Dane partnered with Hendrickson to craft a unique beam design that would function with commercially available flatbed bogies to allow the Hendrickson INTRAAX-SP platform slider suspension option. The rear slide axle offers a 121-inch wide spread, a 73-inch Eastern Canada spread and a 61-inch California-legal spread. Additionally, the Great Dane FXP utilizes a galvanized slider that provides corrosion protection, pin-engagement visibility and a slider that does not collect debris.
Additional FXP options include air disc brakes, removable chain ties, dunnage storage and lift axles.
Best of Both Worlds
Great Dane has the right options to meet all of your equipment needs. The Freedom LT steel-aluminum flatbed trailer's steel front end is reinforced for rated bulkheads, while its extruded aluminum side rails provide flexibility in load securement. The trailer beam design features a one-piece main beam web with heavy-duty 100 KSI top and bottom flanges. Crossmembers pass through the steel main beams and are fastened securely using attachment clips and fatigue-resistant lock bolts. To restrain cargo movement and improve traction, the 1.25-inch aluminum floor features a safety-grip surface and comes standard with four apitong nailing strips. The Freedom LT's evenly-distributed load rating is 80,000 pounds and concentrated load rating is 50,000 pounds in 4-foot increments.
Taking Stock of Opportunity
When opportunity knocks, you have to be ready to answer. Having the flexibility to tackle flatbed applications that might be outside of your regular hauls can make all the difference in growing your business. Seeing increased growth within the retail flatbed market, Great Dane has responded by increasing its inventory of stock flatbeds and drop deck trailers in 2018. Great Dane currently has stock units coming down the pike that will hit the streets in early January 2018, with additional orders each quarter, offering a wide variety of specs and competitive prices.
Great Dane has distribution centers located in Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Huntsville, Tennessee; Boise, Idaho; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Albert Lea, Minnesota. Also, all Great Dane retail locations, company-owned branches and dealers, have access to this inventory and can help deliver your trailer needs wherever you are located. For information about a location near you, visit our website greatdane.com/locations.