Hook me tenderly

 

No matter how large or geographically dispersed a country is, it cannot do without active trade with its neighbors. People need medicines and food, electrical appliances and furniture, clothes and shoes, construction materials, and much more. And the lion’s share of listed benefits of civilization is delivered to places of consumption by automobile transport. Thus motor carriers actively use modern trailers. What it has become at the beginning of the new century was shown at the IAA-2002 commercial vehicles exhibition in Hannover, Germany.

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Where are we going?
Despite the fact that there were no Russian manufacturers at the show, the interest of the Russians turned out to be huge. And it is not surprising: according to the European experts the unsatisfied demand for trailers in Russia amounts to about 100 thousand units per year. Such a gap can’t be closed overnight. Moreover, the purchasing power of Russian companies leaves much to be desired. But that is the secret that some Russians went to look at new products, which in 3-4 years can be purchased at a comparable price as used ones from Western transport companies.

Before speaking about particular models of tractor units, it is important to outline the emerging trends, and there are quite a few of them. The first conclusion that comes to mind after examination of the trailer exposition is the exterior appearance of modern trailers and semi-trailers. They became much more aesthetic than their predecessors. Not only the best engineers, but also designers are attracted for their creation. For example, the Italian company Merker did it: to develop the new Fullspace 2 trailer they invited the well-known maestro of forms – Mr. Bertone. He has previously proven himself excellently in prototypes and production models of passenger cars and SUVs, and now his talent is needed to win the hearts of car transporters.

In addition to the design in the design of modern trailers and semi-trailers are actively used advanced materials: durable tent with special impregnation, not burning in the sun colors and not losing their properties to long-term exposure to moisture and wind fasteners. The use of composite materials, aluminum alloys and ferrous metals with deep anti-corrosion treatment by cataphoresis and galvanizing in the manufacture of frames leads to increased service life. This is also achieved through the use of primer followed by powder coating. German company Kogel gives a 6-year warranty against rust-through on its products. And two other leading manufacturers, Krone and Schmitz, have established a 10-year anti-corrosion warranty for their new generation products.

Load securing methods and options for sealing tents are being improved. There are even special competitions in this direction. For example, in the days of Hannover the German company for the production of trailers Krone was awarded the Trailer Innovation 2002 prize for its Multiblock system of universal load securing. One more tendency is to fight (and not without success) for the reduction of weight of vans, trailers and other types of trailers. Now they weigh just like the lightest tractors for intra-European hauls, and sometimes even less. Thus, weight of the Kogel Cargo-MAXX is only 6150 kg, and weight of the EuroCooler isothermal truck does not exceed 6790 kg. The weight of these kilograms has a positive effect on the dynamic characteristics of the trains and their fuel efficiency.

Despite the fact that there were no Russian manufacturers at the show, the interest of the Russians turned out to be huge. And it is not surprising: according to the European experts the unsatisfied demand for trailers in Russia amounts to about 100 thousand units per year. Such a gap can’t be closed overnight. Moreover, the purchasing power of Russian companies leaves much to be desired. But that is the secret that some Russians went to look at new products, which in 3-4 years can be purchased at a comparable price as used ones from Western transport companies.

Before speaking about particular models of tractor units, it is important to outline the emerging trends, and there are quite a few of them. The first conclusion that comes to mind after examination of the trailer exposition is the exterior appearance of modern trailers and semi-trailers. They became much more aesthetic than their predecessors. Not only the best engineers, but also designers are attracted for their creation. For example, the Italian company Merker did it: to develop the new Fullspace 2 trailer they invited the well-known maestro of forms – Mr. Bertone. He has previously proven himself excellently in prototypes and production models of passenger cars and SUVs, and now his talent is needed to win the hearts of car transporters.

In addition to the design in the design of modern trailers and semi-trailers are actively used advanced materials: durable tent with special impregnation, not burning in the sun colors and not losing their properties to long-term exposure to moisture and wind fasteners. The use of composite materials, aluminum alloys and ferrous metals with deep anti-corrosion treatment by cataphoresis and galvanizing in the manufacture of frames leads to increased service life. This is also achieved through the use of primer followed by powder coating. German company Kogel gives a 6-year warranty against rust-through on its products. And two other leading manufacturers, Krone and Schmitz, have established a 10-year anti-corrosion warranty for their new generation products.

Load securing methods and options for sealing tents are being improved. There are even special competitions in this direction. For example, in the days of Hannover the German company for the production of trailers Krone was awarded the Trailer Innovation 2002 prize for its Multiblock system of universal load securing. One more tendency is to fight (and not without success) for the reduction of weight of vans, trailers and other types of trailers. Now they weigh just like the lightest tractors for intra-European hauls, and sometimes even less. Thus, weight of the Kogel Cargo-MAXX is only 6150 kg, and weight of the EuroCooler isothermal truck does not exceed 6790 kg. The weight of these kilograms has a positive effect on the dynamic characteristics of the trains and their fuel efficiency.

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Thinking of Russia
It’s no secret that most manufacturing companies prioritize cooperation with the biggest dealers, i.e. those who manage to achieve the highest sales volumes. But there are pleasant exceptions, as Mr. Olaf Liman, authorized international director for export transactions, a member of Sommer Board of Directors, convinced me. The list of Eastern European countries his company works with includes Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, but Russia occupies a special place. In 2003 Sommer-Novtrak is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Olaf sees no obstacles for business not only in Veliky Novgorod, but also in Russia. And when he is asked by German businessmen “What is it like there, in Russia?”, he invariably answers: “If the investment conditions were unacceptable, we wouldn’t be there anymore. By the way, Sommer-Novtrak was the first of 160 foreign investors who founded their company in Veliky Novgorod, and that’s why representatives of such major companies as Dirol, Сadbro (which, by the way, are much larger than Sommer itself) – in fact, half a hundred – came to them for advice.

Examining the exposition of the German company, somehow unexpectedly Russian speech sounded. It turns out that it is our compatriots – head of sales department of Sommer-Novtrak Anton Ivanov and head of Moscow office Marina Sedyka – work hand in hand with their German colleagues. They told that for our country Sommer manufactures a narrower range of trailers, which are simpler in design than those produced in the West. Pallets are more diverse in Europe, including vans, but in Russia there are models which are not produced anywhere else, for example 24-meter long 4-axle vehicle chassis train with a 120 m3 trailer. Only for Russia and Poland the company produces container trucks, which are exported to Germany and Scandinavia. A separate place is occupied by all-metal bodies, about 300 of which are annually sold in France. At the insistence of the customs officials, an additional steel cable in a plastic sheath is run along the top edge, which is also sealed. In spite of the fact that only German capital is 100% involved in the business, the company employs 230 Russian specialists, whose average age is 28 years.

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What’s new with the companies?
Kogel
Just how advanced modern trailers and semi-trailers have become is shown by the products of the Kogel company from Ulm, Germany. Founded in 1934 by Franz-Ksaver Koegel, today it is controlled by his direct descendant Herbert Koegel. The latest models of the EuroCOOLER basic family were presented at the IAA. They are distinguished by low tare weight (6790 kg), high corrosion resistance of the body (guarantee against rust – 6 years) and the ability to maintain different temperature conditions. This model EuroTRAILER also belongs to the Euro range, which the company’s representatives often call Paper-MAXX. As the name suggests, it is designed for transportation of newsprint and magazine paper on a roll, and the rolls can be placed both on the side and vertically. But even more interesting model is Coil-MAXX, which has a special longitudinal depression in the central part of the floor that allows to rigidly fix sheet metal in rolls with a diameter of 900 to 2200 mm and a length of up to 6100 mm. There is also a special semi-trailer for transportation of bottled drinks. It is called Bottle-MAXX.

But the main place in the company’s exposition was taken by the Cargo-MAXX plus with an internal height of 2680 mm. It is equipped with electronic brakes EBS and directional stability system ETS. As an option, there is a TCE (Trailer Central Electronic) system. There are also parking sensors in the rear buffer. When approaching a ramp or loading ramp, they send ultrasonic signals to the tractor’s onboard electronics, which actuates the brakes. It is not a common practice here to park by the “sound” or by bumping through a piece of an old tire fixed to the rear.

Schmitz Cargobull AG
Novelties of Schmitz Cargobull AG company were telling eloquently about a professional approach to production of trailers. All of them have got the special lining of ferroplastic panels, which is most vividly embodied in the hermetically sealed Dry&Safe model for transportation of especially valuable goods.

In addition to the most capacious products of the Mega line, there were Double Deck System semi-trailers, which are double-deck tilt trailers. Compared to a single-deck system there is a 33% gain in cargo space utilization. One such semi-trailer has a capacity of 67 euro pallets (33 on the bottom and 34 on the top).

Krone
“Always fresh is the goal” was the slogan under which the new Krone frameless refrigerated and refrigerated semi-trailers were presented in Hanover. The new product in the product line is the Fresh Liner semi-trailer. Its body is made of sandwich panels with thickness of 28-30 mm with heat-insulating filler. Reinforced lattice flooring is 30 mm thick. The importance of the participation in the exhibition was proved by the fact that the head of the company, Dr. Bernard Krone, was always present at the stand. But apart from refrigerator truck, Krone was also presenting other new products (all in all, there were 5 of 10 exhibits). Among them were Cool Liner Folding Door, Dry Liner and Profi Liner. The first one was interesting, because it had 10 swinging doors at the left side, which was an apparent time gain while loading/unloading.

GT .
French holding General Trailers, or GT for short, which includes such companies as Fruehauf, Trailor, Benalu and Blond Baudouin, exhibited several different types of trailers in Hannover. Above the others the raised tipper body AgriLiner with a net volume of 43 m3 was majestically towering. Thanks to the “winged” metal the trailer weighs only 5,620 kg (economy in comparison with the traditional version is phenomenal – 300 kg). The trailer is equipped with side underride protection in the form of profiled bars, disc brakes with EBS – electronic distribution of braking forces.

In addition to closed trailers and semi-trailers for international and regional transport in Hannover there was also presented a lot of open platforms. The manufacturer Wecon decided to use a Wurfel flatbed trailer with curtain-type soft-sided side panels. This choice was not random: in Western Europe, such a trailer is a hit of the recent years.

The Italian company Rolfo also made a good statement – it was able to “stuff” its car carrier to the trickle – it can hold 11 small golf – class cars Fiat Stilo. So far a Turkish company Tirsan remains a record- breaker: its cart could carry up to 12 medium and small medium class cars (Peugeot 406, Peugeot 206).

Among the novelties there were also many other highlights, which could not be described in one review if you wanted to. As it is impossible to tell about the variety of the automotive world in two words. In fact, out of 164 European manufacturers of trailer sets and special equipment for them, hardly one third of them were at Hannover. As the saying goes, it is impossible to grasp the immensity. However, such a goal was not pursued by the author.

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