Travis: A Succession of Firsts in the Dump Trailer Industry
At Travis Body & Trailer, Inc., we pride ourselves on listening to our customers and developing innovative solutions to a myriad of challenges. This has resulted in many groundbreaking developments or “firsts”. Many of these firsts remain highly relevant today.
Travis was the first aluminum end dump OEM to build an aluminum quarter frame. Over the years, the quarter frame was manufactured as either a straight body trailer, or a “tapered” trailer in lengths from 24ft. to 35ft. Later, the Travis tri-axle quarter frame was developed and more recently, Travis became the first to offer all-aluminum quarter frame with aluminum arms /sub-frame, saving approximately 850lbs., depending on axle configuration. Until the later development of the first Travis light weight “Quad-Axle”, the Travis quarter frame was the dominant trailer in the asphalt paving industry in the Midwest.
The Travis Aerolite was the first smooth sided dump trailer. Built in 1989, the Aerolite design saved fuel by increasing fuel mileage by a ½ MPG simply by removing the exterior posts from the outside of the trailer. The SST, our 2nd generation smooth-sided fuel efficient trailer was built in 1994. The SST was a post-sided Trailer with colored Aluminum sheet skins over the outside posts creating a smooth sided trailer. The 3rd generation smooth-sided trailer was the WAVE® extruded wall horizontal welded trailer in 2002; the first extruded wall trailer built in the US. The 4th generation trailer was the VERTEX®, a vertically extruded wall trailer, which benefits customers by being easier to repair than most aluminum trailers.
In an effort to make our customer’s daily operation even more efficient, we built the first truly “light weight” 26ft. Travis Quad-Axle trailer with the innovative Travis “T-Lite” axles featuring 16in. tires and wheels. This combination saved our customers an estimated 2000 lbs. over competitive 4-axle trailer.
The Travis Aluminum Bottom Dump and the WAVE® Aluminum Bottom Dump hit the bottom dump market with the same benefits of “lighter weight” and “increased payload” over the steel bottom dump trailers that our aluminum trailers have enjoyed in the end dump market for years. Once again aluminum is lighter than steel, strong as steel, and not susceptible to the rust or corrosion that affects steel. Which all translates to more profit while operating the trailers and more value in the long run. Day in and day out aluminum trailers are a better investment, the average aluminum trailer retains half its original value at 10 years compared to 4 years for steel trailers.
Alumatech by Travis; Travis took an innovative trailer design that had been around for 27 years with mild success, but nagging product problems, and put it through a rigorous re-design so it would perform the way you expect from a Travis. We started with a clean sheet of paper, no expectations, no preconceived notions of all the problems it had before and focused on building a light weight half round design aluminum trailer that would last in the harsh environment of aggregate material hauling. We applied modern engineering principles to the design, including Finite Element Analysis. We changed the nose to eliminate cracking and built a completely new suspension sub-frame; doing away with the aluminum/steel sandwich used previously. We also sealed the tailgate and put the drop legs on the lift arms for added safety. After all these changes, the trailer weighed 300 lbs. less than it did before; coming in at 8,892 lbs., the lightest 39-foot aluminum end dump trailer in the industry.
Travis Alumatech Quad: We asked ourselves what else could we do for our customers with the Alumatech? The answer was to combine the best features of the Alumatech with its super lightweight and ease of dumping with the Travis Quad axle trailer that is highly maneuverable and the lightest 4 axle square trailer on the market. The Alumatech Quad was born, weighing in at 8,900 to 9,200 lbs., depending on whether the trailer is on dual tires or single tires.
Travis All-Aluminum Quarter Frame: This was touched on previously, but the all-aluminum arms / sub-frame on a quarter frame trailer is a first in the industry of a trailer design. For over 50 years the quarter frame trailer has always had steel arms and sub frame and their owners just accepted that this is the way it is. Well not anymore! The backbone trailer for the asphalt paving industry is now available with optional aluminum arms and aluminum sub frame that lightens the trailer by 750 to 850 lbs., which in many cases results in a less than year ROI!
Travis Trailers: Stay tuned in, we at Travis are not through yet. Word has it that we are going to start applying our lightweight ideas to the steel trailer market very shortly. Even though the product is different the need for a lighter weight trailer applies just the same in a steel as it did in aluminum trailers. The bottom line, the more trailer you haul around, the less payload you can carry and generally, the only way to get paid is for the payload.
Our motto is, “In the world of trailers Travis leads” and we intend to keep it that way!