What is the right semi-trailer floor for your fleet?#P.U.R #Waxin #Wingolite #Zig-Zag
When purchasing a semi-trailer, you’ll need to make choices in terms of its options and specifications. Several technical details must be taken into consideration in order for your semi-trailer to meet your transportation needs. One of the important details to consider is the semi-trailer floor system’s capacity (floor rating).
Basic knowledge of floor rating
Many people in the industry, both novice and experienced, have little to no knowledge of exactly what a semi-trailer’s floor capacity is. Moreover, many people confuse a floor system’s capacity (floor rating) with the trailer’s maximum loading capacity.
In the vast majority of cases, a semi-trailer’s floor structure is most stressed during loading and unloading since a forklift’s weight is concentrated on its front wheels. The floor is thus subjected to more pressure during loading and unloading than during the transport of goods. In fact, the pressure exerted by the treads of the front tires can vary from 250-400 PSI while the pressure exerted during the transport of 26 pallets of 1600 pounds on the floor structure is less than 1 PSI!
A floor’s capacity is expressed in pounds, with the main capacities used being 18,000, 20,000, 22,000 and 24,000 pounds. Some “specialized” semi-trailers can reach 32,000 pounds. In 99% of cases, a floor’s capacity is determined primarily by the maximum weight in pounds exerted on the floor by the front wheels of a forklift, when loaded to its maximum capacity.
Information about the weight exerted by the forklift is indicated in its technical specifications booklet upon purchase. Let us take a specific case: in the technical specifications of a Yale GP0100VX series forklift with a 10,000-lb capacity, it states that at its maximum load, the forklift will exert a weight of 22,400 pounds on the front wheels. This information is the starting point, indicating that the semi-trailer’s floor rating should be at least 22,000 pounds.
After this consideration, it’s then important to pay particular attention to other specifications of the forklifts that you use, such as the fork lengths, the use of clamps or other specialized tools instead of the forks, the tire width, the type of tire used (pneumatic or hard sole), and their numbers and configurations. These are all elements that will have an impact on the durability of your semi-trailer’s floor and should be considered when choosing the floor system.
Besides the technical specification of the forklift used, there are other points that need to be weighed. For example, the frequency of loading/unloading, the conditions and environment to which it is subjected, the desired longevity, etc. These specifications will help you establish the capacity of your floors and the protection options you want to add.
Questions to ask
It’s therefore important to discuss the following details with your semi-trailer floor manufacturer’s representative and engineers:
- The floor’s thickness
- The type of floor: standard or composite
- The number of crossbeams
- The number of screws used
- The anchoring system between the floor and the walls of the trailer
- Moisture protection options
In discussions with your representative, it’s more than likely that the following points will be covered:
- What goods are transported? Are these small boxes, large rolls of paper or rolls of steel?
- What is the type of transport? Is this full truckload (FTL) or less-than-truckload (LTL)?
- How many times will the trailer be loaded and unloaded per week?
- What is the product’s expected lifespan?
It is important to calculate the capacity of the floor system that you will need so that, on the one hand, you’re able to transport products without risk of damaging your trailer and on the other hand, that you don’t unnecessarily use a trailer that is too strong for the type of product being transported. Using a trailer with too high a floor capacity for what is needed results in additional manufacturing and fuel costs.
Options to consider to increase lifespan and save weight
Moisture is a hardwood floor’s worst enemy. By absorbing moisture, the mechanical properties of hardwood floors decrease. The good news is that Prolam offers the best solutions on the market for protecting hardwood trailer floors.
Prolam is the only manufacturer that offers a paraffin penetration process for surface protection: Waxin. This penetration process is far more efficient than water-based protections since the paraffin penetrates deeply into the wood fiber, which is not the case with surface protections that must be applied every 2 or 3 years.
For the protection of the underside of floors, Prolam is the only manufacturer that perfectly masters the application of polyurethane coatings on surfaces. Prolam’s P.U.R option has a uniform thickness with superior cohesion and gouge-free stretching capacity, which is not the case with products offered by other manufacturers. Whether above the wheels or across the underside of the trailer, the Prolam P.U.R option is a proven solution.
In addition, Prolam manufactures the lightest composite floors in the industry, without compromising on their mechanical properties and durability. In doing so, Prolam tackles the weight of the floor, which is a critical factor in its choice. Choose Wingolite, which is 120 to 135 pounds lighter than floors made by other manufacturers.
The representatives and engineers of the various semi-trailer manufacturers are usually qualified and will help you see things more clearly. However, with the information presented here, you’ll be able to take your needs into consideration and will ask the right questions to get a good understanding of the options and technical characteristics of your semi-trailer’s floor rating system. If you have any questions or want to know more about our products, please don’t hesitate to contact your Prolam representative.
What is the right semi-trailer floor for your fleet?
#P.U.R #Waxin #Wingolite #Zig-Zag
When purchasing a semi-trailer, you’ll need to make choices in terms of its options and specifications. Several technical details must be taken into consideration in order for your semi-trailer to meet your transportation needs. One of the important details to consider is the semi-trailer floor system’s capacity (floor rating).Read more
Water : The worst enemy of your trailer floor
#P.U.R #Waxin #Zig-Zag
The transportation industry is constantly looking for ways to reduce its operating costs. What is the solution to achieve this goal? Maximize the useful life of the equipment. For a trailer floor to last, it is important to protect it from its worst enemy: water.Read more