Dutch company D-TEC will use the upcoming IAA trade show in Hanover, Germany to unveil a new container chassis where the front and rear can be used independently.
Part of the S-Line series D-TEC launched in 2012, the ‘Combitrailer’ effectively consists of two separate trailers, each equipped with its own kingpin and registered independently.
The new design is also equipped with a new axle load adjustment system to comply with the new EU regulation coming into effect on 1 November 2014, which will prohibit more than 50 per cent of the trailer axle load to be carried by self-steering axles.
“The load distribution between the front axles of the Combitrailer and the fifth wheel of the truck is a very important point with regards to safety,” said D-TEC Director, Gerrit van Vlastuin.
“Too little pressure on the fifth wheel can lead to dangerous situations. With the old Combitrailer model, the driver had to raise or lower axles based on his own knowledge and insight. The axle loads of the front and rear section were also always the same.
“The new Combitrailer measures the load on the truck's drive axle. If the trailer load will exceed the maximum allowable load on the drive axle, the Combitrailer will lower one or two steering axles of the front section to reduce theload on the drive axle. The axle load controller then continuously regulates that these driving axles carry less weight than the two fixed axles of the rear section.”
According to van Vlastuin, if the maximum load of the two fixed axles of the rear section is exceeded, the axle load controller will automatically lower the rearmost axle of the rear section.
“Even load distribution will be achieved in every situation up to the maximum allowed container load, in which the fifth wheel pressure is maximised and the steering axles are never carrying more load then the fixed axles.”
The first Combitrailer was put on the road by D-TEC more than 20 years ago. At the time, it was revolutionary that a transporter could load or unload two 20 ft containers simultaneously. The rear section could be parked against a dock while the front section could be driven to a second location.