Innovations are currently taking place in the development of high-performing, high-strength steels that can help trailer builders, OEMs and fleet managers improve trailer performance, gain better market visibility and help their businesses stay on the road longer. Strenx® steel from steel producer SSAB is one such innovation. With properties on par with structural steel, Strenx® is being used in trailers to address challenges in the haulage industry related to payload optimisation, greater efficiencies and stricter emissions standards.
SSAB’s customers commonly use Strenx® steel in trailer chassis, rear underrun protection devices, kingpin assemblies, drawbar couplings, timber trailer stakes and bunks, and main load carrying structure such as cross-members and longitudinal beams. Strenx® steel in trailers helps significantly reduce trailer weight, increase payload, improve fuel economy and extend product lifespan – all of which also have a positive impact on reducing carbon footprint.
The My Inner Strenx program for better products and better business
SSAB has been helping its customers make the most of their investment in this high-strength steel and stay competitive.
Through its two popular member programs – Hardox® In My Body and My Inner Strenx® – customers gain access to priority technical support, marketing and other services, and they get to partner with SSAB on product co-development. Launched in 2015, My Inner Strenx® is the fastest growing brand program of its kind in the industry for best-in-class manufacturers who use high-strength Strenx® performance steel. The program has nearly 150 members worldwide, spanning a wide variety of equipment types across nearly all industries that need to lift, hoist or haul.
How the member program works
The program – which allows members to market their equipment by using the My Inner Strenx® logo on their products – is strictly limited to companies with a proven track record of excellence in the fabrication and use of Strenx® steel. Here’s how it works.
First, a company that uses Strenx® applies to SSAB for membership. An SSAB representative then visits the company to ensure that its production quality, welding and design meet defined quality standards. Finally, if the product is approved, the company receives a “My Inner Strenx” sign that can be attached to the product for marketing purposes. The sign also comes with a unique serial number that verifies authenticity and allows traceability back to the production source. Each product with a sign is approved individually as a signal to end users that they can trust the quality, craftsmanship and authenticity of each vehicle.
Once a company becomes a certified member, it must continue to maintain and uphold stringent quality criteria. Once or twice a year, members have a development meeting where the product quality is checked and a development plan is created for the products and marketing aligned with the company’s business strategy for the year. SSAB is the only steel producer in the world that has such a member program.
Loredana Colianni, brand program manager at SSAB, offers an explanation of why the program is popular with customers.
“It’s all about mutual value,” said Colianni. “We’re on an evolutionary journey together with our customers. Every year, we get new members and look for innovations in design and materials to further optimise their products and work on new market opportunities together. Our members can increase their market presence, shorten the value chain and differentiate their brand. When our members thrive in their business, so do we.”
Operators and owners of this branded equipment can thus feel more secure in the driver’s seat. They know that their vehicle has been designed by qualified, vetted manufacturers who work in close collaboration with material experts at SSAB to design the highest-performing trailers possible, leveraging the properties of high-strength steel to make the chassis stronger yet lighter using thinner dimensions of the steel to achieve the same or greater strength.
One manufacturer took a leap in their trailer design, replacing traditional longitudinal welded I-beams with Z-shaped bended beams in Strenx® 960 (960 MPa yield strength). By eliminating the welded beams, they could improve the trailer’s fatigue resistance and service life. The trailer’s chassis had the same weight as an aluminum frame but delivered superior mechanical properties, better road handling and stability.
High quality for a high resale value
When it comes time to sell a used piece of equipment bearing the My Inner Strenx® logo, many owners are in for a nice surprise. Owners have reported getting a higher resale value on their used equipment made in Strenx®. It’s a much-appreciated benefit, considering the huge financial investment equipment owners make in their products and fleets. High-quality, fatigue-resistant equipment with improved handling properties, together with strong brand recognition, can help the certified equipment to retain its value even after many years of operation.
All in all, the My Inner Strenx® program supports a global community of industry colleagues who share similar concerns and challenges. The partnership with SSAB through membership in the program offers a collaborative platform for product development, brand recognition and business success, so that companies can boost their business for the long haul. To learn more about the program or Strenx® performance steel, visit myinnerstrenx.com.
In other news, Strenx® high-strength structural steel helps trailers cut weight and move more freight.