MONTREAL, Que. — Researcher FPInnovations has developed a lightweight timber trailer that could significantly increase payloads in eastern Canada and the northeastern US.
The post-and-crossbeam system developed by FPInnovations is comprised of composite materials and weighs about 40% lighter than steel trailers, allowing an extra 450 kg of payload when hauling 8-ft. logs. Revenue increases (when loaded) and fuel savings (when empty) could total between $5,000 and $6,000 per year, the organization claims.
While FPInnovations acknowledges the initial purchase price will be higher, it says the targeted payback is two to three years, while the trailer’s useful life is at least eight years. Higher fuel costs will hasten the payback.
The composite material used for the trailer consist of fibreglass and fibre webbing material with a resin that hardens like epoxy. The material is light, non-corrosive and impact-resistant, according to FPInnovations. Seven years of research has gone into finding the right mix of materials.
Deloupe, a company from the Beauce region, has secured the exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute the semi-trailer in Quebec, the Maritimes and the northeastern US. The new trailer will officially be launched in 2013, FPInnovations announced.