BRAMPTON, Ont. – A new, fully-galvanized chassis by Di-Mond Trailers is aiming to revolutionize the way trailer shells are manufactured.
“Nobody in the industry is doing this. Nobody in North America is doing this,” said Pat DiLillo, owner of Di-Mond Trailers. “It’s new, it’s novel and it’s the way things are going in the future.”
The new design is 100 per cent galvanized (coated in rust-resistant zinc) and has been picked up by the Brampton-based Canadian Tire fleet.
“We’ve been working on maintenance costs on the road and we thought this would be the best way to be innovative and cut down on costs. So now we don’t have to repaint the trailers to deal with rust and corrosion,” said Rob Turner, fleet maintenance manager with Canadian Tire. “The biggest thing that we’ve seen on our chassis is corrosion. We’ve had to paint them every couple years and the cost of doing that is outrageous.”
With rust as the number one threat to the chassis, DiLillo said the new galvanized model will help extend the average life of an oft-ignored piece of equipment.
“The chassis is the last thing anybody cleans or takes care of. They always clean and wash the back but they never clean the chassis,” he said. “The longevity of the chassis is now tripled, compared to a standard chassis’ life, to about 30 years.”
The fully-galvanized chassis is the next step up from an idea started by DiLillo 10 years ago at his former business, Mond Industries, where they galvanized only the rear header and bumper. And it was Canadian Tire that first got on board with that idea back then.
“Canadian Tire have always been at the forefront of keeping their equipment clean, environmentally friendly and rust free,” DiLillo said.
The partially galvanized models arrived on the scene at about the same time the galvanization trend was growing in the car industry.
“If you look at the car industry in the last 15 years, everybody’s gone to ‘pre-galve’ panels. That means that a car will last for 10 to 15 years and you won’t see the same kind of rust that you saw in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s,” DiLillo said. “So what we did working with Canadian Tire (in 1995) was go one step further by galvanizing the rear header.”
But with his new company, Di-Mond, DiLillo wanted to take galvanization to the next level.
“We came up with the novel idea of galvanizing the whole chassis, the whole steel piece of equipment. Canadian Tire took it, ran with it – again being at the forefront – and we got an order for 500 galvanized shells. No one’s ever done this before. Canadian Tire is the first company to take the chance and it’s worked out tremendously.”
Turner agreed, noting all the compliments he’s received telling him how great the new chassis’ look.
“Whenever something new (and better) comes out, we always want to be the first ones to be using it,” Turner said. “Galvanized chassis’ are the way things are going to go in the future.”