New to North America is the PTS50 pneumatic trailer support system from Prime Transport Solutions, based in Ireland. It replaces the traditional gear-driven support leg assembly, doing away with the hand crank to raise or lower the trailer’s landing gear — a job that ordinarily takes 3-4 minutes, and often some hard work, is done in five seconds. The system works off the same air supply used for brakes and air suspension.
The advantages include significant improvements to driver health and safety. The system can be operated by drivers with slight disabilities and should help an aging truck driver to prolong his working life. All of which might also mean easier employee retention and fewer workers’ compensation claims. There are simply two buttons to raise or lower the landing legs.
On the maintenance front, Prime says there are savings to be had because the PTS50 has just two moving parts, with no gears or lube. Each leg set is designed to last the lifetime of the trailer, and each leg is identical, fitting both nearside and offside. The company also says you won’t see a dropped trailer because the locking pin will not allow the leg to collapse. Nor will there be any damage caused by unsecured crank handles. And if the PTS50’s pneumatic lift cylinder somehow fails, there’s a provision to lift the landing legs manually.
There is also said to be an aerodynamic advantage. Without the crank handle, trailer skirts can be extended past the landing gear to improve air flow around the trailer.
Strength seems not to be an issue. The legs are designed to support 150 tons of force and the absence of a gearbox further enhances strength. The locking pin system is engineered to withstand the rigors of daily misuses, we’re told. Components are manufactured to ISO 9001 standards, and mechanical integrity has been substantiated by Finite Element Analysis.
The PTS50 sports a 5-year warranty on internal parts, 10 years on the legs (specifically a 10-year no collapse guarantee).
It may be that this one should be filed in the why-didn’t-I-think-of-that folder. A few U.S. and Canadian fleets are already using the system in pilot projects and distributor partners are being lined up. Trailer-maker Hyundai Translead has added the PTS50 as an option on new trailer builds.
The North American launch is being handled by well known industry veteran Simon Bois, a Canadian who’s been based in the U.S. for the last several years. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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