It’s more common today than ever to see telescopic semi trailers on the road. Also called extendable flatbed trailers, expandable flatbed trailers and stretch-deck trailers, they can carry especially long items that standard flatbeds can’t accommodate.
As the transportation industry looks for ways to move to renewable, clean energy sources, the focus often is on powering trucks. However, researchers and manufacturers are increasingly looking at the energy needs—and the energy-generating potential—of semi trailers.
With fuel costs always increasing (even after occasionally plateauing or even dropping temporarily) and big rigs averaging about 6 miles per gallon (mpg), any improvement in a vehicle’s aerodynamics can produce savings. And the more improvements you make, the more you save—especially if you’re operating a fleet of trucks and semi trailers.
The ability to track trucks and semi trailers using GPS (Global Positioning System) technology is essential to efficient and effective operations and fleet management. Using telematics to monitor when and where rigs are traveling can help you reduce fuel usage, complete more jobs in a given time period and provide better customer service, to mention just a few of the advantages.
As with all businesses, stakeholders in the transportation industry—from trucking companies to rental semi trailer providers to companies that transport their own goods—are continually looking for ways to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. For many, the answer is to implement new technologies as they become available.
Why is it called a “semi trailer”? Who built the first one? How long have semi trailers been in use? If you’re in the transportation business, you might find it interesting to learn more about the back half of the tractor-trailer, which has carried an incalculable amount of cargo and been pivotal in the growth of commerce around the world for the last 125 years.