RAF Trailers have been in business of making trailer for more than 15 years. One of the common mode of transportation of goods in Gulf and African region is flat trailer and skeleton trailers. Skeleton Trailers are much more fuel efficient compared to flat trailers and are cost efficeint due to their low maintenance. If you have deiced to buy a skeelton trailer, here are the features you will have to look into before buying one:-
i, Length - First you will have to decide against length, would you want 20 ft or 40 ft. You can keep two 20 ft containers or one 40 ft container in 40 ft skeleton trailer. Accordingly the number of container lock pins change - 12 pins for 40 ft and 6 pins for 20 ft trailer. Check the number of pins if they are included in the quote provided by the supplier.
ii, Chassis - This is the most important component of the trailer body, any compromise in the design and quality of steel used can cause problems not only in durability but also could increase cost of the maintenaince. Ask your vendor for drawings and load calculations have been done to assess if the structural design have been good. Also ask if MIG or Arc welding has been done as arc welding has been found to be stronger but MIG welding has been improving with technology. Chassis comprosis most of the weight of the trailer and it is imperative that right amount of steel is used as most of the trailer manufacturers in Gulf overuse steel which increases the fuel consumption and can also wear down the tires faster.
iii, Axle - After chassis, axles are the most important component of a truck and a good quality axle can provide long stress free service in long run. There are many capacities of axles and also brands of axles. Ask the manufacturer of the loads that axles can take. In Gulf many companies use Chinese made CP, FUWA or expensive Germany made BPW. If you are looking to transport more than 500 km per week international shipment, it would be suggested to use expensive axle for hassle-free longterm use.
iv, Suspension - If you are content with previous two compenents, the suspension is very important if you planning to drive on uneven or bumpy roads as uncompensated twin axle system can not only damage your chassis or tires but can reduce longevity of the axles. It is very important to understand Tandem Axle Bogie system and importance of having torque arm with reactive balance beam to prevent jerk when accelerating or decelerating. There is German and American types of suspension system. Read more about the types of suspensions you would need.
v, Kingpin - If you are trading company, it is imperative to ask your client which kingpin is required. Some use 2.5 and others use 3.5 inch kingpin. In Gulf 3.5 inch is mainly used.
vi, Brake and Electrical components - Braking system and electrical connections must be checked before dispatch. The pressure and brake system must be tested. Wabco brand is usually used for braking system.
vii, Landing Gear - Landing gear is important for transport and logistics companies where they dispatch the trailer to the clients area and used for loading and unloading with forklift. It is very imperative to have quality landing gear for safety issues. JOST and FUWA brands are very good brands used as landing gears.
viii, Rims & Tires - Quality Rims not only evenly distributes the load on tires also saves hassle of uneven wearing of tires. Good tires can save trouble of downtime and prevent accidents. Periodic checking of tires is recommended to notice any wear or tear of the tires.
ix, Road Ready - It is very important to ask if your trailer is road ready and it conforms to local transport authority standards. Most manufacturers will charge extra to add accessories requires to pass the registration process. RTA of Dubai has made it mandatory to have VIN and register the flat and skeleton trailers. Ask your manufacturer if they can register or make trailer to comform to local standards.