Awards galore for top trailer innovators

A long list of award winners was recognised in last month’s Trailer Innovation 2019 presentation at the huge IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) commercial vehicles show in Hannover, Germany.

Winners included a gas-powered truck refrigeration unit; an octagonal-section skeletal semi-trailer spine; a lightweight, robot-welded trailer chassis frame; and the latest telematics application in trailer walk-around checks.

Entries to the long-established, biennial Trailer Innovation awards scheme are judged by 15 leading road transport magazines from across Europe, including Fleet Transport in Ireland and our sister title Commercial Vehicle Engineer here in the UK. There are seven award categories, but every entry is judged by the same main criterion: its contribution to road freight transport efficiency.

Top award in the “environment” category this year goes to Carrier Transicold for its Supra truck refrigeration unit powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). Compared with the small diesel engines normally used on refrigeration units of this kind, the CNG Supra is claimed to cut particulate emissions by 95%, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions by 70%, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20%. Carrier claims to be the only refrigeration unit supplier to offer such a CNG option at present.

Carrier Supra CNG engine

In a hard-fought “chassis” awards category, Kässbohrer emerged as the winner with its latest extendible skeletal semi-trailer, boasting a novel, octagonal-section spine claimed to banish frame-twisting.

Improved torsional stiffness also played a part in helping Kögel’s new Novum range of robot-welded trailer chassis frames come away with first prize in the “concept” category of the awards.

Krone takes the top award in the “safety” category for its Smart Trailer Check system, employing “augmented reality” technology for tablet computers and smartphones to make walk-around trailer checks quicker, easier and more reliable.

The “smart trailer” category winner this year is Schmitz Cargobull, Europe’s biggest trailer-maker, for its latest comprehensive telematics system.

Goldhofer, one of Germany’s leading manufacturers of specialised, heavy-haulage trailers, wins the “body” category by a narrow margin for a novel system, called Bladex, designed to make the task of transporting giant wind turbine blades much more efficient and easier than it is at present.

Lamberet, one of France’s biggest manufacturers of temperature-controlled trailers and bodywork, wins the “components” category this year for its new Ergowall moveable bulkhead for multi-compartment refrigerated bodies. This bulkhead, going into production this month, claims to break new ground in ease of operation, durability and space-saving.

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Tim Blakemore
Tim Blakemore
Tim Blakemore is an award-winning automotive journalist and the former editor of our sister title, Commercial Vehicle Engineer magazine. He is also the UK representative on the panel of judges for the biennial, pan-European Trailer Innovation Award scheme.

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