Southern Manufacturing

Horse Trailer FRP Nose Cover Provides Perfect Photo Finish

24 June 2008

When Universal Trailer Corporation recently acquired the Miley brand, they decided it could improve on the design and appeal of their enclosed 2 horse straight load models.

In an effort to increase its growing horse and livestock market segment, sister company Haulmark explored ways to accentuate the value to reintroduce the newly acquired brand during 2008. Although known for its aluminium construction cargo trailers, Haulmark contacted Molded Fiber Glass Construction Products to design a new FRP Nose Cover/Roof Cap into the trailer’s front end. The goal was to add a touch of style while providing optimal protection from harsh weather as a pivotal value-added selling point in re-launching the brand into the horse/livestock marketplace.

MFG-CP engineers recommended to Haulmark that a V-Shape FRP form design was ideal for that part of the trailer configuration to maximize longevity—due to the strength and non-corrosive properties inherent in the FRP materials. Additionally, the proprietary V-Shape’s FRP forming process provided the brand with a consistent, uniform shape for the fleet that was smooth on both sides and, therefore, provided a more pleasant aesthetic value for customers.

To create the FRP Nose-Cone, MFG-CP employed a hybrid Resin Transfer Moulding Light (RTML) process; a Vacuum Infusion Process (VIP) that uses vacuum pressure to drive resin into a laminate. The RTML was utilized as it combines relatively low tooling and equipment costs with the ability to consolidate large structural parts.

MFG-CP Engineering Manager Eric Brace noted the cost-effectiveness of the FRP solution stating, “Ultimately, the FRP design provided a much more cost-efficient solution vs. steel and equal-or-less to aluminum—but with a better aesthetic value for the client. They’re currently designed into the Miley line as we’re providing them with approximately 800 FRP Nose-Cones per year.”

According to MFG-CP Sales Manager Joe Kusiak, “With Universal Trailer being essentially the Cadillac of the trailer business, we’re looking to explore more trailer-based applications to expand on this design’s value-added benefits.”

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