Online, easily-accessible trailer-design software claimed to be a “world first” is expected to be a big talking point among fleet engineers visiting April’s CV Show. The Trailer Builder tool from Staffordshire-based Don –Bur Bodies & Trailers, going live for the first time this month, allows visitors to the company’s website to generate engineering drawings of trailers and thus quickly discover what effects any changes in dimensions will have on crucial factors such as load volume, payload and height.
This software, designed in-house by Don -Bur engineers, is believed to be the first of its kind anywhere.
The company has long used conventional computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD-CAM) software from suppliers such as Solid Works and 2D Autocad, but Richard Owens, Don -Bur Marketing Manager, emphasises that Trailer Builder serves an entirely different purpose. It allows customers and potential customers, as well as Don -Bur’s own sales and engineering teams, to find out what is and is not feasible in trailer design by using simple drop-down menu options and altering dimensions to suit individual operations.
Though the software is confined to Don -Bur’s own trailer designs at present, the company is understood to be exploring ways in which it could be used more widely. More news on this development is expected at the CV Show.
Speed of operation is one of the Trailer Builder tool’s big attractions. Previously it could take 30 minutes or longer to draft a drawing based on a customer’s rough requirements. Trailer Builder can create such a drawing in milliseconds, it is claimed.
Owens said, “Quite often, our potential customers don’t know what to ask for because they don’t know what’s possible. In addition, for a 3PL (third-party logistics provider), it would be difficult to offer their customer an optimised solution without having a representative from a trailer manufacturer present to discuss available options. This new tool provides a unique opportunity for anyone with access to the internet to quickly develop and illustrate a custom solution; all possible and all compliant.”
Trailer slope is a good example, he suggests. Some operators fail to appreciate the effect of changing this on overall trailer height at the front bulkhead. Trailer Builder instantly calculates and demonstrates the effect of trailer slope on overall travelling height.
Don -Bur’s CV Show display this year is also expected to include a trailer boasting an eye-catching innovation in aerodynamic efficiency, but the company is not yet ready to reveal exactly what this is.