New solution for temperature-sensitive loads

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LOUISVILLE, KY – Great Dane Trailers introduced two new innovative products today at the Mid-American Trucking Show, Louisville, Ky. Great Dane’s new i-Van is a versatile trailer designed and engineered to offer semi-insulated properties in conjunction with the strength and durability of the Classic dry freight van. i-Van represents advancements in both product design and manufacturing technology.

“From candy to chemicals, Great Dane’s new i-Van is truly a versatile trailer and the solution for temperature-sensitive loads,” said Chris Adkins, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Great Dane Trailers. “This will be the trailer of choice for trucking companies that use semi-insulated and heater box vans.”

In the past, trailer manufacturers used fiberglass and plywood for semi-insulated vans, much like the materials employed to insulate a house. As materials progressed, and trucking customers expressed a need for better thermal insulation, Great Dane moved to the spray foam method of insulation. While this was an improvement, it was a tedious, manual process and the foam had to be hand-shaved so that the plywood would fit over it. The shaving also affected the integrity of the insulation.

Great Dane’s new foam press method for trailer insulation provides a number of benefits.
“It is a more uniform process, and a better process, that results in a cleaner appearance,” said Phill Pines, chief operating officer, Great Dane Trailers. “We are spending $5 million to re-tool our refrigerated and specialty dry freight trailer production lines at our Brazil manufacturing facility, where the new i-Van semi-insulated vans will be built. The re-tooling consists of adding the specialty foam presses to build i-Van as well as refrigerated trailer wall and roof assemblies. These units will be part of our new modular design assembly, which allows for reduced manufacturing cost while at the same time lowering the weight of the trailer and improving the design integrity.”

i-Van combines the traditional sheet-and-post construction of a van with the press-panel insulated technology of a reefer, which creates a modular wall construction without the need to spray and shave urethane insulation prior to trailer completion. By eliminating shaving, which causes an opening in the cell structure, i-Van offers advantages over other semi-insulated vans by providing a flat, smooth, interior lining with minimal fasteners.

The i-Van integrates modular insulated side and roof panels onto a van floor, which also can be insulated upon request. The interior is glass-reinforced plastic, with Great Dane’s exclusive PunctureGuard being the ideal specification. The standard interior lining is 0.050-inch PunctureGuard installed full length to the frontwall. Options for thicker PunctureGuard interior linings are available.

Many of the successful designs on the Classic reefers and vans have been incorporated into i-Van, and a number of features are available, including overlaid scuffbands and cargo tracks, side doors and a non-insulated aluminum roof. Post cavities are insulated to resist heat transfer. For companies operating in sub-zero temperatures, like in Canada, heater bracings on the front are available.

In addition to i-Van’s standard 99-inch interior, an optional 100-inch interior width is available.

“There is a combination of things to be excited about with Great Dane’s new i-Van semi-insulated trailer,” Adkins said. “In addition to the better manufacturing process, which results in a better trailer, we are moving away from plywood. By using a thermoplastic liner instead of traditional plywood, a number of maintenance issues, and related costs, will be reduced. It’s a strong van – built better to last longer.”

Great Dane Trailers, a manufacturer of dry van, refrigerated and platform trailers, has long been regarded as the industry leader in technology, innovation and quality. The company has headquarters in Savannah, Ga., and Chicago, Ill., with 10 manufacturing plants in the United States. Four of the manufacturing facilities have received ISO 9001:2000 certification, including Brazil and Terre Haute, Ind.; Wayne, Neb.; and Savannah, Ga. With distribution points across North and South America, Great Dane utilizes a network of company-owned branches and full-line independent dealers as well as parts-only independent dealers. Great Dane can be accessed on-line at