Fontaine highlights ‘revolutionary’ flatbeds

Fontaine Trailer used the Technology and Maintenance Council’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., to debut its new Revolution and Revolution Hybrid flatbed trailers, which the company says make innovative use of lightweight aluminum alloys, cutting-edge welding technology and forward-thinking design philosophies to give fleets a tough and aerodynamic flatbed. Both trailers are the first products to be designed at Fontaine’s new research and development center in Jasper, Ala.

The all-aluminum Revolution flatbed trailer weighs only 8,000 pounds, but can handle payloads of up to 60,000 pounds concentrated in only four feet, says Buck Buchanan, vice president of sales and marketing for Fontaine. Conventional flatbed trailers typically are constructed using about 3,700 individual parts, Buchanan says; in comparison, the Revolution flatbed consists of only 1,500 parts, including a trailer floor that is made up entirely of friction stir welded aluminum crossmembers. A signature Grote electrical system follows this trend, providing cutting-edge electrical and lighting technology while using more than 60 percent fewer parts than previous-generation flatbed trailers, he says.

Buchanan says the Revolution’s inherently strong design features a single-piece routed aluminum extrusion that is both lighter and stronger than steel and helps give the trailer a significantly stiffer unitized design while minimizing load shifts. The new design reduces wracking, which improves tire wear, while a low drag coefficient boosts fuel economy, he says.

The Revolution Hybrid is a composite design that uses both aluminum and steel components, but weighs in at only 9,000 pounds while handling a 55,000-pound load concentrated in only four feet, Buchanan says. Its base design elements consist of steel main beams combined with an extruded aluminum floor for added strength and support at a lower overall weight.

Both flatbeds are designed to allow easy placement of tiedowns and chocks anywhere on the trailer deck and feature a patent-pending strap retention rope hook system to facilitate easier strap securement.