Canadian commercial and agricultural equipment maker, CBI Manufacturing, has produced its first convertible finished vehicle trailer, following an agreement signed in May last year with Convertible Trailer Manufacturing Worldwide (CTM).
Following several months of development, the companies began trials in November of the prototype 53-foot NA Hi-Mount Convertible Trailer, which is based on CTM’s patented proprietary design of car carrying trailers that can be converted either partially or fully into flatbeds to carry other cargo. They now plan to produce further units at CBI’s assembly facility in Linden, Alberta.
In full automotive mode, the Hi-Mount Convertible Trailer can carry eight mid-sized passenger cars or five SUVs/pickups. After conversion via a remote hydraulic system, it can be used to carry a range of other freight, including containerised goods.
CTM’s engineering team moved to CBI’s Linden manufacturing facility in June last year to harmonise workflow and improve production timelines there. “Early on, we recognised that the biggest challenge in ramping up the prototype construction would be to rework the design and finalise all the details that would allow us to accommodate CBI’s shop workflow and equipment,” explained John Person, head of engineering at CTM. “We all agreed that the fastest path to success was to bring our team to their shop.”
The final phase of prototype production included on-site assembly of all parts to test functionality and load capacity. The prototype was then disassembled and painted with a durable powder coat before reassembly.
Murray Regehr, president of CBI Manufacturing, said his company had worked with the CTM engineering team to design a trailer that would be as easy to manufacture as possible.
“We have had a great synergy between CTM’s engineering team and the CBI production staff while working together and solving problems,” said Regehr. “In November, we completed the prototype and now CTM has a product that they can demo and show potential customers.”
The convertible trailer is the brainchild of Bill Pawluk, CEO of Convertible Concepts, the holding company for CTM, who said that the release of the prototype with CBI Manufacturing was the first step in reducing needless waste in automotive and general logistics around the world.
“Our aim is to make the convertible process a new standard in the world and we are prepared to do this one small step at a time,” said Pawluk. “We welcome any and all industry stakeholders to work with us to collectively help reduce waste, increase productivity and profitability, reduce our environmental impact and set the stage for a healthier industry around the world, safely and responsibly.”