The Truck/Trailer Solution

Whether it's hauling 40,000 pounds of frozen vegetables across the country, painting supplies to a job site, packages for local delivery, horses to a show, or your boat to the lake for a long weekend, aluminum extrusions are an essential part of the truck/trailer solution.

Aluminum has been an answer to delivery challenges for over 60 years, when aluminum laundry trucks first hit the streets of New York. And as our needs and environmental concerns change, extrusions are poised to play an even greater role moving forward.

Extrusions for Reduction Requirements

The EPA announced their first-ever mileage standards for commercial vehicles in August 2011, prompting Class 8 truck builders to expand their use of aluminum beyond the then-average of 1,000 pounds/tractor in an effort to meet a 20% reduction in both fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2018.

The effect of such an improvement? 

An estimated 530 million barrels of fuel were saved and 270 million metric tons of greenhouse gas were avoided over the life of the improved vehicles. In finalizing the new commercial vehicle fuel efficiency regulations, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration evaluated alternative materials as a means of mass reduction. The conclusion: aluminum's potential to reduce mass was far beyond that of alternative materials.

Extrusions of the Future

Today, those same Class 8 truck builders are exploring electrification as an alternative to diesel power.  As in autos, extruded aluminum battery box solutions can provide effective battery protection and battery thermal management, all while reducing weight.

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Clean Cars & Trucks

In March 2022, EPA published a proposed rule that would set new, more stringent standards to reduce pollution from heavy-duty vehicles and engines starting in model year (MY) 2027. The proposed standards for the "Clean Trucks Plan" would significantly reduce emissions from heavy-duty gasoline and diesel engines and set more stringent GHG standards for certain commercial vehicle categories. EPA is also developing two other commercial vehicle actions following President Biden’s Executive Order, "Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks." The first will focus on light- and medium-duty vehicles and will address multi-pollutant emissions, including greenhouse gas emissions for model year 2027 and later commercial pickup trucks and vans. The second will focus on greenhouse gas emissions for model year 2030 and later heavy-duty engines and vehicles.

The Future 

Beyond Big Rigs

Aluminum extrusions find many applications beyond the big rigs. Package delivery trucks are extrusion intensive. One of the first aluminum-intensive vehicles was the US Postal Service LLV delivery van introduced in 1987! Extruded components provide custom racks and fittings for a host of tradesman vans.

Today's Market

And today's consumer-oriented trailers - boat, ATV, utility, horse- are extrusion intensive as well. Aluminum extrusions' high strength and light weight provide improved payload with reduced fuel consumption, while their non-corrosive nature yields long life and low maintenance. Finally, with the design flexibility that extrusions offer, a high level of functionality can be engineered into the parts.

Also learn how aluminum extrusions help the automotive and mass transit industries.

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