A group of engineers working on the transportation needs for Walmart have recently unveiled their new creation for what they are calling the “Supercube” trailer. This prototype design can store upwards of 30% more cube space than a traditional trailer without exceeding the legal requirements for truck length. This is accomplished by reducing the amount of space needed for the tractor and adding that remaining space into storage within the trailer. The driver now sits above the engine and wheels, allowing the trailer to go from the standard 53 feet to an impressive 60 feet. The design was developed in Ontario by a team called Innovative Trailer Design and has been recently featured at a Transportation Sustainability Conference.
One concern which some may have with this new design is that the longer shape will cause a loss of efficiency due to the more difficult loading and unloading process. The new scissor lift on the trailers can handle up to 15,000 pounds, which allows for a forklift to enter the trailer and carry heavy items down the long corridor. Also, the trailer is equipped with an internal hydraulic elevator to push more freight to the farthest corners of the trailer.
It is projected that the new trailer design will not consume much more fuel than a standard truck; therefore high-volume usage of the new trailers could allow the trucking industry to move more towards greener initiatives. High fuel costs and labor expenses account for some of the biggest struggles in the trucking industry at present, therefore by allowing more goods to be transported with each truckload, the potential for savings could be enormous for the industry. Admirably, the developers of this new trailer are willing to share their idea with the public rather than use it as a competitive advantage solely for Walmart.