File - Top Lift Trailers

Refrigerated or Dry This is,
“ The Game Changer”
 Transport and logistics in the United States has become an increasingly difficult
business in which to achieve success.
 One of the major issues, if not the major issue, facing transport and logistics is the
shortage of qualified long haul truck drivers.
 When truck drivers aren’t available, freight cannot just stop moving…if it did the
economy would grind to a halt. Rather, alternative means of moving goods needs to
be developed. Because of its large reach across America, rail transport, in whole or
part of the journey, is the obvious choice. When the railroads are utilized correctly,
with proper private equipment, the rail is a very sophisticated reliable partner.
 While in theory intermodal integration creates opportunities and benefits, the issue is
that many of the freight trailers in use are not designed for rail transport. This has
resulted in high costs for insurers, freight companies and railways through damage
claims and inefficiency. This is more than just an inconvenience, it is costing freight
companies, insurers and railroad companies large sums of money and administrative
 In the first quarter of 2014 there were more domestic TOFC trailers moved by rail
than containers. This held true for all four quarters of 2014.
 Currently there are more than 4,000,000 trailers operating monthly on flat car
(TOFCs) around the United States. These numbers include both dry and refrigerated
trailers and either way you look at it, this is a lot of freight moving around the
 Monthly, an unbelievably 20% or more (estimated 800,000) of these TOFCs are
damaged to varying extents through the process of loading and unloading trailers.
While in many cases this damage can be minor such as $1,500 and not requiring
immediate remediation. These damages occur with the best possible handling by the
railroad of a trailer not engineered or constructed for the sophisticated rail
environment. Damages can explode to well over $150,000 when a total trailer
collapse occurs. As an average, the cost of damages is between $5,000 and $20,000
(estimated by operators and insurers).
 This issue becomes even more complex when the insurance and responsibility
aspects are considered. Rail companies for more than a decade have gone to great
lengths to accommodate the onslaught of the fastest growing income stream for all
railroads, yet are only responsible for a very small percentage of the damages that
occur. This leaves the private carrier or freight company bearing the majority of the
 A extreme high percentage, if not all of the 4,000,000 trailers used today are not
engineered for the daily transition from over the road freight to rail (because they
were never designed or built for for the rail environment, and the associated racking
on rail cars). Meanwhile the damages to equipment and shipped product does and
will continue to occur until intermodal carriers or shippers update their trailers and
business models that have been unchanged for more than 50 years.
So what is the specific problem
that freight companies are facing?
There is a shortage of long haul drivers because of poor conditions such as pay, long hours and extended
dispatch time frames. While some staff issues such as driver shortages can be dealt with quickly. However
this issue has been growing since 1985! This shows that there are no permanent fixes to this particular
problem and that it is up to both shippers and carriers to look at capacity ownership and diversifications
options. Options that are available through the proper equipment and reliable financially capable
accommodating rail partnerships to restore positive growth with profitable margins.
This isn’t just a small shortage either. According to Reuters (10/14/14) there is a shortage of around 35,000
Of course, freight movements can’t stop completely. If they did, the country would be in dire straits.
Imagine, no food in supermarkets, no clothes in shops and no gas at fuel pumps. As such inappropriate
trailers are knowingly and continually being thrust on rail carriers leaving them to come to the rescue and
perform the “Heavy Lifting” on more and more long haul cargo crossing this country. It’s imperative the
OTR carriers must update the survival part of the business model. (Its like wearing rubber flip flops to put
out a 1000 acre brush fire?)
So what is the specific problem
that freight companies are facing?
 While this has worked, in the interim, most experts thought the problem wasn’t
going to last long, however, over time more and more trailers are migrating to rail
movements and are being damaged, at the same time resale value or service life
destroyed. This issue is now so large that it is costing freight companies and insurers
huge sums of money, and loss of profits. It’s clear that a solution is needed.
 Freight volumes continuing to grow. As the population increases so does freight
requirements. The United States has a large number of ports and manufacturing hubs
across the country, and as such, there will always be a need to move freight,
especially in long haul (800 miles to 3500 miles), the heavy lifting domestically.
Is there a solution to this problem?
 It is clear that freight volumes are continuing to grow. As the population increases so
does freight requirements.
 The United States has a large number of ports and manufacturing hubs across the
country, so there will always be a need to move freight, particular the heavy lifting
 The tables below show just how fast freight is growing in the United States.
Freight via TOFC is only going to increase in the future. According to the Washington Post,
Washington wants to move more and more freight by train.
This is in addition, to the doubling of ton miles by train that has occurred since 1980
 While this increase is a good alternative for freight companies,
it also represents a significant risk. Effectively it is a business
opportunity that is thwart with danger if equipment not
properly engineered to move by rail is utilized.
 According to World Cargo News online, damage to refrigerated
units in particular is on the increase. “This has resulted in
damage to the doors at a minimum and in extreme cases,
damage to the refrigeration unit beyond repair”
Possibly the most damaging aspect is to the insulation and the
resulting loss of thermal integrity due to side wall flex at the lift
points compounds the issues. (see example below)
Pay close attention to points of lift
as it consistently wrinkles skin and side post (to view
A solution that includes new trailers and new technologies
is the only thing that will make a difference to the industry.
Enter Top Lift Trailers…It’s all in the Design!
So how can Top Lift Trailers help you and your business specifically?
The specifics of how Top Lift Trailers will help your business control costs are provided below.
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. Over time you could see your business, and the
industry at large saving 100’s of millions of dollars.
What makes Top Lift Trailers unique is their state of the art patented design?
The engineers who have designed the trailers have worked in the industry for decades and know
almost every problem that trailers and containers face. Rather than developing a product without
this consideration, they have looked at all of the issues and created a solution that helps to
minimize any issues that are caused, while still ensuring that efficiency is enhanced.
The end result is that the Top Lift Trailer design, as tested on rail movement, has reduced the
damage to less than 1 percent of current damage experiences. When considering this from a cost
and freight efficiency perspective, this is a very good number.
The incremental additional cost at the time of purchase of the trailers is far out weighted by the
benefits of reduced Rail Rash costs and extended life of the trailer.
Compliant with AAR Standards
One key question that client’s are asking “Are the trailers compliant with current standards?” The
answer, of course, is a resounding yes.
The trailers are AAR certified and carry a full 5-year warranty by the manufacturer. The roll-up
door option forfeits the full AAR certification, yet sacrifices nothing with regard the reduction of
damages or any other of the desirable qualities sought. This means they are engineered to
withstand all rail environments within the United States and beyond, with no reduction in length
of service life.
This also helps from an insurance point of view, but more importantly, all Top Lift Trailers are
constructed to be compatible with all current rail ramp handling equipment and procedures on
the rail network.
When you use the Top Lift Trailers you can feel comfortable knowing that they will work in any
environment and with all top lifting handling equipment used in both rail and shipping for the
past 50 plus years.
Monitoring Options
 This is generally for safety and security reasons when there is high priced freight on
board, and also for refrigerated trailers where it is necessary to ensure that
temperatures inside the trailer maintain determined temperature with documented
 All Top Lift Trailers may be fitted (customer option) with state of the art GPS
tracking and 24/7 remote control monitoring. These systems also have complete
remote management capabilities built in to ensure that the data obtained can be used
to manage and document business and to supply to customers and authorities when
required. Specifically the equipment on board can monitor:
 Exact location movement and speed.
 Document the integrity of prescribed environment and successful operation of all
equipment on board.
 Note exactly when and where doors are opened and closed, in real time
Monitoring Options
Maintain and document temperatures at all times.
Monitor tire pressure and and utilize automatic tire balancing and inflation.
Monitor issues that may occur such as theft.
The available solution also includes the option of six strategically positioned cameras
to ensure your freight is monitored no matter where you are located. This provides
piece of mind as well as good information to customers who are booking and
collecting the freight.
 More importantly however, it also allows for management to respond in real time
when there is an issue. As an example, if a refrigerated trailer developed a cooling
issue, management would be notified immediately and could remotely set to rectify
the problem. This has the potential to save $100’s of millions, of both damages, down
time and lost cargo in wasted produce and other perishables in chilled frozen
A key benefit to your business is the life of the trailer. In normal operating conditions the Top Lift
Trailer has an operational life of 15 years. This means with normal maintenance the trailer will operate
successfully in excess 15 years. Of course, it is expected to last a lot longer because of the documented
history of the double-stack dry container (of which the TLT is a direct descendant) over the last 50
years. Imagine the time and money savings as well as the confidence you will feel in your business,
when you don’t have to think about your trailer’s structure integrity for 15 years?
Return on Investment
When considering the following key factors there is an implied good return on investment:
Minimized damages: Damage is at less than one percent compared to current trailers. Considering that
the average damage to a trailer is between $5,000 and $20,000, this has the potential to be a huge savings.
Compliance: All trailers are AAR certified (except with roll up doors and no real value is lost even then)
putting your mind at ease and saving money in wasted handling and freight delays.
Design: The trailer design allows for easy handling from freight to rail and vice versa day in and day out.
This ensure faster times and less costs in labor
GPS monitoring: All cargo is protected, monitored and documented. This has a lot of benefits for cargo
that needs to be refrigerated and can minimize wasted perishables and dry cargo.
In short, it makes financial sense to consider Top Lift Trailers.
Let’s Bring It All Together!
As noted, road freight has become an increasingly costly and tricky business. With long haul drivers
needing to be redirected to a better diversified utilization of his or her job description and the need to rely
more on financially sound and continually improving rail partners, you need the right trailers or it will
cost your business in the long run.
While reliance upon rail has been necessary, the impact on over the road freight companies is the most
conditioned change. When trailers become damaged, the average cost is between $5,000 and $20,000, but
can run up to $150,000 if the trailer is completely destroyed and freight is lost.
Further, rail companies insurance generally doesn’t cover the majority of this damage. The end result is
that freight companies bear the costs, insurance issues as well as the wasted down time. As soon as a
trailer of cargo is not delivered, it is the freight company that the customer approaches for their claim.
In short, there is a mine field of risks for operators who are knowingly and continually sending trailers not
engineered for the rail to a certain negative to their general ledger.
Key Benefits
The industries best engineers have come up with a solution that minimizes the risk and maximizes profits and
efficiency for all freight companies.
This solution is Top Lift Trailers. The key benefits to companies who use these trailers are as follows:
A significantly reduced risk of damage: Stats show that the number is less than 1 percent of current damage
Less insurance issue risk: There are fewer issues with insurance because the risk is reduced. This greatly reduces the
cost of insuring a freight business.
Compliance: All trailers are AAR certified. This means that they can be used with any rail loading and unloading
equipment in the United States and beyond.
Trailer life: The trailers have an exceptionally long operating life of more than 15 years. This again reduces costs,
and ensures peace of mind for operators.
Monitoring: Trailers may be equipped with GPS and additional monitoring and operating capabilities. This enables
management to address issues instantly and also provides a full history of the journey to customers which can help
with both compliance and claims when incurred.
With all of these benefits it makes good business sense to consider Top Lift Trailers.
The issues facing the long haul freight industry aren’t going away any time soon. If you are working in the
industry you will be more than aware of the issues with finding truck drivers and the damage that can be
caused to trailers (and your business) by switching to (TOFC) rail freight without utilizing proper trailers.
If you are experiencing difficulties in the freight industry, and want to dramatically reduce damages to
your trailers by 99 percent, then give us a call today or visit our website at
If you are just starting out a freight company and want to ensure you use state of the art trailers that can be
monitored and are compliant with rail technologies well into the future then give us a call today.
If you want to ensure that you meet current and future regulatory requirements for trailers and freight
then give us a call today!
Our staff, who are experts in the road and rail freight field and not just people sitting in a call center, are
more than happy to take your phone call, and provide advice on what solutions are available to you.
Don’t let your business model suffer any more. Call us today and get your freight back on a profitable
Without Top Lift Trailers
Inefficiencies are Inevitable
 By not using these trailers, you are exposing your business to many
potential risks in the form of damaged trailers, slower production
times and increased costs of operation. In a tight margin market, such
as freight, this can mean the difference between running a successful
business and a business that has the potential of loss.
 Another key risk is the direction that the direction freight compliance
industry is moving. More and more regulators are beginning to rely on
GPS and monitoring systems to ensure compliance. By not adopting
trailers or systems that include this type of monitoring, you are
running the risk of simply not complying or manualizing this process.
It is much better to consider this upfront cost to continue to grow
efficiencies while protecting your capital investment.
The Technology is Adapted From the
Proven Double Stack Container
The Driver Shortage is Not the Real Problem
Instead an Antiquated Utilization Problem
 Started in 1985 when the insurance companies combined with the DOT
to drug test and tighten up on excessive hours on duty service.
 At this time, JB Hunt, along with UPS, the real pioneers in both Double
Stack and TOFC, began converting eventually 95% of the dry freight
traveling US highways in excess of 800 miles non-stop to either Double
Stack or TOFC (Trailer on Flat Car) creating an whole new paradigm
proving, without question, the railroad as reliable partners to all using
 They restored the prior lost integrity to rail transit times by
contracting “Private Dedicated Non-stop Trains,” which was
extremely successful.
Continued Evolution of the
Driver Shortage
 Even with the success of “Double- Stack,” inevitably most
private carriers were still forced to install “Lift Pads”on
their standard OTR trailers and hitch a ride on to the new
strength and performance of expedited Intermodal to
keep up with capacities already assigned.
 In 2015 commanding facts emerged. For the previous 15
years TOFC had become the fastest growing income
stream for every major railroad, again all because of the
“Driver Shortage.”
The Segment of this Business Model
For OTR was Irreparably Broken in 1985
With the insertion of drug screening and strengthen controls on legal hours of service a way of life
as a long-haul driver was eliminated (and rightly so) within 10 years.
During the real growth years from 1965-1995 many presiding founders were forced to continually
hire formally educated business managers, who knew business yet had no real hands-on trucking
experience within the industry. The lack of hands-on knowledge and practical experience created
within the business model itself, was a failing component.
The continuation of that business model, although not terminal in all cases over the past 20 years,
left only the well capitalized and better managed carriers surviving.
Which brings the industry current, as we have long since lost many presiding founders /
CEOs/COOs through death or retirement, replaced through attrition with very good managers
again with “no real practical experience.”
Today CEOs/COOs have used their computer trained support staff to analyze data and create a
plan to put all those drivers back in the truck without rewriting one verse into a new and
workable job description. In addition, they have not generated one single cubic foot of capacity,
nor diversified the use of one single trailer to add capacity to the companies growth capabilities
without actually liquidating assets to bring positives to the P&Ls.
Damage Examples
Summation of Problems
One should realize the old long haul driver of the past is gone forever.
Secondly, our population and transport demands have grown exponentially to levels where if we brought
back half of the drivers we lost (which we cannot) we would still be years behind current demands.
Third, all major railroads have built themselves into an extremely reliable, well funded, wholesale carrier
partner who is proven over the past 35 years financially capable and ready to assist trucking by
performing the heavy lifting on time-sensitive shipments from 800 to 3500 miles or more.
Fourth, of potential carrier partners who would you rather have developing and growing reliable capacity
for the future? A.) A trucking company, operated by great managers with no real hands-on knowledge
and ability regarding capacity diversification. B.) Old carriers unable to accommodate the growth. Instead
continually reducing declining capacity awarded previously from shippers. Those OTR carriers are still
spending hundreds of millions of the company’s reserves or profits earned through shear size and volume
of existing business model.
Finally, wouldn’t you rather have a well-funded rail partner who demonstrates year in and year out by
spending major portions of their consistent annual earnings to offer more efficient capacity every day.
The Top Lift Trailer is like the Double Stack
Container, it reduces Rail Rash damage to a
fraction of 1% truly creating a 20 year asset
The First Top Lift Dry
Vans are Available Now

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