Beauty or brains? Both run deep on this custom trailer


Elegance isn’t usually a top goal in the rugged world of industrial manufacturing, but elegant design is definitely something to which we engineers aspire no matter how punishing the payload or environment.

So it’s gratifying when form and function come together so nicely in our products. Take these five custom carts we recently designed for a world-class aerospace manufacturer. Sure, they’re easy on the eyes, with their glossy wood tops outlined in epoxy yellow. But they also feature a few elegant design solutions for securing and hauling monstrous payloads.

First, we had to solve for the elements. Because of the top-secret nature of the customer’s business, we can’t disclose the type of payload. We can, however, tell you that the trailers are being used outdoors and that wood was the best surface material for hauling the mystery load. So we incorporated hold-down strips as an effective way to both clamp the wood and prevent cupping that tends to happen when wood absorbs moisture. We also chose a marine grade epoxy paint that holds up well to rain, salt, UV rays and the like.

Second, we had to make sure the cargo stayed put. Tie-down rings are great for holding loads securely in place. But strong forces applied to tie-down rings aren’t great with wood—they tend to pull it up. Typical tie-down rings that are welded to steel weren’t an option in this case—they’re too large and would eat up too much room on the trailer decks where the customer wanted the rings. So we came up with the simple but elegant solution of using the bolts from the hold-down strips to also secure the tie-down rings. They’re flush-mounted so there’s no interference. Just smooth, snug protection power all-around.

Finally, to ensure everything fit just so, we used a 3D printer to generate a proof of concept and make cost- and time-saving refinements before the final trailer fabrication.

Streamlined design. Efficient operations. A safe and secure heavy payload. Call it grace under pressure.


  • Capacity: 4,000 lbs
  • Deck Size: 48” wide x 192” long
  • Deck Material: Hardwood with flush-mounted hold down strips along each frame size
  • Steering Type: Swivel Caster Style
  • Running Gear:
    • 2 swivel casters and 2 rigid mounted load wheels
    • All with 16" diameter solid pneumatic tires mounted on steel rims and bolt-on hubs fitted with tapered bearings
  • Couplers:
    • Front: Tongue with towing eye
    • Rear: Pintle
  • Other: 2 rows of flush-mounted tie-down rings installed in the deck surface, spaced every 12’ too 18” apart
  • Color: Safety Yellow Epoxy