Text: Oliver Schönfeld
Photos: Holger Jacoby, August Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG
Lose a good 20 per cent of weight in just three months. The vehicle manufacturer experts at August Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG from Hagen have succeeded in this feat: Their new coil semitrailer meets all the requirements of modern lightweight construction without sacrificing stability. Numerous lightweight components from BPW contribute to the successful diet – from aluminium wheel hubs to lightweight trailing arms.
Trailer by August Schmidt lasts and lasts and lasts. The constructions from Hagen in Westphalia have always been known for their durability. Some of the vehicles have been in operation for over 40 years. “We have a reputation for being particularly robust, but also somewhat heavier to build than others,” says Uwe Schmidt, who is the fourth generation of his family to head the family business as managing director. But things are definitely different and lighter, as the latest development from our own design office proves. For a coil trailer in lightweight construction, the technicians have put every detail to the test and optimised it. The result is an empty weight of only 5,980 instead of the original 7,600 kilograms.
From the forging shop to vehicle construction
Reduce trailer weight in favour of the payload
The development of the lightweight trailer is typical of August Schmidt’s approach to vehicle construction: close contacts with the market and customers constantly provide new impulses for development. “With our special vehicle construction, we create solutions and added value for our customers, which large suppliers are not able to realise at all due to their industrial production”, Uwe Schmidt describes. In this case, the Spedition Trippler from Dillenburg in Hesse was not satisfied with the current coil trailers. The challenge was to design the vehicle as light as possible in terms of its high payload weight. At the same time, the trailer should not fall apart after just a few years of operation despite the permanent loads. “We have had a long-standing partnership with the Trippler freight forwarding company; our fathers already worked closely together,” reports Schmidt. “That is why we were particularly happy to take up this challenge”.
All details put to the test
Lightweight components from BPW
BPW Bergische Achsen provided significant impulses for the design of the lightweight trailer. For the first time, Schmidt used the latest lightweight components from Wiehl for the design of the coil trailer – from the BPW aluminium hub and running gear to the innovative BPW LightTube trailing arm. BPW achieves a saving of 42 kilograms on the one hand by designing the trailing arm as a forged hollow profile. A further 56 kilograms can be saved in the three-axle unit by installing aluminium wheel hubs in the running gear. In total, these two lightweight components make the three-axle unit 96 kilograms lighter. BPW is thus making a significant contribution to successfully reducing the vehicle’s weight – without sacrificing stability.
Another first is the use of LED lighting technology on the lightweight coil trailer. The compact 7-function tail light from Ermax combines a slim design with an impact-resistant lens and the integration of all prescribed controls. This means that the tail light can be coupled to any tractor – without error messages. The indicator control functions just as smoothly as the legally required brake light failure control.