Blooming Prairie, Minn., December 16, 2008 – It’s no secret truckers have weight concerns, and we’re not talking about cutting carbs. We’re talking about cutting hundreds of pounds off total weight and increasing cargo space.
Winter in particular is a rough time to cut weight for Snow Belt truckers. Ice and mud buildup adds hundreds of extra pounds, resulting in reduced space for the load. That’s where poly fenders become essential.
“The ice and mud buildup definitely pulls on the scales,” said Scott Leuhring, parts manager at Reece Enterprises, a truck and trailer sales and service center in Sheridan, Iowa. “The truck isn’t really empty because of the excess weight from the ice. Poly fenders are great because they reduce the overall weight of the rig, and deflect the ice and snow.”
Wayne Meerdink of Orange City, Iowa owns Meerdink, Inc., a fleet of 14 rigs that haul grain and feed ingredients year-round. He said extra weight from ice damages the bottom line when it comes to overall costs, and poly fenders help lighten the load.
“Ice adds weight, and we’re very weight conscious,” he said. “For every pound we’re able to take off the weight, we save a dollar a month per truck. Overall weight is the number one reason we went with poly fenders. They weigh about eight pounds, and the stainless steel fenders weigh closer to 50.”
Roger Krosschell pulls a grain hopper with poly fenders near Chandler, Minn., and agreed the added weight from ice buildup simply isn’t cost effective.
“Before I put on poly fenders, the ice buildup under the trailer added about 1,000 pounds to my load,” he said. “It just didn’t make sense to haul around an extra 1,000 pounds. I don’t get paid for that. Now, with poly fenders on both the truck and trailer, the ice buildup is less than 100 pounds, and that saves me money.”
Along with financial gains incurred by removing ice weight, poly fenders also help prevent rusty axles, wheel-wells and trailers, another problem that plagues truckers in the winter.
“Most of our customers are farmers, so they often drive for 15 or 20 miles on gravel roads to the grain elevators,” said Leuhring. “The mud and ice buildup for that length of travel is just a mess. The rock chips and ice get up under the trailer and can sit there all winter, rusting out the trailer. Poly fenders prevent that buildup from happening.”
As the primary lightweight device for preventing snow and ice buildup, dealers and users alike recommend truckers install poly fenders on both the truck and trailer for a lighter, ice-free winter.
“Poly fenders are beneficial on both the tractor and trailer,” said Leuhring. “Putting fenders on the tractor only keeps snow, ice and water from getting up under the wheel-wells and causes it instead to roll up along the side of the trailer. Adding fenders to the trailer axles prevents mud and ice from building up under the upper part of the trailer as well. For the best overall effect, it’s a good idea to have fenders on both the truck and trailer.”
Krosschell noted lightweight poly fenders are especially important on grain rigs, because they prevent snow and ice from flying up into the upper part of the trailer, and keep the weight down.
“A lot of guys just put fenders on the quarter-front of the tractor” he said. “But I pull a grain hopper and the front and back ends of the slope are hollow. Without fenders, snow and ice go right up in there and freeze.”
Meerdink noted that he prefers Minimizer fenders, a brand of poly fenders made by Spray Control Systems in Blooming Prairie, Minn., because they not only prevent ice buildup and lighten the load, but are also heavy-duty, durable products.
“We got three new trucks recently, and put steel fenders on one and poly fenders on the other two,” he said. “The stainless steel fenders are already laying in the garbage, and we’ve replaced them with Minimizer poly fenders. The steel fenders were 110 pounds heavier, and they couldn’t withstand the ice and mud from gravel roads.”
Steve Hansen, sales manager for Minimizer, said Minimizer fenders are specifically designed to withstand harsh elements and direct ice and snow away from open areas of the trucks and trailers.
“Minimizer fenders come down farther over the wheel, and are therefore able to deflect the ice and snow much more efficiently,” he said. “The fenders are also made from a material unique to the poly fender market. It’s that material that resists breakage and directs snow and ice away from the rig. And they’re lightweight, which is a big plus.”
And even though it’s not about counting calories, overall weight gain is certainly a concern among truckers. Utilizing the many benefits of lightweight poly fenders, however, taking off those icy winter pounds just got a little bit easier.
About Spray Control Systems
Spray Control Systems Inc. manufactures truck fenders, toolboxes, customized mud flaps, and bracket kits for trucks. Founded in 1983, Spray Control Systems is a second-generation, family-run organization. The manufacturer aims to provide products tough enough to please tough people in a tough industry. Headquartered in Blooming Prairie, Minn., Spray Control Systems can be reached at 800.248.3855 and on the Web at www.minimizer.com.