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Bulk transport system solves backhauling problems.

The Flexair Bulk Transport System provides an efficient and profitable solution for eliminating low-revenue-producing and empty backhauls for trailers that serve the process industry. This new system allows truckers to haul both dry bulk-such as plastic pellets-and general cargo in the same trailer. The system consists of two separate units, each 12 inches wide unopened. When not in use for hauling dry bulk freight, both units stow in the front of the trailer. When the system is stowed, the trailer is free of any encumbrances, allowing the user to haul a full load of palletized goods.

When the need to haul bulk arises, the operator simply moves the units, via an overhead track, into position. The units are easily opened by the operator's activating a single electronic switch. Conversion to the bulk mode takes less than 15 minutes. The bulk units are filled through weather-tight hatches mounted on the roof of the trailer. For discharging the bulk materials from the closed and sanitary flexible walled units, the opposing floor portions of the aluminum framed systems are raised and gently tilted inward by the inflation of a simple lowpressure air bag. This tilting or dumping action, requiring only about 1 psi from the system's self-contained blower, moves the material through an opening in the trailer floor, ensuring continuous flow and complete clean-out of the bulk material being transported.

The standard system comprises two bulk units made of polyester rip-stop fabric (tensile strength 600 lbs/in) coated with vinyl or urethane depending upon the intended cargo; combined total capacity is 1250 [ft.sup.3]. Additional features include aluminum frame construction; TIG-welded joints for superior strength and durability; availability of FDA systems; discharge rates as fast as or faster than a standard bulk tanker; easy cleaning and maintenance; easy removal from or installation in a new or used trailer; modular design for quick and easy replacement of all components; light weight (stowed and empty, the total system adds only about 1700 lbs to the trailer).

Two systems (four units) can be used in a trailer to handle two different kinds of bulk materials; when the system is used for bulk, an aisle is provided alongside each unit so that the operator has complete access to the inside of the trailer. When the system is stowed, the bulk container bag is completely enclosed and protected within the aluminum frame.
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Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:May 1, 1990
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