Walmart Concept Trucks Draw Skepticism
The “supercube” truck will haul up to 44% more cargo, and could potentially save the company 3,000 loads per year, said Andy Ellis, Walmart Canada’s senior vice-president of supply chain and logistics.
The Mississauga-based Innovative Trailer Design (ITD) touts the trucks offer more cargo capacity with less truck.
“It’s no bigger or longer than a traditional truck,” Ellis told Canadian Manufacturing. “I would not want to put a longer, wider, higher truck on the road. By increasing what we can put inside the vehicle, you actually take trucks off the road.”
According to Canadian Manufacturing:
The supercube weighs 6,618kg (14,590lb) or three percent more than a typical trailer, which tips the scales at 6,450 (14,220lb).
The trailer has 144 cubic metres (5,100 cubic feet) of space across two separate levels. This is roughly 30 percent more than a traditional trailer. The split-deck design means there is a 40cm (16in) height difference between the front deck (above the trailer’s front wheels) and the back deck. The inside height is 3.2m (126in) for the main deck and 2.8m (110in) for the upper deck.
The trailer comes with a scissor lift capable of handling 6,800kg (15,000lb), which means a forklift can be used to stock the front section of the trailer. Since the trailer is lower to the ground than models currently in use, a bogie airbag lift system raises the height of the trailer to meet standard 1.2m (4ft) docks.
Walmart commissioned Mississauga to design a truck to better fit the company’s needs, and the design appears to be a slam dunk.
Most agree that taking more trucks off of the road would be good for the environment, however, some feel that the supercube would be worse for the environment than all the trucks it would potentially replace.
James Menzies of Truck News recently wrote an opinion piece on the supercube.
“A new tractor-trailer configuration developed by Walmart, which increases the cubic capacity of the trailer by 30%, requiring fewer truck trips to deliver the same amount of product, could in fact be much worse for the environment than modern conventional tractors pulling 53-ft. trailers,” he stated.