Silver Eagle Manufacturing introduced the latest concept in converter dollies at the American Trucking Associations’ Technology and Maintenance Council annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. At a February 15 press conference, the company unveiled its new “T-Dolly.”
The device is designed to “close the gap” between the two trailers in a doubles rig, more properly called a tractor, semi-trailer, trailer combination. Reducing the size of the gap increases the aerodynamic efficiency of the unit and, the company says, results in fuel mileage improvements of 2.5 to 3.5 percent.
Silver Eagle President and Chairman Gary Gaussoin introduced the product, describing how a hydraulic cylinder extends the converter tongue at low speeds to facilitate tight cornering, pulling the two trailers closer together at highway speeds to shorten the gap between them.
The device monitors vehicle speed through information received from the anti-lock braking system (ABS) sensors.
Gaussoin touted the increased stability of doubles combinations using the device, claiming that the new converter made doubles “wiggle free” due to improved tracking of the second trailer.
Additionally, he said, because the tongue of the converter is a single piece rather than the typical “V-shaped” tongue, it’s easier for drivers to lift and maneuver manually, with reduced risk of injury.
The new design was tested extensively by United Parcel Service (UPS) and others, he said.