Kent Sundling: Mr. Truck 1-16-12
If you go to the National Western Stock show this month, you’ll see a horse trailer on it’s side. Not something you see every day. Makes it easy to see how the floor and roof are made. The Cimarron horse trailer is in Transwest Truck Trailer RV’s booth. That thinking outside the box is why I go to Transwest to shoot video for my segments.
I’ve been in many trailer dealerships and factories around the country and haven’t seen a shop equipped like Transwest. If they don’t have a piece of equipment they need, Andrew Lyons (General Manager) will build it. His latest creation is a trailer axle bender. It’s special because it does it on the trailer without taking the axles off. This machine can adjust an axle’s camber and give it toe-in like your truck. This will make a trailer tow straighter and the tires last longer. Transwest also has the equipment to align trailer axles.
I generally review trucks, trailers, accessories and sometimes a trailer book. But this review is a trailer dealer. When I review accessories for the RFD TV segments, I often use Transwest Truck Trailer RV’s shop bays in Fredrick, Colo. Of course it’s nice working inside in January, but I’ve never seen a shop equipped this well and the mechanic’s do things right the first time. I’ve done extensive brake tests with the Road Simulator, installed hydraulic disc brakes, installed gooseneck balls, trailer mirrors and brake controllers there.
In my articles I mention Transwest’s Road Simulator. This machine can test truck and trailer brake force, rolling resistance, axle weight, as well as steer axle looseness. We’ve used the Road Simulator in my ABS trailer brake review and Kodiak disc brake review. I’ve had a new trailer that failed the Road Simulator brake test because the axles were over greased at the axle – the trailer factory and the brake shoes were covered with grease. It’s a common problem especially with grease zerk type axles. All the new and used trailers at Transwest Truck Trailer RV are brake tested on the Road Simulator and have their axles aligned. Transwest ships trucks and trailers all across the country, you might even see them load a horse trailer in a sea container with a forklift bound for other countries.
As a Freightliner approved shop, Transwest service is open until midnight through the week. I’ve been there after midnight a few times to finish filming when the impact wrenches go silent. The lighting is great and the floors are clean, it’s like a studio for me. And then there’s all the extra’s like a horse corral for folks broke down on the road hauling horses. Upstairs above the showroom is a recliner lounge with TV (RFD is on) shower, laundry room and a lunch room.
Andrew Lyons grew up in Australia near the Outback. Its a long way between towns, so if you brake down, you fix it with what you have. That training gives Andrew an edge on solving problems with trailers and trucks. I’ve been in his office many times when presidents of trailer parts companies are asking him how he fixed or tweaked their product. And that’s how the shop works, whether it’s adding air ride to a trailer or hydraulic disc brakes, it gets done right the first time. Transwest also works on RV coaches, which gives them and incite to finding problems on Living Quarter horse trailers.
Transwest has specialist’s for welding, fabricating and wiring which is why horse folks whom travel across the country for a living, stop by to see Andrew about repairing or upgrading their horse trailers. Colorado is a good place to stop when you go coast to coast. I’ve seen a horse trailer in their shop that stops by every year to get new axles and fenders with around 100,000 miles between visits. Transwest has the synchronized jacks that can lift a semi truck and trailer or RV off the ground at once over your head. They also have a large inventory of hauler trucks and semi conversions. The whole lot is paved, so you won’t get muddy looking at Living Quarter trailers and it makes shooting RFD segments easier without the dust. And then there’s the view, on the Front Range with Longs Peak and the Rockies to look at, not a bad place to get fixed, upgraded or shop for a trailer.
I test and film new truck and trailer products at Transwest, we just finished installing and testing AutoFlex replacement air ride.
If you hear squealing tires or see a limping test dummy wandering around Transwest, just buy me a cup of coffee and send me upstairs to watch RFD TV and nap.
You can view Mr. Truck’s past segments on RFD at http://www.MrTruck.TV.
For more info, please visit http://www.TranswestTruckTrailerRV.com.