Ridge Corporation has announced an advancement in trailer protection, the trailer helmet. With five years of modeling, testing and aero confirmation, the company announced a limited Trailer Helmet availability for fleet testing.
Ridge is utilizing a proven, in-house process called RPTM (Rapid Prototype Tool Molding) which will assist OEM’s to prototype and test actual full-scale product concepts for quick validation. Ridge says its RPTM is a unique method to produce large complex shapes for testing prior to stepping into costly permanent tools.
Three RPTM dies were employed to arrive at a final design in a cost-effective manner. Made from Lorica impact polymers reinforced with Telene technology, The patent pending Trailer Helmet is the first of many under development using this method at Ridge, the company says.
The Trailer Helmet not only provides a drag reducing shape but also a high energy-absorbing design. Tree limb strikes and trailer to trailer collisions break many corner castings and destroy the needed seal in the front end of most trailers. This leads to wet freight claims and costly repairs. Freight customers today demand that expensive packaging and freight be protected and kept dry. The Trailer Helmet accomplishes these goals with an aerodynamic payback, proven by rolling road wind tunnel testing, Ridge says.
The company says to contact trailer OEMs to sample the helmet, but availability is limited. The durable prototype RPTM mold is currently completing an initial 240-unit production test, but these units are already allocated. In November, more helmets will be produced from new RPTM dies leading to a first quarter 2021 permanent tool. Testing pieces will be available on a first come first serve basis, the company says.