Felling Trailers was awarded U.S. Patent 11,613,197 for its air bi-fold ramps system.
The system was first introduced in 2020 on Felling's 25-ton FT-50-3 LP, a tri-axle, low-profile flatbed tag trailer.
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"The patent helps to protect our invention and maintain Felling Trailers' presence in the marketplace as innovative solutions provider both today and in the future," says Patrick Jennissen, Felling Trailers' vice president of sales and marketing.
The patent is in effect for 20 years from the original filing date. It protects the ramps system design, Felling says, preventing others from creating, making or selling a similar product.
A key feature of the Felling system is the flip ramp, the company says. The flip ramp locks out fully when extending, preventing scraping or marring of the ground. Another feature is the controlled flow air ramp technology, which provides for soft ground contact of the ramp, keeping new surfaces from being damaged.
The air bi-fold ramps are 45 inches wide by 11 feet, inlaid with wood. The ramps were designed to accommodate the load angle necessary for loading low-clearance equipment such as paving equipment and directional drills. The ramps' length provides the operator with a gentler, more gradual incline to provide ease in loading and unloading.
Operators can use the tow vehicles' onboard air system to power the air ramps, eliminating the maintenance for a separate electric and hydraulic system for the trailer.
"These ramps are available on a wide range of air brake-equipped trailers and allow the safe loading of most paving equipment with ease," says Nathan Uphus, Felling Trailers sales manager. "Air-operated ramps are far more reliable than those powered by an electric/hydraulic pump, making it a clear chose for many paving crews."
The air bi-fold ramps system is available on 20, 22.5, 25 and 30 ton tag series trailers with plans to expand into the semi trailer lines.