P4 series trailers, captive beams

Discussion in 'Fedex Freight' started by tread, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. tread

    tread Active Member

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    What do you think of the P4 series trailer interiors?

    Seems...
    Beams are a safety hazard, never know if they will fall
    Waste height and space most of the time
    Non recessrd posts easily get ripped off making the beams useless
    [​IMG]

    I usually take P3 series empties vs P4 series.

    Not all bad tho.
    The composite walls are nice and slick... LED work lighting at rear is great.
     
  2. Redracer3136

    Redracer3136 BANNED

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    Can’t speak for the inside but pulling those trailers with the captive beam systems sucks!! For some reason the 5th wheel plate won’t hold grease which causes them to walk all over the road regardless of lead, rear, or whatever style dolly you’re using!! I’ve heard they’re searching for a remedy but I try to avoid those trailers at all cost until the problem is fixed. Also, they seem to be top heavy when pulling empty.
     
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  3. screweddaily

    screweddaily Member

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    Beats handling the loose beams but it causes height issues and the dock worker don't pay attention to them and you get what you see in the pics
     
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  4. Big Dave

    Big Dave Hot Girly Thread Model

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    :lmao::lmao:
     
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  5. tread

    tread Active Member

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    Thx for sharing this info.
    More reason to avoid.
    I prefer valves over dummy gladheads too but I understand why the company went that direction. Ppl forgetting to turn AND not pretripping checking air flow through rear.
     
  6. mattbob

    mattbob Active Member

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    suspension sits higher and is heavier also.
     
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  7. truckingBORED

    truckingBORED Your Huckleberry

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    That's because this company insists on using grease that isn't actually fifth wheel grease.

    I've attempted repeatedly to change it, they won't listen.

    The purple gadus stuff they buy us is not proper for metal on metal all weather applications.

    Shell makes a true fifth wheel lubricant, one rated for all weather, load bearing applications. One that would end the cycle of dumping endless amounts of purple jelly on metal that doesn't even stick when said metal is damp.

    Hell, you get it on your hands or clothes and it comes right off.

    I buy a real fifth wheel lubricant on my own dime. I spend the money because I like driving down the road looking as pretty and smooth as possible.

    A properly lubed fifth wheel makes bushings and tires last longer. The trucks actually ride better. When the plates slide instead of seize, the vibrations from the road are dampened.

    Dropping and hooking goes much better as well.

    I forgot how good a set feels on the road, with real lubricants. My aren't cutting on the inside like everyone else's either.

    I've tried and tried to get them to switch. Whatever the difference in cost would be, I'm sure the gains would be worth it.

    SMH.
     
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  8. Emmitt

    Emmitt New Member

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    Coming from the perspective of an 8+ year dockworker, I hate these things. Aside from the logistics located at floor level to strap in very short hazmat shipments I haven't seen any real upside to this newest version of the captive beam system over what we already have.

    It generally takes considerably longer to build a deck, assuming the beams actually descend and/or the sequence isn't interrupted by a post that has been ripped off the wall. In many cases it is also necessary to walk all over freight in order to reach the beams, which at the very least leaves boot prints and puts us at risk for injury. Plus it turns out that those lost six inches cause a lot of problems when building decks where the freight reaches the ceiling, given that the preceding set of beams often need to be removed in order to make clearance.

    Most people - and I'll admit I'm guilty of this - ignore the captive beams and either stack or build a deck with loose beams. Better than wrestling with shoddy, finger pinching equipment and climbing all over freight just to try to make it maybe work.

    My understanding is that they pulled the trigger on this system after reviewing the positive results - probably bills per trailer - they saw from one lane (I think it was STL - WME). Odds are that the lane was policed heavily by supervisors, and the trailers were promptly serviced when any issues arose with the beams or posts. If so, that's wishful thinking if they think that'll play out system wide.

    I was open minded about the potential upside when I heard they were launching an updated version of captive beams, but so far I'm not impressed. Hopefully they don't intend for all new pups to come equipped with this system.
     
  9. Richard Cranium

    Richard Cranium Well-Known Member

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    The beams have a sticker on them stating that they have a 750 pound load limit or less depending on road conditions. Two beams supporting two pallets side by side should be loaded with no more than 1500 lbs total. Was walking the dock while on modified duty and saw some of those in action. The two beams were supporting 3400 lbs. They didn’t look too good.
     
  10. Canadian Flyer

    Canadian Flyer They Call Me CF, Eh

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    Estes uses a pretty good captive beam system in their new trailers, combined with nifty walls for loose beams and straps. There's a tool and instructions for using the system in the back of each trailer. Plus I'm pretty sure Estes did an extensive training program on the use of the captive beams. Never saw one with a bent or broken beam, a missing beam or a damaged track.

    Speedy's trailers though...if it had beams in it, at least two were inevitably bent from being lifted by forklifts. Most of them would be hanging crooked. Some would be missing. Made me wonder why nobody thought to use WD-40. Anytime I had a stuck beam, I'd spray everything really good with WD-40 and work the track a bit. Worked great.
     
  11. tread

    tread Active Member

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    The older trailers with 24" posts are a nightmare as well.
    Folks load heavy and decks tip over easy.

    The 16" spaced posts and manual beams were the best system.
     
  12. Emmitt

    Emmitt New Member

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    When putting up a deck for the 16" ones I usually try to find a T-beam for at least one end of the board to sit on to prevent a collapse. That's IF I can find one. Otherwise I agree the 24" series are much better, and an attempt to improve upon them (especially with a replacement that has very predictable shortcomings) seemed unnecessary.
     
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  13. Emmitt

    Emmitt New Member

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    Sorry, I just noticed that I got the numbers flip-flopped in the above post. But I'm guessing you all understand what I was getting at.
     
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  14. tread

    tread Active Member

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    Good suggestion with the Ts on 24s I will try that.
    Wsy too much falling off the 24s. Dock might as well not build a deck on 24s unless super light or long.
     
  15. icedriver

    icedriver Well-Known Member

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    Looks the same as the XPO system, and yes, when they start wearing out, they suck. And nobody has the time to fix them. The rails catch on freight all the time. Either tears up freight or the rails. They aren't designed to be used as much as we use them in LTL. Would be great in an OTR van where they wouldn't get abused as much.
     
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  16. Canadian Flyer

    Canadian Flyer They Call Me CF, Eh

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    XPO's system, from what I hear, sucks because that design wears fast.

    These systems are a lot stronger when used in S&P trailers that shield the tracks.
     
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