Customer case

Mantella’s new long lasting tipper trailer is designed to last and save costs

October 16, 2020 6 min read

Case details

Country Italy
Company Mantella
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand program Hardox® In My Body

Semitrailer OEM Mantella took its trailer design into the stratosphere with the new Hardox® steel, Hardox® 500 Tuf. The company implemented major design advances in the use of high-strength steels produced by SSAB. As a result, it revolutionized the design of its innovative Stratosphere tipper trailer and saw the benefits skyrocket.

510 kilos less weight in the tipper trailer chassis and body

The combined weight reduction of using abrasion-resistant Hardox® 500 Tuf in the body and Strenx® 960 in the chassis is 510 kg (1,124 lbs.) compared to the previous design. This translates to an increased payload of 510 kg (1,124 lbs.) on every trip. And higher load capacity is what practically every customer is looking for. The new trailer design won the international Swedish Steel Prize 2018.

Mantella’s tipper trailer is more than 500 kg (1,102 lbs.) lighter than a conventional design. The U-shaped body in Hardox® 500 Tuf weighs 365 kg (805 lbs.) less and the chassis in Strenx® 960 is 145 kg (320 lbs.) lighter. The horizontal bends increase the stiffness of the body, preventing buckling when tipping.

A red Stratosphere tipper body made in abrasion-resistant Hardox 500 Tuf, dumping out materials

Case details

Country Italy
Company Mantella
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand program Hardox® In My Body

Reduced weight improves sustainability of semitrailers

Mantella S.r.l. is a family business located in Lamezia Terme in southern Italy. The company has set ambitious goals to design stronger and lighter semitrailers that will carry larger payloads, while saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions at the same time. Reducing emissions is important since road transport accounts for 17.5% of overall gas emissions in Europe, according to the European Environment Agency. By 2050, these emissions will need to be at least 60% lower than in 1990 and be firmly on the road towards zero.

“By lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per ton kilometer we are contributing to a more sustainable world. To successfully develop this lightweight tipper trailer, the entire company has been involved – design engineers, production, management and purchasers. The Stratosphere trailers make use of all the benefits obtainable from SSAB’s high-strength tipper trailer steel grades like Hardox® 500 Tuf. Naturally, we are also in the process of implementing stronger and lighter tipper trailer design solutions for our other trailer series,” says Gregorio Mantella, Plant Director at Mantella.

Close-up of a red Stratosphere tipper trailer showing the Hardox In My Body logo

Hardox® 500 Tuf saves 365 kg (805 lbs.) of tipper body weight

Stratosphere trailers from Mantella have long lasting tipper trailer bodies made of Hardox® 500 Tuf wear plate – a tipper body steel unmatched in the market. This new Hardox® grade is the ideal tipper body steel and delivers longer wear life while having the same toughness as the previously used Hardox® 450 grade.

Thanks to the higher wear resistance of Hardox® 500 Tuf, Mantella could reduce plate thickness by 1 mm (0.039"). This saves on average 365 kg (805 lbs.) of body weight.

Reducing the thickness is possible thanks to the increased hardness in combination with the high toughness and dent resistance that comes with Hardox® 500 Tuf. Even after many years of use, this tipper trailer steel will be thick enough as not to compromise the integrity of the body.

Hardox® 500 Tuf combines the best properties from the Hardox® 450 and Hardox® 500 wear steel grades. It has an unusually narrow hardness window of 475-505 HBW. Its relative wear life can be 30-50% longer compared with Hardox® 450. The high toughness gives excellent resistance against dents and cracks when the steel is hit by sharp and heavy objects. Hardox® 500 Tuf has a guaranteed impact toughness of 27 J at 20°C (20 ft-lb at 4°F) and, for 20 mm (0.79") plate, a typical value of 45 J at 40°C (20 ft-lb at 4°F).

Bright red Fire Fox tipper made in Hardox wear plate dumping out abrasive rock

Long lasting trailer body designed for stiffness

When using a thinner material, the body of the semitrailer has to be designed in a way that ensures the stiffness and overall stability of the body. When raising a fully loaded trailer body with a front mounted hydraulic cylinder, the body experiences high stresses. If it’s not designed correctly it could result in a sudden buckling of the sides.

To counteract this, Mantella incorporated a number of trailer design changes such as adding horizontal bends to the side panels. This gives the necessary stiffness to the entire body. The hydraulic cylinder attachment, top rails, rear frame and tipping pivots have also been redesigned for added torsional stiffness.

A new trailer design for higher productivity and performance

In addition to using Hardox® 500 Tuf, Mantella challenged conventions when it decided to produce the longitudinal beams of the chassis by advanced bending of a single flat strip of Strenx® 960 instead of welding.

The new trailer chassis in the Stratosphere series weighs in on par with aluminium, and has all the durability, fatigue strength and production advantages of steel. Mantella now not only offers its customers a chassis that is 145 kg (320 lbs.) lighter. It also possesses superior mechanical properties and improved road handling.

“End-users of the Stratosphere 3.0 point out that with the same workload as previous models, they can achieve a greater payload, more on-road stability with a full load and a significant reduction in fuel and tire consumption,” Mantella said.

A look into a red tipper trailer body. It has high durability and fatigue strength thanks to being made in Hardox 500 Tuf steel plate
savings result infograph

Savings from innovative trailer steel and design

  • A Stratosphere tipper trailer has a 365 kg (805 lbs.) lighter body and a 145 kg (320 lbs.) lighter chassis, allowing for an extra 510 kg (1,124 lbs.) of payload for every trip.
  • It can save 12,000 liters (3,170 gallons) of fuel and 30 tons (60,000 lbs.) of CO2 during 12 years of service (120,000 km/year, 75% full load, 47 l/100 km- 25 l/100 km).
  • The vehicle can earn € 0.07 extra for every km, or € 8,400 per year, and pays for itself in 4-5 years (COMPETE Report, European Commission).


This is what we call “EcoUpgraded”.

Determining the wear rate with Hardox® WearCalc

With the help of software like SSAB’s WearCalc, you can calculate the wear rate already before the tipper body is produced. The different colors in the image show the stresses caused by sliding wear after unloading the tipper. Data from the calculations will provide the manufacturer with recommendations on ideal material selection and upgrades and on wear design.

A multi-colored tipper body showing the different stress levels caused by sliding wear inside the body

Customers around the world use Hardox® 500 Tuf in their tippers


Hardox® 500 Tuf in tippers by Thompsons, UK

“The increased abrasion resistance of Hardox 500 Tuf allows us to use a thinner plate and keep the same excellent service life”

The lifetime of Zetterberg’s dumpers has increased by 40 percent

”Since we upgraded the steel to Hardox 500 Tuf wear-resistant steel, we have increased the useful life of our dumpers by at least 40 percent.”