Customer case

Cross Country Manufacturing tips scales with lighter, stronger side dump design

June 21, 2022 6 min read

Case details

Product 100 XF
Country Canada
Company Cross Country Manufacturing
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand program My Inner Strenx®

Why change a proven design? When heavy-haul customers asked for a durable, lighter and stronger trailer with higher payload capacity, Cross Country Manufacturing’s engineers stepped up to the challenge.

Case details

Product 100 XF
Country Canada
Company Cross Country Manufacturing
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand program My Inner Strenx®

With more than 80 trailer designs under their belts, product developers at Cross Country Manufacturing in Manitoba, Canada were eager to put advanced strength materials to the test and continue to redefine the boundaries of durability with innovation.

“Our customers expressed an interest in a side dump trailer with a stronger, harder wearing tub, but manufactured without increasing tare weight,” explains Calvin Brown, Lead Product Developer. “We responded by redesigning our side-dump trailer, using both Hardox® wear plate for abrasion and impact resistance and Strenx® advanced high strength steel for structural performance to meet those needs.”

Advantages of side dump trailers

Able to handle everything from gravel and snow to debris and trees, side dump trailers are widely used across the construction industry at large, moving massive loads of aggressive materials. Generally seen as safer for offloading, side dump trailers offer the most stability with few limitations. Easy and safe to operate, side dumps can dump on soft or uneven ground safely without needing to back up or find level ground for unloading. Side dump trailers are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment for hauling materials.

By taking a proven design and tweaking its capacity along with introducing weight reduction measures, the team struck a balance between delivering what customers demanded and what the company’s manufacturing team could efficiently process.

“For our customers, the proven 420SD model not only got a facelift; but our upgraded 443SDX side dump, can carry more payload, featuring a two-foot extension, which increases the payload volume by 1.4 cubic meters (1.8 cubic yards),” Brown says. “We update our designs to be responsive to our customers’ needs, but also to improve our manufacturing and production processes, as well. This philosophy improves our company’s technological knowledge and competitiveness.”

Side dump trailers move massive loads safelyresized
Side dump trailers move massive loads of aggressive material and offer safe stability for offloading.

Strenx® 100 XF for weight reduction and increased strength

Many side-dump trailer designs offer stability through sturdy chassis, which traditionally require long spans of heavier gauge steel. This opportunity for weight reduction allows engineers to rely on the high tensile strength of Strenx® 100 XF to pack on structural performance while reducing weight. It offers flexibility without cracking and good formability using standard processing techniques. 

“For our upgraded trailer design, integrating Strenx® 100 XF resulted in the largest number of game changing and weight related improvements. For example, customers benefit with an improved cost of ownership through operational savings such as lower fuel consumption,” explains Bill Yorke, VP Sales. “They can enjoy a higher return on investment because the lighter overall weight puts the vehicle in a lighter licensing class, providing tare weight savings. We were able to add capacity without adding more weight, increasing payloads, which means fewer trips, higher productivity and fuel efficiency.” 


Making friends in the workshop

Introducing Strenx® performance steel into any workshop requires initial training and set-up adjustments. However, with guaranteed tolerances for thickness, flatness and bending, it quickly finds favor with fabricators. 

“We used the same welding processes, consumables and handling to adopt Strenx® into the production lines,” says Brown. “The benefits we see are in the weight reduction and increased strength. Production improvements include faster, more consistent processing as well as easier handling due to the reduced weight of many parts. We’ve also seen reduced production costs and reduced waste in our operations.”  
Kevin Koppelaar, Bay-Lynx Production Engineering Manager worked closely with SSAB’s Pierre Bergsten, Specialist Production Efficiency in the Knowledge Service Center.
For consistent processing, manufacturers rely on SSAB’s Strenx® guarantees that include tight thickness and flatness tolerances, as well as, bending guarantees.

Use SSAB’s suite of apps to calculate potential improved performance

SSAB offers multiple calculators, tools and mobile apps to give customers insights on potential benefits of upgrading to high-strength steels. Optimization tools are also available to provide the best possible outcomes using the most common metal processing techniques.

According to Brown, Cross Country’s technical team has access to BendCalc, WeldCalc, SmartSteel and WearCalc. “We have used these apps to gain a better understanding of the materials and to learn more about spring back and calculating tonnage when press brake forming the steel. These apps did help us configure machinery for forming,” he explains. “For welding, the apps assisted us in setting the optimal welding temperature, speed, and angles for both Strenx® and Hardox® branded materials. Our production staff uses the BendCalc app on a regular basis.”

To uncover potential environmental savings, SSAB’s technical team recommends using the EcoUpgraded mobile app. For an example, refer to the EcoUpgraded app report shown here illustrating how a change in steel selection affects both fuel savings and profits.

“In this report, the estimated profit increase of $15,544 US ($19,695.03 CAD) per year comes from an upgrade like the one Cross Country made,” explains Jimmy Allen, Technical Development Manager. “This example is based on the weight savings of 1,036 kgs (2,284 lbs.) for an equivalent side-dump trailer design utilizing Strenx® high performance steel. The original trailer weighed 5,127 kgs (11,303 lbs.) versus the new design weighing in at 4,091 kgs (9,019 lbs.) This profit increase came from $14,047 US ($17,798.25 CAD) of increased payload revenue hauling 1,036 kgs (2,284 lbs.) per year and fuel savings of $1,497 ($1,896.77 CAD) on those return trips while unloaded. This is all based on an average driving distance of 24 kilometers (15 miles) each direction and 96560 kilometers (60,000 miles) per year with an average diesel fuel cost of $4.60 US ($5.83 CAD).”

Cross Country EcoUpgrade Reportresized2x

Standing behind the signs of quality

SSAB’s brand programs My Inner Strenx® and Hardox® In My Body feature signs that represent equipment manufactured to the highest standards by qualified members. All members are thoroughly assessed and earn the right to display the program logos as signs of their commitment. Certified equipment offers long-term cost efficiency, increased payloads, fuel savings, low maintenance, long service life and higher resale values. Each company’s sign is traceable for authenticity and can be validated. Cross Country Trailers is among these elite manufacturers with products certified in each of the quality assurance programs.

“Our end customers do respond to the decals in a positive way,” Yorke explains. “They are regularly communicating to our dealers that they are looking for SSAB or an equivalent product. Hardox® is their top choice, and this has been the norm for a long time. SSAB has done an excellent job of marketing their steel as premium across North America, compared to other steel manufacturers. Trailer dealers and end users in our industry understand the advantage that SSAB products provide, so adding SSAB decals to our trailers adds to our value proposition.

Standing out in the aggregates and heavy haul industries

Choosing a side dump trailer can be daunting, but for those who rely on equipment to perform flawlessly day in and day out, the choice is clear. “Cross Country Manufacturing’s customers will see that we are continuing to improve and update our current models, while always seeking ways to service new areas and develop new trailer solutions and technologies,” says Sam Cochrane, Chief Financial Officer. “We are open to feedback and welcome our customers’ suggestions, often incorporating their input for improvement into our designs. We will continue to explore R&D opportunities to improve our production processes, creating a better and more efficient working environment for our valued employees.”
Mikkel Vlietstra, Bay-Lynx Equipment Sales shares the safety and efficiency benefits of a volumetric mixer.
Cross Country trailers are marked with the signs of quality that ensure the highest manufacturing standards using both Strenx® and Hardox® branded advanced high-strength steels..

Customer benefits

Strenx® 100 XF for improved trailer design results in 1.8 cubic yard higher capacity
Lightweight model gives operators lower cost of ownership 
Improved fuel efficiency gains and higher profitability overall
Lighter class licensing 
• Increased profitability from higher payloads and lower fuel consumption
• Haul 2,284 tons per year and fuel savings of $1,497 ($1,896.77 CAD) on return trips while unloaded. All based on an average driving distance of 15 miles each direction and 60,000 miles per year with an average diesel fuel cost of $4.60 US ($5.83 CAD).

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Cross Country SDX trailer features Hardox and Strenx

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