Customer case

Dry bulk trailers haul in savings and drive profits

March 30, 2021 6 min read

Case details

Country Argentina
Company Acoplados Salto
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand program My Inner Strenx®

Sales are up, and so is customer satisfaction. Since Acoplados Salto began to manufacture its grain semi-trailers and dry bulk trailers using high-strength Strenx® performance steel and Hardox® wear plate from SSAB, the company has seen both demand and sales grow.

Located in the Salto, Argentina, a three-hour drive from Buenos Aires, manufacturer Acoplados Salto has been manufacturing grain trailers and semi-trailers for more than half a century. In 2017, the company began to use SSAB’s high-strength steels, and the move has been a huge success.

30 percent increase in grain trailer sales after using SSAB’s steels

Acoplados Salto uses hot-rolled and cold-rolled Strenx® structural steel in addition to Hardox® wear plate in its trailers and semitrailers that transport grain, cereals and other dry commodities that can be hauled in bulk. According to Sergio Andriano, plant manager at Acoplados Salto, Strenx® meets the company’s needs on several fronts: it is available in a wide range of dimensions and thicknesses, enables them to lightweight their trailers without sacrificing strength, and helps them gain more customers – 30 percent more, to be exact.  

“Thanks to the wide range of SSAB products, all our needs are satisfied,” Andriano says. “As a result of using SSAB’s steel in thinner dimensions, we have gained new clients who are enthusiastic about the material. And we have increased our sales by 30 percent.”

"Thanks to the wide range of SSAB products, all our needs are satisfied."

Sergio Andriano, plant manager at Acoplados Salto

About Acoplados Salto

Trailer and semi manufacturer Acoplados Salto was founded in 1965. Its facilities in Salto, Argentina, cover more than 40,000 square meters (430,000 square feet), including 15,000 square meters (160,000 square feet) of factory buildings. The company produces grain trailers, grain semi-trailers, curtain side trailers, hopper wagons and flatbed trailers mainly for the transport of bulk cargo.

Designing a lighter weight bulk trailer

Andriano, a 24-year veteran of the company, well understands the history behind its success. The company started out making trailers and then expanded into a wide variety of other products for industries like oil, agribusiness and transportation. Its current product range includes pallet trailers, curtain sider semi-trailers, flatbed trailers and hopper wagons.

Like other manufacturers, he is seeing a trend towards the specification of high-strength steel grades to lightweight heavy vehicles. This helps companies to haul even more payload without exceeding road weight limits and while maintaining high safety.

“The use of SSAB’s products gave us the advantage of being able to produce lightweight units,” Andriano says. “The lightweight material from SSAB has enabled us to reduce the weight of our units by 1,800 to 2,000 kg (4,000–4,400 lbs.) depending on the product. This has translated into a greater load capacity for our clients.”

Nowadays, Acoplados Salto customers are asking for lightweight materials so that they can carry heavier loads. This was given a boost in 2018 from legislation that permits heavier loads on Argentina’s roads. Compared to just a few years ago, haulers can carry much heavier loads, and thus increase productivity and efficiency – the lighter the trailer, the more goods it can carry.

Juan Manuel Pierce, head of the design department at Acoplados Salto, has taken part in developing the new lightweight products. He says one of the main advantages of using SSAB’s steels is their reduced weight and high level of safety. Even though the material is lightweight, it is robust and does not crack when coming into contact with hard surfaces or harsh conditions, making their dry bulk trailers and grain semi-trailers safer even with heavier loads.

“The use of Strenx® 700MC and Strenx® 700CR, as well as Hardox® 450, has helped us achieve a product that is highly resistant to wear and tear while at the same time having reduced thickness,” Pierce says. “The best properties of the SSAB steel enable us to improve the design of our products.”

SSAB products used in Acoplados Salto’s grain trailers and semi-trailers

Strenx® 700MC and Strenx® 700 CR steels in trailers and semitrailers, in all the chassis and bodies Hardox® 450 wear plate in tipper bodies (floor, walls, door and front panel.)

Customer benefits

• Thinner dimensions of stronger high-strength steel cut the weight of the dry bulk trailers and grain semi-trailers

• Trailers and semi-trailers can carry more payload without exceeding statutory road weight limits

• More flexible, innovative design options that allow for reduced weight while maintaining strength and safety 

• 30% increased sales thanks to greater customer demand for My Inner Strenx®-certified trailers

• Priority technical and marketing support as a My Inner Strenx® program member

My Inner Strenx®- certified grain trailers good for business

Since 2017, Acoplados has been a qualified member of the My Inner Strenx® program. As such, their dry bulk trailers and semi-trailers that have been certified by SSAB display a decal with the My Inner Strenx® logo and a unique, traceable ID. This sign assures its users that the product is made to the highest standards using Strenx® steel and is optimized to be strong and light for demanding applications.

As Pierce sees it, one advantage membership brings to the company is SSAB’s advice and expertise on the possibilities of the different materials.

“Through My Inner Strenx®, we have integrated new knowledge about the SSAB materials to constantly improve our production,” he says. “The help and support we receive from SSAB includes technical advice on how to use the material, and about soldering, welding, cutting and bending it.”

Plant manager Andriano sees another advantage to the My Inner Strenx® program: the company receives the material it needs on time and in the form it specifies.

“We always have sufficient stock to make the number of units we require,” Andriano says. “This means that our units are produced under perfect conditions. Also, the customers see it as added value. Having the My Inner Strenx® logo on our units represents quality products. It’s something the client values, knowing that the unit is made with SSAB lightweight material.” 

So, what does the future hold for Acoplados Salto? They intend to continue along the same path, maintaining the quality and reputation of their brand and meeting market needs as new legislation is created.

“That’s our path – continuing to prioritize product quality,” Andriano says. “Using Strenx® and Hardox® steels enables us to continue along that path. Quality above all – that’s our motto.” And they can achieve this goal partly thanks to Strenx® steel. 

Strenx® High-performance steel

Strenx® performance steel can make your products stronger, lighter, safer, more competitive and more sustainable. We call it performance steel, because it adds performance beyond ordinary structural steel

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