The need for this was to create a transport trailer that could safely transport a multi-million dollar satellite from Northern California to Florida to launch site. The satellite was longer than a normal trailer width of 102” which presented a problem. Performance Trailers was given an initial concept design that another competing company was unable to follow-through on. Our team took the lead and designed the trailer to fit the specific needs of the client. The trailer needed to be able to expand out the sides to a total of 186” wide and 25’ in length to be able to transport the 12,000# satellite system. The interior had to be climate controlled as well as be cushioned for transport and have a negative air pressure inside to keep dirt and dust to a minimum. Shock load sensors as well as hi-tech temperature control monitoring systems were also incorporated into the trailer. Once the satellite was delivered to the East coast, the trailer could be collapsed down to normal legal trailer width and transported back to California. With the trailer being able to be legal on its return trip would save over $100,000 in travel costs due to permits, over-width fees, and additional personnel that were needed to transport an oversize load.
The Lockheed project was tricky because it involved a structure that allowed the trailer to expand to various widths so that it would no longer require all the escorts and associated fees for the return trip from transporting commercial and government satellites on our roadways from California to the rocket launchpads of Florida. We decided on an automation that allowed the trailer to expand to three specified widths, up to 16 feet, to accommodate each shipment demands. After about 5 years, the trailer is still in use today and is coming back to our shop for additional modifications that have arisen from newer requirements. We are very proud of this project as it resulted in significant transport costs cutting, streamlined set up, and enhanced customer satisfaction.