The City of San Diego's Fleet Operations Fitting Department Supervisor needed to replace several aging trailers across several city agencies. The trailer supplier that the City had worked with in the past was experiencing quality control issues and delayed delivery time. Paul Lull, municipal sales rep with Clairemont Equipment, an authorized Felling Trailers dealer in San Diego, had previously worked with the City and was aware of the issues they were experiencing.
"I knew Felling Trailers held the Sourcewell contract for heavy equipment trailers, which is a key ingredient for municipal customers, making them a great fit," said Lull. Sourcewell is a government agency that holds hundreds of competitively solicited cooperative contracts ready for use. Lull worked with the City of San Diego's fleet manager and fleet supervisor to meet with Roger Magers, Felling Trailers’ southwestern regional sales manager. During this time, he introduced them to the Felling Trailers' product line.
"The Sourcewell contract Felling holds was critical; as was the quality, wide product offering, service, and product support from Clairemont Equipment and Felling in creating this partnership," said Lull. Magers and Lull were joined by Pat Jennissen, Felling Trailers’ VP of sales and marketing, and Jed Klein with Sourcewell.
“When Pat contacted me about the meeting with the City of San Diego Fleet Operations Department and requested my presence, I was excited to help build clarity and confidence, and to contribute to this connection between the City’s needs and the Felling Trailer solutions offered under the Sourcewell contract,” said Klein.
The team worked together with the City's Fleet and Purchasing departments to develop a five-year agreement utilizing the Sourcewell contract to supply the City’s trailer needs. Since the contract went into effect in early 2020, the City has ordered more than 27 trailers.
"We are very happy with the product and service," said the fleet supervisor.
With the contract in place, the fleet operations fitting department supervisor needed to replace six aging trailers for the City's Water Department. The trailers were used to transport the fleet's Case 590SN and CAT 430F backhoe loaders to worksites to repair water line leaks, breakages, and other parts. The operators wanted to stay with a similarly designed trailer, but they also wanted to incorporate several changes to serve their needs better.
Magers and Lull worked with the City's Fleet Operations to ensure the new trailer build incorporated operator safety and ease of use as top priorities because the trailers would often be used on narrow, sometimes winding, streets with tight access points in day and night operations.
Transporting more than a backhoe loader, many times attachments and accessories such as hydraulic hammers and buckets would be part of the load. Magers worked with Felling Trailers’ Engineering team to design a trailer that would incorporate the operator safety and functionality to suit the needs of the City's Water Department.
In February, Lull, Magers, and Nathan Uphus, Felling Trailers’ sales manager, took part in an on-site final design review of the trailer build with the City of San Diego's Fleet Supervisors. The trailers' design was approved, and the orders were placed and submitted to Felling Trailers’ production team.
The completed trailers, FT-40-2 T deck-over tilts, were designed and engineered to the City's custom specifications. The tilt trailers feature an H-frame gooseneck to provide needed swing clearance when maneuvering the trailers in narrow streets.
Safety features incorporated on the main tilt deck:
- Expanded metal welded to flat steel, which is bolted to the wood decking to provide ample traction no matter the environmental conditions
- Removable backhoe stops at 3-, 4-, and 5-feet on center
- Reinforced 6 inch safety lips on both sides of tilt bed with cutouts to access d-rings and side steps
- Anti-slip grip tape on all steps and deck entry points
- Manual 24 inch by 18 inch flip ramps covered with treadplate
- H-frame gooseneck incorporated expanded metal in the bottom of the H-frame along with a bucket rest, bucket stops and a 3 inch safety lip with multiple securement points