Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

J. Harold Deatherage

Committee Members

David Goodpasture, Edwin G. Burdette


This study is a comprehensive investigation of the structural response of van trailers when subjected to loading and hauling. Full scale testing was used to determine the behavior of the trailer's main components during loading and hauling. As a result two different configurations of trailers were tested using three different test method. Strains and deflections were measured for the wall frames as well as the floor beams. In all cases these strains and deflections exceeded acceptable limits. Strains in the floor beams were approaching 2.5 times the yield strain of the material. The aluminum extrusions in the wall frames were subjected to strain well over their endurance limit during every loading cycle. The trailers were clearly under-designed.

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