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What’s the story on the B-Train?

What’s the story on the B-Train?

It‘s arguable that what we call the modern B-train (a set of trailers joined by a fifth wheel on the lead trailer) is a Canadian invention that was prototyped and developed in Canada by Hutchinson Industries of Toronto, Ont., (now a subsidiary of Treamcar), under the tutelage of Ralph Hutchinson Jr., sometime in the mid to early 70s.

Whether or not the B-train was born in Canada the modern version of the B-train became popular after several crashes, mostly in Michigan in the early 70s, involving heavily laden fuel and lumber A-trains (this is why Michigan has some of the strictest axel-weight restrictions and why you see six axle trailers in the State. A-trains with their converter dollies and pintle hooks might better described as “wiggle wagons” which are in another league and nowhere near as stable as the B-trains. C-trains were also developed at this time, but are rarely seen these days.

B-trains are found in every province in the country and have proven themselves as the best method for hauling the most weight in 60 feet of combined trailers. Whereas the US, with a few exceptions in places like Michigan and Washington State, have never embraced the B-train. Some States won’t even allow them on their roads. B-trains in a word, are as Canadian as hockey, lacrosse, back bacon and maple syrup.


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