The Dunnage Racks You Never Thought You Needed! Interview with Pat Dowell Co-Owner of BUNKR Trailer
Q: What is Triune Industries? How did you, and Brad come up with the idea of BUNKR?
A: Triune Industries Inc. is an S corporation formed in Jan of 2020. BUNKR Trailer Accessories is the product line of securement devices for flatbed and stepdeck trailers manufactured and distributed through Triune Industries. In 2019, I was a company driver pulling flatbed OTR for a Wehunt Contract Hauling, a small trucking company located in Shidler, Oklahoma. They traded trailers and where I could previously put (10) 4x4s in the trailer landing gear braces, I could only put (5) 4x4s in the new trailer braces if I got them turned just right. I needed to carry at least (12) 4x4s so I had dunnage in the landing gear braces and on the left and right sides of the trailer behind the deck bracing, none of which are designed to carry dunnage. I approached the company owner, told him I wanted to solve this problem and asked permission to install a dunnage rack on the trailer I was pulling. I enlisted my childhood friend Brad Fredrick who is an excellent fabricator and owner of a previous patent and told him the criteria for the dunnage rack. We couldn't drill or weld to the frame, I needed to carry at least 12 4x4s, preferably include a tool box on the other side and need to preserve as much ground clearance as possible. We designed, built and installed the first one on the trailer I was pulling in May of 2019. We thought there was other like minded drivers that were tired of handling the dunnage multiple times and storing it in places that weren't designed for it so we pursued and received a patent pending on our dunnage rack.
Q: How does your BUNKR Trailer racks help truckers compared to what they're already doing to solve the existing dunnage problem?
A: The first step to solve any problem is to correctly identify it. The majority of drivers are securing their dunnage anywhere and anyway they can on the trailer or catwalk of the truck or both. While it is legal to properly secure your dunnage on the deck of the trailer, my experience was if you did my next load required the full length of the deck so I ended up handling the dunnage twice and stowing them in places on the trailer and sometimes truck that were not designed to safely and securely store dunnage. Don't secure your dunnage correctly, including using bungee straps, and you can get a nice ticket for unsecured load. This creates a safety issue not only for the driver but also for the public. I've been told recently that they are issuing tickets in Canada now for storing dunnage in the trailer bracing as that is not what the bracing was designed for.
We believe there are several advantages to the dunnage rack we offer compared to what is currently on the market and certainly safer and more productive than using nothing. Our products are patent pending and our tagline is "Designed by Drivers for Drivers." We design, build and test our products and then all of our product designs are approved by a Professional Engineer. Our products do not require drilling holes or welding to the trailer frame to mount which can cause structural issues and lower the resale of the trailer. Our dunnage rack design allows the driver access to the full length of the dunnage and dunnage is stowed and removed from the side of the rack making it easier than digging dunnage stacked side by side out of a tray. We offer a full platform that is a dunnage rack on one side of the trailer and allows a tool box to be mounted on the opposite side of the trailer allowing additional storage of other products drivers are required to carry. This allows greater flexibility for each driver or company to specify exactly what they need to safely store the products they need to carry.
Q: What products do you have that are currently available for sale? Are they DIY or do you need to get help from someone to install?
A: We currently offer a patent pending dunnage rack and full platform (dunnage rack + platform for tool box on the other side). A center arm on the full platform can be positioned to accommodate tool boxes from 18"H x 18W x 24"- 72" in length depending on the deck or knee bracing on the trailer. Dunnage racks and full platforms are sold and installed at designated dealer/installers. We make an installation frame that holds our unit square and works with a hydraulic lift table to lift our units into place under the trailer for installation. This provides us some assurance the products have been installed, torqued and operate correctly. We also work in conjunction with our dealers with larger trucking companies that have their own shop facilities. We also offer a patent pending coil rack carrier. It provides a place to safely and securely store the coil racks or coil chocks most flatbed and stepdeck drivers are required to carry. It also requires no drilling or welding and can be installed in about 5 min and can be found at any of our authorized dealers or ordered directly to be installed by the driver at www.bunkrtrailer.com.
Q: How are you, and Brad working on spreading the word of the BUNKR dunnage system to truckers around the Country?
A: One of our favorite ways to spread the word is advertising with Trucker to Trucker. We also advertise in a couple of hard print trucking magazines and attend several trade shows including MATS and GBATS. We were invited to do Podcast interviews on trucking related channels at both those shows. We are physically visiting potential dealers/installers to show our product line and build up a network so no matter what part of the Country you're in, you're not too far from one of our dealers and our products.
Q: Where are you looking to take Triune over the next 5 years?
A: We are working very hard to get a dealership network in place. We have other ideas for securement devices needed in the transportation industry and plan to bring them to market in the near future. In 5 years, I see us manufacturing a much larger line of quality products at affordable prices for Truckers that makes their job safer and a little easier.
Q: Where can you be reached for owner-operators/fleets to inquire more about your products?
A: You can find information about our products and a list of dealers/installers at www.bunkrtrailer.com, email email@example.com or call 580.984.1102. We are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bunkrtrailer.
Thank you, God Bless and stay safe out there. Pat