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Title:
TRANSPORTATION TRAILER WITH SPACE FRAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/101959
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Systems and methods for transporting small, dense cargo over roadways via a specialized transportation trailer are provided. The disclosed transportation trailer includes a space frame including a lower central portion designed to directly receive and support the cargo that is being carried by the trailer, as well as an upper portion that extends above the height of the cargo. The space frame also includes lower side portions that extend longitudinally in opposite directions from the lower central portion to connect the space frame to the wheels and trailer hookup of the transportation trailer. The space frame may further include a truss structure formed between the lower central portion and the upper portion to increase the rigidity of the trailer. The transportation trailer is designed to minimize the height of the cargo's center of gravity, increase trailer rigidity, increase cargo capacity, and maximize ground clearance compared to existing trailer designs.

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Inventors:
FISHER CHAD (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2016/064674
Publication Date:
June 07, 2018
Filing Date:
December 02, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES INC (US)
International Classes:
B62D21/20; B62D23/00
Foreign References:
US20070065261A12007-03-22
US20160090741A12016-03-31
US5092721A1992-03-03
US20090297306A12009-12-03
EP0010985A11980-05-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CATE, Avery, L. et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A transportation trailer, comprising:

a space frame;

a trailer hookup disposed at a first longitudinal end of the space frame; and

a plurality of wheels disposed at a second end of the space frame opposite the first end;

wherein the space frame comprises:

a lower central portion for directly supporting cargo thereon;

lower side portions coupled to and extending longitudinally outward from the lower central portion on both sides of the space frame; and

an upper portion extending upward from the lower side portions to a location above a maximum height of the cargo.

2. The transportation trailer of claim 1 , wherein a ground clearance of the lower central portion of the space frame is less than a ground clearance of the lower side portions of the space frame.

3. The transportation trailer of claim 1 , wherein the space frame comprises a truss structure connecting the lower central portion to the upper portion of the space frame.

4. The transportation trailer of claim 3, wherein an opening is formed on at least one side of the space frame to enable movement of cargo onto the transportation trailer from a side of the transportation trailer. 5. The transportation trailer of claim 4, wherein the space frame comprises a removable truss section disposed over the opening on the at least one side of the space frame.

6. The transportation trailer of claim 1, wherein the space frame further comprises downwardly sloping portions coupled to opposite sides of the upper portion and sloping downwardly and in opposite directions away from the upper portion to connect the upper portion to the lower side portions of the space frame.

7. The transportation trailer of claim 1, wherein the lower central portion of the space frame comprises a plurality of iso locks for selectively coupling the cargo to the space frame. 8. A system, comprising:

a transportation trailer having a space frame coupled to a trailer hookup and a plurality of wheels, wherein the space frame comprises:

a lower central portion;

lower side portions coupled to and extending longitudinally outward from the lower central portion on both sides of the space frame; and

an upper portion extending upward from the lower side portions to a position above the lower central portion; and

a cargo element to be transported on the transportation trailer, wherein the cargo element is disposed directly on and supported by the lower central portion of the space frame, and wherein the upper portion of the space frame extends to a position above a height of the cargo element when the cargo element is disposed on the lower central portion of the space frame.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein a bottom surface of the cargo element is supported by the lower central portion of the space frame at a position that is below the top surfaces of the lower side portions of the space frame.

10. The system of claim 8, wherein the cargo element comprises a single, dense load disposed on the lower central portion of the space frame.

1 1. The system of claim 10, wherein the cargo element comprises a container holding bulk material.

12. The system of claim 8, wherein the lower central portion of the space frame comprises a plurality of iso locks, and wherein the cargo element is selectively coupled to the space frame via the plurality of iso locks.

13. The system of claim 8, wherein the cargo element further comprises forklift pockets formed therein to facilitate lifting of the cargo element relative to the transportation trailer.

14. The system of claim 8, wherein the space frame comprises a truss structure connecting the lower central portion to the upper portion of the space frame.

15. The system of claim 8, wherein the space frame further comprises downwardly sloping portions coupled to opposite sides of the upper portion and sloping downwardly and in opposite directions away from the upper portion to connect the upper portion to the lower side portions of the space frame.

16. A method, comprising:

providing a transportation trailer comprising a space frame, wherein the space frame comprises:

a lower central portion;

lower side portions coupled to and extending longitudinally outward from the lower central portion on both sides of the space frame; and

an upper portion extending upward from the lower side portions to a position above the lower central portion;

loading a cargo element onto the transportation trailer such that the cargo element is disposed directly onto the lower central portion of the space frame;

supporting the cargo element via the space frame, wherein the upper portion of the space frame extends above a height of the cargo element; and

transporting the cargo element via the transportation trailer.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising loading the cargo element onto the transportation trailer using a forklift.

18. The method of claim 16, further comprising loading the cargo element onto the transportation trailer from a side of the transportation trailer through an opening in the space frame, wherein the space frame comprises a truss structure extending between the lower central portion and the upper portion of the space frame.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising removing a truss section from the space frame to expose the opening. 20. The method of claim 16, further comprising locking the cargo element onto the transportation trailer via iso locks disposed on the lower central portion of the space frame.

Description:
TRANSPORTATION TRAILER WITH SPACE FRAME

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to a transportation trailer, and more particularly, to a transportation trailer having a space frame to improve the ability of the transportation trailer to handle small, dense loads.

BACKGROUND

Transportation trailers have been widely used to transport a variety of types of cargo along roadways. Many such trailers are designed to provide ultimate adaptability to the cargo and are therefore not optimized for a specific purpose. For example, double drop deck trailers are often used when a fit-for-purpose trailer is not designed for the cargo. Double drop deck trailers generally feature an elongated center section that provides a deck for mounting cargo thereto, this center section disposed between two elevated deck sections (one at the front for connecting the trailer to a truck and the other at the back over the wheels). In these types of trailers, the elongated center section provides a flatbed that supports the cargo being carried on the trailer. These trailers are designed for extreme adaptability to a wide range of cargo while minimizing the height of the center of gravity of said cargo. Unfortunately, ground clearance is often sacrificed in favor of this adaptability to the cargo. In situations where more road clearance may be necessary, such as when transporting goods to a remote work site, standard double drop trailers may be ineffective.

Other types of transportation trailers are used to transport cargo along roadways. For example, intermodal containers are often mounted onto truck trailers to carry a variety of cargo. These intermodal containers are designed to be adaptable to various types of freight transport (e.g., rail, ship, and truck). The increased length of these containers decreases the bending load on the trailer while still meeting axle spread bridge laws, thereby allowing a light weight rail frame design for the trailer. However, since the containers are unloaded off the trailer from the rear, the doors are located above the axles of the trailer. This increases the center of gravity height of the cargo compared to that of drop deck trailers, reducing the stability of the load.

It is now recognized that a need exists for a trailer design that is adapted specifically to carrying dense loads along roadways with increased road clearance, reduced center of gravity height of the load, and increased stability of the trailer. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present disclosure and its features and advantages, reference is now made to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a transportation trailer with a space frame for carrying a container, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a side view of another transportation trailer with a space frame for carrying a container, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a side view of another transportation trailer with a space frame for carrying a container, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 4 is a top cutaway view of another transportation trailer with a space frame for carrying two containers, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure are described in detail herein. In the interest of clarity, not all features of an actual implementation are described in this specification. It will of course be appreciated that in the development of any such actual embodiment, numerous implementation specific decisions must be made to achieve developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system related and business related constraints, which will vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of the present disclosure. Furthermore, in no way should the following examples be read to limit, or define, the scope of the disclosure.

Certain embodiments according to the present disclosure may be directed to systems and methods for transporting small, dense cargo over roadways via a specialized transportation trailer. The disclosed transportation trailer is specifically designed to match the cargo being transported. The transportation trailer is designed to minimize the height of the cargo's center of gravity, increase trailer rigidity, increase cargo capacity, and maximize ground clearance compared to existing trailer designs. The transportation trailer design may be particularly useful for transporting containers of bulk material, which may be used in a wide variety of contexts including, but not limited to, drilling and completion of oil and gas wells, concrete mixing applications, agriculture, and others.

In an existing transportation trailer designed to carry a container of bulk material, the trailer structure passes entirely below the load (i.e., container) being carried. Such trailers may be fit-for-purpose, meaning they are designed to carry a specific type of load. For example, the trailer generally includes a conventional twin rail design with support arms extending outward from the main rails of the trailer to support the container of bulk material. Since the trailer uses a twin rail design without the deck, the weight of the trailer is reduced compared to a drop deck type trailer, allowing a heavier payload to be hauled by the trailer. However, the structure of the trailer is disposed entirely underneath the load, which makes the center of gravity of the load relatively high and increases a likelihood of accidental trailer rollover. Additionally, the twin rail design, while offering trailer flexibility, also contributes to instability of the trailer during transportation along roadways.

The disclosed systems and methods for transporting small, dense loads (e.g., bulk material container) may eliminate the shortcomings associated with existing conventional twin rail fit-for-purpose trailers. Specifically, the disclosed systems and methods are directed to a transportation trailer that includes a specially designed space frame. The space frame includes a lower central portion that is designed to directly receive and support the cargo that is being carried by the trailer, as well as an upper portion that extends above the height of the cargo. The space frame also includes lower side portions that extend longitudinally in opposite directions from the lower central portion to connect the space frame to the wheels and trailer hookup of the transportation trailer. The space frame may further include a truss structure formed between the lower central portion, the lower side portions, and the upper portion to increase the rigidity of the trailer.

The disclosed transportation trailer with the space frame may minimize the height of the center of gravity of the trailer and cargo while increasing the rigidity of the trailer. This may reduce the occurrence or likelihood of trailer rollover during transport. The disclosed transportation trailer design may also maximize the cargo capacity of the trailer, so that bulk material or other types of cargo may be transported more efficiently to a location using the transportation trailer.

Turning now to the drawings, FIG. 1 is a side view of a system 10 including a transportation trailer 12 and a cargo element 14 disposed on the transportation trailer 12, in accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure. In the illustrated embodiment, the cargo element 14 may be a container holding an amount of bulk material to be delivered to a location. In other embodiments, the cargo element 14 may be any other desirable type of cargo to be transported to a location on the transportation trailer 12. Although illustrated as carrying a single cargo element 14, the trailer 12 may also be used to transport two or more separate cargo elements 14, which may be stacked one over another or side by side.

The transportation trailer 12 may be specifically designed for use with a particular size and/or type of cargo element 14 that is disposed thereon. In some embodiments, the transportation trailer 12 may be designed to transport a cargo element 14 that includes a single, dense, and relatively small load, such as the illustrated bulk material container. In other embodiments, however, the transportation trailer 12 may be designed to transport more than one cargo element 14 at the same time.

The disclosed transportation trailer 12 may include a specially designed space frame 18 for supporting the cargo element 14. As illustrated, the space frame 18 may extend longitudinally along the trailer 12 and may be connected to other components of the trailer 12. For example, the trailer 12 may include a trailer hookup 20 disposed at a first end 22 of the trailer 12. The trailer 12 may also include a plurality of wheels 24 disposed at a second end 26 of the trailer 12 opposite the first end 22. The trailer hookup 20 may be used to attach the trailer 12 to a truck that is pulling the trailer 12. The space frame 18 may include a lower central portion 30 and an upper portion 32 extending upward from the lower central portion 30. The upper portion 32 of the space frame 18 may extend above the maximum height of the cargo element 14 disposed on the trailer 12. The space frame 18 may include extended lower side portions 34A and 34B that are coupled to and extend longitudinally outward from the lower central portion 30 on both sides of the space frame 18. The lower side portion 34A may form the first end 22 of the trailer 12 that is coupled to the trailer hookup 20. The lower side portion 34B may form the second end 26 of the trailer 12 that is coupled to the plurality of wheels 24.

As illustrated, the lower side portions 34A and 34B of the space frame 18 may be elevated compared to the lower central portion 30 of the space frame 18 to account for the positioning of the trailer hookup 20 and the wheels 24. The lower central portion 30 may drop down slightly below the lower side portions 34A and 34B. That is, the lower central portion 30 may drop down below an upper surface of the lower side portions 34A and 34B. As such, the cargo element 14 may be received on and supported by the lower central portion 30 at a lower position than the upper surfaces of the lower side portions 34A and 34B on either side.

The space frame 18 may include downwardly sloping portions 36A and 36B coupled to opposite sides of the upper portion 32 and sloping downwardly and in opposite directions away from the upper portion 32 to connect the upper portion 32 to the lower side portions 34A and 34B, respectively. With these sloping portions 36A and 36B, the space frame 18 generally takes the shape of a trapezoid when viewed from the side as in FIG. 1. The generally trapezoidal shape of the space frame 18 takes advantage of the strength available through a triangular shape to facilitate a relatively lightweight and high strength space frame 18. Thus, the space frame 18 may be constructed from less material than a differently shaped (e.g., rectangular) space frame used to support the same amount of cargo.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, the space frame 18 may also include an array of truss structures 70 (i.e., truss work) coupled between the lower central portion 30, the extended lower side portions 34, the upper portion 32, and/or the downwardly sloping portions 36 of the space frame 18. The truss structures 70 of the space frame 18 may work together like a truss bridge to provide stability and rigidity to the space frame 18. The truss structures 70 may be arranged in a triangular pattern between the upper portion 32, the lower central portion 30, the extended lower side portions 34A and 34B, and the sloping portions 36A and 36B to distribute various forces that are imparted on the space frame 18 during transportation of the trailer 12 along a road.

The space frame 18 may be constructed entirely from mild steels or aluminum. The various parts of the space frame 18 (e.g., 30, 32, 34, 36, and 70) may be individual pieces that are welded together to form the full space frame 18.

The cargo element 14 may include iso corners 72 designed to interface with pins, locks, or other corresponding elements on the lower central portion 30 of the space frame 18 of the trailer 12. In some embodiments, the trailer 12 may include a locking assembly on the lower central portion 30 of the space frame 18 to lock the cargo element 14 into a desired position on the trailer 12. For example, the trailer 12 may include a plurality of locks (not shown) disposed on the lower central portion 30 to interface with the cargo element 14 (e.g., at the iso corners 72). The cargo element 14 may be placed on the lower central portion 30 of the space frame 18 of the trailer 12 and secured at each corner to the trailer 12 via the locks. The locks may include iso-twist locks that can be easily manipulated to secure the cargo element 14 to the trailer 12. However, other types of twist locks of other mechanically actuated locks may be used in other embodiments of the trailer 12.

The trailer 12 may be designed such that the cargo element 14 can be loaded onto and unloaded from the trailer 12 from one or both sides of the trailer 12. The term "side" refers to an edge or boundary of the trailer 12 along the trailer's width dimension (Z-axis) perpendicular to a longitudinal dimension (X-axis) of the trailer 12. As shown in FIG. 1, the upper portion 32 of the space frame 18 may be positioned such that a space is present between the upper portion 32 and the top of the cargo element 14 when the cargo element 14 is positioned on the trailer 12. That way, the cargo element 14 can be lifted slightly relative to the lower central portion 30 of the space frame 18 to facilitate loading and unloading of the cargo element 14.

As illustrated in FIG. 1 , the cargo element 14 may include forklift pockets 92 on at least one side, and these forklift pockets 92 may be engaged by a forklift or similar hoisting mechanism to facilitate lifting and transportation of the cargo element 14 about a location. For example, at a loading station a forklift may engage the cargo element 14 via the forklift pockets 92 and lift the cargo element 14 onto the trailer 12 from the side. Once the trailer 12 arrives at a destination for unloading, another forklift may approach the trailer 12 from the side, engage the cargo element 14 via the forklift pockets 92, and remove the cargo element from the trailer 12.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, when the space frame 18 includes the truss structures 70 for increased stability, the space frame 18 may be constructed with an opening 110 on one or both sides of the trailer 12 through which the cargo element 14 may be loaded and unloaded. The opening 1 10 may be generally rectangular and slightly larger in dimensions than the cargo element 14 to facilitate placement of the cargo element 14 through the opening 1 10. In some embodiments, the opening 1 10 in the space frame 18 may be disposed on just one side of the trailer 12. This provides increased trailer rigidity compared to a trailer 12 with two openings 1 10, and there is less time and effort involved in removing the cargo element 14. However, the trailer 12 would need to be unloaded from a fixed side.

In other embodiments, the space frame 18 of the trailer 12 may include two openings 1 10, one on each side of the trailer 12 along the width dimension, enabling loading and unloading of the cargo element 14 from either side of the trailer 12. Having two openings 110 within the space frame 18 may increase the flexibility in loading/unloading the cargo element 14 from the trailer 12. This may be particularly useful when the trailer 12 is being loaded or unloaded at a crowded location where it is difficult for the trailer 12 to approach a loading/unloading area from any direction. Instead of maneuvering the trailer 12 into a specific orientation, the forklift (or other hoisting mechanism) may approach the trailer 12 from whichever side is more convenient to unload the cargo element 14 from the trailer 12.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of the trailer 12 where the space frame 18 includes a removable truss section 130 disposed over the opening 1 10 on one or both sides of the trailer 12. The removable truss section 130 may include one or more doors that are coupled to the truss structures 70 on the space frame 18 via one or more hinges, for example. In other instances, the removable truss section 130 may include one or more sliding doors that are designed to slide along rails out of the way of the opening 1 10 when loading/unloading operations are taking place. In still other instances, the removable truss section 130 may be completely removable from the other truss structures 70 of the space frame 18. For example, the removable section 130 may be selectively disconnected from the space frame 18 and positioned on the ground or at some other storage area while loading/unloading operations are taking place. When the trailer 12 is again loaded up and/or transported from one location to another, the removable truss section 130 may be positioned over the opening 1 10 and secured to the rest of the space frame 18.

The removable truss section 130 may help to increase stability of the space frame 18 as the trailer 12 is traveling down a road, while easily enabling exposure of one or more openings 1 10 in the side of the space frame 18 for unloading/loading cargo. As described above, the space frame 18 may include openings 1 10 formed in one or both sides of the space frame 18. Similarly, the trailer 12 may include one or more removable truss sections 130 disposed over the corresponding openings 1 10 on one or both sides of the space frame 18.

FIG. 4 illustrates another example of the trailer 12 having the space frame 18. As shown, the trailer 12 may include an intermediate truss section 140 added to the center of the space frame 18. The truss section 140 may extend between the upper portion 32, the lower central portion 30, the extended lower side portions 34, and/or the downwardly sloping portions 36. As shown, the truss section 140 may be formed in a plane that is parallel to the truss structures 70 on opposing sides of the space frame 18. The truss section 140 may be constructed along the centerline between the opposite side edges of the trailer 12, generally cutting the width of the trailer 12 in half. This additional truss section 140 may provide a more balanced and stable trailer structure than would be available with just truss structures 70 disposed along the opposing sides of the trailer 12. The trailer 12 of FIG. 4 may be used to carry two cargo elements 14 that are each approximately half the width of the trailer 12. The trailer 12 may include openings 1 10 on both sides of the space frame 18 to facilitate removal of the cargo elements 14 from opposite sides of the trailer 12.

The disclosed trailer 12 of FIGS 1-4 having the space frame 18 may be used to support the cargo element 14 at a position having a lower center of gravity (CG) 150 than would be available using conventional trailers. The space frame 18 lowers the CG 150 of the cargo element 14 by moving a portion of the structure of the trailer 12 above the cargo element 14. Since the overall structure of the trailer 12 (i.e., space frame 18) is spread out both below and above the cargo element 14, less material is needed to form the structure that rests underneath the cargo element 14 without sacrificing stability of the trailer 12. For example, a thickness of the lower central portion 30 of the space frame 18 that is used to directly support the cargo element 14 may be less than a thickness of the lower side portions 34A and 34B of the space frame 18 on either side of the lower central portion 30, as shown. Therefore, the cargo element 14 may be supported on the trailer 12 with a reduced cargo height and CG 150. In some embodiments, the cargo element 14 may be supported on the disclosed trailer with a cargo height and/or CG 150 that is approximately 15 inches lower than would be possible without the space frame 18 extending above the cargo element 14.

The disclosed trailer 12 having the space frame 18 may facilitate a relatively low CG of the cargo element 14 being transported on the trailer 12 while maximizing ground clearance of the trailer 12. The term ground clearance refers to the amount of space between a point where the wheels 24 of the trailer 12 touch the ground and a bottom surface of the lower central portion 30 of the trailer 12. By using the trailer 12 with the space frame 18, the same ground clearance may be maintained while reducing the CG of the cargo element 14 supported on the trailer 12 compared to a similar trailer that does not include a space frame extending above the cargo. This may be particularly useful when transporting a cargo element 14 (e.g., large container of material) off-road or on roads with varying levels of terrain where maximum ground clearance is desired.

The disclosed trailer 12 comprising the space frame 18 may be constructed within the dimension limits set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) or other relevant regulatory bodies. For example, the overall height of the trailer 12 (i.e., from the ground to the upper portion 32 of the space frame) may be limited to 13 feet, 6 inches. Since the space frame 18 enables the placement of the cargo element 14 on the trailer 12 at a lower position than would otherwise be available, a larger (e.g., taller) cargo element 14 may be positioned on the trailer 12. The drop in position at which the cargo element 14 is elevated by trailer 12 (due to the distributed space frame 18) is generally greater than the height the upper portion 32 of the space frame 18 extends over the cargo element 14. Therefore, the space frame 18 may increase the cargo capacity of the trailer 12 compared to other trailers while remaining within the regulatory dimension limits.

Furthermore, spreading the structure of the trailer 12 (space frame 18) above and below the cargo element 14 may improve the rigidity of the trailer 12 and optimize the way trailer material is used to support the cargo load. This increased stability keeps the trailer 12 from flexing too much as it travels down the road. The space frame 18 enables a relatively rigid trailer structure using less material than would be necessary for a similarly rigid structure without a space frame extending above the cargo. Thus, the space frame 1 may increase the trailer rigidity while minimizing or reducing overall trailer weight. The amount of weight that is removed from the trailer structure 12 may then be shifted to the cargo element 14, while keeping the weight of the entire system (trailer 12 and cargo 14) within legal road limits. This may be particularly useful in instances where several trailers 12 are needed to deliver the same type of cargo 14 to a location. By increasing the cargo capacity and weight of the cargo, the disclosed trailer design may necessitate fewer trips to a location to deliver the same total amount of cargo.

Embodiments disclosed herein include:

A. A transportation trailer including a space frame, a trailer hookup disposed at a first longitudinal end of the space frame, and a plurality of wheels disposed at a second end of the space frame opposite the first end. The space frame includes a lower central portion for directly supporting cargo thereon, lower side portions coupled to and extending longitudinally outward from the lower central portion on both sides of the space frame, and an upper portion extending upward from the lower side portions to a location above a maximum height of the cargo.

B. A system including a transportation trailer having a space frame coupled to a trailer hookup and a plurality of wheels. The space frame includes a lower central portion, lower side portions coupled to and extending longitudinally outward from the lower central portion on both sides of the space frame, and an upper portion extending upward from the lower side portions to a position above the lower central portion. The system also includes a cargo element to be transported on the transportation trailer. The cargo element is disposed directly on and supported by the lower central portion of the space frame, and the upper portion of the space frame extends to a position above a height of the cargo element when the cargo element is disposed on the lower central portion of the space frame.

C. A method including providing a transportation trailer including a space frame. The space frame includes a lower central portion, lower side portions coupled to and extending longitudinally outward from the lower central portion on both sides of the space frame, and an upper portion extending upward from the lower side portions to a position above the lower central portion. The method also includes loading a cargo element onto the transportation trailer such that the cargo element is disposed directly onto the lower central portion of the space frame, and supporting the cargo element via the space frame. The upper portion of the space frame extends above a height of the cargo element. The method further includes transporting the cargo element via the transportation trailer.

Each of the embodiments A, B, and C may have one or more of the following additional elements in combination: Element 1 : wherein a ground clearance of the lower central portion of the space frame is less than a ground clearance of the lower side portions of the space frame. Element 2: wherein the space frame includes a truss structure connecting the lower central portion to the upper portion of the space frame. Element 3: wherein an opening is formed on at least one side of the space frame to enable movement of cargo onto the transportation trailer from a side of the transportation trailer. Element 4: wherein the space frame includes a removable truss section disposed over the opening on the at least one side of the space frame. Element 5: wherein the space frame further includes downwardly sloping portions coupled to opposite sides of the upper portion and sloping downwardly and in opposite directions away from the upper portion to connect the upper portion to the lower side portions of the space frame. Element 6: wherein the lower central portion of the space frame includes a plurality of iso locks for selectively coupling the cargo to the space frame.

Element 7: wherein a bottom surface of the cargo element is supported by the lower central portion of the space frame at a position that is below the top surfaces of the lower side portions of the space frame. Element 8: wherein the cargo element includes a single, dense load disposed on the lower central portion of the space frame. Element 9: wherein the cargo element includes a container holding bulk material. Element 10: wherein the lower central portion of the space frame includes a plurality of iso locks, and wherein the cargo element is selectively coupled to the space frame via the plurality of iso locks. Element 11 : wherein the cargo element further includes forklift pockets formed therein to facilitate lifting of the cargo element relative to the transportation trailer. Element 12: wherein the space frame includes a truss structure connecting the lower central portion to the upper portion of the space frame. Element 13 : wherein the space frame further includes downwardly sloping portions coupled to opposite sides of the upper portion and sloping downwardly and in opposite directions away from the upper portion to connect the upper portion to the lower side portions of the space frame.

Element 14: further including loading the cargo element onto the transportation trailer using a forklift. Element 15: further including loading the cargo element onto the transportation trailer from a side of the transportation trailer through an opening in the space frame, wherein the space frame includes a truss structure extending between the lower central portion and the upper portion of the space frame. Element 16: further including removing a truss section from the space frame to expose the opening. Element 17: further including locking the cargo element onto the transportation trailer via iso locks disposed on the lower central portion of the space frame.

Although the present disclosure and its advantages have been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions and alterations can be made herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure as defined by the following claims.