By Alana RishandaniAUSTIN, Texas— A Texas-based company that designs and manufactures truck beds for commercial and industrial uses says it is on track to cut the cost of its aluminum truck bed by $20 to $30 per square feet in 2019.
Company CEO James T. McNeil says that a change in industry standards for aluminum and the cost reductions associated with that material have combined to create an industry that is growing rapidly, but he also sees a need for more advanced manufacturing processes.
In a statement to the Austin American-Statesman, McNeil said that while aluminum is a valuable material for use in many industrial applications, it has been hard to keep up with the cost-savings and technology advancements in modern-day manufacturing.
The company, which makes aluminum truckbeds for the auto and auto parts industry, has been working to increase the cost efficiency of its manufacturing process and will begin to eliminate the use of steel in its final product, McNeill said.
The change in production method has led to an increase in the cost per square inch of aluminum trucking bed and the need for the company to find efficiencies in its production process, he said.
McNeil estimates that the average cost per cubic foot of aluminum has risen from $1.35 in 2009 to $2.50 in 2019, according to the company’s latest financial report.
He said that the cost to reduce the weight of the truck bed was less than $1 per square meter.
The company has found ways to reduce that cost, he added.
The average weight of a cubic foot is 4.2 pounds, but that varies depending on the trucking truck’s capacity and the weight load on the bed.
The cost of the change to the truck was more than $100, McNeish said.