Our email and social media exploded after featuring the WDT909 Smart Trailer Axle. We took that passionate feedback directly to the President and Inventor of the product for clarification. Here’s his response.
In terms of intensity, we had quite the response to our feature on the Canadian Load Lifter Dolly WDT909 smart trailer axle. Their tagline, “Turn Your Half-Ton Into A Super Duty” fueled much of the feedback, both positive and otherwise.
The majority of the reader messages circled around the legal and logistical challenges of adding GVWR or payload capacity to a truck. Some even stated it was irresponsible to imply that such a product could offer more GVWR or payload and that we were encouraging, “bad behavior”. Given our widely known position on truck and camper matching, that was troubling.
So let’s clear the air. First, our Matching A Truck and Camper article continues to state our one and only position on the subject. You cannot, under any circumstance, increase the GVWR or payload capacity of any truck. What’s on your truck’s payload sticker is what you’ve got, period.
Second, we have not seen the WDT909 product in person. Nor have we seen it applied with a truck and camper rig. We brought attention to this product because it deserves open debate, but we are not endorsing its purchase or use for truck campers. There are far too many unknowns at this juncture.
Going To The Source
To address your questions and a few of own, we contacted the President of Canadian Load Divider Dollies, Laurie Stross. He immediately agreed to answer the questions and was excited to set the record straight.
The following questions were sent to Laurie Stross, President of Canadian Load Divider Dollies and Inventor of the WDT909 (Weight Distribution Trailer).
Before we get to our questions, tell us about the WDT909 and how it works.
The WDT909 is a compact, single-axle trailer with passive steer and air ride. The product is self-contained and has an onboard 12-volt, 235-CFM compressor. The power source is a 7-way receptacle from the tow vehicle.
The WDT909 works by transferring (or distributing) the rear truck axle weight to the front truck axle (which is rarely maxed out) and the WDT909 trailer axle. This is why the product is called a load-divider dolly trailer.
The WDT909 automatically proportions the weight to each axle. Once the weight is adjusted (the compressor stops at 120 PSI) the operator simply presses the set button on the supplied remote to activate the ECM. Those settings will be maintained even over elevation changes.
When weight is to be added or removed, the operator presses the remote to deactivate the ECM. When the weight is changed, the operator allows the WDT909 compressor to stop and then presses the remote button to maintain the new weight. I designed the WDT909 to be as user-friendly as possible, with quality components for durability and longevity.
Does the WDT909 legally increase the GVWR and payload capacity of a truck; half-ton, three-quarter ton, or otherwise?
No. We do not claim to increase GVW or GAWR on a truck. That can not be done by anyone except for the manufacturer or a certified bodybuilder and engineer.
Our claim for the WDT909 is to increase cargo carrying capacity. Again, the WDT909 divides and distributes the load in a truck across the front truck axle, rear truck axle, and the WT909 trailer axle. By distributing the loaded weight to the front axle, and adding the axle capacity of the WDT909, you add cargo carrying capacity.
The WDT909 air bellow that automatically manages the weight transfer has a pressure gauge to monitor the weight (as a value) that’s being transferred to the front axle and trailer axle.
The WDT909 can effectively increase cargo carrying capacity up to 1,500-pounds depending on vehicle specifications and load position. As vehicle specifications are different from vehicle to vehicle, the axle weights still need to be monitored by the operator.
Is the WDT909 approved and legal to use in the United States and Canada?
Yes. The WDT909 is Transport Canada approved and we have our NSN and WMI. The WDT909 is also registered with NHSTA in the United States.
Is the WDT909 designed to be used off-road, or on poorly maintained paved roads?
Our production prototype has over 50,000-kilometers (30,000-miles) and there have been no issues or required repairs. I was in the transportation industry for 28 years and we use products that have been reliably used in trucking for decades.
I modified a Ford F-350 work truck in 2006 with the same design as the WDT909 except permanently installed. In 386,000-kilometers I never had to change any worn-out components.
On this subject, I’ve had comments about the potential for frame damage. Because we are not exceeding any OEM specifications, there should be no frame issues. Secondly, with the WDT909 connected and activated, the hitch is the weak link. This means the hitch takes all the dynamic stress and the frame only has static stress increasing the durability of the frame.
The WDT909 uses an air ride suspension instead of conventional springs to compensate for cross axle elevation changes (pressure is equal in all areas). Of course, the truck receivers are only rated for minimal rotational torque and we recommend that not be exceeded. The rotational torque depends on how poor the road conditions are.
The tongue weight of a 2022 Ford F-150 maxes out at 500-pounds. Is this sufficient for the WDT909? This was a big question from our readers.
We recommend at least a Class 3 or Class 4 hitch receiver, mainly because those classes start at around 1,000-pounds of tongue weight. The WDT909 can still be used on a low-rated hitch receiver, but it would need to be monitored at a lower weight addition. Again we always recommend never to exceed a manufacturer’s specifications.
The WDT909 benefit to stopping distance was certified by Randy Bearg, a highly reputable vehicle safety engineer. During his testing, the WDT909 decreased the stopping distance by 12 to 16-feet when activated.
Would you be willing to come to a truck camper rally and demonstrate your product? A public demonstration and test drives would be fantastic.
Of course. I would be willing to demonstrate the WDT909 at shows if it is within our budget. We will be at the SEMA 2022 show in November; North Hall Booth 12826. I also have a request from an RV dealer in Toronto to send one there for them to showcase at three shows in October, January and March.
Are you currently in production with the WDT909?
The WDT909 is handmade in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. We use only Canadian and United States vendors. We would love to create more jobs and diversity in these two countries. We are currently on small-scale production building five WDT909 units. Two are going to SEMA and we’re waiting to hear back from Motortrend Magazine for testing at their California test facility.
Has the WDT909 been used on a truck and camper rig?
I have been trying to reach out to some RV dealers locally but, due to the Covid rebound here, they are quite busy and I haven’t successfully made any arrangements with any to at least get opinions and pictures of a slide-in on my pickup. It will only work with a flat bottom (no lower overhang) and about a 16-inch extension from the box.
Is there anything else you want the truck camper marketplace to know about the WDT909?
Canadian Load Divider Dollies, Inc. is an innovative patented technology company that is going to change the way we utilize our light-duty trucks. Our motto is, “Safety, Compliance and Savings”.
Are there going to be issues? Of course, especially with such an innovative new product. It’s time for a new solution to overloaded pickup trucks. We are expecting our customers to have input – good or bad – to improve or change any design.
We have an enormous amount of interested customers, but a lack of distributors. That’s what we are hoping to achieve at SEMA 2022. We want at least one distributor in each state and province to provide service.