Indiana Historical Society’s History on Wheels
The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is bringing the state’s history to citizens with History on Wheels. Custom designed and built by Featherlite Trailers, the trailer housing the History on Wheels museum is a 53 ft long, 13 ft-5 in tall and 8 ft-6 in aluminum 2-axle trailer with two slide-outs that expand for nearly 1,000 sq ft of interior space.
The History on Wheels trailer displays Indiana’s rich automotive and racing history to Hoosiers in communities across the state through the use of interactive touchscreen monitors and static displays. It’s a new way to experience history and will help the IHS bring a state-of-the-art history attraction to a wider audience.
“The idea of using a double-expandable semi-trailer to house an exhibit on the history of Indiana automobiles seemed like a natural fit,” says Curt Barsic, Project Manager at the Indiana Historical Society. “Partnering with Featherlite to make our vision a reality was a good fit since they are the industry leader in custom-built trailers.”
IHS wanted to provide guests with a complete spectrum of Indiana’s automotive and racing history with History on Wheels. To accomplish that, they needed more room than a regular trailer could provide. After researching their options and talking with several museums as well as state organizations throughout the country who had similar traveling exhibits, IHS’s staff determined Featherlite Trailers was the right partner for their project.
“Mark Ackley (Segment Sales Manager at Featherlite) understood what we were trying to accomplish with the exhibit,” adds Barsic. “He made sure that the trailer we were planning to build would meet our needs today and in the future. He helped us think through everything; the power required for the displays, foot-traffic through the exhibit, the type of interior desired, lighting, air-conditioning and how we would load and unload exhibits efficiently. We came up with a customized solution that will fit our needs for many years to come.”
After finalizing plans for the trailer build, the IHS graphic artists designed exterior trailer graphics that were applied by the team at Featherlite Graphics to create an original design that would grab people’s attention traveling down the road and during exhibit hours.
The IHS History of Wheels trailer was completed in under four months. Featherlite delivered a one-of-a-kind trailer that IHS could further customize with historical displays and exhibits.
“We are pleased with the quality of the trailer build and how sharp the graphics look,” comments Barsic.
IHS’s custom built Featherlite trailer includes two slide-outs that extend the internal space to almost 1,000 sq ft, providing ample room for the organization’s historical displays. The slide outs are 6 ft deep and 36 ft long and 7 ft deep and 38 ft long respectively. When retracted the slide-outs nest inside each other and when open, there is a 21 ft flat floor across from outboard wall-to-wall.
“Featherlite’s self-supporting rigid-body slide-outs were a strong selling point,” says Barsic. “All the other options we considered required a “load-lock” type mechanism to be placed under each slide-out. This was not ideal for safety reasons and for the extra work it would require of our driver and staff.”
The trailer also has a 2,000 lb freight liftgate for loading exhibits while also doubling as the grand entrance. IHS’s staff simply lowers the gate and hooks up a set of stairs for entering and exiting the trailer. Overhead, the backend of the trailer gate flips up and hinges to the top to form a canopy that shields guests who are waiting in line from the weather. The result is a welcoming covered porch that leads into the exhibit.
Powering the displays and an air-conditioning unit that will keep the exhibit cool on the warmest Indiana days is a 40-kW generator. There are several power outlets running along the floor and exterior walls to make hooking up electronic displays fast and easy. The ceiling of the trailer is lined with museum-quality LED lighting, and the floor has durable rubber-coin flooring.
The trailer’s driver and exhibit facilitator can go from transporting to display-ready in under three hours, and there is little manual labor involved with getting everything set up.
Hitting the road
The mobile museum will hit the road in 2017 and plans to get involved with several local festivals and special events. IHS anticipates visiting 50 of Indiana’s 92 counties over the next five years and expects to build to an annual attendance of at least 70,000 visitors.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring Indiana’s history to communities throughout the state,” explains Barsic. “The History on Wheels exhibit will educate and entertain everyone, from car and racing enthusiasts to the general public.”
Meet the Team
We have two new Segment Sales Managers – Randy Hardwick and Donnie Jewell – who joined the Featherlite team in 2016. Our team is here to help you with all your specialty trailer needs! Click the link below to learn more about our dedicated sales staff.
PRI Trade Show
The PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis is considered the 3 biggest business days in motorsports, and it’s going on now through Saturday! If attending the PRI Trade Show, be sure to stop by the Featherlite display to discuss the latest in Featherlite race car trailers! We’re located at Booth #3115.
Trade shows coming up
Featherlite Specialty will be attending a number of events coming up soon. Please stop by if you’re attending one of these events:
SEMA Show – Nov. 1-4, 2016 – Las Vegas, NV
RSNA Annual Meeting – Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2016 – Chicago, IL
PRI Trade Show – Dec. 8-10, 2016 – Indianapolis, IN
Featherlite All-Star Circuit of Champions Trailer
When NASCAR legend Tony Stewart’s All-Star Circuit of Champions team asked for our help designing and building a specialty trailer for The Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series, the Featherlite Trailers team jumped into action and came up with a one-of-a-kind command post that even includes living quarters.
We started with a 48-ft, 3-axle gooseneck trailer that fits everything the All-Star Circuit of Champions would need on race day and can be easily transported from location-to-location using a full-size pickup truck. The front of the trailer’s slideout living quarters features a bedroom area with a queen-size bed located over the trailer’s gooseneck. Its kitchen area has a refrigerator, a two-burner gas stove, sink and small countertop for food preparation. There also is a fold-out couch, a bathroom with shower, sink and vanity, two closets and custom cabinetry throughout, providing plenty of storage space.
The rear shop area of the trailer has storage room for transporting two Arctic Cat ATVs, a UTV and a small pit bike. The trailer’s built-in desk, foldout counter and vending window help the team conduct business on race day. Overhead cabinets provide space to keep race day promotional materials, scale equipment and tech supplies. The trailer also has two awnings, as well as hydraulic landing gear, to help make setup easy.
With more than 50 races every year, all of the custom amenities on the Featherlite All-Star Circuit of Champions Trailer make traveling for work more comfortable and efficient.