The kids in the haul

October 2000

Trailers Article December 28, 2000
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Fold-over ramps, beds that tilt, beds that fold, axles that slide apart to accommodate heavier loads—Trail-Eze trailers, by Dak


Fold-over ramps, beds that tilt, beds that fold, axles that slide apart to accommodate heavier loads—Trail-Eze trailers, by Dakota Manufacturing Co. Inc., Mitchell, S.D., cover the spectrum for loading construction equipment. And Trail-Eze customers are demanding lighter trailers capable of hauling heavier equipment, according to Don Huber, eastern U.S. sales manager.


Huber said that Trail-Eze sells most of its trailers to rental companies that started out as "mom-and-pop" shops but have grown through mergers and now are renting to bigger contractors. The bigger contractors need to haul bigger and heavier equipment, and the rental companies look to Trail-Eze to supply the trailers to haul that equipment. "All the contractor equipment needs to have lower load angles and heavier loads concentrated in smaller areas," Huber told ROADS & BRIDGES. "We’re having to change and grow with that and come up with trailers that are going to be able to handle those loads on a continuous use."


The TE70SA sliding-axle trailer, for instance, features a hydraulic system that slides the axles apart for hauling heavier loads. Two separate tilting cylinders do the work of tilting the 48-ft bed to an angle of 7° for easy loading. The bed’s upper deck is 115 in. long, and the lower deck is available between 31 ft and 37 ft long, with a fold-under tail of 26 in. The bed is 8 ft 6 in. wide.


The trailer has a load capacity of 40,000 lb concentrated and 70,000 lb distributed. Other features include a 12,000-lb capacity winch and an anti-lock braking system (ABS).


One of the advantages of using hydraulic power, rather than air, to slide the axles, according to Huber, is that the hydraulics let the operator spread the axles with the trailer either loaded or empty.


Federal regulators also have had an influence on how Trail-Eze does business. The company had to redesign its trailers to meet requirements for "under-ride" and for braking. To avoid having another vehicle slide under the trailer during a collision, Trail-Eze had to lower its trailers and, as a result, re-design the approach plate on its trailers.


It cost Trail-Eze about $1,800 per trailer to add an ABS braking system to its smaller trailers—a cost the company had to pass on to its customers. "It’s what they imposed on us to make sure that the trailers don’t lock up and don’t jackknife," said Huber. "It gives the driver a little bit more control of the tractor trailer in an emergency situation."


Another trailer in the Trail-Eze line is the TE70HP high-profile trailer, which the company said is suitable for all construction equipment, including pavers, chip spreaders, track equipment and more. The TE70HP also is a sliding-axle trailer, with a deck 8 ft 6 in. wide and 48 ft to 53 ft long. It is standard with air-ride suspension, remote control winch and two-speed landing gear. The deck tilts to an angle of 15°.


Streamlined manufacturing


The new Advantage Series hydraulic detachable gooseneck (HDG) trailers reflect the benefits of a new manufacturing process, according to Trail King Industries Inc., Mitchell, S.D. "Flow line manufacturing has allowed Trail King to substantially reduce the retail price of the Advantage Series by $4,600," said National Sales Manager Marv Odegaard. "And because the new manufacturing process translates into greater efficiency, the trailers are available for immediate delivery."


The Advantage Series comes with a low-profile, scrapper-style gooseneck, front ramps and full-depth I-beam-style outriggers. Like all Trail King trailers, the main deck of the Advantage Series HDG has four 16-in. I-beams and I-beam-style cross-members. The wheel area comes standard without a front cross-member, which allows for hauling excavators. Various axle spacings are available.


Trail King tailored the TK50RB for the rental industry. It is an easy-to-operate, low-maintenance trailer that can haul the heavier roadbuilding equipment with a safe load angle. The TK50RB has a load capacity of 25 tons and a deck 30 ft long x 102 in. wide.


The adjustable platform lock-down mechanism locks the deck in place during transport and is manually adjustable when the steel wears and loosens. The hydraulic approach plate lowers to protect the trailer’s lights during loading.


In dump trailers, the TKBDU light-weight bottom-dump trailer is manufactured using combination 100,000/ 80,000 psi high-strength steel in a one-piece, web-gusset design. The combination of high strength and one-piece design means the trailer can carry heavier loads.


The 45-in.-high body shell, bulkhead and tailgate of the TK SHR half-round dump trailer are made of AR-400 or equivalent steel and make the trailer capable of hauling tough rock materials, including shot rock, rip rap and demolition.


It is available in overall lengths of 24 ft to 39 ft. They all feature an externally mounted inverted hoist for ease of operation; wide-spaced draft arms for maximum stability throughout the dump cycle; and recessed and sealed signal and tail lights to protect them from the load and the elements.


For hauling equipment, Trail King offers the TK160 MDG, a 13-axle trailer that will actually help steer itself around a corner. The last three axles on the dolly pivot off the king pin to increase the turning ratio. With deck extensions, the self-steering mechanism on the dolly can be adjusted through five positions to increase the steering ratio.


The TK160 MGD has a standard load capacity of 80 tons, but detachable gooseneck trailers are available in capacities up to 400 tons.


Configurations galore


Flexibility is the keyword in the Rogers Brothers Corp. line of trailers. The trailers’ detachable rear frames, interchangeable decks and detachable axles made them attractive to Bill Gano, the founder of Gano’s Heavy Hauling, based in New Jersey. Gano has bought several Rogers trailers and credits them with allowing him to maximize his hauling configurations while minimizing his investment.


The new Ultima trailers from Rogers, Albion, Pa., are available in 35-, 50- and 60-ton capacities, featuring unitized frames made of T-1 steel. Standard features include heavy-duty spring suspensions, 30° access to rear frames, rear frame openings for greater overhead clearance, sealed beam lights, waterproof modular wiring and anti-corrosive undercoating.


The new Ultima trailers also are available in specialized models to provide a wider selection of payload capacities, deck styles, gooseneck lengths and axle and rear frame configurations.


The "No Foot" self-lifting gooseneck feature, which raises or lowers the front of the deck under full load without a ram foot contacting the ground, is standard equipment on the Ultima line. The Scraperneck feature allows equipment to ride forward and low over the gooseneck, and a standard bucket pocket further reduces load height.


Patented carrying


A patented detachable gooseneck is an integral part of trailers made by Harley Murray Inc., Stockton, Calif. In fact, the company says that patents on the detachable gooseneck and on expandable running gear were instrumental in boosting production of the company’s products over 50 years ago after Harley Murray designed his own lightweight, high-strength trailer specifically for his equipment hauling business.


Today, the most popular of the company’s low-bed trailers is the Professional model, which the company says is 3,000-4,000 lb lighter than comparable trailers. The Professional features 16 tires on four heavy-duty axles, 11 outrigger sockets on each side with 12 11-in. outriggers and a detachable gooseneck and expandable running gear. The trailer is built for over-the-back loading and has a 44-ton permitted net load.


The newest Murray trailer, the EasyTail, sports an air-operated flip-tail that provides a low 14.5° loading angle. The tail also can be raised for dock loading or pinned at ride height for travel.


Lightweight drop-frames


High-tensile-strength steel and light weight are common themes for trailers made by Lufkin Trailers, Lufkin, Texas, a division of Lufkin Industries Inc. The Paymaster is a good example. It has increased loading capacity but weighs less than conventional all-steel drop-frames, according to the company.


Lufkin also offers a Paymaster Composite model that incorporates light-weight aluminum/steel composite components and 25 1/4-in.-deep fabricated high-tensile steel beam centers designed to carry a maximum payload. The trailer is available in lengths of 45 ft, 48 ft and 53 ft with bed lengths of 34 ft 6 in. and 37 ft 6 in. and widths of 96 in. overall and 913/4 in. for the bed.


The FLXL Composite model continues the theme of light weight and high strength in lengths of 45 ft and 53 ft, with center beams 253/4 in. deep. The trailer features aluminum components, such as the channel side frames, to offer strength and light weight.


Lufkin’s Ultra Light II (ULD-II) dump trailer is the successor to the company’s original ULD design, resulting from years of in-service testing and customer feedback. "The changes were carefully planned to enhance the strength of this high-tensile steel dump [trailer]," according to the company, "without compromising the beauty of the original design."


The ULD-II is available in overall lengths of 31 ft, 35 ft and 38 ft with a body width of 94 in., designed to keep the center of gravity of its contents closer to the longitudinal body centerline. The trailer’s dump angle is 46.4° with a 48-in. fifth wheel height.


Load up the equipment


The line of goose-neck detachable trailers from Dynaweld Inc., Aurora, Ill., is anchored by the 70XHD-SE and 100XHD. The 70XHD is a 35-ton trailer designed to handle wide loads, such as hydraulic excavators. It has four main beams with strong, lightweight T-1 steel. Inside beams are 16 in. Outside beams are 13 in. all along the trailer body to afford 11-in. ground clearance on the sides.


The 100XHD offers maximum efficiency in loading heavy equipment from the front onto the 24-ft x 8.5-ft main deck. It is designed for maximum security, with 24 chain tie-downs built into the frame, 18 D-rings and 10 pairs of outriggers.


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