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European Tag A Long Trailers

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by Nac, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Nac

    Nac Senior Member

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    Here is a pic from an Italian equipment magazine. Look at the trailer it 3 axle tag a long trailer it has 1 front axle on a steerable jeep and 2 axles on the trailer it is 26,000 kg trailer (57,320 GVW) 19,600 kg capacity (43,210) weight of trailer 6,400 kg (14,110). Using this set up you are taking the tonge load off the pulling truck so you could pull this trailer with a short wheel base single axle. In Europe this is the main trend for moving machinery. Was wounder if any body has ever seen one in the states like this or if there is any way of me getting one here this is the exact set up i am looking for.
     

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  2. Nac

    Nac Senior Member

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  3. badranman

    badranman Charter Member

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    That's the first one I've seen. That looks like it would work pretty good. I don't know why we don't see them here, I think they'd sell no problem.
     
  4. Nac

    Nac Senior Member

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    My father used to be a truck driver in Italy and that all they used back then. I think because the roads are very tight there and you can use a shorter truck and the trailer will be very movable.
     
  5. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    I wonder if you couldn't get the same results with a conventional trailer resting on a 5th wheel dolly? Or is that what the pictured trailer is anyway?

    It raises a couple of more questions. Wouldn't it be awfully tricky to back it up? How would pulling and stopping behavior be affected, particularly in slippery conditions? The weight of the trailer and load is still going to be back there, but it wouldn't be enhancing the traction of the drive wheels at all. Would you need a CDL endorsement for doubles, given the above differences from more conventional setups?
     
  6. John Banks

    John Banks Well-Known Member

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    I had the same idea, 5th wheel dolly.
     
  7. Nac

    Nac Senior Member

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    yes I have tought about the fifth wheel dolly but I think it would be a much longer unit and in the trailer pictured it is one solid unit not detachable. A fifth wheel trailer will have a much higher gooseneck and longer also adding more weight to the trailer fifth whhel combo.
     
  8. littledenny

    littledenny Well-Known Member

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    Think your questions are good ones. From my experience seeing trucks in Europe, it seems that many are designed for a shorter turning radius. See a lot of them with tandems and a 20 foot bed, followed with a twenty foot full trailer, one axle on each end, to move standard twenty foot ISO containers. Most semis tend to be single rear axle tractors with tri-axle single tire trailers-and usually shorter overall than the average American truck. Know from personal experience that the Army's standard, over the road 55 foot semitractor and trailer is hard to maneuver drive down a typical single lane European road, especially in town. Don't think I've ever seen a real American truck in Europe - I'm talking a nice conventional rig, full sleeper, 53 foot trailer - sure would be a hit at the truckparks. As another observation, seems like most European dry cargo trucks have soft sides, while you seldom see anything but vans here in North America. All those softsided trailers have big frames underneath, while our vans don't need them.

    Still, unless you grew up on a farm, and learned to back a hayrack, I doubt that you'd want to put a full trailer behind a dumptruck, and try to back it up. I've seen guys talented enough to back two hay racks, but I'm not anxious to try it. (Think I'd be there all day :pointhead )

    Guess it would take a bit of research to determine the relative merits of a straight truck and full trailer set up - but I figure since you rarely, if ever, see on on the road, there must be a reason.
     
  9. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Senior Member

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    I see farmers pulling haywagons similiar in design in the late summer down the local roads. They are not registered though, they are considered a farm vehicle, towed by a pickup. Seem to tow well, I wonder what would happen if you attempted to register one for highway use.
     
  10. RonG

    RonG Charter Member

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    When I was in Germany in the early '60's I do remember having to unload my Dozer,(A TD18) and pick up the end of the lowbed and scoot it over a little to get through one town we were going through.I might have done it more than once but I do remember one time for sure.Didn't hurt those cobblestones a bit:))
    I did back up a hayrack many times as a kid and did not find it to be much of a problem although I used to dismount and hold the horses bridle and talk him through it while onfoot.
    I imagine it would be fun doing it with a tractor. Ron
     
  11. littledenny

    littledenny Well-Known Member

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    Key point here, at least with hayracks, is that you tow them pretty slow. I spent summers as a young boy baling hay, and can tell you from experience that a hayrack, behind a tractor, tows well, to a point. Get two racks going at any speed and they start to wander back and forth.

    I'd think that a full trailer would be less stable at speed, than a similiar sized semi trailer. Seems that the additional joint in the chain, the dolly, would just add to the possibility of additional unstability. You see UPS rigs on the road all the time, tractor, semitrailer, full trailer, and they seem to pull pretty well, but notice that you need endorsements on your CDL to pull combinations - must be a reason for that.

    I took Nac's original post as an inquiry on the feasibility of using a full trailer behind a short wheelbase truck. Maybe he will elaborate on exactly what he's considering, so we get a better picture on what he needs.

    In my own case, I've got a Chevy 3500 4WD crewcab, long wheelbase, single rear wheel pickup. I want to pull a trailer that can handle a JD 110 TLB, and all the attachments. I've got a car hauler trailer, but it is really overloaded, so I'm looking for a more substantial trailer. I could get a 12000/14000 GVW bumper pull trailer, and probably do fine - The truck can pull it, but it could lighten the frontend of the truck if I get too much weight too far forward on the trailer. Have considered getting a gooseneck trailer, but then I've got to deal with the hassles of removing the cap over the bed all the time. The right answer for me is to trade the truck for a dually flatbed, and get the gooseneck, but I'd hate to trade the 2004 I've got.

    Enter the full trailer into the mix - I could get one, have all the weight on the trailer, and have practically no load on the truck. While my truck is quite heavy and stable, I'm not sure that it is heavy enough to control a even heaver full trailer towed behind. Can my truck, at roughly 3 tons plus, pull a 6 or 7 ton trailer up a hill without loosing traction? How is this rig going to feel braking down a mountain road? Is that trailer going to tend to steer itself past me, pulling my hiney to the side? I'm thinking that if full trailers have an advantage, then we'd see a lot of them out there, used by guys like us. All I see in the equation is more weight, more moving parts, and more difficulties in backing.

    Nac's situation is probably different - he may be looking at being able to load equipment without having a vehicle already hooked up to the trailer, maybe the ability to leave long/heavy things on the trailer at a job site. I'll let Nac speak for himself.
     
  12. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Senior Member

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    I get what your saying and that is why I wondered what would happen if you tried to register one.

    Another forum showed a shot of Australian Land Trains, where a single tractor was pulling 10+ trailers. Obviously it takes training but the point is that it can be done. A lot of legislation over the years limits us here in the U.S.

    It would definately make it easier to tow heavy loads, even on SRW trucks. Even 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks and SUVscould tow more,as most have plenty of power. My wifes new Pathfinder is rated at 7000lbs and with the V* has the power to pull it. Problem is that when you put 250lbs of tongue weight on it (boat trailer) the back end is sagging (I need to order timbrens). My other fear would be braking, all axles would need to be braked.
     
  13. littledenny

    littledenny Well-Known Member

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    Don't see why you couldn't register one-UPS runs full trailers. I've seen some full trailers behind utility trucks, to carry new poles. The Military uses some full trailers, as well, but they can get by anywhere, as they're not regulated by DOT, except for bridge weight restrictions. If I remember right, there are full dump and tank trailers in use in California, and I suspect the other western states as well. If anything, there may be some restrictions in the Northeast. A call to your state DOT should answer that question. (This wasn't meant to sound snotty.)

    Australian land trains are just UPS vans taken to the extreme, but I'd suspect that the first trailer is a semi- thus loading weight on the back end of the tractor. Motive power is a combination of power and traction. I doubt that a truck, with little weight on it, would pull those 10+ trailers - Might have the power but not to traction. Look at a house mover's rig - most houses are moved in the fashion of a full trailer, but the towing vehicle is always loaded with a heavy weight for downpressure on the drive wheels. Likewise, modern locomotives can have thousands of horsepower, but it's the 100-125 tons of weight that makes the traction. That's my argument against a 1/2 or 3/4, or even a 1 ton truck trying to pull a full sized backhoe on a full trailer. And not to belabor the point, but towards the high end of a typical truck's or SUV's towing capacity, there's the fineprint that specifys a weight equalizing hitch. Again, this is a means of distributing weight so as to maximize the tractive effort, without overloading the rear springs and axle.

    Unless someone proves me wrong, (and it's happened a few times), I'd bet that any given vehicle can tow more with some tongue or bed weight, than without it. Before you challenge me with the tractor pulls, consider the point that the sled chain applies some downforce at the drawbar, hense the wheelies. If it were a purely straight pull, there would be no reason to have, or need, wheelie bars, or weight classes for that matter. The classes would then just be by horsepower.

    (Pardon me guys, but I do so love a good discussion)
     
  14. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Senior Member

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    Absoultely traction is key. I always make that point in snowplowing, Motor HP has less to do then weight and good tires. I never bog my motor plowing, instead I am spinning the tires.

    Some tongue weight is needed. I am disappointed in the Pathfinder because our older one held weight fine. This one, I think to give a better ride (which it does) has softer rear coils. Thus with a relatively light tongue weight or even to many groceries it sags. It still pulls great but sags.

    Finally there is momentum, once that lodomotive gets going it takes a lot less power to keep going, only on the steeper grades is it using all the power. Same for vehicles, I was reading a car magazine once and it said that the 59 T-Bird ( I think ) only needed something like 9hp to keep it crusing at 60 mph on a flat stretch of road. Much more was used to get there though.
     
  15. kamerad47

    kamerad47 Well-Known Member

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    Nac The problem with that trailer is the the double pivot it's almost impossible to back up even UPS pull then straight in & breaks them down with a switcher. They use them as line hauler from depot to depot & only on interstates.
     
  16. Nac

    Nac Senior Member

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    Well nothing is imposible these trailers can be backed up they do it in Italy. My father was so good at he used to load the ferry boats with truck trailers for the ride from Sicily to Italy.
    What I am trying to accomplish if possible to buy A single axle 10-12 body dump 33,000 GVW nor to pay FET and still be able to pull my 160 excavtor (36,000lbs) arouns saftly. I think that machine on a 20 ton standerd tag a long would overload the 33,000 truck
     
  17. littledenny

    littledenny Well-Known Member

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    You're correct. A fully loaded railroad boxcar, weighing 50 tons, takes 20 horsepower to maintain a given speed on level track. Once up to speed, engineers often shut down one or more of the diesel engines in a multi-engine train down, and simply use the remaining engines to drive the electric motors on all the locomotives. Momentum helps to maintain the train through the small grades, since part of the train going downhill, helps to pull the part going up hill. (This is the tricky part of operating a train, because you can literally have one end of the train going five miles per hour faster or slower than the other end. Parting a train in the middle, because of differential draft and buff forces is a bad thing. :eek2 ) Only on a ruling grade, or one where the entire train is pulling uphill, do they need full power.
     
  18. John Banks

    John Banks Well-Known Member

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    My Freightliner will pull that :yup You gotta try the Freightliner!
     
  19. kamerad47

    kamerad47 Well-Known Member

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    I've driven double trailers it's not impossible but, if you pull down a street & try to back in a job site good luck!! You may need a double cdl! You really should be using a tandem or Triaxle to haul that size machine! plus I wonder what that kind of trailer would do at highway speed?
     
  20. woberlin

    woberlin Well-Known Member

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    There's a guy here that tows a large excavator with a single axle dump-so I know that it can be done. If it's safe or even legal I do not know, but I do know it's one of the scariest looking rigs I've ever seen on the road. That machine dwarfs that truck, and it looks like an accident waiting to happen. I haul my Komatsu excavator with my 34,000 gvw single axle, but it only weighs about 18,000#s, and I don't think I would haul a heavier excavator with it. To me it almost seems that the way in which an excavator distributes it's weight on the trailer makes it's towing characteristics different than say a dozer of the same weight. Behind the single axle it feels somewhat unstable, especially on turns, curves and heavily crowned roads. Behind my tandem axle, it's completely different-much better!