Auto Steer Trailers
Capacity Range Up To 5000 lbs.
Auto-Steer Trailer Showing Two Wheel Version
Available in both two and four-wheel steer versions, these trailers have steering systems that closely resemble automobiles. Unlike the more popular fifth-wheel steer trailers, auto steer trailers turn by steering only the wheels, not the entire axle. Linkages are considerably more complicated to allow coordinated turns, avoiding wheels “scrubbing”. Those intended for use in trains (more than one trailer towed at a time) should be 4-wheel steer for best tracking through turns.
Accurate tracking is achieved on four wheel steer trailers via the custom designed linkage system. A second reason for four wheel steer is to gain the capacity to swap the towing tongue from one end of the trailer to the other. Otherwise, two wheel steer is probably a better choice.
All models feature 8# diameter X 3” wide wheels with polyurethane tread. Poly tread assures a relatively quiet ride, adequate capacity, and sufficient “stick” for trailering turns.
The 12-ga. steel deck provides a durable surface for virtually any load. It is welded to a 3” steel channel frame, including a center rail for best strength through the frame for trailers coupled together.
The foundation of the steering system is Hamilton’s tried and true EHD swivel caster foundation. Time-tested for material handling duty and rated up to 5000# individual direct load, wheels are mounted into the two outer units and the central unit (also termed a “hound”) ties the linkage together. Speaking of linkage, these models feature adjustable tie rods for precision steering adjustment.
4-wheel steer vs. 2-wheel steer.
Trailers with 4-wheel steering provide the best tracking available, whether in auto steer or fifth wheel steering design. When all four wheels turn, the trailers in a train track in a nearly identical path through turns. While the trailers may cost a bit more, the gains in warehouse space through narrower aisles can be substantial. Additionally, longer trains may be towed through the warehouse if the steering is more accurate, vs. the two-wheel steering trailers.
The advantage of auto steer trailers, particularly in the 4-wheel steer design, is in their stability. Keeping the wheels “outboard” maintains stability during turns. The four wheel steer trailers with fifth wheel design surrender some lateral stability during turns as the footprint of the wheels narrows. Higher load centers of gravity or higher speeds during turns accentuate the problem. When load stability is vital, consider the 4-wheel auto steer design.