Auto Steer Trailers
Capacity Range Over 35,000 lbs.
Auto-Steer Trailer Showing Four Wheel Version
Intended for individual towing (no trains!), these massive trailers are designed to handle incredible loads and normally built to a specific size. Four-Wheel steering assures optimal turns in minimal space. It is not uncommon to equip these with reversible tongues, meaning the trailer can be towed from either end. The massive ¼” thick steel deck accommodates virtually any kind of load and withstands most loading and unloading indiscretions. Tie rod guards, welded in place strategically under the side frame and between the front and rear wheels, protect vital steering linkage from inadvertent forklift contact. Hamilton’s 35,000# capacity trailers are suitable for those incredibly heavy, and sometimes physically large, loads that require safe transit inside a factory or warehouse.
Wheels are dual wheel press-on Polyurethane tired wheels, which vary in diameter and width and can be specified for a trailer and its capacity. Dual wheels offer two benefits: first, this configuration eliminates wheel “scrubbing” that occurs as wheels are wider; and second, more wheels translates into smaller diameter wheels, since there are more wheels to support the load, and consequently the deck height is lower and stability improved. Tapered bearings, in some cases for 2” diameter axles, assure dependable rolling performance.
A major wear point on any towed trailer is the towing loop. Comprised of forged steel, Hamilton’s loops are designed for handling the maximum towed load and are resistant to wear during years of use.
All steering joints are actually fifth wheel assemblies, linked together to provide the automotive-style steering. These massive assemblies include ½” thick steel plates sandwiching a UHMW disk for easy and long-lasting turning. The assembly connected to the towing tongue uses an incredible 2” diameter kingpin, while the wheel assemblies rely on 1-1/4” diameter kingpins.
Depending on the design capacity and size, structural frame is of either 5” or 6” channel.
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.
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