Ohh, YEAH!!! I'll be following this one, closely! Aaron, I truly appreciate you posting your drawings. You have quite a bit of work in them and I can appreciate the time and calulations that you put into them. (I was formally trained as a draftsman but haven't used those skills in several years.) I saved your pics for personal reference, that is, if you don't mind me pirating them... I will, someday, add one of these trailers to my ever-expanding truck fleet and I have no qualms about following in the footsteps of more talented builders...
You have gotten off to a really good start. I love seeing raw plastic shapes come together into something complex and functional.
That is exactly the function of an oscillating 5th wheel plate. These trailers will see a lot of offroad time, depending on their use, being pulled in and out of farm fields, construction sites, over unprepared or underprepared field or jobsite entrances, through ditches and over VERY uneven ground. I used to drive OTR and can tell you, the pucker factor goes WAY up when you get your tractor on one uneven plane and the trailer on another and you start hearing metals creak, groan and pop as the trailer is trying to bend in a direction it's not meant to. I have actually made a 53' van 'scream' in protest (Or maybe it was my fully retracted landing gears bottoming out on the concrete...)to the angle it was trying to keep while being almost jackknifed into a tight, steep loading dock pit. (It had been built when COE's and 40footers were the norm and here I am with a 9400 International Eagle and a 53 footer...) I thought I was going to bust a kingpin on that one and wished outloud that I had had an oscillating 5th... When I got it parked, with the tractor at close to a right angle to the trailer, I had air under the outboard tires on my right side drive axles and sitting still, things were still making protesting noises...
As you left the street the road surface came up close to a foot and then dropped steeply down, this was to keep rain runoff from flooding the dock pit.
I apologize for the ramblings but thought a little color might help you understand and appreciate what you're building even more...Now, back on topic, I look forward to seeing you make progress on this one!
Edited by Wagoneer81, 14 April 2012 - 03:53 PM.