Detachable gooseneck trailers, such as mechanical, pneumatic, and hydraulic RGN trailers, offer versatility in the transportation industry. The mechanical RGN requires assistance from the tractor and involves sliding or rolling off the gooseneck, while pneumatic trailers rely on air pressure for connection and detachment. Hydraulic RGNs utilize either landing or non-landing cylinders for lifting and adjusting the height. Each type of detachable gooseneck trailer has its own operational procedures and benefits, providing options for efficient cargo transportation. This article will introduce the RGN trailer in detail.
What is an RGN Trailer?
The RGN trailer, short for removable gooseneck trailer, is also known as a detachable gooseneck trailer. It belongs to the category of lowboy trailers and is equipped with a hydraulic gooseneck that can be disconnected from the trailer body. When detached, the front deck of the trailer, which is sloped, touches the ground, allowing for a shallow incline that facilitates the loading of heavy machinery. This type of trailer is considered a front-loading trailer, similar to folding gooseneck trailers, where the load can also be loaded from the front of the lowbed trailer.
Removable gooseneck trailers represent an advancement in lowbed trailer technology, primarily due to the detachable gooseneck feature. This transformative design allows the trailer to transition from a conventional lowbed trailer to a front-loading trailer. In a traditional lowbed trailer, the gooseneck is located at the front of the trailer, followed by a drop-deck section for cargo, and finally, the trailer’s wheel-set at the rear.
Applications of Removable Gooseneck Trailers
Removable gooseneck trailers find extensive applications in various industries for the transportation of a wide range of vehicles and heavy equipment. They are commonly utilized for the movement of prime movers, tractors, buses, specialized vehicles, railway equipment, mining equipment, agricultural and forestry machinery, as well as construction machines. These trailers offer a convenient and cost-effective solution for loading and unloading equipment with wheels. Unlike other methods that require the use of a crane to lift and position equipment. The removable gooseneck trailer allows the equipment to be driven directly or towed to a trailer. This makes it the most economical loading and unloading option.
Components of a Typical Detachable Gooseneck Trailer
A detachable gooseneck trailer comprises several essential components that enable its functionality and efficient operation. These components include:
1. Gooseneck: The gooseneck is a crucial part of the trailer that connects it to the towing vehicle. It allows for the transfer of weight and provides stability during transportation.
2. Traction System: The traction system is responsible for facilitating the movement of the trailer. It comprises various mechanisms and components that enable the trailer to be pulled or driven.
3. Power System: The power system provides the necessary energy to operate different functions of the trailer. It typically includes a power pack or power source.
4. Alignment System: The alignment system ensures proper alignment between the gooseneck and the trailer body during attachment and detachment. It consists of horizontal and vertical alignment mechanisms.
- – Horizontal Alignment: This system ensures proper alignment between the gooseneck and the trailer body horizontally. It may utilize bolt alignment or guide slot alignment methods.
- – Vertical Alignment: The vertical alignment system allows for adjustment of the gooseneck height relative to the trailer body. It can be achieved through mechanical adjustment, winch adjustment, or pneumatic and hydraulic adjustment.
5. Locking System: The locking system secures the connection between the removable gooseneck and the trailer body, ensuring stability during transportation. It can be operated manually or pneumatically.
- – Manual Control Locking: This type of locking system includes various mechanisms such as traction seat locks, latch locks, and cam locks that are manually controlled to secure the connection.
- – Pneumatic Control Locking: This locking system utilizes pneumatic pressure to secure the gooseneck and trailer body connection. It consists of a power pack that typically includes a diesel or petrol engine, an engine starter, a battery, a hydraulic pump, and hydraulic cylinders.
These components work together to provide the necessary functionality, alignment, and security for detachable gooseneck trailers, enabling efficient transportation of various heavy equipment and vehicles.
Features of RGN Trailers
RGN (removable gooseneck) trailers possess several distinctive features that make them highly versatile and suitable for a range of transportation needs. These features include:
Low Loading Platform: When the gooseneck is detached from the trailer body, the trailer bed can touch the ground, providing a safe and efficient loading and unloading process.
Low Profile: Even with the gooseneck connected, the trailer bed remains low, making it a suitable option for oversized goods. The low height enhances the trailer’s trafficability.
Extendable Cargo Platform: For transporting extra-long cargo, RGN trailers can be equipped with an extendable cargo platform. The platform can be extended to accommodate lengthy cargo and retracted to reduce overall length and turning radius after transportation.
Lashing Points: RGN trailer beds are equipped with lashing eyes, enabling the secure fastening of cargo using steel ropes or cord straps.
Arc-Up Design: The cargo platform is designed with an arc-up shape, increasing payload capacity and trafficability while reducing dead weight.
RGN trailers can be categorized based on the type of detachment mechanism:
Mechanical Type: These trailers offer low manufacturing and operational costs, easy maintenance, and a relatively simple steel structure. Although detaching the gooseneck can be cumbersome, they are reliable for long-distance transportation and widely used.
Pneumatic Type: Pneumatic RGN trailers feature adjustable height, facilitating easy mounting and dismounting of the gooseneck from the trailer body. They provide cushioning during transportation, similar to airbag suspension, making them suitable for fragile cargo. Air-pressure meters on the pneumatic circuit allow for monitoring of cargo weight.
Hydraulic Type: Similar to pneumatic trailers, hydraulic RGN trailers have a simple design and easy control process. They eliminate the need to detach the gooseneck from the tractor to disconnect it from the trailer chassis. The front part of the trailer is designed with a tilting plane and folding slopes, allowing cargo machines to be driven onto the platform easily. The automation level is high, with driver-operated control procedures and alignment for connecting the removable gooseneck.
These features collectively make RGN trailers a versatile and efficient solution for transporting a wide range of cargo, providing flexibility, convenience, and increased safety during operations.
To remove the gooseneck from an RGN trailer, follow these steps:
- Prepare the Trailer: Ensure that the trailer is parked on a flat and stable surface. Engage the parking brake and chock the wheels for added safety.
- Disconnect Auxiliary Connections: Disconnect any auxiliary connections such as electrical wiring or air lines between the gooseneck and the trailer body.
- Release Locking Mechanisms: Locate the locking mechanisms that secure the gooseneck to the trailer body. These mechanisms may include latches, locks, or cam locks. Release them as per the manufacturer’s instructions to disengage the gooseneck.
- Activate Hydraulic Cylinders: The gooseneck is equipped with hydraulic cylinders that hold it in place. Activate the hydraulic system to release the pressure in the cylinders and allow the gooseneck to be detached.
- Secure the Gooseneck: Once the gooseneck is disconnected from the trailer body, ensure that it is secured to prevent it from falling to the ground. If it remains connected to the prime mover, use appropriate restraints or supports to hold it in place.
- Load or Unload Goods: With the gooseneck removed, proceed with loading or unloading the goods onto the trailer bed as required.
- Reconnecting the Gooseneck: When ready to reconnect the gooseneck, position the tractor or prime mover in alignment with the trailer body. Adjust the height of the traction pin using the internal hydraulic jacks to ensure a proper fit and connection.
- Re-engage Locking Mechanisms: Once the gooseneck is correctly aligned with the trailer body, re-engage the locking mechanisms to secure the connection. Verify that the gooseneck is securely attached before proceeding.
It is important to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer for your RGN trailer model. The hydraulic gooseneck design allows for compatibility with various types of prime movers, providing adaptability and efficiency during the removal and reconnection process.
Power Source of RGN Detachable Gooseneck Trailer
The power source for detachable gooseneck trailers (RGN trailers) has evolved over time to provide more efficient and versatile operations. Here are the various power sources used:
- Hydraulic System: In the 1940s, hydraulic systems were introduced as a power source for adjusting the gooseneck. The hydraulic system is typically driven by the tractor and requires the installation of a power take-off (PTO). This system allows for easy adjustment and alignment of the gooseneck with the trailer.
- Independent Power Pack: Currently, an independent power pack is widely used as a power source for the gooseneck. This independent unit provides power for the detachment and reconnection of the gooseneck. It offers greater versatility, as a general tractor can be used with the gooseneck, enabling efficient drop and pull transport between the tractor and RGN trailer.
- Compressed Air: In some cases, compressed air from the prime mover can be utilized as a power source for detaching the gooseneck. This method eliminates the need for a power pack on the trailer and allows for adaptation in low-temperature environments and remote areas.
- Mechanical System: An alternative option is the use of a mechanical RGN, particularly for long-distance and heavy transportation. This type of gooseneck has a simple design and light self-weight. However, to remove the neck from the trailer, modifications must be made on the prime mover. The loading and unloading process for mechanical RGN trailers is relatively more complicated compared to other powered RGN trailers.
Additionally, it’s important to note that fixed gooseneck trailers, although not detachable, feature a long cargo bed and light dead weight. However, they do not offer front loading capability like RGN trailers.
Three Main Types of RGN Trailers
Mechanical RGN Trailer
The mechanical removable gooseneck (RGN) trailer, also known as a mechanical RGN trailer, features a longer gooseneck compared to fixed gooseneck trailers. However, the cargo platform of the mechanical RGN trailer is relatively shorter and cannot be adjusted in height. Each part of the RGN trailer remains stationary and does not have relative movement.
The key mechanism in detaching the gooseneck is the cam gear built into the neck. Assembling or disassembling the neck from the trailer body typically requires assistance from the tractor, sometimes necessitating the tractor to move forward and backward several times. This process makes the mechanical RGN trailer less suitable for short-distance transport due to its lower efficiency.
During the connecting and disconnecting process of the gooseneck from the trailer body, there is a risk of damaging the chassis of the prime mover. To mitigate this potential damage, a small wheel set can be mounted underneath a latitudinal beam of the neck. This allows for a transition from sliding to rolling movement between the gooseneck and the tractor, minimizing friction and increasing the working life of the tractor’s chassis.
Pneumatic RGN Trailer
The pneumatic removable gooseneck trailer relies on the air supply from the prime mover, eliminating the need for additional power supply equipment. This design results in lower fabrication costs and reduced maintenance expenses.
The pneumatic neck of the trailer incorporates air bellows, air reservoirs, and air cylinders. These components enable the removal of the neck and adjustment of the trailer’s height. The air pressure is sourced from the air brake system of the prime mover.
Hydraulic RGN Trailer
The hydraulic removable gooseneck lowboy trailer is the most popular type of RGN trailer and can be categorized into two types based on the positions of the hydraulic cylinders:
- Landing Hydraulic Cylinder Type: In this type, hydraulic jacks are typically located in the rear part (bottom part) of the RGN trailer, arranged in a vertical placement. The detaching of the neck relies on the hydraulic cylinder pushing against the ground. The top end of the cylinder connects to the top hinge of the gooseneck’s crossbeam, while the bottom end is joined with a landing leg. When the hydraulic cylinder extends, the landing leg touches the ground, allowing the back of the neck to be lifted to a certain height. The function of the cylinder is to lift or lower the front part of the detachable gooseneck trailer, facilitating the disconnection of the neck from the semi-trailer.
- Non-Landing Hydraulic Cylinders Type: This type provides continuous angle adjustment of the RGN. Unlike the landing type, the hydraulic cylinders are typically positioned in the front part (top part) of the RGN trailer, often in a horizontal placement or slightly inclined. The neck includes a safety lock system designed to prevent rotational movement between the base and the traction part. The safety lock is connected with tie rods controlled by pneumatic cylinders. When the cylinders extend, the locking pins retract to the null position, and when the cylinders retract, the locking pins extend to the locking position.
Operations of Detachable Gooseneck Trailer
Operations of detachable gooseneck trailers vary depending on the type of trailer. Here are the operations for mechanical RGN, pneumatic RGN, and hydraulic RGN trailers:
- Disconnect the traction pin from the traction seat.
- Slide or roll off the gooseneck from the traction seat, lowering the front end of the trailer to the ground.
- Remove the bolt to release the RGN from the trailer end.
- Move the prime mover forward to completely disconnect the RGN from the trailer body.
- To reconnect, reverse the above steps, align the neck and trailer, and secure with fix pins.
- Move the tractor forward to suspend the RGN gooseneck by cam motions and facilitate reconnection.
- During the connection process, the front end of the trailer touches the ground, allowing cargo to run onto the semi-trailer from the front.
- Connect the neck with the tractor using a traction seat and traction pin.
- Place spacer blocks under the horizontal and latitudinal beams to raise the bottom part of the neck.
- Push the neck back with the tractor to fit it with the trailer, using air pressure to adjust the height.
- Secure the RGN with the trailer by inserting pins and bolts.
- The process of installing the neck is complete.
- Hydraulic RGN (landing type):
- Extend the hydraulic cylinder to the ground, lifting the end of the RGN off the ground.
- Unlock pins and bolts.
- Retract the hydraulic cylinder to tilt the neck backward, lowering the front end of the trailer to the ground.
- Drive the tractor off the trailer to detach the neck.
- To attach the neck, drive the prime mover near the trailer, extend the cylinder to align the connecting parts.
- Insert fixing pins and bolts, retract the cylinder, and complete the attachment process.
Hydraulic RGN (non-landing type):
- Extend one of the cylinders to lift the bottom part of the neck and elevate the traction part linked with the traction seat.
- Set the safety lock in the locking position to secure the front part of the neck during transportation.
- Before detaching or attaching the neck, ensure the locking pin is in the off position.
- The safety locking pin system is controlled by pneumatic pressure, powered by the tractor’s air supply system.
- The process of detaching and attaching the neck can be performed by a single tractor driver.
Note: Air or hydraulic detachable gooseneck trailers have shorter cargo beds, heavier self-weight, and efficient gooseneck detachment. The height of the cargo bed is adjustable, and the operation of these trailers is generally easier compared to other types of RGN trailers.