The drawbar truck has long been popular across Europe but has yet to make the same impact in the UK. That may be set to change, however, as the government experiments with longer trucks. The drawbar combination is different from the standard tractor and semi trailer set up. With the drawbar, the front of the unit is a truck in its own right. It is a rigid-bodied truck, usually of 4x2 or 6x2 axle combination. This has its own load area, often a curtainsider or box van. The rigid truck is then joined to a second trailer unit by way of a drawbar. This is a rigid coupling which allows the tractive unit to pull the trailer.
The drawbar lorry combination can feature up to six axles and gross weights of 44 tonnes. The major benefit lies in the added volume available to the drawbar operator. This makes it possible to haul more per journey and so could be more productive where weight is not the limiting factor. The drawbar also has other benefits over a standard articulated tractor and semi trailer combination. Because the drawbar combination pivots in the middle, it can be more manoeuvrable in tight situations. This can allow it to access, for example, tight building site tracks, where a full-size artic may simply not be an option.
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Volvo FM 20FM450 Globetrotter 6x2 Rear Steer Drawbar Crane
2011 | Drawbars | 26000kg
6X2 Rear Steer, I shift gearbox, Air conditioning, fridge, alloy wheels, reverse camera, fitted Copma 130 crane with grab and rotator, top seat controls, with 21` alloy dropside body 57mm air hitch, 4.9m w/base, C/W Wheelbase tri axle 24 ton gross trailer, Merc axles on disc brakes, front lift, fitted 20` 5" dropside flat.
MOT Dec 2018
Scania R Series R440
2011 | Drawbars
R440 Highliner 2011 (11) Euro 5, Double Sleeper Cab, 6x2 Rear Lift Axle, Drawbar Spec, 29' 7" Flat Body, 3 Pedal Opticruise Gearbox, Axle Load Indicator, Deflector Kit, Tool Box, Cruise Control, Air Suspension, Night Heater, Sun Roof, Sun Visor, Air Con, Electric Windows / Mirrors, CD Player, 307,000 Miles, Excellent Condition Coupled To 2009 SDC Triaxle Drawbar Trailer, 27' 9" Flat, 3' Extension,
DAF CF85 .380
2006 | Drawbars
26/44 tonne Drawbar rig.
Still at work
Full service history
1.5 tonne tail lift on lorry
MOT to December 2017 on both lorry and trailer.
The lorry will take 14 40x48 pallets
The trailer takes 12 40x48 pallets.
26 Pallet total for the two together.
The lorry has a digital tacho
Volvo FM 410
2011 | Drawbars | 39683kg
2011 FM410 drawbar spec,auto gearbox,air con,front and rear air suspension,one owner from new,high mileage maintained from new, very clean truck, Axle Type: 4x2; 4x2
Mercedes-Benz Actros 2544
2008 | Drawbars
2008 MERCEDES ACTROS 2544 6X2 DRAWBAR AUTO R.P.C 21FT ALLOY SIDES, 9 TON FRONT AXLE 648,000 KMS. C/W ATLAS 12 T/M REMOTE CONTROL BRICK CRANE AND 20FT 6” ALLOY DROPSIDE TRI AXLE TRAILER, MOT’D NOV 2016 £22,995 ONO
Volvo FH 460
2017 | Drawbars
8x2 rear lift and steer fitted Fassi F545RA2.26 crane new low profile cheese wedge plant body some with drawbar trailers
Mercedes-Benz Axor 1843 4x2 Rigid Curtain
2004 | Drawbars
24ft Long Body, 8.6ft Max Internal Height, Draw Bar Hitch, Air Con, 8 Speed Manual Gear Box, Air Con, Electric Windows, 6m Wheel Base, External Measurements, 3.9m High, 2.5m High, 10m Long,,, RIGIDS
Renault Lander 460DXI
2012 | Drawbars
LANDER 460 6X4 CHASSIS CAB ON AIR AUTO 5M WHEEL BASE ENGINE BRAKE A/C 25 FT CHASSIS PIPED FOR DRAWBAR 12 MONTHS DOE Rigid Trucks
Scania R Series R480 Highline 6x4 Chassis cab Only 252000 kms !!
2013 | Drawbars
6x4 on steel suspension 26/44 ton 12 speed manual gearbox Retarder Air conditioning Double bunk 8.5 ton front axle PTO prepped 4.9m wheel base 24ft chassis cab Piped for drawbar Full Scania sevice history.
MOT May 2017
DAF CF85 410
2009 | Drawbars
2009 DAF 85CF 410 4X2 Demountable with draw bar hitch. Rigid Trucks
The drawbar also has advantages in loading. When the rear trailer is disconnected, the drawbar is still a functioning C class truck. This means that in theory the drawbar can be disconnected to allow the truck to make deliveries while the trailer is being loaded, thus potentially saving some time on local routes and making the drawbar more productive. It has to be remembered, however, that the drawbar is not a demount, and when returning to base the truck unit would have to be reloaded. There are tax advantages too, with the drawbar being classified as a C class vehicle.
Clearly, the drawbar also has some perceived disadvantages. With two load areas, it can be more cumbersome and time-consuming to load. The front unit can be loaded first but then the driver must hook up to the rear trailer and manoeuvre it to the loading bay to have it loaded.
There are also differences in handling characteristics to consider. Many drivers report that reversing the drawbar in particular can be a more difficult manoeuvre than the equivalent movement on a standard tractor and semi trailer combination. It should be noted, however, that some drivers dispute this. It may be down to what the driver has been trained on and how experienced he is on the drawbar configuration.
The process of selecting a used drawbar is much like that of the equivalent rigid truck. There are many drawbar combinations, including box vans, curtainsides, dropsides, tankers and tippers. Clearly, the driver or operator must select the appropriate version for his business and then look at the size of drawbar required and number of axles. The operator should take care to inspect the drawbar mechanism and ensure the trailer and all of its mechanical components are up to scratch if buying a full combo.
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