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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Scania 4 Series 124-420
2004 | Drawbars
2004 124 420 TOPLINER 8x2 REAR LIFT WITH DIFF LOCK F/W REMOTE CONTROLLED PM 65 (6 BOOMS) WITH 2 AXLE DRAWBAR TRAILER, MOT + LEZ TEST 06/2018. TWIST LOCKS. MANUAL. 44TON GROSS. £65,000 + V.A.T.
DAF CF85 430 6x4 Wire Rope
2006 | Drawbars
Multi Lift Wire Rope Equipment, Hub Reduction Axles, Alloy Fuel Tank, Piped For Draw Bar, Takes 21ft Body, 16 Speed Manual Gear Box, May 2018 M.O.T RIGIDS
Trailer Corus Tandem Axle Draw-bar
2005 | Drawbars
Fitted with a 25ft drop-side body, 57mm VBG hitch, BWP on disc brakes Choice
Trailer Cartwright Tandem Axle Draw-bar
2005 | Drawbars
Chassis with de-mount equipment, 57mm VBG hitch, Choice
Renault Premium 20460 DXI Drawbar Container Rig
2013 | Drawbars | 26000kg
- 6x2 Single Wheel Rear Lift
- 26/44 ton
- Optidriver Auto Gearbox
- Alloy Fuel Tank
- 8 Ton Front Axle
- 57mm air assest hitch
- Air Conditioning.
- 360 Degree camera system
- 20` cotainer carrying body
- C/W 2013 Wheelbase Tri Axle trailer
- 24 Ton Gross
- BPW Axles Drum Brakes
- 5` 8" Drawbar Arm with 57mm Eye
- Front and rear legs
- Raise and lower.
- 20` Twist
Renault Lander Premium 460
2011 | Drawbars
26T, 6x4, Draw Bar Spec Chassis Cab, Manual, 9T Front Axle, Hub Reduction
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
MAN TGX 2018.440 Drawbar 18/40 Ton Chassis Cab
2012 | Drawbars
- Double bunk
- Air conditioning
- Automatic gearbox
- 192,000 kms
- 8 ton front axle
- 5.1m wheelbase
- 18ft chassis cab
- Rear air suspension
- Rockinger 50mm air assist hitch
- MOT April 2018
Volvo FM 20FM450 Globetrotter 6x2 Rear Steer Drawbar Crane
2011 | Drawbars | 26000kg
- 6x2 Rear Steer
- I shift gearbox
- 552,000 kms
- Air conditioning
- 9 TON Front Axle
- 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
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
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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