Trailer Towing, Setting it Up For Safe Handling

You finally decided to rent or purchase a travel trailer. There are two types. Fifth wheel with the hitch set up in the box of the pickup truck and the bunk style that fits onto the hitch below your bumper. Here we will set up the bunk style.

A properly set up truck and bunk trailer will keep you and your family safe and secure and your trailer will tow well and your tires will last for the maximum.

So many times we have seen trailers set up wrong. The trailer is either too high in the front or back. This will get your front or rear tires to wear out quicker and can also lead to overheating on the load bearing tire.
I will assume that you have had a tow package installed in your vehicle. That will keep your engine and transmission from over heating.
We will assume you have a hitch ready to install.
We will assume that you have had a good quality electrical socket all set up.
You have a trailer hitch installed on your vehicle. The heavier the better.

The first thing you must do is back up your tow vehicle and with someone guiding you, stop just short of the trailer hitch. Park and shut off the engine. Get into the habit of shutting the truck off like this every time you wan to work between the trailer and truck. Accidents will happen. Now place a block under the trailer jack, jack up the trailer until the trailer hitch is above the ball on the truck hitch. Lift up the bail on the hitch. With your helper watching from the side and not behind the trailer, very slowly back up until the trailer hitch is exactly above the ball. Stop. Shut off the engine. Lower the hitch onto the ball until you are able to push down and lock the bail. Now jack up the trailer and the truck together about six or eight inches more. Install the sway bars and hook them up with the lever without too much strain on the bars. Hook on the chains remembering how many links you have on each side. Lower the whole unit down and bring the jack up as high as it will go. Hook up the safety chains. Connect the electrical socket and turn on the engine and check your lights. You are done for now.

Now take your unit to a paved parking lot where you can park level. Undo the trailer reversing your last procedure. Use a tape measure and write down the distance of your front and back bumper of the truck to the ground. Hook up the trailer as before and after you have the sway bars hooked up and the unit lowered down again, check the distances from the truck bumpers once again. Repeat the last steps over again until your truck bumpers are the same distance before the load went on. Hook up the safety chains, raise the jacks, and make note of how many links were used on the sway bars. From now on every time you set up the trailer the number of links will be your guide.

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What Kind of Truck Trailer Rental Do You Need?

You can own your own truck, whether it is a regular sized pickup or one of the big rigs and still rent a trailer. A truck trailer rental is more common than you think, especially for the tractor units. If you need one strictly to help move some large pieces of equipment or something similar, then you may want to consider a semi trailer flatbed rental. They are perfect for moving equipment that can handle being exposed to the weather so a covered one is not necessary.

There are many different types of trailers that are available for rent, such as drop deck trailers, which as the name implies, drops down for easier access. These are very popular for transporting vehicles of any kind because the vehicles can be driven onto one. Lowboy trailers are another example of trailers for rent and again, as the name implies, they are very low to the ground making them easy to load, yet are also able to handle a great deal of weight.

Another popular truck trailer rental is a dry van trailer, and is one that is very true to its name. It is a trailer designed to carry only dry goods or equipment; most often they have some type of paneling or covering inside. Don’t be fooled by the word van because it is a full size one, yet the inside is similar to what you would find in a van. This one would be good for hauling soft goods, such as clothing and paper products.

Of course if you need one to help around a construction site, then you may want to consider renting a dump truck trailer. If you need something to haul away lumber scraps, metal or trash then dump truck trailers are your best bet. They are made specifically for those types of loads and have a very large capacity so that fewer trips will have to be made.

One trailer that most vehicle drivers are very familiar with is the reefer trailers, or quite literally, refrigerators on wheels. This type of truck trailer rental may be used by manufacturers of perishable goods, or to transport produce from the farm to the supermarket. It is the only way to safely transfer products such as meat, dairy products and frozen foods. The refrigeration can be set to “on” even when the vehicle is turned off so that the products inside will stay at the proper temperature.

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Tank Chassis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_chassis

Tank container chassis, also referred to as tank chassis, drop frame chassis or tank trailers, are a form of intermodal transportation for portable bulk liquid containers or ISO tank containers. They are characteristically longer and have lower deck height ideal for transporting constantly shifting payloads. The invention of the tank container revolutionized the way bulk liquids were transported, stored, and handled worldwide. It has improved safety, reduced costs and brought with it the benefits of convenience and efficiency associated with a multi-modal transport system. Invariably the invention of the drop frame chassis followed soon after to accommodate this new type of intermodal container.

Description

Tank Chassis
Tank Chassis

Though in the USA tank containers are typically the same dimensions (20′ x 8′ x 8.5′. as a standard ISO ocean container, tank chassis are much longer than the typical 20′ container chassis. Tank chassis typically measure 40′-43′ in length by 8′ wide x 4′ tall. This chassis has a standard drop-frame design providing a lower center of gravity than conventional trailers and an overall length suitable to legally scale most tanks. Twistlocks provide a secure mounting mechanism for the tanks and eliminate the need for straps or chains. The lower center of gravity is crucial for reducing the chances of a roll over with the constant shifting weight of the liquid cargo. These chassis can also be fitted with additional accessories including: lift kits to facilitate product discharge, hose tubes, and hi/lo kits to carry two empty tanks.

Tank chassis types

The tank chassis has evolved over the past years to accommodate greater payload weights. The tank chassis comes in tandem axle, spread axle, tri-axle, and hi/lo combo configurations. Tandem Axle Chassis were the industry standard initially. The closed tandem drop deck chassis typically have a GVWR of 65,000 lbs. The quest to increase payload capacities spawned the tri-axle chassis with the ability to scale 42,000 lbs. on the trailer axles. The addition of the third axle however added a significant increase to the tare weight of the chassis, thus limiting the permissible weight limits to comply with bridge laws. This led to the invention of the Spread Axle Chassis with a spread of 109″ allowing for the same weight to be dispersed on the rear axles of the trailer (42,000 lbs.)as the tri-axle. This is the new industry standard with a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 80,000 lbs.

Types Of Trailers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailer_%28vehicle%29

Some trailers are made for personal (or small business) use with practically any powered vehicle having an appropriate hitch, but some trailers are part of large trucks called semi-trailer trucks for transportation of cargo.

Enclosed toy trailers and motorcycle trailers can be towed by commonly accessible pickup truck or van, which generally require no special permit beyond a regular driver’s license. Specialized trailers like open-air motorcycle trailers, bicycle trailers are much smaller, accessible to small automobiles, as are some simple trailers, pulled by a drawbar and riding on a single set of axles. Other trailers, such as utility trailers and travel trailers or campers come in single and multiple axle varieties, to allow for varying sizes of tow vehicles.

There also exist highly specialized trailers, such as genset trailers and their ilk that are also used to power the towing vehicle. Others are custom-built to hold entire kitchens and other specialized equipment used by carnival vendors. There are also trailers for hauling boats.

Travel trailer

Popup campers are lightweight, aerodynamic trailers that can be towed by a small car, such as the BMW Air Camper and the Coleman Bayside. They are built to be lower than the tow vehicle, minimizing drag.

Others range from two-axle campers that can be pulled by most mid-sized pickups to trailers that are as long as the host country’s law allows for drivers without special permits. Larger campers tend to be fully integrated recreational vehicles, which often are used to tow single-axle dolly trailers to allow the driver to bring small cars on their travels.

Semi-trailer

A semi-trailer is a trailer without a front axle. A large proportion of its weight is supported either by a road tractor or by a detachable front axle assembly known as a dolly. A semi-trailer is normally equipped with legs, called “landing gear”, which can be lowered to support it when it is uncoupled. A single trailer cannot exceed a length of 53 ft 0 in (16.15 m) on interstate highways (unless a special permit is granted) in the United States, however it is possible to link several trailers together.

They vary considerably in design, ranging from open-topped grain haulers through Tautliners to normal-looking but refrigerated 13 ft 0 in (3.96 m) x 53 ft 0 in (16.15 m) enclosures. Many semi-trailers are part of semi-trailer trucks.

Full-trailer

A full-trailer is the US term for a trailer supported by front and rear axles and pulled by a drawbar. In Europe this is known as an A-Frame drawbar trailer.

Close-coupled trailer

A close-coupled trailer is fitted with a rigid towbar which projects from its front and hooks onto a hook on the tractor. It does not pivot as a drawbar does.

Motorcycle trailer

A motorcycle trailer may be a trailer designed to haul motorcycles behind an automobile or truck. Such trailers may be open or enclosed, ranging in size from trailers capable of carrying several motorcycles or only one. They may be designed specifically to carry motorcycles, with ramps and tie-downs, or may be a utility trailer adapted permanently or occasionally to haul one or more motorcycles.

Another type of motorcycle trailer is a wheeled frame with a hitch system designed for transporting cargo by motorcycle. Motorcycle trailers are often narrow and styled to match the appearance of the motorcycle they are intended to be towed behind. You can get either two wheeled versions or single wheeled version. The single wheeled versions, such as the Unigo or Pav 40/41, are designed to allow the bike to have all the normal flexibility of a motorcycle, usually using a universal joint to enable the trailer to lean and turn with the motorcycle. No motorcycle manufacturer recommends that its motorcycles be used to tow a trailer because it creates additional safety hazards for motorcyclists.
Powered trailer mover

A powered trailer mover is a powered vehicle made to push and pull trailers that require lifting on one end before maneuvering. Some are also called trailer pushers or powered trailer pullers. The powered mover is capable of pushing and pulling an RV, a camper, an equipment trailer, or a boat.

The trailer mover was designed to prevent the strain usually associated with moving large trailered equipment.

Trailer winches

Trailer winches are designed to load (or unload) boats and other cargo to and from a trailer. The are made up of a ratchet mechanism and cable. The handle on the ratchet mechanism is turned to tighten or loosen the tension on the winch cable. There are both manual and motorized trailer winches.

Livestock trailer

There are a number of different styles of trailers used to haul livestock such as cattle and horses. The most common is the stock trailer, a trailer that is enclosed on the bottom, but has openings at approximately the eye level of the animals to allow ventilation. The horse trailer is a more elaborate form of stock trailer. Because horses are usually hauled for the purpose of competition or work, where they must be in peak physical condition, horse trailers are designed for the comfort and safety of the animals. They usually have adjustable vents and windows as well as suspension designed to provide a smooth ride and less stress on the animals. In addition, horse trailers have internal partitions that assist the animal in staying upright during travel and protect horses from injuring each other in transit. Larger horse trailers may incorporate additional storage areas for horse tack and may even include elaborate living quarters with sleeping areas, bathroom and cooking facilities, and other comforts.

Both stock trailers and horse trailers range in size from small units capable of holding one to three animals, able to be pulled by a pickup truck or even an SUV; to large semi-trailers that can haul a significant number of animals.

Semi-Trailer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-trailer

A semi-trailer is a trailer without a front axle. A large proportion of its weight is supported by a road tractor, by a detachable front axle assembly known as a dolly, or by the tail of another trailer. A semi-trailer is normally equipped with landing gear (legs which can be lowered) to support it when it is uncoupled.

A road tractor coupled to a semi-trailer is often called a semi-trailer truck or semi, or in the UK an articulated lorry.

In Australian English, the tractor unit is usually referred to as a prime-mover; and the combination of a prime-mover and trailer is known as a semi-trailer or semi. Semi-trailers with two trailer units are B-Doubles or road trains. A B-double consists of a prime mover towing two semi-trailers, where the first semi-trailer is connected to the prime mover by a fifth wheel coupling and the second semi-trailer is connected to the first semi-trailer by a fifth wheel coupling. A road train means a combination, other than a B-Double, consisting of a motor vehicle towing at least two trailers (counting as a single trailer a converter dolly supporting a semi-trailer).

Semi-Trailer Types

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-trailer

Different types of semi-trailers are designed to haul different cargoes.

Common widths are 8 feet (2.44 m), and 2.6 metres (8 ft 6.4 in).

Box
The most common type of trailer. Also called a van trailer.
Standard lengths in North America are 28 ft 0 in (8.53 m), 32 ft 0 in (9.75 m), 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m), 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m), 40 ft 0 in (12.19 m), 45 ft 0 in (13.72 m), 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m) and 53 ft 0 in (16.15 m).

Bus
A bus bodied trailer hitched to a tractor unit to form a trailer bus, a simple alternative to building a rigid bus.

Car-carrying trailer
Carries multiple cars; usually new cars from the manufacturer. In the U.S., car carriers often carry used vehicles, as well.

Curtain sider
A curtain sider is similar to a box trailer except that the sides are movable curtains made of reinforced fabric coated with a waterproof coating. The purpose of a curtain sider is to allow the security and weather resistance of a box trailer with the ease of loading of a flatbed.

Drop-deck trailer
A drop-deck trailer is a trailer on which the floor drops down a level once clear of the tractor unit; the most common types of drop-deck trailer are flatbeds and curtain siders.

Double decker
Double deckers or deckers are trailers with either a fixed, hinged or moveable second floor to enable them to carry more palletised goods. In general a double decker can carry 40 pallets, as opposed to 26 for a standard trailer. Double deck trailers are generally a stepped box or curtain siders, with box trailers having either a fixed or movable (floating) deck, and curtain sides having either a fixed or hinged second deck; this hinged second deck generally swings into a position down the length of the trailer, and can be divided into 2 or 3 sections to allow greater load flexibility.

Dry Bulk
Resembles a big tanker, but is used for sugar, flour, and other dry powder materials.

Flatbed
Consists of just a load floor and removable side rails and a bulkhead in front to protect the tractor in the event of a load shift. Can haul almost anything that can be stacked on and strapped down.

Lowboy
Type of flatbed in which the load floor is as close to the ground as possible. Most commonly used to haul heavy equipment, cranes, bulldozers, etc.

Reefer – see Refrigerator truck
Box trailer with a heating/cooling unit (reefer) attached. Used for hauling produce, ice cream, etc.

Sidelifter
Semi-trailer with hydraulic cranes mounted at both ends of the chassis allowing for the loading and unloading of shipping containers without the need of a forklift or other container handling equipment.

Tanker – see Tank truck
Used for hauling liquids such as gasoline, milk, orange juice, and alcohol.

Frac
A type of tank trailer with a single and fixed axle, typically used during hydraulic fracturing at oil wells.

Intermodal freight use

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatcar#Intermodal_freight_use

COFC (container on flat car) cars are typically 89 feet (27.13 m) long and carry four 20-foot (6.10 m) intermodal containers or two 40-foot (12.19 m)/45-foot (13.72 m) shipping containers (the two 45-foot / 13.72 m containers are carryable due to the fact that the car is actually 92 ft (28.04 m) long, using the strike plates). With the rise of intermodal freight transport-specific cars, and given the age of most of these flats, numbers will decline over the next several years. Indeed, when the first well cars appeared, allowing double stacking, many container flats were re-built as autoracks. The few “new build” container flats are identifiable by their lack of decking, welded steel frame, and standard 89-foot length. One variant is the 50 feet (15.24 m) car (which usually carries one large container as a load); these are actually re-built old boxcars. Common reporting marks are FEC, CP, SOO and KTTX. The ATTX cars, which feature no spark grips and sides, are built for hauling dangerous goods (ammunition, flammable fluids, etc.).
Kansas City Southern Railway #8985, a flatcar seen in this May 29, 2004, photo, is fitted with fifth wheel coupling hitches for hauling trailers.

A TOFC (trailer on flat car, a.k.a. piggy-back) car once again, is usually an 89 ft car. In the past, these carried three 30 ft (9.14 m) trailers which are, as of 2007, almost obsolete, or one large, 53 ft (16.15 m), two 40-foot (12.19 m) or 45-foot (13.72 m) trailers. As intermodal traffic grows, these dedicated flats are in decline. Most have been modified to also carry containers. One notable type is Canadian Pacific Railway’s XTRX service — dedicated five-unit flats that only carry trailers.

Self Storage Today

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_storage#Self_storage_today

At year-end 2009, a total of some 50,000 self storage facilities, owned by 30,235 companies, have been developed in the United States on industrial and commercial land parcels. There is more than 2.35 billion square feet of self storage in the U.S., or a land area equivalent to three times Manhattan Island under roof. The five large publicly traded storage operators (four REITs and U-Haul) own or operate approximately 9% of self storage facilities. More recently, in many metropolitan cities where competition among storage companies is fierce, better parcels of land near residential and commercial areas are being converted into self-storage once approved by zoning panels.

Self storage businesses lease a variety of unit sizes to residential and business customer/tenants. Popular unit sizes include 10×5 (10 feet wide by 5 feet (1.5 m) deep) which is about the size of a large walk-in closet, 10×10 (the size of a child’s bedroom), 10×20 (one-car garage), 15×20 and 20×20 (two-car garage). The storage units are typically windowless, walled with corrugated metal, and lockable by the renter. Chain-link fencing or wire mesh may function as a more secure ceiling than a suspended ceiling. Each unit is usually accessed by opening a roll-up metal door, which is usually about the same size as a one-car garage door. A controlled access facility may employ security guards, surveillance cameras, individual unit door alarms and some means of electronic gate access such as a keypad or prox card. A few facilities even use biometric thumbprint or hand scanners to ensure that access is granted only to those that rent.

In rural and suburban areas most facilities contain multiple single-story buildings with mostly drive-up units having natural ventilation, but which are not climate-controlled. These buildings are referred to as “traditional”. Climate-controlled interior units are becoming more popular in suburban areas. In urban areas many facilities have multi-story buildings using elevators or freight lifts to move the goods to the upper floors. These facilities are often climate-controlled since they have mostly, if not all, interior units. Warehouses or grocery stores are sometimes converted into self storage facilities. Loading docks are sometimes provided on the ground floor. Also, complimentary rolling carts or moving dollies are sometimes provided to help the customers carry items to their units. Urban self storage facilities might contain only a few floors in a much larger building; there are successful self storage businesses cohabitating with light manufacturing, office tenants and even a public school.[citation needed]

According to the “Self Storage Demand Study – 2007” (published by the SSA) one in ten U.S. households now rent a self storage unit. The growing demand for self storage in the U.S. is created by people moving (some 40 million Americans move each year according to U.S. Census data), and by various lifestyle transitions, such as marriage, divorce, retirement, a death in the family, etc.

Customers are generally allowed to store any non-hazardous, non-toxic, non-perishable material in the facility: personal items, furniture, motorcycles, overstocked retail wares, etc. Customers are prohibited from sleeping or otherwise living in the room. If the customer fails to pay the rent, a lien is placed on the customer’s goods and they are sold at auction based on the provisions of that state’s lien law. The storage facility lien rights are codified in most states. The customer is still responsible for any rent and fees due if the auction does not clear their balance. (i.e. California Self-Service Storage Facility Act, Business & Professions code Sec 21700 et seq

The national Self Storage Association (SSA) was founded in 1975. The SSA represents some 6,000 companies in the United States that own, operate or manage some 22,000 facilities.

Intermediate bulk container – Shape & Dimensions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate_bulk_container

There are many advantages of the IBC concept:

* They are generally cubic in form and therefore can transport more material in the same area than cylindrically shaped containers and far more than might be shipped in the same space if packaged in consumer quantities.
* They rely on plastic liners that can be filled and discharged with a variety of systems.
* The manufacturer/processor of a product can bulk package a product in one country and ship to many other countries at a reasonably low cost where it is subsequently packaged in final consumer form in accordance with the regulations of that country and in a form and language suitable for that country.

IBCs range in size but are generally between 700 and 2,000 mm (27.6 and 78.7 in) or 46 to 52 in (1,168 to 1,321 mm) in height. The length and width of an IBC is usually dependent on the pallet dimension standard of a given country.

IBCs may have pallet-like bases so that forklifts can move them.

It is common for IBCs to be able to fold down into a compact profile, reducing their height for transportation and storage when empty. IBCs in almost all cases can be stacked vertically.

Depending on the size of the IBC, it can weigh between 90 and 1,200 kg (198 and 2,646 lb).

Self Storage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_storage

The term “self storage” is short for “self-service storage”, and is also known as “mini storage” or “mini warehouse” (archaic)1. . Self storage facilities lease space to individuals, usually storing household goods, or to small businesses, usually storing excess inventory or archived records. The rented spaces, known as “units”,”rooms” or “lockers” are secured by the tenant’s own lock and key. Facility operators do not have casual access to the contents of the space, unlike a professional warehouseman. A self storage operator never takes possession, care, custody or control of the contents of the storage rental space unless a lien is imposed for non-payment of rent. Self storage facility operators frequently provide controlled access to rental space areas, individual door alarms, interior units lights, and security cameras. Goods or items stored are either not insured by the self storage operator, or insured only to a minimal degree; possessions stored are at the tenant’s “own risk” or can be protected by tenant-purchased homeowner’s insurance or buy purchasing self storage tenant insurance.