What is the minimum turning radius of the Hydra-Steer Trailer?
The Hydra-Steer trailer steers in a “Crab Steer” fashion and as such, skids around a corner. Because all of the axles are fixed to the sub-frame and are turned the same amount the theoretical radius is infinite. In real life the actual turning radius of the Hydra-Steer will depend upon a number of factors, including: the type of road (asphalt, concrete, gravel, etc.), the length of the beam, the weight per axle, and the skill of the operator. In some instances, the operator may chose to approach a challenging corner, make the first attempt and then back up using the Hydra- Steer to reposition the trailer and then continue through the turn on to the destination. This two-shot approach allows the driver to easily negotiate more difficult corners with little loss of time.
Does the Hydra-Steer self-steer?
The Hydra-Steer is designed to allow the driver to steer the trailer as required when the trailer’s power unit is running. This allows the driver to be in control of the trailer at all times. Some trailers are designed with a self-steer feature, but the Hydra-Steer is not.
Will I need a second person to steer the Hydra-Steer?
No. The Hydra-Steer is designed to be controlled by the driver of the tractor. Most drivers quickly become comfortable using the 2-button pendant to steer right or left. Some have even customized their rigs by replacing the pendant with a toggle switch mounted to the shift lever of their tractors.
Can a second person assist with the steering of the Hydra-Steer if necessary?
Yes, but only one person is allowed to control the Hydra-Steer at any one time. All Hydra-Steer trailers are setup with a pendant plug-in at the rear of the trailer. In some instances it is very helpful to have a second person spot the trailer to place it exactly in the right position for the load to be lifted.
Do I need to run the gas power unit throughout the trip from plant to the job site?
No. In long distance applications many drivers turn the power unit off once they’ve left the plant. It can be easily started again as the route may require or once you get to the job site.
Will I need to drop the tongue (towbar) before steering the Hydra-Steer?
No. This is one of the biggest advantages of the Hydra-Steer trailer. Many “steerable dollies” require the tongue to be dropped before steering can take place. Then, after the corner is negotiated, the tongue is reconnected before the trip can continue. Because the Hydra-Steer steers differently we keep you rolling saving you time and money.
How do I backhaul my Hydra-Steer?
In cases where a 2-, 3-, 4- or 5-axle Hydra-Steer is being used you simply connect by pinning the tongue of the Hydra-Steer to the front bunk located on the tractor or jeep trailer. Once pinned you are ready to go. For larger loads, where a lowboy is used in conjunction with the tractor, the Hydra-Steer can be “decked-up” for backhaul. Many Hydra-Steer users have arranged with the contractor at the site to make this a quick and painless task.
Can ERMC provide a Hydra-Steer trailer design that will work for all of my state’s permitting requirements?
Generally the answer to this question is no. While we do work closely with many transportation managers we seldom know all of the many variables that come into play with each load. Variables such as route to the job site, length of load including the tractor and lowboy, height of the total load, bridge restrictions along the way, special county or city restrictions, seasonal restrictions all come into play when applying for a permit. We will be happy to provide Hydra-Steer owners with configuration drawings that they can use when applying for permits.
Can I get my Hydra-Steer with Air-Ride suspension?
Yes, although to date, 99% of all Hydra-Steers have been outfitted with steel spring suspension. Steel springs are popular because they are perceived by the industry as being stiffer. A stiffer trailer will tend to carry the load in a more upright condition. The more upright the load is transported, the less side bow induced into the product. This can be very important when negotiating super-elevated corners.
Can both pieces of the Modular Hydra-Steer be used to transport products?
Yes, if your modular Hydra-Steer is a double modular model. Most Hydra-Steer trailers are single modular models, which means the rear portion cannot be used for load transportation. The lower complexity of the single modular allows for easy conversion back and forth from a 5-axle to a 3-axel or a 6-axle to a 3-axle. Double modular models require an extra tongue with a power unit, which increases the complexity.