Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Loading and Unloading an RGN
I used to pull a van....and after that I graduated to pulling a stepdeck. (I've only rarely pulled flatbeds....their deck is too high...gives me a nosebleed being up that far off the ground). Vans and stepdecks both need docks to unload...mostly. A stepdeck can be Crane unloaded or it can use makeshift docks.....(shudder)....but mostly they need regular, back up and bump it, docks.
I learned to hate docks. They cost me a bunch of money. I got to saying that a dock was good for two things.
Thing one: they occasionally, sometimes, now and then unload freight off a truck there.
Thing two: most of the time they store trash there....and don't clean it up much to unload a truck. Hence the hate....flat tires by the boodle. I really, really got tired of buying trailer tires which were ruint at trashy docks.
I got SO tired of it that after a while I bought a different type of trailer....and for other reasons..the deck of which is LOWER to the ground.
Consequently I don't need no Stinking Docks.......
Loading/Unloading An RGN
All I need is a flat piece of ground. Admittedly it needs to be a rather LARGE flat piece of ground...but hey...I drive a large truck. I haul large STUFF. So I need my room.
The advantage of an RGN is that the "neck" comes off. Hence the name. Removable Goose Neck....also called Detach, Detach Double Drops ...etc.
Since the neck is removable and the bed of the trailer lies flat on the ground that makes it real handy to drive equipment on and off. The way it works is like this:
First...find a big, flat, level spot. Then disconnect the air lines and electric lines.
Then (in my case...I have a four axle tractor) Slide the fifth wheel all the way to the back.
This can be a B*&@$...bother some times, particularly if the load is heavy. It's always best to keep the fifth wheel slide well greased.
Next...pull the fifth wheel release and sloooooowly, gently ....or as gentle as you can be with heavy equipment....pull forward. There are frame ramps on the back of my tractor behind the fifth wheel.
Rollers on the trailer neck guide the trailer and it rolls off. Gently...sometimes NOT so gently. Care is important.
Next. Get under the trailer neck and disconnect stuff.
look like This...
Being absolutely CERTAIN not to forget THIS
the hoses and airlines that connect the trailer neck to the rest of the trailer.
Now...back in the truck and Back up under the neck....just a touch. (oh...did I mention that you can't SEE the neck? ...in the mirrors....too close and too narrrow). Experience counts.
by just baaarely lifting the neck...pressure is removed from the release pin....
which can then be pulled
....disconnecting the remaining link between the neck and the rest of the trailer. The trailer neck is now bridged between the tractor frame ramps and the trailer.
DONT pull forward....just DONT....it would be........BAD. (also wildly embarassing.....trust me on this)
Back up instead.....slowly. Until the neck rides up onto the fifth wheel...the kingpin slips into the jaws and it locks.
Then release the fifth wheel slide lock and back up some more.....easy does it.
Dump the air in the air bags and MAKE SURE the lift axle is UP.
Insert a piece of lumber between the frame of the tractor and the trailer neck...for support.
then air up the suspension....to lift the trailer neck...... and pull forward .....carefully.
For about the first ten thousand times you do this it's always a good idea to GET OUT OF THE TRUCK AND LOOK. The consequences of inattention can be time consuming.
If everything is OK....pull forward.
Then get to work....the job is to turn this:
and get it off the trailer.....
The job is now HALF done. It's time to clean up the mess...pack stuff away....and hook up again...
.........and get ready to go somewhere else....
And do it all again.