Types of steering systems

Mechanical

Steering happens through a mechanical connection which can be transferred via:

  • Cables
  • Rods
  • Bars

These systems are often used in various forms of transport and distribution because of the cost saving features and enhanced maneuverability. Usually the linkage is attached to a turntable, however there are certain types of vehicles that require axial pivot axles because of the limited wheel space area (e.g. steered double deck trailers with independent suspension).

Depending upon the the trailer builders requirements and the specification of the fleet operator, a selection is made from one of the available systems.

Hydraulic steering

This system is connected directly via two hydraulic cylinders or over a reverser to a front turntable. The turntable is connected through a steering wedge to the fifth wheel.
On the rear unit, two cylinders are connected to an axial pivot axle or a turntable where a rigid axle is mounted. Steering happens through a closed hydraulic displacement system.

Hydraulic steering can be used for all types of vehicles but is more commonly applied on long (extendable) trailers used within the heavy transport sectors and where exceptional loads are present.

Electronic

Is applicable for all trailers but especially trailers with an extremely low trailer (neck) height. Also for trailers where there is limited space for the installation of mechanical or hydraulic steering systems. Double deck trailers are perfectly suited for electronic steering.

This system also has the most accurate representation of the Ackermann principle; where all the wheels align to a common center point resulting in reduced wear and ensures optimal maneuverability.