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For non-commercial trucking, there are generally two types of hitches used for connecting trailers to tow vehicles. Gooseneck hitches attach to the bed of a truck and center more weight over the rear axle. They allow for the pulling of larger loads, tighter turning and reduced sway of the towed trailer. For vehicles that cannot accommodate a bed mounted hitch, bumper hitches are affixed. While more versatile relative to the number of vehicles they can be attached to, bumper hitches restrict the amount of load that can be pulled since the weight is pronounced on the rear of the vehicle. When weight is not an issue, bumper hitches are easy to use and more universal.
To fill a gap in the market such that one trailer can accommodate multiple hitch configurations, Navy scientists and engineers have developed a trailer that can be quickly reconfigured to adapt to either a gooseneck or bumper pull hitch. The trailer has four wheels in order to handle heavy loads and is made from either aluminum or steel. It can be reconfigured by one person in minutes. Additionally, the trailer can be converted to a flat surface which would allow for loading of a vehicle or to a walled version which could properly contain small or loose cargo.
- The trailer is designed for ease of use and incorporates quick pin connectors and locking/articulating beams
- Easy access stairs allow for quick loading and off-loading of cargo
- Retractable support arms connect the front of the trailer to the ground providing a secure platform when not being towed
- US patent 8,151,426 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy researchers