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On the use of movable rails for a flatbed trailer
 (-3) [vote for, against]

(Looks like we need a "Truck/Lorry" subcategory)

Sometimes I see a construction vehicle being hauled around on a flatbed trailer, pulled by an ordinary hauler truck. Very often there is a "WIDE LOAD" sign, too.

It seems to me that if the construction vehicle, by itself, is not considered to be a wide load, then hauling it around should also not qualify as a wide load. Except, normally, the flatbed trailer needs to be taken into account. If it is wide enough for the construction vehicle to safely be driven onto/off it, then that generally makes the trailer wider than the construction vehicle, and "wide load" could indeed apply.

On the other hand, what exactly determines what makes it "safe" for a vehicle to drive onto/off of a flatbed trailer? It seems to me that anything that can guarantee the wheels of the vehicle don't fall off the edge of the trailer, during the onto/off process, would suffice. Let's try an ASCII sketch:
____________________________

---------------------------------------

---------------------------------------
____________________________

If the above represents part of a flatbed trailer oriented left-to-right, with the solid lines being its edges, then the dotted lines represent the movable rails mentioned in the subtitle of this Idea. We move them closer together or farther apart, depending on the distance between the wheels of the vehicle we want to load onto the flatbed trailer.

The height of the rails should be perhaps 1 foot (30 cm), to ensure the wheels can't drive over them; the rails and the space between them should be considered as being "straddled" by the vehicle when it is driven onto the flatbed trailer. This means that the actual width of the flatbed need not be any greater than the width of the vehicle being hauled about.

Tie-downs for the loaded vehicle would still be appropriate, but that is not what this Idea is about.

It means that a "wide load" sign would not be necessary.

 — Vernon, Apr 28 2010

It is a good idea, I just think that the wide load sign is probably a bit more cost effective than buying a new trailer.
 — S-note, Apr 28 2010

center-of-gravity
 — FlyingToaster, Apr 28 2010

When I see "wide load" signs on flatbed trailers on UK motorways, the load usually protrudes beyond the edges of the trailer. Surelly this always necessitates a "wide load" sign, no matter what cool restraining strips are placed within the wheelbase?
 — pocmloc, Apr 28 2010

[Vernon], we load tracked MLRSs onto lowboy trailers all the time. The tracks stick out about 8 inches from either side of the trailer. They are a wide load.
 — MikeD, Apr 29 2010

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