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Trailer Hitch Circumferential Track

Let your trailer ball move around to the front of your truck.
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Build a track around the outside of your truck, at bumper level in front and back. Make the sides with arches to barely clear the wheel wells, and straight sections under the doors at the height of a step. Make the track cross section in a C-shape, opening outward, and fit it with a rolling mechanism that sticks out of the open side of the track. Mount a trailer ball on the part that sticks out of the rolling mechanism. (Most of the materials needed can be adapted from parts already available at farm-supply stores and at truck and trailer supply houses.)

In the center of the track, in both the front and the back, make a strong locking station to hold the traveller and ball in place. With the ball locked at the rear, you have a standard trailer hitch. With the ball-traveller unlocked, and room to maneuver, you can jockey your truck around until the ball, hitch and trailer are in front of you, and lock it in place. (Be careful to avoid tipping the trailer too high as the traveller goes over the wheel wells.)

Now, with the trailer in front of your truck, you can push the trailer ahead and see where you are going. Maneuvering the trailer is much easier than while backing--it's kind of like chasing chickens. When you are finished loading the trailer, back your truck out, unlock the traveller, and work it around behind you again. (By the way, you'll want to put the trailer brakes on while working the traveller around the truck.)

If you make more than one traveller, you can mount a different size of trailer ball on each one. (You'll want to keep the extras from sliding to the side of the truck while you are driving.) If you have two hitch balls of the same size, you could keep one locked in the front, and one locked in the back, and not bother with the circumferential track at all, but then you'd have to get out of the truck to unhitch the trailer, turn around and hitch up again, which is a real bother.

baconbrain, Oct 14 2006

Jeep Hurricane Concept http://www.seriousw...rricane-Concept.htm
could be the mounting vehicle for the idea. [BJS, Oct 16 2006]

[link]






       The only way I see that this idea could possibly work, is if the "track" was at least oval in shape (but probably almost circular) and level all the way around, but if it was like that then it would be too wide and get in the way of normal driving.   

       With your idea it would probably be impossible to turn the vehicle around if the trailer brakes where on.   

       I don't think that the general idea is so bad, but your specifications are.
BJS, Oct 14 2006
  

       /jockey your truck around/ - would you not have to turn the truck on a dime to do this?
bungston, Oct 15 2006
  

       Yeah, this idea isn't very good, but I couldn't get enough humor into it to make it funny. I do think that the track could be made sturdy and rust-resistant, like conveyor track that I have seen, used and ridden on.   

       But no, the truck wouldn't have to turn on a dime. The trailer brakes would have to be on to keep the tongue in one place, or the rolling traveller would hang up on the rust in the track and stop, and the front of the trailer would whack into the side of your truck.   

       Somewhere on a loading dock or transfer warehouse is a use for a custom-built vehicle with a circumferential track. But I don't expect to see any tough cowboys putting one on a pickup.
baconbrain, Oct 15 2006
  

       At first when I read this idea I thought of a different one; Why not have a pivot point on the center of the roof of the vehicle, with an arm that could rotate 360 degrees. The arm would fit around the profile of the vehicle, and the end would be down at "bumper level".
BJS, Oct 16 2006
  

       21 Quest, I knew about the hitch in-bed trailers, but I was suggesting something with the same effects of baconbrains idea.   

       For the circular vehicle you where talking about, the "2005 Jeep Hurricane Concept" would do the trick, except it's only a concept, so...
BJS, Oct 16 2006
  

       Problem one, have you ever tried to lift a trailer tounge, especially on a tandom axel trailer? Your going to have one heck of a time "Lifting" it around those "sides with arches to barely clear the wheel wells," unless you ment arching outward instead of upward. then you have an extra wide car.   

       OR, you could just put a ball on the front of your truck. If you'd like to make easier to get your hitch on your truck put a pole on top of the ball cup on the trailer tounge and atatch it by a hinge. The pole would do wonders for lining your ball up to the trailer, and your truck won't look like it's from outer space when you drive down the road.
RXAaron, Oct 17 2006
  
      
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