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Semi Truck Hauled Home With "Retriever" Hitch
Here's a photo of a semi truck being hauled home with a "retriever" hitch that fits over the fifth wheel plate on another semi. I made the retriever to help a friend get his truck home. He's used it twice now, so it's saved him hundreds of dollars in towing fees.
  I started by making a plate similar to the one from a semi-trailer and then made a bracket on top of it to hold a 6 by 8-in. steel tube. I used an 8-ft. length of 6 by 8-in. heavy-walled tubing, with additional pieces of similar tubing cut and welded together at the back to make a gooseneck boom. The boom sits in the bracket, extends back and attaches to a saddle between a couple of uprights made of 4 by 4-in. by 1/2 in. angle iron. There, two hydraulic cylinders - one either side - raise or lower the boom.  The boom is drilled through every 6 in. so it can be adjusted in 6-in. increments and a pin used to hold it in place.
  At the bottom of the back end of the boom is a 3-ft. long cross bar, made of heavy-walled 4 by 4-in. steel tubing. It's attached on a swivel made from a 2-in. bolt. A piece of 4 by 1/2-in. angle iron is welded onto each end. At each end of each angle iron is a hole large enough for the chain to go through, with a slot to fasten a link.
  I added a self-contained hydraulic system, powered by a 12-volt motor. I used all salvaged parts which kept my total cost at less than $50. (Gerald Green, 20134 Superstition Drive, Queen Creek, Arizona 85242)

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #6