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Hydraulics Make Loading Gooseneck Trailer Easy
Gooseneck trailers are handy, but they work even better if you add hydraulics to the hitch. Doing so let Mark Lockhart throw away his drive-on ramps and makes hooking up and unhooking a matter of seconds.
"I'm retired and buy and sell cars and scrap metal. I realized how much handier it would be to be able to tip the trailer end and winch stuff on," explains Lockhart. "The gooseneck was adjustable, so when I picked up a hydraulic pump for scrap, all I needed was a cylinder."
To make it even easier, the 12-volt battery, pump and 7-gal. reservoir came in a self-contained package. Lockhart simply mounted it on the gooseneck. The previous owner had stripped away the electronic controls, so Lockhart installed switches and valves. He also hooked up the trailer-mounted winch to run off the battery.
"It was like a unit you find on a small log splitter," he explains. "I set it up so the battery automatically recharges when the trailer lights are on as I drive."
Attaching the hydraulics was the trickiest part of the job, and Lockhart says even that was simple enough. He went with only a 2-in. cylinder, as he didn't need that much lifting power. The first step was to lengthen the sliding internal tube of the gooseneck so he could extend it a full 24 in. He then welded lugs for attaching the hydraulic cylinder on the gooseneck and one on the internal tube.
"I used heavy steel, about 1-in. plate for the lugs, and welded them solid so it could handle the cylinder," he says. "I hate standing around, especially when it's cold. The 2-in. cylinder is small enough it raises fully in about 20 seconds, yet it has lifted as much as 10,000 lbs. of steel with no problem."
Lockhart says the cylinder also comes in handy when unhooking the gooseneck. He simply raises the trailer a few inches and sets a block under the trailer. He then releases the gooseneck, sucks it up with the hydraulic cylinder and drives away.
"It's great to not have to mess with cranking the jack," says Lockhart. "I only have a couple hundred bucks in it, as I traded for most of the parts."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Lockhart, 12110 State Hwy. V, Faucett, Mo. 64448 (ph 816 238-2506; FlorLock@ aol.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6