New high-capacity Smyth trailer employs ‘forced’ steering system

Irish-based manufacturer Smyth Trailers has just released a new, high-capacity silage trailer to “service the needs of modern day agricultural contracting”.

The trailer was custom fabricated at the company’s purpose-built manufacturing facility in Garryhill, Co. Carlow – in response to customer demands for a high-capacity trailer to move more material more efficiently.

Smyth Trailers founding partner Sam Smyth commented on the new development saying: “Customers have recently being asking for a trailer that can carry more material each time, to tackle the problem of longer hauls during the busy silage season.

The main issue that arises when you produce a large trailer is that, naturally, manoeuvrability suffers; but we are always ready for an engineering challenge.

“We contacted Cathal Deacon and Colin French from Distag QCS, who developed a bolt-on forced steering tri-axle system for us – to keep [the new trailer’s] manoeuvrability in line with that of a standard 20ft trailer. This system not only steers while travelling forward but also steers in reverse.”

Smyth trailer tri-axle

The new trailer is based on the company’s popular SuperCube range, which features a distinctive, sloped-front design to boost capacity. The new model is 25ft (7.6m) long and 8.3ft (2.55m) wide, with an overall height of 12.8ft (3.9m). This, says the company, gives it a payload capacity of approximately 50m³. Other sizes are also available.

The entire body is manufactured from “high-yield” steel and features removable silage sides, as well as a hydraulically-controlled tailboard at the rear. The body is tipped up by two chrome-plated hydraulic cylinders (rams). The chassis is manufactured from 250mm x 150mm box section steel, mated to 100mm x 150mm (box section) floor runners.

‘Heavy-duty’ suspension

Underneath, the chassis is equipped with Smyth’s own “heavy-duty” (leaf) spring suspension (4in wide and 2in thick). This, says the company, reduces flex in the spring – to improve stability. This system is “tried and tested, having being on the market for the past four seasons”. To date, the company claims, it hasn’t had a report of a single broken spring.

For added stability and load-carrying capacity, three high-speed (105kph) commercial axles are employed. They incorporate 420mm x 180mm brake shoes. Mated to the axles are “chunky” 560/60-22.5 tyres.

‘Forced’ steering

The front and rear axles are equipped with ‘forced’ (active rather than passive or floating) steering systems – to boost manoeuvrability and reduce tyre scrubbing.

The forced steering system works in conjunction with a “mini ball” located next to the tractor’s hitch which, in turn, is connected via an adjustable push rod to the steering’s hydraulic system (on the trailer). The push rod forces oil to enter the left or right hydraulic cylinders (rams), depending on the direction the trailer is being towed.

Because it’s a closed, pressurised system, the displaced oil forces the steering axles to turn – whether going forward or reverse. The front and rear axles steer in opposite directions (relative to one another), thus helping the trailer to more closely follow the path taken by the tractor’s wheels.


Posted by Smyth Trailers on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Spoon-type hitch

The trailer is coupled to the tractor using a spoon-type hitch (or ball and spoon, depending on how you refer to these devices). Completing the package, a single-leaf parabolic spring is fitted to the drawbar – to boost operator comfort and reduced wear on the hitch of the tractor up front.

All Fieldmaster trailers are fitted, as standard, with a full LED lighting package.

Contractor feedback

Wexford-based agricultural contractor Aidan Wickham, who had the trailer out on test, commented: “The biggest problem we are facing at silage is that dairy farms are getting bigger and land is becoming harder to get for grass.


“This means that silage ground is often fragmented and we have increasingly long draws back to the pit. A larger-capacity trailer is exactly what we need, but it has to be just as manoeuvrable as a standard 20ft trailer.

This new tri-axle unit, with the forced steering system, does exactly that; it can easily get around where that the standard trailers go, but will carry up to 35% more in each load.


Posted by Smyth Trailers on Saturday, June 17, 2017

“The main stand-out feature for me personally has to be the manoeuvrability – especially when reversing. It’s also very stable when fully loaded.”

Smyth Trailers is now planning to bring a demonstrator unit to prospective customers around the country.