English - Nooteboom Giants on the Road Magazine English - Nr. 5 - 2018 | Page 45

HISTORY Nooteboom launched the first flatbed extendible trailer as early as 1958.The first hydraulically steered Teletrailer was delivered in 1972 to Van Santen Transport in Haarlem. Over the years the delivery programme has steadily been extended further and the technical details were improved time after time in order to better meet the requirements of the customers. The type designation for the most popular Teletrailers is OVB – Oplegger (semi-trailer)-Vlak (flat)-Bestuurbaar (steered) – and in the transport operator sector this acronym also stands for robust, manoeuvrable and maintenance-friendly. The latest, quadruple-extendible versions are so long that on a foggy day the rear end almost disappears in the mist. The Teletrailer: technology for connoisseurs. THE HISTORY The very first hydraulically steered Teletrailer, a registered trade name of Nooteboom, was displayed at the Bedrijfsauto RAI in 1972. The designation OBL stood for Oplegger (semi-trailer), Bestuurbaar (steered), Luchtvering (air-suspension). During the first years the OBL was not yet discovered by the customers and therefore not many OBL’s were sold. Due to its extremely solid construction the OBL was heavy and high. At first this restricted the sales. The technological development of the OBL gained momentum around 1984 when Jan van Seumeren Sr ordered a trailer to transport the ballast of the new Liebherr LT 1300 mobile crane. FROM OBL TO OVB The first OBL Ballasttrailer was a winner. Crane hire companies throughout Europe saw the advantages of us- ing a flatbed trailer with turntable steering for the transport of ballast and crane parts. However, not all cus- tomers were totally happy as the OBL was still high and heavy. That’s why the OBL was completely redesigned in 1987 and became the OVB. Pneumatic locking of the extension parts was introduced. Where in previous versions a drum was used the hoses were now better protected in a cable guide when the vehicle was extend- ed. The hydraulic steering was controlled from a central control unit. Nooteboom was the first manufacturer to introduce the single steering rod, where the steering movement is transferred mechanically via a steering rod to every axle. The steering rods were positioned at as wide a radius as possible, which makes the steering extremely accurate and keeps the influence of wear and tear to a minimum. Over the years this system has been copied by all other colleagues and is still used on Teletrailers. The entire electrical system was overhauled and wherever possible high-grade steel was used - e.g. for the cross beams. Among the first buyers of the OVB were renowned Dutch companies such as Van Wezel, Lensveld, Van Opijnen, Holleman,Bolk, Van der Meijden and Van der Vlist. “DIE WENDE” After the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990 the construction and infrastructure projects in former East Germany were soon well underway. Nooteboom OVB trailers were popular for the transport of concrete elements and steel structures. In a short period of time almost 200 OVB trailers were sold in Germany, which was more than the total OBL/OVB production in the previous years. IMPROVED STEERING In 1989 the maximum permitted combination length of a tractor-trailer was raised from 15.5 to 16.5 metres. This change in legislation was extremely advantageous for the OVB trailers: the steering of a retracted trailer was much improved. Trailer steering should – ideally – comply with the Ackermann principle. This principle states that if you draw an imaginary line between each of the wheel axes of a vehicle, the lines should intersect at one central point. With steered trailers this is never quite the case. With extendible trailers the manufactur- er has to make a choice: should the steering be optimal when the trailer is extended or when it is retracted? In practice many Teletrailers drive to a project with a load and return empty. And even if the trailer is loaded it is not always completely extended. That’s why the steering of an OVB is made to be optimal in order to realise an extremely long life of the tyres. This is difficult, because with multi-axle trailers – such as the latest genera- tion Ballasttrailers – the first steered axle is right behind the landing legs. According to the Ackermann prin- ciple this axle should follow the tractor’s steering. This ‘countersteering’ axle was fitted on the Ballasttrailer for the first time two years ago. Back to 1989: in those days ‘countersteering’ was not yet an option, but the longer length trailers were a step in the right direction to realise the best possible steering. 45