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Trailer Tr2 MkII (Trailer 2 revised) with building instructions
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Model Trailer Tr2 MkII build with LEGO® and with LEGO® Power Functions® which is a rebuild and revised version of Trailer 2 I finished back in 2009. Like with all my models this is build in scale 1:17,5, which makes them to be combined!!! This specific model comes with building instructions available at mocplans.com plus the inventory list available at rebrickable.com. This model features: full solid axle suspension, LEGO® Power Functions® remotely controlled landing gear and parking brake and three sets of Power Functions® lights.
About this creation





History of this build



As with the rebuild of US Truck T2 this writing starts with a little history on how this trailer came in to existence. Because of so many improvements and changes this trailer evolved into Trailer Tr2 MkII and suites absolutely excellent with US Truck T2 MkII.
After finishing US Truck T2 back in 2009 I started working on a trailer to go with it. I have always been intrigued by those big American trucks out in the open with all kind of loads on those very easy to use flatbed and drop deck trailers. One other very important concern to me is the playability of the truck and trailer combination so less weight would increase this.
From day one of building truck and trailer models I always go for implementing as many realistic features as possible. So this build features full solid axle suspension, LEGO® Power Functions® remotely controlled landing gear and parking brake and finally three sets of PF lights.








Design and development process



After finishing the build of the semi-truck or tractor the build of the semi-trailer that goes with it could be launched. Like I do with all builds, first a couple of design decisions had to be made:
A) Like with US Truck T2 (and MkII) I choose not to build this trailer after a specific brand or type. What I knew is that it had to be a typical US style trailer. Because of the way I was building back those days I had to give this trailer a drop in the deck.
B) Since the scale was set because of the build of US Truck T2 the scale was not an issue. What was an issue is what wheels to use. Even though most trailers used in the Netherlands (Europe) have so called super singles, I prefer to use the same tires as with the truck itself.
C) Setting these parameters was a nice start, but more quests had to be conquered. For example what color scheme would work best for this model especially because it had to fit US Truck T2's color scheme. The color of the frame would undoubtedly be Red. Bringing back the Blue would be obvious too.
D) One detail that really caught my eye is the alternating Red and White retroreflective strips. Its role is evident and it really breaks the color and the looks of the trailer in a very positive way.
E) The final call would be what to use as deck, the floor itself. Most straightforward would be the use of plates in any suitable size. I ended up using modified plates 8 x 8 with grille and hole in center.






Why Trailer Tr2 MkII?



Describing US Truck T2 MkII did unfold why it was rebuild, allow me to do the same for this trailer rebuild: Since the build of the original version of this trailer my building skills develop and so did many solutions used. Likewise the truck this trailer model could be so much better if I would have build it these days. So I did!
Rebuilding this MOC made me decide to name this updated version Trailer Tr2 MkII (it is based on Trailer T2, but revised in so many ways). The process of creating instructions for this trailer as well essentially forced me to rebuild it in total. Not just implementing some improvements. No, there is not much left of the original design. Besides all this the perspective has changed totally because I wanted to create instructions for this build too. So in the looks it may not even be changed that much, but believe me when I say this revised version and the original design are poles apart.






Drop deck versus flatbed



My first attempt back in 2009 was to build a flatbed, so a trailer with a one level deck without a drop in it. Because of a lot of decisions I made while building the truck itself with its frame, suspension and fifth wheel, the fifth wheel ended up quite high. To give the flatbed good looks too, it should not be to high on its wheels. It would have been if I would have build it with a leveled deck. So I had to change my mind from building a flatbed to this drop deck.
All of this mainly because of limitations I experienced back in 2008/2009 because of my lack of knowledge. I had to learn how to build with LEGO® all over again because of so many great new parts. Even though I am able to build a flatbed these days I sticked with the original drop deck.






The floor of the deck



Since there is quite a lot of it I wanted the floor of the deck to be nice to look at. Functionality is important to me simultaneously as you might know right now, so that counts too.
The overall width of the trailer is 18 studs, minus two tiles one on both sides leaves me 16 studs for the floor itself. Divid this by two makes eight studs on each side which gave me a range of opportunities. Quickly it was narrowed down to only two:
The most obvious would have been to use plates with a length of 8 and a width of any needed size. Not bad to start with, but not really appealing to me so I continued the search.
I ended up with the use of modified plates 8 x 8 "with grille and hole in center". These are available in very nice colors, it has great looks, light in weight and not that expensive.
These plates suites the job just perfect, the studs make them what I call "sticky" this to prevent the load from sliding and it could further more be used to attach loads. The trailer's total length and both main and upper deck had to be adjusted to the use of these 8 x 8 plates.




Solid axle suspension



Still can't figure why, let me tell you: For the truck I came up with a very nice and realistic functional suspension system. Which I still use in all current projects and I will use in future ones. For some reason I had to use a rather simple suspension system for the trailer. Not that it wasn't sufficient, no it was, but not realistic for this type of trailer. The system itself is not as impressive as how it is referred to: longitudinal pendular axles!
In the real world, I mean in the situation it is not a model, this type of suspension would cause a lot of damage. Damage to both trailer and load this because not enough stress is absorbed going over bumps or other obstacles. This rebuild trailer utilizes the same suspension as US Truck T2 MkII it uses LEGO® rubber belts and LEGO® rubber axle connectors.






Battery box: where to hide it!



It occurred to me that it would be amazing to make this trailer what I call stand alone. With this I mean that it has a power source of its own. This results into the need of giving it a battery box. Please realize back in 2009 the much smaller battery box that holds 6 AAA batteries was not available.
Both beams of the trailer's frame consist of two rows of Technic Bricks stacked with two layers of plates. The main reason to build it this strong was to avoid the trailer to bend under its own weight or load. Because of this approach it was very easy to hide all mechanical stuff and LEGO® Power Functions® in between both beams. Hiding the Battery Box on the other hand seemed almost impossible. So here is what I did:
I knew that the part of the trailer from the kingpin to where the wheels are attached to needs to be sturdy, it transports stress caused by the weight of the trailer itself and its load to both king pin and rear axles. The tail part of the trailer could be weaker so I decided to lower the beams at this part. This allowed me to hide the Battery Box and by accident because of its location it could easily hold the rear impact guard.


Dual tires mounted



The super singles I referred to are a little larger which would force me to use the wheels as in the Black Cat LEGO® set 5571. These I don't have before all else and I don't want to invest in as well because of the excessive price. Further more I really love the impressiveness of how a semi-truck and semi-trailer combination might be referred to in the United States: An eighteen-wheeler. So four super singles is not an option at all, four dualies had to be mounted!
Some following trailers I build after I finished the first version of this trailer in 2009 had smaller wheels mounted. The largest advantage of the use of these smaller wheels is that it reduces the trailer's total weight and frictions. All of this makes it easier to be towed by the tractor and therefore the playability is expanded.





Can you see me? Can you catch me?



As suggested before the alternating Red and White retroreflective strips had to be on my model as well, but without the use of stickers or decals. It just had to be replicated by adding Red and White 1 x 2 plates, but without compromising the trailer's strength. In between every set of Red and White plates a Blue plate 1 x 2 "with handle on side" is located.
Real live drop deck trailers are usually equipped with fixed or sliding winches to secure loads. These are used to tie down the load so that it won't move during transport. So there the Blue plate 1 x 2 "with handle on side" became very handy. These are used to tie down the load with the use of LEGO® Chains 5L or 21L or any kind of rubber band.
In my judgement a model comes to live by adding details. The more the better, but don't over do this, it will finally work against it. Finally I installed running lights which are on both sides of this trailer. The purpose of course is to increase the trailer's visibility and its looks.







Landing gear and parking break



The landing gear it self was not that hard to came up with and I started with a manual operated version. It didn't take that much to decide to make it remote controlled. The beams on the trailer do have this space in between of four studs, so hiding the M motor and the IR Receiver are not that hard. Even though the IR Receiver does have two connectors I forced my self to combine both parking break and landing gear.
The first version of this trailer had a landing gear that swings up and down. Nice concept, but not flexible when it comes to connecting to trucks with different fifth wheel heights. The trailers front end can be raised or lowered to make it connect to the fifth wheel.






Kingpin



Developing the truck's fifth wheel I used a 3L axle with stud as kingpin. The kingpin does not only keep the trailer attached to the truck horizontally, but vertically as well. This means going over a bump should not make the driver loosing the trailer.
From the very beginning of building truck and trailer models I planned on being able to combine any truck and trailer I build. With my first approach of the landing gear as described in this topic it was harder. It had to be achieved by making sure that all trailers king pin, landing gear and suspension are all on the same height. As well as making sure the fifth wheel is at the same height. Now the trailer can just be aligned with the truck easily.









Building instructions


To give you an idea of how the instructions for this model will look like here is a preview. Creating these instructions both quick progress on your build and being easy to understand were the main goals. Early in the building process you will see what it is that you are building. You will be very excited from the moment you start the build of Trailer Tr2 MkII till you finish it with a total number of parts of about 1100 pieces.
To achieve this a lot of floating items are used, with added arrows to show where these items are suppose to be. Together with a lot of so called call outs (the smaller windows within a step that shows the assembling of a smaller sub part of the build) together with multi part steps (not only one part at a time) the build will be in a flow.
Check mocplans for the instructions and rebrickable for the parts list!




Comments

 I made it 
  January 10, 2014
Quoting Rusty Matthews I'm new to the site and I'm very interested in the MOC and building this trailer. I work around many of the pieces you build and enjoy your creations. I'm a true novice and was hoping a could e-mail you a few question, would that be possible?
Welcome to MOCpages and I already commented that I really like your entrance! :-) Nice to see another person who works around the real thing is interested in my builds. Yes you can email me, please visit this link: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=536726. Looking forward to hear from you soon!
 I like it 
  January 8, 2014
I'm new to the site and I'm very interested in the MOC and building this trailer. I work around many of the pieces you build and enjoy your creations. I'm a true novice and was hoping a could e-mail you a few question, would that be possible?
 I like it 
  January 3, 2014
ravishingly beautiful!
 I made it 
  December 7, 2013
Quoting technyk 32 Very cool! What is that other truck that you put on the trailer, the one with huge back wheels and small front wheels?
Thanks so much! Nice that you noticed, this way I was trying to introduce one of my next models. It is race truck with the use of two RC motors and the RC unit that is used with the sets TLC released in the past. It is a quite fast model of which instructions will be available too…!!!
 I made it 
  December 7, 2013
Quoting Stephen Wilson Thanks for producing these building instructions, I'm gathering parts now. This stunning model with your new truck MOC deserves a glass case!
You are so welcome and great to see that you are gathering the parts to actually build it! Please let me know what it is that you think of the build using the instructions and what you think of the model it self! I am very curious to now. About the glass case, that is about the nicest thing to hear about my MOCs…thanks buddy…!!!!
 I like it 
  December 5, 2013
Very cool! What is that other truck that you put on the trailer, the one with huge back wheels and small front wheels?
 I like it 
  December 5, 2013
Thanks for producing these building instructions, I'm gathering parts now. This stunning model with your new truck MOC deserves a glass case!
 I made it 
  December 5, 2013
Quoting Henrik Jensen Really great build! The combination of Technic parts and "normal" Lego gives your trailers, as well as your trucks, a very realistic look. Top-class Work!
Thank you so much for these kind words! Yes the combination you talk about is really what I am up to… :-)
 I made it 
  December 5, 2013
Quoting geoffrey boulton top rate as always Ingmar
Thanks again buddy!
 I like it 
  December 4, 2013
Really great build! The combination of Technic parts and "normal" Lego gives your trailers, as well as your trucks, a very realistic look. Top-class Work!
 I like it 
  December 4, 2013
top rate as always Ingmar
 I made it 
  December 4, 2013
Quoting Matt Bace Fantastic work yet again! The power functions are great, and the details, including the reflective strips really look good.
Thank you so much for these kind words! Details are very important to me. Also making the model realistic with PF is so nice to do. This makes the models very nice to show at events, a lot people really love to see them in action… :-)
 I made it 
  December 4, 2013
Quoting Max The Owl Yet again you have accomplished a very detailed model! The whole color scheme does wok very well with both trucks. :D Now, how in the world did you manage to make the trailer so sturdy that it doesn't bend under weight at all? All my attempts to do that have ended up in a trailer that weighed twice as much as the tractor. Then comes that suspension... Great work!
Thanks to start with. Yes I paid a lot of attention to detail and also was a lot of effort needed to get it done! It is initially designed to go with the with and (dark) blue truck with red chassis. As you mentioned it fits other trucks too. About the weight, it is about the same as the tractor, it might even be a slightly lighter. The strength is honestly not that hard, you can by the instructions to find out how I managed exactly. In a nut shell: two chassis beams of to layers of Technic Bricks fit together with two layers of plates. This makes the trailer very sturdy. Even the lowboy I created is strong enough to hold about 3 kilograms of load! Thanks again for your interest!!! :-)
 I like it 
  December 4, 2013
Fantastic work yet again! The power functions are great, and the details, including the reflective strips really look good.
 I like it 
  December 4, 2013
Yet again you have accomplished a very detailed model! The whole color scheme does wok very well with both trucks. :D Now, how in the world did you manage to make the trailer so sturdy that it doesn't bend under weight at all? All my attempts to do that have ended up in a trailer that weighed twice as much as the tractor. Then comes that suspension... Great work!
 
By 2LegoOrNot2Lego Ingmar Spijkhoven
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Trailer Tr2 MkII (Trailer 2 revised) with building instructionsLarge scale vehicles


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