Neumann Engineering


Utility Trailer Design

Neumann Engineering designed a utility trailer to transport railway rails measuring around 18 metres and weighing 1 tonne. Finite Element Analysis was used at different design stages to determine maximum stresses and test the performance of the design. A range of requirements were included such as specified height to make work easier for tradespeople on site, a turning angle of 20°, knife edge supports for rails and more.

Other requirements include:

  • Approx. 1.5m high (chest height for ease of tradesperson working on the rails)
  • Off-the-shelf axle hubs and tyres
  • Telescopic drawbar that can towed by a forklift
  • Turning angle of 20°
  • Limited use of horizontal surfaces to minimise build up of sand media
  • Knife edge supports for rails
  • Low total part count
  • Use of commonly available steel sections
  • Simple welding techniques
A linear-static FEA was conducted to determine the maximum stresses in the trailer components. The initial design consisted of round axle tubes. However, FEA indicated that the strength was inadequate. The design was changed to use square hollow sections and FEA verified that the design could withstand the loads. FEA was also used to examine the bracing structure. Additional braces were added to withstand the bending loads and the changes were confirmed using FEA. The results of the FEA are displayed below.
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