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How to turn your pickup truck into an artic or drawbar! Iep has the Dutch-treat answer on Biglorryblog

  • 25 November 2009
  • By Biglorryblog


Biglorryblog's favourite cloggie Iep van der Meer (you MUST check out his website on for some terrific truck stuff) has sent me this interesting little story in how to convert you pick-up to a mini-artic or waggon and drag... Like this.


"Hello Brian," says Iep, "Today the Dutch press was invited by Isuzu and a company called 'Fifth Wheel. The product they sell is in fact a replacement for a fifth wheel - so the name isn't that smart but the product shure is! The news is that there is no fifth wheel but a small round hole that catches a ball which is mounted on the trailer. Big advantage is that when you don't pull a trailer you can use the complete loading space on the truck or the pickup." And click through her to see what Iep means...


As you can see there's a locking ring on the ball joint that locates into the cup ring and rotates till it's locked against the lugs. Clever stuff and you can see what Iep means about being able to use the load bed...


Iep continues: "The braking system is electro-mechanical and both the connection of the trailer and the braking system have a European permision. In case of the D-max pickup truck the maximum load of 1000 kg can be counted up to the 3,5 tonne max drawbar weight. That makes 4,500 kg 'bruto' and that way 3,500 'netto' for the trailer is simple. I think it is a rather good system, what do you say?" What does Biglorryblog say? I say you crazshee Dutch guys have done it again! It's a neat solution alright... Although I do need to ask Iep what Bruto and Netto means... Though I think I can guess.


And perfect for a 3.5-tonne dropside operator who wants to pull a little plant trailer too-like this.


And for recovery operators too... Thanks Iep!

STOP PRESS: Iep has come back to me. I asked him also the obvious cquestion as to whether they are making cover to go over the cup socket to allow you to carry sand etc. He says: "Hi Brian, The answer is not yet, but they are working on a cover. However, a bit of sand in the hole is no problem, but it is better that it stays clean. In the hole there are four deeper rills and in the bottom there is a small waterhole. Dirt that is caught in there is worked out automatically. For tipper bodies, which is also a possibility, they are now working on a cover. And question two, you got it right! Bruto is gross weight, netto is net."


  • Dave Powell said

    There was a similar system to this sold in the UK in the 1960s called Minartic, or something like, by Scottish Aviation of Prestwick, it came in three sizes - small (Mini pick up), medium (Morris Minor)and large (Land Rover 88). One of the LR based units was still in use as a mobile radar station on Guernsey until a few years ago.

  • Charles May said

    What are the advantages of using this over a conventional towball and socket or Nato-style tow hitch?

  • stu said

    The UK has it's own Fifthwheel co in scotland, producing caravans, horseboxes and various trailers using a similar system. Though their hitch setup looks different. I must say I'm a big fan of the coupling shown here and it's total lack of loadbed intrusion with trailer unhitched. I've never towed one but I'd guess the advantages of the 'fifthwheel' setup over a regular tow hitch is the more even distribution of train weight between the trailer and tow vehicle, which has got to make a more stable rig as there's far less chance of the 'tail wagging the dog'. If we're talking Land Rovers that can be a 3.5 tonne tail wagging a 1.5 tonne dog. It's how the big lorries usually do it, and we all know big lorries know best :o)

  • Peter Lynch said

    Would be more stable than a normal towbar, plus you can get more weight onto the towing vehicle. The box floor is lightweight on some pickup trucks and may need reinforcing.

  • Daniel in the US said

    Hey kids interesting we have been using this type of trailer for many years we call it a goose neck trailer out here but we have the ball/hitch on the back of the bed i guess it is a clever way for a dutchman to put it upside down get a patent and make alot of gulden/euros

  • mickfly said

    My mates Dad has this setup, A 26foot 5th wheel travel trailer with a Citroen crew cab pick up... I just contacted him with a link to this article, so he may psot something himself.

  • 4x4 Pickup truck said

    It nice to see even pickup trucks can be towing like trailers a heavy vehicle .

  • FENOULIERE Pierre said

    who is the manufacturer of the black van semi trailer towing by the isuzu d-max

  • Martin Murphy said

    Where can I buy one of those Gooseneck/Fifthwheel type hitches Please send me some Information

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