Trailers for the U.S. Navy Seabees
Our contract was to design and build a “portable carpenters workshop” capable of performing 24/7 in a wide variety of conditions. A powerful 7-1/2 Hp 16” Radial Arm Saw was the heart and soul of the machine. This saw needed to be 100% self contained with all needed blades, tools, power supply and components mounted on a rugged purpose made trailer.
Trailer Features – Design & Build
The trailer included a diesel generator with transfer switch, a custom storage box for the blades and tools, a lighting system for night use, and a fitted cover to protect the machine from the elements when not in use.
We designed roller conveyor table extensions to attach to either side of the saw while it was in use, but able to stow in the trailer frame while being towed. We made our own aluminum rollers to conserve weight and reduce corrosion. The combination of aluminum and powder coated steel offers great durability. The conveyors were a “bolt together” design allowing repairs to be made in the field. No tools are required to set up and operate the machine other than to change the saw blade.
The trailer lighting operates on 24VDC making it compatible with military tow vehicles. The trailer light connection uses the 12 pin NATO plug that we soldered to a front wiring harness section terminating at a junction box. Find out more about the 12 pin NATO plug. All lights are LED. If you need NATO style plugs they are available in our online parts store.
The trailer includes a mechanical parking brake system of our design, while the service brakes are hydraulically operated surge brakes.
A storage box mounted on the front of the trailer provides shelter for a night lighting system and the blades and tools needed to keep the saw up and running. The plastic blade storage rack was designed to protect the blade teeth, eliminate corrosion and to minimize weight.
We designed and made a custom electrical transfer switch panel to allow the user to power the saw from the generator, or another alternate power source. The same panel included branch circuit breakers, GFI receptacles and the saw motor magnetic contact.
We were unable to purchase a generator that met all of our requirements for the job, so we designed and built our own unit. A 3 phase 15 KW Kubota-Stamford diesel generator set capable of operating on JP8 jet fuel with a 24volt DC starting and charging circuit was required. Our custom generator base is designed to capture any fluids that could leak such as antifreeze, fuel, or engine oil.
We made our own engine control and gauge panels. The design included a main panel on the generator, plus a remote panel that allowed the saw operator to start, stop and monitor the engine from the back of the trailer where the sawing operations take place. Marine grade instruments and wiring was used to minimize the possibility of corrosion.
Lifting and tie down provisions were chosen and tested to comply with MIL-209K. These tie downs were proof tested at predetermined tensions using strain gauges on the test fixtures shown. Finally, we created a 250 page Navy trailer technical manual that includes operational instructions, repair and troubleshooting procedures and parts listings with exploded component views where necessary.