Nooteboom MCO 121 semi-trailer

Nooteboom a company located in Wijchen, The Netherlands, and builds special trailers for extremely heavy loads. This 8 axle Semi-trailer is completely build out of original lego bricks and steers automatically based on the rotated position of the fith wheel!

After a few tries with other trailers i found out that lego can't handle the stretched length of a low loader without doing concessions in the external design of it. When i build an model, one of the main rules is to keep the external design the same as the real machine. So there was only one option left, to build an Semi-trailer. This trailer has tires which are rather small compared to the truck and the load is spread over all the tires and located higher than the tires.

So i started with building the Nooteboom MCO 121 8 Axle semi-trailer. I had plans to get te steering mechanism work and maybe even automatic. With official Lego bricks there are 2 options to get it working automatically. The first option uses mechanical constructions which are connected to the fifth wheel of the truck. This is hard to create when the gooseneck of the trailer can tilt and almost impossible to power 8 axles when the trailer is loaded. The second option uses PowerFunction parts which measures the steered angle of the trailer compared to the truck and automatically controls multiple servo motors based on this angle. With both options the steering angle of the trailer is not the same as the front axles of the truck, that is exactly what is needed in this situation. Finally i have chosen the second option because this option allows me to haul large lego models and the steering keeps working in this conditions.

After a few tries with different setups for the electronic steering mechanism i was out of options and the project was almost failed. At that moment Huib van der Hart, a good friend and also professional Lego builder, said he maybe knew one final option. I shipped the trailer to him and he started working out his plan. After a few weeks he said, Yes! it's working, I was like nooop, that's not possible, but he did it! A truly master piece inside this trailer controls this 113cm long trailer trough any corner without any help.

Huib van der Hart isn't used to build models ready for building instructions so the whole trailer is rebuild by me to reduce the part count and to increase stiffness. I finally added some more details like outriggers and designed all the stickers including yellow reflective striping all around the trailer.

Warning: You may have a hard time recognising the Lego bricks in this model! But it's pure Lego!

September 10, 2015