Maybe before getting the difference between a removable (RGN) and a folding gooseneck trailer, it is important for you to know what they are.

Ideally, gooseneck lowbed trailers are a type of trailers that slide over a ball hitch in the bed of a tractor hence offering more stability than conventional trailers. Still, they are of different types and are again available in both hydraulic and mechanical versions.

Of these include the removable gooseneck trailers and folding gooseneck trailers. The removable gooseneck has a detachable front that allows the trailer to drop off to the ground and form its own ramp.

removable gooseneck trailer

removable gooseneck trailer

On the other hand, a folding gooseneck trailer has collapsible goosenecks that enhances loading and offloading making operations a lot easier even on a rugged terrain.

The main difference between these two is in the structure of their goosenecks. One important thing to note is that, the Removable and folding gooseneck have many kinds of structures that are further divided into two kinds: hydraulic and mechanical.

However, we will introduce to you the most commonly used hydraulic types in this post because most mechanical structures are now obsolete.

Despite the many varieties of removable gooseneck and folding gooseneck structures available today, the principle used in their construction is similar. In this post, you will learn about the following:

  1. Removable gooseneck trailer’s structure and principle.
  2. Folding gooseneck trailer’s structure and principle.
  3. How to choose from the two kinds of trailers

Learn more details about low bed/ lowboy trailer: Low Bed Trailer Ultimate Guide – What is a Lowboy/Lowbed Trailer?


1. What is the Removable Gooseneck Trailer


removable gooseneck trailer structure

Figure 1 Removable Gooseneck Trailer Structure


The Removable gooseneck trailer relates to a hinged frame assembly ideally used for connecting a trailer of the low-bed type to a tractor.

This type of a low-bed trailer has been widely accepted in the transportation of heavy equipment such as power shovels, cranes and tractors.

This trailer type is usually attached to the tractor using a gooseneck that is normally detached from the front end of the trailer.

The detachment is done after lowering the trailer front end into ground engagement to further enable front end loading and offloading of the heavy equipment onto and from the flat deck of the trailer.

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1.1 Why the Removable Gooseneck Trailer?

The Removable Gooseneck trailer is a simplified low-bed trailer type for commercial usage.

Despite being of great use in solving many sophisticated issues, the previous gooseneck trailer designs still had issues with the connecting assembly that was found to be complex.

As a result, the Removable Gooseneck trailer was designed to save space and make use of lighter units through a hinged frame assembly. 

rgn semi trailer

RGN trailer

In more detailed terms, the Removable Gooseneck trailer offers a hinged frame assembly that connects a low-bed trailer type to a tractor.

This assembly is simple in construction and more than that, it is lighter in weight and more compact than other assemblies of this type used for similar applications.


1.2 Operation Principle


The design is meant to provide a hinged frame assembly as shown in figure 1 above. that has a draft member in one end connected to a pivot-able fifth wheel of a tractor.

The other end has a base member pivot-ably linked, so that the actuation of an actuator linked between the base member and the draft member at a point on the base member above the first point,

causes the raising or lowering of the front end of a low-bed trailer usually attached to the base member bottom.

2. What is the Folding Gooseneck Trailer


The traditional heavy duty industrial trailers comprise of a low bed with multiple wheels at the back and a fixed gooseneck to the front used for engaging the fifth wheel of the tractor during operations.

the folding gooseneck structure

Figure 2 The Folding Gooseneck Structure


See figure 2 above. The folding Gooseneck trailer on its part finds application in heavy duty industrial trailers that have collapsible goosenecks to help during loading and offloading operations.

The folding gooseneck type of trailer facilitates easy loading. These come in two types: Mechanical and hydraulic. The mechanical versions have been phased out because they use cables to lift the gooseneck.

Ideally, they are slow and need a winch and a cable mounted on the tractor. That leaves us with the hydraulic version to look at.

Hydraulic versions usually comprise a retractable pedestal used for holding the platform level with the ground. The gooseneck folds down to form an inclined ramp to load the horizontal bed.

folding gooseneck trailer

folding gooseneck trailer

It is important to load this trailer in that position otherwise it can present challenges when loading or offloading from a sloppy or uneven surface.

When loading, the folded gooseneck will present you with a steep ramp which you must negotiate. It is imperative that you use locking pins in order to keep the gooseneck in an upright position as the tractor tows the trailer.


2.1 Why the Folding Gooseneck Trailer?


The folding gooseneck trailer addresses the issues of providing a bed that may be lowered to the ground and lies flat. Ideally, the trailer provides many ground engaging pads that are adjusted independently.

This way, it allows you to adjust the trailer bed on an uneven terrain.  The hydraulic system used for operating the gooseneck independently of the trailer bed is provided within the trailer. The basic objective of the folding gooseneck is to provide:

  1. A trailer where the load supporting bed can hydraulically be lowered to the ground surface and adjustments made to compensate for sloping or rough surfaces.
  2. The option of operating the gooseneck independently of the bed supporting structures that lie flat on the surface
  3. A means of eliminating the need for locking pins to keep the trailer stay in an erect position


2.2 Operation Principle


During operation, the trailer is usually towed to the loading or offloading site. The driver then starts the power pack 55 (See figure 3 below) and lowers the ground engaging pads 19 to the ground by positioning the lever 48 in the bed-up position.

In the meantime, spool 47 will be in the Rb position. In this position, the trailer is now self-supporting and the tractor can now be disengaged from the trailer and then driven away.

After disengagement, you can now move the lever 48 to the bed-down position to lower the bed to the ground while the gooseneck remains raised. The spool valve 47 will now be at the Lb position.

When lever 48 is moved to the float position, spool 47 assumes position F and lever 50 moved to the down position.

This lowers the gooseneck to the ground and the trailer in this position is ready for loading or offloading. Once the job is completed, reverse the above sequence of steps to move the trailer away.

the folding gooseneck operations diagram

Figure 3 The Folding Gooseneck Operations Diagram


2.3 Possible Modifications


The details provided above indicate the preferred embodiment of the folding gooseneck trailer. However, there is a possibility of making a number of variations without deviating from the scope of the original design.

For instance, you can choose a commercial trailer with a load carrying bed, ground engaging wheels mounted at one end of the bed, a selectively collapsible or erectable gooseneck that includes a hitch platform mounted at the other end of the bed.

First fluid means can also be interposed between the hitch platform and the ground for lowering the bed to the ground,

a separate fluid means that is independent of the first fluid means of selectively collapsing or erecting the gooseneck and a first link pivotably connected to the hitch platform and to the bed,

a pair of second links pivotably connected to the hitch platform and to the bed forwardly of the first link;

control means on the bed for controlling the first and the second fluid means and a self-contained fluid power supply mounted on the bed operatively connected to the control means.


3. The Removable Gooseneck Trailer Vs. The Folding Gooseneck Trailer


There are a number of factors to look at when making a choice of the trailer you want. Some of the common things to look at include cost, durability, functionality and capacity among several others.

If you are looking for a well-built and durable trailer to haul heavy machinery and equipment, then the Removable Gooseneck trailer and the folding Gooseneck trailer are great options for you.

However, how do you establish the one that will suit your needs? Regardless of what you are hauling, it is important to make sure that your goods get to their destination safe and secure.

detachable gooseneck trailer

detachable gooseneck trailer

This is of utmost importance more than any other consideration that you will ever make.

Damages through accidents have a potential of causing major losses in downtime, profits and company reputation as well. Here are important factors to consider before choosing between these two types of a trailer:

  • Efficiency

The folding gooseneck trailer is superior in terms of efficiency. The ground engaging pads can be adjusted independently hence making your loading and offloading operations on a flat level achievable without any challenges. Therefore, there are no worries should you be required to load and offload your equipment on an uneven terrain. The ability to make independent adjustments makes this trailer manipulatable and efficient to use more than the removable gooseneck trailer.

  • Customization

If you are looking for a trailer that you can easily modify and manipulate to meet different needs, then the folding gooseneck trailer is the one to go for. If you need a trailer for different applications, you obviously will require one that is easily modified to suit such. For instance, you can have a commercial trailer with an elongated load carrying bed, various ground engaging wheels mounted to one end, the gooseneck with a first link connected to the bed via a pivot and to a hitch platform. This may not be possible with a removable gooseneck trailer.

  • Cost

The removable gooseneck trailer is cheaper compared to the folding gooseneck trailer. Therefore, if you don’t have a big budget for these types of trailers, a folding gooseneck trailer may not be your choice.  Despite the high cost however, the folding gooseneck trailer has multiple features that make it more stable and useful than the removable gooseneck trailer. The many features are the reason for increased costs.

folding gooseneck lowbed trailer

folding gooseneck lowbed trailer

  • Durability

The removable gooseneck is rugged in nature and can last for long with an ability to carry out many operations before breaking down or without necessitating routine maintenance.  For the folding gooseneck trailer, the independent hydraulic systems for the ground engaging pads and multiple other systems presents the need for frequent checks and maintenance. Extra caution is to be taken when using it more than you would need for the removable gooseneck trailer.

  • Operation

Compared to the folding gooseneck trailer, the removable gooseneck trailer is complicated to operate.  This is especially when working on a rugged terrain where achieving the best loading and offloading positions may prove to be a challenge. The ability to make adjustments on the ground engaging pads independently on the folding gooseneck makes it a lot easier to operate and to work with more than the removable gooseneck trailer regardless of the ground topography.

  • Technology

The removable gooseneck trailer is a simple construction that is light weight in nature. On the other hand, the folding gooseneck trailer is sophisticated with multiple systems that enhance its performance and operationality.  It would require more skills to operate the folding gooseneck trailer than the removable gooseneck trailer.




The removable gooseneck trailer and the folding gooseneck trailer offers a variety of features to consider in your choice of the kind of trailer you need based on your requirements.

If your operations are simple without the need for further modification of your trailer, then the removable gooseneck trailer would be all you will need.

However, applications that require extra care and a lot of maneuverability would be best handled by a folding gooseneck trailer.

With a folding gooseneck trailer, you can make fine independent adjustments on your ground engaging pads to load and offload heavy equipment from almost any kind of terrain. This makes it costlier than the removable gooseneck trailer!


Hinged assembly for coupling tractor and trailer

Folding gooseneck trailer

Difference between Lowboy Trailer and RGN trailer – What is RGN trailer?

Low Bed Trailer Ultimate Guide

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