In this review we're going long with a drake steerable low loader and that includes an accessory kit to make it even longer, and also a kenworth c509 to go with it.
We will start with the kenworth and all three parts of this model are in the colors of 'national heavy haulage', which is an australian company.
Opening up the nicely branded kenworth box we find the usual expanded polystyrene trays and they are factory sealed. After lifting the lid, the big kenworth sits comfortably inside. Also included with it is a nice reprint of a kenworth c 509 brochure, and it's a nice inclusion with both photos and technical details about the real truck, but there's no information included about the model.
On to the steerable trailer and it comes in a nicely branded drake box and it is shrink wrapped. When we take that off we see the box is presentation style and opening it up is a treat.
There's a nice ribbon which secures the foam rubber inside, and good use has been made of the box with information about the real trailer printed inside the lid. Let's remove the booklet first because with packaging as nice as this, it is almost a shame to undo the ribbon, but this is cranes etc so we will press right on.
When we lift up the foam rubber we can see that the various parts are also wrapped. Let's have a look at what documentation is included and the first thing is a reprint of a drake steerable trailer brochure, and again it's nice to have because there's good photos and information.
Also included is a separate instruction sheet for the model and that covers most of what you need to know for both the trailer and the accessory kit, and on the reverse side is all the information about the 2x8 dolly.
One more box to open and that's the accessory kit and it's in the same style as the trailer packaging. We will start the assembly with the big kenworth, and the first things to fit are some mirrors over the doors.
They are metal so you need to be a little bit careful how you handle them, but once you locate them in the holes in the model, they have a good fit.
There is a small pin which you can put in the towing hitch at the front and there's also a hole for in the bulbar, but for the moment we'll leave that off because we don't plan on using it.
Also if you want there's another pin to go in the towing hitch at the rear. There's one more job to try to make the truck look tidy and that is to deal with the coiled lines which flap about a bit.
There's nowhere to plug them in on this prime mover, so we'll just tuck them in underneath the cab. At least that way the model looks a little bit tidier.
With the kenworth ready let's move onto the trailer, and it is nice and flexible so there are separate parts you have to attach depending on the configuration you want, and for example here are the ramps fitting at the back.
There's a bolt to insert so we'll start by using a drift to line up the holes so the bolt goes in easily, and then we can slide in the bass bolt. This part of the assembly can be fiddly but as well see later the deck can be widened which would make it easier to fit the bolt and the nut that fits on the end of the bolt.
There is the nut and although tweezers are supplied with the model to help fit the parts together we will just make it happen using the specially patented cranes etc salami-sized fingers.
Once the connection is made underneath we need to flip the model over and make one on top, and for that use some replica bolts made of plastic. The only thing is they are an extremely tight fit and they can ping off at great speed and into earth orbit.
One thing that seemed to help though was to flex the bolt pack a bit to loosen it up a bit. With the big 7x8 trailer assembled we can then attach the 2x8 dolly, and for that we need to feed the pin of the gooseneck into the 5th wheel.
Once again it's all a little bit intricate to try to get the pieces together but once you've done it you get a good fit. If you've got the patience to go for the maximum authenticity, you can plug in the lines that run from the dolly to the trailer gooseneck.
Next we've got some assembly to do on the dolly and that includes adding the auxiliary fuel tank and then there are four spare wheel assemblies which press into the dolly gooseneck. Each one is slightly different so you have to position them correctly.
Now we can hook up the big kenworth and that's all fairly straightforward by putting the pin of the dolly into the fifth wheel on the kenworth.
Once it's all correctly assembled it rolls well enough and we've configured the truck with a 7x8 steerable trailer. But wait, there's more! And if we use the accessory kit we can join a 3-axle and 2-axle module together and the connection system is just the same.
But we do have a little bit more to do because we need to join up the steering between the modules and if we look closely you can just about see the steering bars and they need to be clipped together to join the steering between the two modules.
You also need to do the same with the steering on the 7x8 trailer, and here is the full trailer with an additional bridge section, the 3-axle module and the two axle module. It's called going large.
The c 509 is a highly detailed model and that starts underneath with the chassis, but its up on top where the model looks stunning with all the chrome work, and it all adds up to a very realistic-looking truck.
The national heavy haulage colour scheme looks good and that includes 'national' being on the muffler, and behind the cab the high standard of detailing is continued. Other nice details on the model include the realistic aerial and the real flexible rubber mud flaps.
Moving on to the steerable trailer and underneath the structure is strong, and the wheel sets are nicely made of metal components. Both the dolly and the gooseneck are examples of first-class authentic modelling, and the trailer deck is formed with appropriate perforations.
At the back the high detail continues with warning signs and a realistic number plate. Here we are testing the kenworth on the specially built cranes etc australian superhighway, and the c 509 rolls along in a very precise and smooth way.
It has steering and it's heavily notched, but it achieves a very good angle and obviously it doesn't move as you drive along. It's also got fully sprung suspension on all axles and that works very nicely.
Hopping around to the back and the fifth wheel has got some longitudinal adjustment, and it's got a lock for the trailer kingpin. Another feature is the opening cab doors and a pointer is supplied with the model to help you open them, and the model engineering is very good because there are no unsightly hinges.
Inside the cab seats have an 'air ride' feature so they bounce up and down. If we move to the front, the bullbar folds down and that lets us open up the fully hinged engine cover and again it's very nice to see a high standard of detailing even on that engine.
Let's now take a look at a steerable trailer, and the first thing you can see is that it's got linked steering. It works quite well although it is a slightly delicate mechanism, but it does allow you to set a realistic steering profile.
The wheel sets also have a very springy suspension and that includes oscillation of the wheel sets. With the steering set, the trailer traces a decent curve. Moving to the front, the gooseneck has hydraulic adjustment and that works on the model, and it is very stiff but in this case that's good because it should be able to hold a pose even if the trailer is heavily loaded.
Looking underneath the skid plate rotates and oscillates and if you take the pins out you can relocate it. So you can therefore configure the gooseneck depending on what you're attaching it to, and it is a very nice touch that the model is engineered to allow the maximum flexibility.
There's also some more extraordinary detail with the covers of the generator opening and there's also a hinged cover for the hydraulics on the gooseneck, and a further cover which allows you access to the steering controls of the trailer.
Again the detail level is extraordinarily high. At the back the chains can be unhooked from the deck and then the ramps can be lowered and the range of movement is reasonable but the ramps do not quite get grounded.
The 2x8 dolly has been seen before on previous drake trailer models and it's highly functional. The wheel sets are able to fully oscillate, and you can also spread them when you're carrying a wider load.
Let's close the wheel sets up and move to the front of the dolly and if we flip it over there is adjustment on the landing legs because you can pull out the pins and then the legs are extendable and can be pinned in an extended position.
If you want you can also reposition the kingpin further back on the dolly. So that's the 7x8 trailer so let's give it a load to carry and here we're putting on a heavy vermeer terrain leveller, and it's not too wide a load so it fits on the trailer nicely.
But big loads are often wide so to cope with that the deck can be extended outwards and the way to do that is to carefully pull the two halves apart.
We've done that so it is time to add a wider load and this time we've got a big hitachi excavator, and just so that we can fill up the trailer we will stretch the stick out rather than folding it up.
Anyway enough of this small stuff, let's go large and head for 12x8 trailer, and in terms of the two modules they are 0f similar construction with good suspension and good steering.
So here it is, the massive 12x8 trailer and whether it's realistic or not we will load this massive le tourneau wheel loader onto the trailer. Ok it's a big model so let's do a 'dim check' and see how big, and the 7x8 trailer is nearly 27 inches or 68 centimetres, and if we go for the maximum 12x8 trailer then we clock up about 38 inches or 97 centimetres, and fully opened up the width is about 4 inches or 10 centimetres.
Added together these models make an excellent set from drake models. They combine very high detail with high quality and very good functionality. If you want to go to the maximum the accessory kit is simple but highly recommended, and the other two parts of the model, the kenworth c 509 and the 7x8 steerable trailer are great models, and so easy to classify as outstanding..
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