So why all the interest in trailer steering?

…the short answer; Urbanisation.

The growing requirement to transport goods into urban areas where vehicles need to negotiate sharp corners and small roundabouts in often highly congested environments, are all factors driving the increased specification of steered trailers.

Using a steered trailer means operators can deliver bigger loads, smoothly and safely into locations only previously accessible with shorter wheelbase rigids.  Other advantages such as reduced tyre scrub, better fuel economy and less wear on suspension systems all contribute to make trailer steering a hot topic amongst trailer manufacturers and operators.

Trailer steering – the main benefits:

  • Greater trailer utilisation
  • Vastly improved manoeuvrability
  • Reduced tyre wear
  • Less fuel consumption
  • Less road surface damage
  • Reduced number of transport movements
  • Reduced C02 emissions

The broadest range of trailer steering solutions available...

IMS is uniquely positioned to offer the market a complete portfolio of trailer steering solutions including:

  • SEM mechanical steering systems
  • GreenSteering cable-operated mechanical steering systems

All of the steering solutions offered by IMS are supported by class-leading customer service and aftermarket back up.  Our in-house technical experts are always on hand and more than happy to advise fleet operators and trailer builders on the best steering solution for their particular needs.

Keep scrolling for a brief overview of each of the different types of trailer steering systems.

SEM Mechanical Steering

The SEM single bar and double rod mechanical steering systems are designed and engineered to exacting quality standards in the Netherlands.

How it works

With turntable steering the whole axle, including its suspension, is mounted to a turntable; when driving through a bend the whole axle rotates. The main advantages of this steering configuration are that they are relatively easy to manufacture/install and that axles equipped with single & twin tyres can be easily accommodated.

The primary component in the SEM SB system is a steering wedge. This is connected to the tractor fifth wheel, this enables the direct transfer of the steering motion to the rear axle(s) which are mounted on an axle mounting frame.

When the trailer is coupled to the truck, the steering-wedge locks into the fifth wheel of the truck.  The trailer-mounted coupling plate and steering wedge rotate when the truck makes a turn, transferring the movement through the bar to the rear axle. The position of the bar on the fifth wheel unit and the axle mounting frame define the steering angle.


  • Improves the manoeuvrability of the vehicle
  • Saves tyre wear
  • Reduces maintenance costs
  • Improvement of fuel costs
  • Reduction in damage costs
  • Constant & consistent steering behaviour (full or empty)
  • Reliable
  • Low maintenance
  • Bespoke requirements can be accommodated

Green Steering - Cable Operated Mechanical Steering

GreenSteering is a wholly own division of SEM Transport Systems, a member of the Pon Group of companies.  The acquisition of GreenSteering further broadens the portfolio of trailer steering solutions now available to transport operators through IMS Limited.

With more than 4,000 systems installed in the Benelux, the GreenSteering system has very much proven its worth over the past years. It is also the market leader in France for fitment onto refrigerated transport operations.

How it works

GreenSteering uses its own, specially developed and patented polyvalent cables as central components of a high-quality steering system offering several unique features that all lead to a reduction of CO2 and fine-particle emissions.


  • Extreme manoeuvrability, linear steering angles
  • More payload by virtue of its light weight
  • Low fine dust, CO² and NOx emission
  • Minimum maintenance and service requirement
  • More loading space due to low structural height
  • Optimised steering angles reduce steering and turning stress in the chassis