The mechanical response of multilayer sheet structures, such as leaf springs or car bodies, is largely determined by the nonlinear contact and friction forces between the sheets involved. Conventional computational approaches based on classical reduction techniques or the direct finite element approach have an inefficient balance between computational time and accuracy. In the present contribution, the method of trial vector derivatives is applied and extended in order to obtain a-priori trial vectors for the model reduction which are suitable for determining the nonlinearities in the joints of the reduced system. Findings show that the result quality in terms of displacements and contact forces is comparable to the direct finite element method but the computational effort is extremely low due to the model order reduction. Two numerical studies are presented to underline the method’s accuracy and efficiency. In conclusion, this approach is discussed with respect to the existing body of literature.