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  1. #1
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    Air ride height/5th wheel height?

    So since I bought my truck I've noticed that my 5th wheels is lower than normal. When I go to hook trailers other drivers have dropped, they're way higher than mine. So I got out the old measuring tape and measured an came up with about 45". Now everything I've read is usually around the 47-48" mark. Also I've noticed that I don't have alot of suspension travel in the way of dumping and so forth. And when the truck is level, there's a good 2" or better difference in height between my frame rails and rear drives, the frame is lower. I have 295/75-22.5's and to my memory, every truck I've ever driven they have usually been pretty much even with each other. It's an 03 FL Columbia sleepers if that matters.

    Any opinions/answers are appreciated.

    Last edited by sgreer78; 11.25.2008 at 08.16 PM. Reason:: truck

  2. #2
    Road Train Member heyns57's Avatar
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    Perhaps, you are working with flatbeds or tankers and the other guys have fifth wheels common to those fleets. Then, you purchased a tractor with a low-profile fifth wheel designed for pulling 13'6" vans.

    You don't have much suspension travel when dumping the air bags. Check the bags when under a load. They should be tight as a drum. Check the leveling valve rod. It may have broken away from the frame.

    I think my drives were always slightly higher than the frame. That is why the trailer lands on the tires and stops the tractor if the coupler comes loose inappropriately, as in big mistake.

  3. #3
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    Your ride height might be set too low,how much of the base is visible below the bag? The truck I was driving last was riding quite a bit higher than what I had been used to, the suspension was kind of soft, in my opinion. That truck has 24.5 low pros, a former truck had 22.5 low pros and a lighter frame, it rode significantly lower. A low profile 5th wheel will also lower it some.

    If the truck has a low profile 5th wheel and the ride height is correct, carry a couple of 4 inch thick planks about 3 to 4 feet long to aid in hooking up. just back onto them so that the fifth wheel is raised that much before you catch the pin.
    Last edited by 25(2)+2; 11.25.2008 at 09.16 PM. Reason:: correct punctuation

  4. #4
    Heavy Load Member rjones56's Avatar
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    Check your truck specs at a dealership to determine correct airbag height.Also check with your company as to 5th wheel height.My guess is that your ride height is way low.Probably best to have a dealer check it because of liability later on-check height with a trailer also to be sure you aren`t over 13ft.6in.

  5. #5
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    I pull containers. The 5th wheel is fairly flat. So I guess it could be the low profile. So then either my truck is right and every other truck is too high, or I'm way too anal about stuff and need to relax?

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    Be careful about changing the height of the suspension, as this changes the angles of the U-joints. I drove a tractor on 22.5 rubber and it was a pain in the ### because all the trailers were too high.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otter View Post
    Be careful about changing the height of the suspension, as this changes the angles of the U-joints. I drove a tractor on 22.5 rubber and it was a pain in the ### because all the trailers were too high.

    I was thinking about the pinion angles already. I don't think, think being the key word, that maybe 1.5-2" would be that detrimental to the driveline angles.

  8. #8
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    I always adjust my own if they need it and have never had a problem with u joints etc. I don't think an inch or two will change the angle enough to do any damage, ask a mechanic, see what he thinks.

    Old school trick lay a broom stick across the top of the drive tires and adjust the leveling valve til the frame rail is level with the broom. Sounds stupid but it works.

  9. #9
    Medium Load Member bangngears's Avatar
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    USA

    Quote Originally Posted by 25(2)+2 View Post
    Your ride height might be set too low,how much of the base is visible below the bag? The truck I was driving last was riding quite a bit higher than what I had been used to, the suspension was kind of soft, in my opinion. That truck has 24.5 low pros, a former truck had 22.5 low pros and a lighter frame, it rode significantly lower. A low profile 5th wheel will also lower it some.

    If the truck has a low profile 5th wheel and the ride height is correct, carry a couple of 4 inch thick planks about 3 to 4 feet long to aid in hooking up. just back onto them so that the fifth wheel is raised that much before you catch the pin.
    If you are going to get out and put planks down, which is silly, just crank the trailer down.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bangngears View Post
    If you are going to get out and put planks down, which is silly, just crank the trailer down.

    I don't want to do either. I want to back under a trailer and have the truck do all the work

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