5th wheel disaster averted

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by thelinedriver, Apr 21, 2024.

  1. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    1st T/T I drove, was a Mack R-600. The fifth wheel had so much play, at a stop, you had to pull the johnny bar, and take the slack out, or BOOM. Never came off, and I put that truck through hell.
     
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  3. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

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    twin cities
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    Not a problem. Those are just paint cracks and rust.
    Each unit has the king pin plate removed and inspected per federal requirements and that one was probably due soon.
    20240422_111357.jpg 20240422_111404.jpg
     
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  4. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Moderator Staff Member

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    I recall a post by @gentleroger about an issue similar to this. OP’s issue sounds like the jaws broke, but the scenario Roger mentioned had something to do with rust making the jaws stick and not engage completely, with left turns causing the rotation of the kingpin to push them apart.
     
  5. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

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    You're right, my bad. For some reason I thought the rust and paint cracks were on the 5th wheel instead of the UC.
     
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  6. gentleroger

    gentleroger Road Train Member

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    Not rust, excess grease on the locking mechanism making the jaws come across slowly and either get blocked by the kingpin or just not have enough force to get locked. Excess grease is the major culprit of most of our "my 5th wheel won't lock" road calls.

    In this case it sounds more like internal failure of the 5th wheel. It happens, not commonly, and usually will get caught at a PM long before it fails under a load. Most of our 'unplanned disconects' happen because the driver had a bad hook and just didn't realize it. One guy got hooked, slid his tandems with undue force, then made three left hand turns to head to the shipping office, then a left hand uturn, and finally dropped the trailer as he made the first right hand turn. I pulled a softball sized wad of grease out of his 5th wheel. Another guy made it two blocks before he dropped it. Neither of them were in the habit of using a flashlight to check the connection.
     
  7. silverspur

    silverspur Road Train Member

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    I saw this on sale at Northern Tool awhile ago and wanted to ask. Will this work on a fifth wheel? It was ridiculously cheap.

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  8. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

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    I think any lube/grease will work. I just use the bottle cuz it’s no mess, pour and your done. Only problem is, it’s stringy when it’s cold.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2024
  9. silverspur

    silverspur Road Train Member

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    My last company reimbursed for the Lucas but I noticed it went up to $15 a bottle while the Northern tools house brand was on sale for a couple bucks.
     
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  10. Diesel Dave

    Diesel Dave Last Few of the OUTLAWS

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    IMG_6135.jpeg
    I buy mine by the case of 12 on Amazon. Comes out to $7.41 a bottle.
     
  11. Ex-Trucker Alex

    Ex-Trucker Alex Heavy Load Member

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    I used to run Quebec, all_winter_long, too. Up there, you see -40°C a lot, and 5th wheel grease will SOLIDIFY on you. I had an older camionneur I met tell me some of the tricks he learned when trucking up to the hydro dam projects up near Hudson Bay. He took one of those heavy-duty plastic garden sprayer bottles you can buy at Canadian Tire (or Home Depot..), and filled it with diesel fuel. Every time you changed trailers, spray the heck out of the 5th wheel mechanism with it, and it will never solidify on you.
     
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