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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    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
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    You know, since we're talking 5th wheels and grease, you may think I'm nuts, but I swapped a LOT of trailers, sometimes 2 a day, and all were dry as a Colorado summer. What I did, was crawl under the trailer before hooking, and grease the front portion of the pin plate, then a glop in the jaws. That way, when backing under, it covered more evenly, rather than most being scraped off when on the 5th wheel.:biggrin_25525:
     
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  3. Studebaker Hawk

    Studebaker Hawk Road Train Member

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    Oct 18, 2010
    NW Indiana
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    A fifth wheel is not a "set it and forget" type of device. It needs to be thoroughly cleaned, inspected and re-lubricated.
    The owners manual for all the major manufacturers spell out exactly how it is done properly and how often.

    And it is the most abused ignored and unmaintained part of any truck tractor.
    Until it fails.
     
  4. thelinedriver

    thelinedriver Light Load Member

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    Dec 24, 2017
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    Yeah mine looked bad, we found 3 broken pieces, one the size of a lions tooth, the others just a little smaller, but then the inside was all cracked up, it wasn't that old either, maybe 2 yrs old
     
  5. thelinedriver

    thelinedriver Light Load Member

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    Dec 24, 2017
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    I totally agree, amd I am at fault for not giving a deeper inspection, in my defense, I could never imagine this happening, in reality it's not suppose to happen
     
    Studebaker Hawk Thanks this.
  6. thelinedriver

    thelinedriver Light Load Member

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    Dec 24, 2017
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    Yeah that stuff is a miracle worker
     
    silverspur Thanks this.
  7. mjd4277

    mjd4277 Road Train Member

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    Oct 4, 2015
    Fitchburg,MA
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    I’ve had three 5th wheel issues over the past 6 years-one which dropped the trailer on the chassis of the tractor. One which almost dropped the trailer after the truck had literally was leaving the safety lane after it had been inspected!
    All the issues involved Jost fifth wheels on different trucks.
    First issue happened in Memphis when my fifth wheel didn’t stay locked after doing a tug test and visual inspection. Ended up going to the Memphis terminal where technicians were picking out sludge and metal chunks-that fifth wheel ended up being rebuilt!
    Second issue was in the safety lane at the Tucker,Georgia terminal with a different truck. Fifth wheel let go after the truck was inspected-I caught it in time before the trailer dropped. Truck was recalled into shop,where sludge and metal was pulled out!
    The last time (which I’ve described numerous times) the trailer was dropped after visual inspection and tug tests were done. The adjustment bolt on the fifth wheel (which keeps the jaws locked around the kingpin) had popped all the way out-something that is never supposed to happen-nor is something that would be caught or indicated on the pre trip! Truck was placed OOS and repaired.
     
  8. drivingmissdaisy

    drivingmissdaisy Road Train Member

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    Jun 10, 2019
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    I've backed under trailers that were very heavy and even though I tried to be gentle, slammed the kingpin into the 5th wheel hard enough to dislodge the radio out of the dash and put it on the floor. I always wondered if damage could have actually been done to it or not.
     
  9. Elroythekid

    Elroythekid Road Train Member

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    Sep 9, 2010
    Halifax Nova Scotia
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    Dropping a trailer on the road scares the bejesus out if me. Every 2nd spring I have a full kit put in mine if it needs it or not. Spray bottle of 90wt, thinned with diesel gets sprayed under it in the winter to keep things from sticking, and every other spring it comes off and gets flipped on a piece of plywood I have, it lays on the back of the frame, gets a good cleaning lube and inspection.
     
    silverspur Thanks this.
  10. ethos

    ethos Road Train Member

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    Mar 3, 2013
    Houston
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    I was hooking a tanker out of a tank wash in Pittsburgh. It had been snowing and I was sitting bobtail. I always tugged twice, and I tugged hard because I was always terrified of loosing a trailer. The first tug went fine, the second time.....that SOB broke free. Never happened before or after, and I cannot tell you why, maybe the snow mixed with something, who knows. Anyway, you have never seen a more nervous driver then I was on that trip.
     
    Knucklehead, lual and silverspur Thank this.
  11. Lazer

    Lazer Road Train Member

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    Jan 22, 2017
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    That will work just fine.
     
    silverspur Thanks this.
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