Air ride height/5th wheel height?

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by sgreer78, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. sgreer78

    sgreer78 Light Load Member

    Jul 26, 2008
    St Louis, MO
    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: Nov 25, 2008
  2. heyns57

    heyns57 Road Train Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    near Kalamazoo Speedway
    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. 25(2)+2

    25(2)+2 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    the road less travelled
    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: Nov 25, 2008
  4. rjones56

    rjones56 Heavy Load Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    staunton va
    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. sgreer78

    sgreer78 Light Load Member

    Jul 26, 2008
    St Louis, MO
    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?
  6. Otter

    Otter Light Load Member

    Mar 16, 2008
    Milton, VT.
    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. sgreer78

    sgreer78 Light Load Member

    Jul 26, 2008
    St Louis, MO

    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. Gravy

    Gravy Bobtail Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    Brookwood, Alabama
    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. bangngears

    bangngears Medium Load Member

    Oct 30, 2008
    metamora, Ohio
    If you are going to get out and put planks down, which is silly, just crank the trailer down. :biggrin_25512:
  10. sgreer78

    sgreer78 Light Load Member

    Jul 26, 2008
    St Louis, MO

    I don't want to do either. I want to back under a trailer and have the truck do all the work:biggrin_25525:
    Outlaw Flatbed Thanks this.
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