Cranking up the trailer ?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by dennisroc, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. dennisroc

    dennisroc Road Train Member

    Oct 9, 2013
    Anjung-Ri, South Korea
    I am 65 and never been around trucks much but have been thinking about driving in December when I retire from my job now.

    I see some people drop trailers too low and drivers need to crank them up a little to get under them. Usually on YouTube video's and the driver is upset and says cranking them up is a lot of work.

    My question is are they " Really " That hard to crank up ?

    My bones and joints don't work like they used to but I think I would be alright.???

    I see small men and women crank them up and seems like a little work but not toooooo bad.

    If I was in the states I would go try to find someone that would let me try it but I am overseas right now.

    Appreciate any info ???

  2. LondRanger

    LondRanger Road Train Member

    Jun 3, 2018
    No. Lazy drivers complain it’s a lot of work. I view it as physical activity. Needed in this field since your sitting almost all of the day.

    Trailers have 2 gears.

    One is slow and easy the other is fast and hard.

    Choose your work out.

    One would take a minute or two the other maybe 10 seconds.

    I must edit.

    As @starmac said a fully loaded trailer will be hard, my comments are on empty trailers.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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  3. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

    Apr 11, 2019
    Fairbanks Ak
    YES, if they are loaded and DOUBLE yes if the gear is worn out, or even if it just happens to be 20 below. I have twisted the bolt off in them I don't know how many times in the past.
    I will always dump my air and try to get the back part of my truck frame under it, raise then crank, repeat with blocks every time until it gets high enough.
    I am getting old myself, and am going to put lowboy ramps and valves on the bags to over extend them to simplify hooking up, works when they are high or low.
  4. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

    May 25, 2017
    New England area
    not difficult to crank up, if the gears are in good working order, otherwise, you're screwed.

    when i had to drop my trailer for servicing of the truck, i lower the air bags, then crank the gear down until it just touches the ground, then give it maybe a few cranks extra, on the low gear.....pull out.

    that was all my dedicated jobs, with the same trailers.

    other joibs i had (non-dedicated) i did it the very same way. most if not all trucks at all my former employers had the same tire size and 5th wheel height.
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  5. Concorde

    Concorde Heavy Load Member

    Jun 29, 2016
    West Melbourne Florida
    Most times you can get under them by dumping your air bags.. If not use the slow gear to raise it.

    If it’s loaded and you cannot crank it up there are other tricks. Dump your bags and get the frame of the tractor just under the trailer a little..
    Use some blocking to make up the difference and then inflate the bags. This will take pressure off the landing gear and make it much easier to raise.
  6. okiedokie

    okiedokie Road Train Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    Always carry some short 2x4. Use them like ramps when a trailer is below your frame rails.
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  7. WesternPlains

    WesternPlains Road Train Member

    Sep 1, 2017
    I had to drop my suspension once. Get under a trailer. It was loaded. Couldn't just crank it up.
    It isn't the best option to drop suspension and force your truck under it. If you can. The jostler is better set up to do this. The truck will work. But jostler is better.
    Another option is to use a fork lift to lift the front of the trailer. Then drop the landing gear. Set the trailer back down.
    Cranking up a loaded trailer is.... Even in low gear. It's tough. I've had to do it. It was hard. Even with good gears.
    Even an empty trailer isn't easy to crank up.
    I'm 59. This is stuff you're forced to deal with.
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  8. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    It is a bit of workout.

    There is two gears on the landing gear crank system. Big and small.

    IF you hooked up you would crank up the landing gear using the big gear, high speed. (Ive a few tricks in mind but hope I got it right)

    Now if you meet a trailer not on a good surface or dropped by yard jockey sometimes the landing gear is going to be a bit lower than you can get underneath the trailer. In low gear you can using both hands carefully crank it across your chest over the top and down. To get from down back over the top you will pull on it but not so much as to hurt your rotator cuffs in Shoulders or the joints in the knee as well as a possible traction problem under your feet. They will absolutely go out from under you.

    A few cranks will raise that loaded or empty trailer about a inch or two. You should then have the lip higher than your 5th wheel and also your angles on the back frame of the tractor if applicable.

    One bag of tricks is to lower that landing gear on the tractor and it will save you some cranking.

    Another thought is to have a small box assorted 9/16th or half inch bolts at least 2 inches long. It does not have to be a tight fit inside that crank arm where it meets the gearbox spindle. That way if you break one you drop a new one in and continue cranking.

    Whenever I had to crank up a loaded trailer I talk to myself with stupid stuff like " Ok you asked for this all week, break a leg, they are waiting on you."
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  9. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

    Apr 11, 2019
    Fairbanks Ak
    It doesn't always have to be bad gear or even a heavy load in the nose. if a trailer is dropped with tair in the bags, it puts the gear in a bind when it leaks out. Luckily that raises the nose and you may have to go down if anything, which is easier.
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  10. MartinFromBC

    MartinFromBC Road Train Member

    Oct 19, 2018
    I am 52, and find it easy to crank the gear up...i also have drivers older than me and it is no biggie to them. Mind you some people are too lazy to park their cars and walk a few errands just a few blocks away in town to. I see the lazy sloths start there car and move it three blocks instead of walking...sigh
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