How do you know when to and when not to slide tandems?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Flankenfurter, Feb 9, 2021.

  1. Flankenfurter

    Flankenfurter Light Load Member

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    Good advice for sliding the tandems back. Don't want too much bouncy bounce. I can hear the forklift operator saying, "F%$#ing driver. Can't slide a tandem, can ya?"
     
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  3. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    Many companies have a gauge in the truck that shows the weight on the drive axles of the truck. Weight gauges on trailers are not that common. Weighing a truck cost $12 or $2
    5 for a re-weigh. I never relied on the gauge in the truck.

    Here's a secret, shhhhh. Pull tankers and you hardly ever worry about the weight. All of my tanker loads were loaded while the truck sat on a scale. Customervwould load to approximately 78,000 lbs. I couldn't slide those trailer axles without a cutting torch.
     
  4. Flankenfurter

    Flankenfurter Light Load Member

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    Had to look up "air actuated sliders". Thanks.

     
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  5. Flankenfurter

    Flankenfurter Light Load Member

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    Good advice. Check BOL...Slide BEFORE. Notice other truck tandems. Pin 6-10. Notice patterns and adjust.
    Thanks.
     
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  6. Flankenfurter

    Flankenfurter Light Load Member

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    Weight and tire gauges would be nice. Hope I have them.

    Just for clarification...from CAT
     
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  7. bigkev1115

    bigkev1115 Road Train Member

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    I usually scale if the bills say 35,000 or more. Sometimes the shipper may have it overweight on the axles. Example 35k in the nose or trailer, and 28-29k vice versa.
     
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  8. homeskillet

    homeskillet Road Train Member

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    I was checking to see if someone already said that.......:cool:

    That's right, OP. Drive tanker and never slide a tandem again.

    Last time I slid a tandem was in truck school.

    In 1994........

    Of course, I've been in and out of the truck a few times over the years, but I always come back to tankers.
     
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  9. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    Yes CAT scales. They are widely available and used in the industry. They even have a mobile app where you drive onto the CAT scale, confirm your location, agree to have credit card charged, wait for a moment, and then are shown an electronic version of your weight ticke, showing your axle weights and gross weight.
     
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  10. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    Also, every load is different. Sliding tandems 1bhole doesn't always change the weight on axles by some fixed amount. I've seen loads where one hole moves about 250 lbs, and other loads where one hole moves about 500 lbs. Take notes on your loads when you start driving. Before I started using the CAT scale mobile app, i wrote on the scale ticket.

    For example, I get loaded, drive to CAT scale, weigh, and see I have to slide tandems.

    1. On the weight ticket I write hole position in the frame rail before moving tandems, say 5th hole from the forward stop bar.

    2. I write the amount of weight on the overweight axle (over 34,000 lbs, say 35,800 lbs)

    3. Decide whether to equalize the weight on drive axle/trailer, or decide just to make all axles legal, not balanced. Thisvdecision usually is based on maximum lenght the state allows trailer wheels to be to the rear.

    4. If making axles legal, not balanced in the example above, I divide the excess weight in the axle (35.800 -34 000 = 1,800) divide 1,800 by 350 lbs (350 is my GUESS of how much weight moves for each hole in the sliding mechanism. . That gives me just over 5 holes I must slide tandems.

    5. On weight ticket add the starting hole position to 5 or 6 (calculated hole change required). I then use my 5th wheel pin puller (if you have chalk that works to mark the hole) to scratch a mark on either side of the hole I am trying to end up in based on my calculations.

    6. Slide the tandems, set the pin, and re-weigh.

    7. Repeat the process until you are legal.

    8. For balancingva load, write down startin hole position. Add drive axle and trailer axles. Divide this weight by two. Once you have the average weight of Drive & Trailer axles subtract the weight of the Drive or Trailer axle to determine how much weight must be moved. Divide that weight to be moved by 350 (or whatever weight your experience suggests on your equipment). Then adjust tandems as described above.

    Many states will allow a few hundred pounds over the typical 34,000 lbs axle limit if your gross weight is less than the typical 80,000 legal limit. This is useful when you have a load that you can only achieve legal axle weights by sliding trailer to the rear of the state's lenght limit between axles. Some states will only allow you to leave a weigh station only if your axle weights are legal. Other states, if they notice an "over axle weight", will give you a ticket and let you leave without correcting the condition.

    The companies that hire a thousand rookies per year have a book or notes that will tell you the maximum tandem position for each state. Maximum almost always means how far to the rear tandems can be set. The state limits concearning howvfar forward you can legally set tandems is much less common.

    States measure that maximum distinace trailer tandems can be set in different ways and using differen landmarks on the truck & trailer. States & drivers use different names for this distance. It's sometimes called "the kingpin law" or "the bridge law", kingpin to rear axle or KPRA is also sometime used.
     
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