Importance of a well greased 5th wheel?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Vito, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Vito

    Vito Heavy Load Member

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    I've seen the difference in tractor steering between a well greased 5th wheel and one that is not, especially under heavy loads.

    I've also started carrying a grease gun with me to grease up the lock jaws real well, and since I've done that they close real nice while backing under a trailer, you just have to gently kiss the trailer and the lock jaws close easily around the king pin. I still get under the trailer and visually look every time however to confirm that the lock jaws have fully engaged.

    Now my question...

    While at the TA I was reading about the benefits of a well greased 5th wheel on a package of the red sticky grease they sell there. It said a well greased 5th wheel helps prevent jackknifing on slick roads. I started thinking about this and it makes sense because if there's a lot of friction back there at the pivot point your going to get yanked around by the trailer, and in turn your truck can more easily get jackknifed when there is less friction under your drives and steers. Am I looking at this correctly?

    Looking for comments/advice on this topic.

    Edit to add: I'm a bit perturbed that my company no longer hands out tubes of grease to the drivers. Considering how a properly greased 5th wheel leads to safety, I can't understand how a company would stop emphasizing this aspect of truck care just on the basis of cost savings for the grease.
     
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  3. tumblin dice

    tumblin dice Light Load Member

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    I won't disagree that a fifth wheel or any other friction point benefits from proper lubrication but that sounds a little like marketing fluff to me.
     
  4. double yellow

    double yellow Road Train Member

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    steer tires wear a lot better with a well-lubed 5th wheel
     
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  5. snowwy

    snowwy Road Train Member

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    we don't lube our 5th wheels. they're designed to NOT need lube. don't know about the lock jaws though.

    as for checking your lock jaw. a simple tug test well let you know.
     
  6. rank

    rank Road Train Member

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    First time I've heard this. How are they designed so that the metal on metal does not benefit from grease?
     
  7. carramrod32

    carramrod32 Heavy Load Member

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    Back in 03 I drive for Jim palmer trucking, ended up getting a brand new peterbilt with the greaseless fifth wheel. However it was designed it worked great. I ended up putting 125,000 miles on that truck before I quit but the fifth was awesome the whole time I had the truck.
     
  8. bergy

    bergy Road Train Member

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    double yellow - why is that? or is this one of those chain up the trailer tires things?
     
  9. double yellow

    double yellow Road Train Member

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    A binding fifth wheel means the steer tires have to not only turn the truck, but also force the trailer to articulate about the kingpin.


    PS: we use drag chains out west to keep the trailer from passing us on icy descents.
     
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  10. snowwy

    snowwy Road Train Member

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    the 5th wheels are teflon. as the above link posted.

    i do, however, throw a couple of TA bags on once in awhile. keeps the thumping from a dead stop away. took me awhile to figure out the thumping was from a dry as a bone 5th wheel. every truck i've been in. i'm thinking the rear ends are coming loose.
     
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