What do you do if you cant get tandems to slide

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Kolorado, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

    Apr 4, 2017
    The pins can get stuck just from being pinched up against the rails. Rocking the trailer can free them. Theres only two directions you can rock it, and one of those directions is the direction you want to go. So if you nudge the trailer in the opposite direction first and then try to slide in the direction you want, you've rocked the trailer in both directions and this will often be enough to free the pins. If you listen you can hear them pop out while you do it. I haven't needed oil or a hammer in years, but then again the trailers I've pulled have usually been pretty well taken care of.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
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  3. Cattleman84

    Cattleman84 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2017
    The Sticks, Idaho
    4x4s become tooth picks after just a few uses... GOOD chocks last much longer
  4. Professor No-Name

    Professor No-Name Road Train Member

    Nov 26, 2016
    Sometimes when the tandems won't slide and if the pins are released then ya need to adjust your brakes. It's kinda hard to get em to slide if the brakes won't hold.
  5. WesternPlains

    WesternPlains Road Train Member

    Sep 1, 2017
    Also the parking brake might not apply fully. No need for chocks or curbs.
  6. MLC Adventures

    MLC Adventures Medium Load Member

    May 2, 2021
    Yep, with heavy loads you can test brake chamber spring health pretty easy.

    Several issues and different answers depending on system.

    If you're brakes won't hold though, and you have a hand brake valve for your trailer, release the trailer brakes and pull your hand valve.

    Application braking force is much greater than the force exerted by the brake chamber spring.
  7. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Ainigriv Notpmah
    My last few years before retirement I drove an auto-shift that was really sensitive. I also yanked a lot of junk. I kept 2 4X4s about 2 feet long and/or my chain bags IF I could not find a suitable curb. The process starts this way. Get out of the truck and spray the rails. I never bought the spray, I got it from the shop. Then allow the spray about 5 minutes before you start trying to rock the tandems. Inspect the locking pins CAREFULLY because sometimes they only look like they are fully retracted. This is why I used a Ball Peen hammer because I could hit the pin and not the rails. Work the tandems until you can see some movement and hopefully the spray will loosen the rails up. This is where a lot of rookies burn up a clutch. At some point, if those tandems are so recalcitrant you are either smoking a clutch OR the auto-shift safety engages, you are going to have to seek help. Years ago I was at the Hershey western warehouse in Utah doing a drop and hook. After about 20 minutes I had to call my company. That trailer was so screwed up it took about 3 hours for the mechanic to fix it.
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  8. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Rosamond, SoCal
    First off at Lowes (or Walmart) you can buy a empty spray bottle, you can put diesel in it for free (makes a good penatrant oil.) Spray your pins and frame rails. Way cheeper than wd40 or PR blaster, wont generally attract dirt to bad. These pins certainly suck, bad rusted pins I spray them let them sit a few minutes, tap them a bit with a hammer, but generally they do suck.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
    Rideandrepair and tscottme Thank this.
  9. mud23609

    mud23609 Medium Load Member

    Mar 9, 2015
    If you can’t get the pins to retract with the old lever style because they are jammed up against the edge of the holes do a couple of figure 8’s with the truck and trailer. 99 percent of the time it will free the pins up and you can lift the lever with ease.
    Crassius and Rideandrepair Thank this.
  10. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    You can also essentially lock the trailer brakes by adjusting them with a wrench. Or you can use heavy duty wheel chocks, which I've had to do in rainy areas, otherwise the tires just slide on the wet pavement.
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  11. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    I hate when that happens. The clevis pin is probably rusted or gone, or the brakes need adjusting. I did have an old trailer years ago in which the clevis pin got so rusted it broke. I put 2 paper clips in the hole for the time being and it worked lol...other times when it happens to me, I have this massive rock in my tool box that is used for a wheel chock. You gotta get it wedged in there real good too. Then you give it a little throttle and boom, tandems slides.
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