How Often Do You Lube The 5th Wheel Of Your Truck?

Topic 1993 | Page 2

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guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Lube up a fifth wheel? Lol sounds like a weird night a head for ya. But seriously at JB Hunt I never lubed the fifth wheel as it was Teflon coated. But when i had my own trucks I would do it as it was needed. Sometimes once a week or every two weeks. There is no set time limit. If you can see rusty or shiny metal anywhere on the flat of the fifth wheel it need lube...err grease i mean. Lube sounds sexual a bit.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

Lube up a fifth wheel? Lol sounds like a weird night a head for ya. But seriously at JB Hunt I never lubed the fifth wheel as it was Teflon coated. But when i had my own trucks I would do it as it was needed. Sometimes once a week or every two weeks. There is no set time limit. If you can see rusty or shiny metal anywhere on the flat of the fifth wheel it need lube...err grease i mean. Lube sounds sexual a bit.

I sometimes see both rust and shiny spots. I notice that if I haven't greased the 5th wheel for some time, that the truck and trailer will run rough.

Dave

Tracey K.'s Comment
member avatar

Rule of thumb. If you are doing a great amount of drop and hook , it is best to keep a tube handy. Most trailers are never serviced unless something is wrong with the brakes or their is a LARGE whole in the trailer. With running cross country and in different weather patterns, especially snow,( much salt is used for the roads ) you will see that the grease begins to fade. Most companies will use a low grade grease to try and save money. Their is a lot of friction caused by the movement of the truck and trailer which most people do not think about. It is mainly in a city type driving experience. But with heavy loads most of the time you are wearing that grease right off. During the winter a lot of de-icing agents are used on the roads and that will eat at the grease as well. This is why many companies are going with the Teflon 5th wheel. But, it doesn't solve the problem completely.

Company trucks now are being serviced a rate better than they were. So, most will have a sufficient amount of grease, But it is always best to be safe. Keep a check on that 5th wheel too. Come spring you will want to have a complete cleaning of the 5th wheel. It is good to do that once a year.

If you are seeing rust and shinny spots then check the grease that is being used. High temper grease is the best. It can handle the friction. Check to see if you have any grooves in the plate as well. You could have gotten something caught up between the plate and trailer apron and it has grounded a spot on the plate allowing for moisture to build up. That will be where your rust and shinny spots come from.

Hope this helped.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Wes G.'s Comment
member avatar

Up until here recently I was a mechanic in a truck shop, the guy two posts above me said it best. Greasing these things isn't rocket science, you pop the end off a tube of grease and squeeze a bit out onto the first couple inches of the flat portion of the fifth wheel. the trailer will spread the grease over the rest of it. Be sure to get a good amount of grease on the jaws while you are at it.

Troubador222's Comment
member avatar

I have heard of people who had their own trailers who never unhooked, and in every case they were flatbedders, who never greased theirs and had to end up replacing the 5th wheel. Ours were greased every time we had service on the truck, so we did not worry about it.

One of our instructors in school told a funny story about how he never greased his for a while and on a turn, his tractor did went straight because the trailer hung up on the 5th wheel, and he took out a mailbox. The mailbox was one of those ones that the owner had fixed up to look special and was like a mini windmill. He talked to the owner and offered to pay right away of course, and the owner wanted 1000 bucks. He said every other mailbox on the road was just the old cheap type you can get from Walmart for less than 50. The important thing he was stressing though, is it can cause problems like that if it is never lubed.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
TailGunner (Ken M)'s Comment
member avatar

I have heard of people who had their own trailers who never unhooked, and in every case they were flatbedders, who never greased theirs and had to end up replacing the 5th wheel. Ours were greased every time we had service on the truck, so we did not worry about it.

One of our instructors in school told a funny story about how he never greased his for a while and on a turn, his tractor did went straight because the trailer hung up on the 5th wheel, and he took out a mailbox. The mailbox was one of those ones that the owner had fixed up to look special and was like a mini windmill. He talked to the owner and offered to pay right away of course, and the owner wanted 1000 bucks. He said every other mailbox on the road was just the old cheap type you can get from Walmart for less than 50. The important thing he was stressing though, is it can cause problems like that if it is never lubed.

Driving flatbed you get to unhook/hook quite often. A few shippers/receivers require you to unhook for safety reasons, and then there is dropping the trailer to drive the tractor home, and everytime the truck is in the shop, which is quite often for scheduled service, the mechanics unhook it also.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Wes G.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I have heard of people who had their own trailers who never unhooked, and in every case they were flatbedders, who never greased theirs and had to end up replacing the 5th wheel. Ours were greased every time we had service on the truck, so we did not worry about it.

One of our instructors in school told a funny story about how he never greased his for a while and on a turn, his tractor did went straight because the trailer hung up on the 5th wheel, and he took out a mailbox. The mailbox was one of those ones that the owner had fixed up to look special and was like a mini windmill. He talked to the owner and offered to pay right away of course, and the owner wanted 1000 bucks. He said every other mailbox on the road was just the old cheap type you can get from Walmart for less than 50. The important thing he was stressing though, is it can cause problems like that if it is never lubed.

double-quotes-end.png

Driving flatbed you get to unhook/hook quite often. A few shippers/receivers require you to unhook for safety reasons, and then there is dropping the trailer to drive the tractor home, and everytime the truck is in the shop, which is quite often for scheduled service, the mechanics unhook it also.

This is not always the case. I know owner operators that only unhook to grease their fifth wheel. Not trying to pick a fight or anything, just explaining that gypo truck drivers sometimes don't unhook.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

As O/O's AND flatbedders, we never unhooked out trailer unless we had to. BUT we did take care of our 5th wheel. The grooves in the 5th wheel plate collect rocks and stuff...so every 3 months or so, we scrubbed them out, along with the jaws, and made sure they were well greased, even tho we used a silicone plate. It sure saved worrying about it working correctly.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

Well there was an EGR Coolant leak in my old truck, so they put me in an older truck. The 5th wheel is as dry as a bone.

Dave

Nicholas H.'s Comment
member avatar

Has anyone had to have their 5th Wheel or even Turntable replaced? If so over what period of time? I know it varies due to conditions and mileage.

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