Drivers Releasing Locking Jaws At Truck Stops.

Topic 20010 | Page 1

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Sweet Jimmy's Comment
member avatar

I saw on a trucking Facebook page that some drivers, as retribution for some perceived sleight are pulling the release handle on other's trucks while they are parked. While a PTI would solve this, I know a few people that rarely do a PTI. Does this really happen?

Adam B.'s Comment
member avatar

I have words for those people that are inappropriate for this site.

It does happen, it's rare but it happens. That's why you always inspect your truck before you start driving, even if you were just in and out.


Hours Of Service

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

The solution to this is quite easy..

Get backed in, pull your trailer brakes and then go into 1st gear, let out slowly on clutch until it starts to pull trailer, pull your truck brake and push clutch back in and go to neutral.. hope out and try pulling the pin... if you can't with all your might then GJ.. :)

Sambo's Comment
member avatar

That's a good tactic, but nothing replaced actually checking visually each time.

If my truck leaves my sight, as in, even if I'm parked in front of the fuel island, and I run in to use the restroom, upon returning to my truck, I visually check the jaws, the pin, and I also check my tandem pins.

Always best to be sure.


Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

ALWAYS CHECK the 5th wheel release before rolling out from a stop. Doesn't hurt to get under with a flashlight and make sure the jaws are locked.

Popping the trailer brakes and pulling against the trailer before setting the tractor brakes makes it way more difficult for someone to pull your release (just like when uncoupling - popping the trailer and backing up into it, eases the pressure OFF the lock).

Another "trick" certain a-holes will pull, is to put a quarter (or a small piece of plastic) between the gladhands on the emergency line (RED), so that air never gets back to the trailer (and you can't unlock the spring brakes). I've heard this happens to folks that park in the fuel lane and go inside to play around. If you can't get your trailer to move - check the red line and make sure nothing is blocking the airflow. Hope this doesn't give practical jokers and revenge-oriented people any dumb ideas. If I caught someone messing with my truck, a thump with the tire thumper wouldn't be something out of the question.


Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

Several years ago, we had a driver here on the form who got stuck at a truck stop when a driver who didn't check his 5th wheel before driving dropped his trailer in the driveway. As it turned out, some joker had gone around and pulled the release on something like a dozen trucks. Although I've never had a problem with anybody screwing around with my equipment, I always check everything, even if I've only been inside long enough to pee.

Also, little tip: don't leave your trailer air knob pulled out when parking for the night. If someone decides to try to mess with your air lines, the red is the one that will make a helluva racket if they unhook it while that knob is pushed in, and will get your attention.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Beating a dead horse here, but I don't think it can be over-stated how important AND easy it is to make sure that doesn't happen to you... it's a habit of mine any time I've left the truck or woken up after my 10: open the driver door, open the compartment door, grab the flashlight, shine it in the kingpin, make sure it is still fully locked. Takes about 30 secs. And then I STILL do a tug test w/the trailer brakes applied. I know, needless and redundant, but they've both become habits.

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