Adventures In Stupidity

Topic 23970 | Page 1

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Keith A.'s Comment
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So it has been said often on this site that rushing will cost you dearly As evidence of this: I was doing a trailer swap at a Wal-Mart store last week, and nearly dropped it because I didn't check to make sure the fifth wheel was engaged. My tug test went like it normally did so I thought all was normal, and then I'm pulling away and the trailer starts sliding. I managed to stop the tractor before it went all the way down, and got the landing gear back under it, but the lesson is this: take the few seconds to check it. 99 times out of a hundred, sure you'll be fine, but that one time will ruin your bloody day and it's not worth it. If you get interrupted in your routine or you aren't sure in the least that you got everything, start your routine over. Double and triple check your work.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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So true. When I hook to a trailer, I tug test, look that the locking jaws are around the king pin, and then after inspecting the trailer, tug again.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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Had a similar situation, coincidentally, at a Walmart DC a few days ago. Lock didn't latch and it took three times before it finally locked. First time I didn't hear the telltail click but tried a tug test anyway. Second time I got out and checked alignment and all that. It was all good so pulled out a little further and hit it a little harder. That worked.

What set this episode in to play was everything was a little to well aligned to begin with. Fifth wheels doesn't like to lock if you hit them straight on. Needs to be off by a few inches. Word of wisdom, get your flashlight and double check the locking jaw before connecting the airlines and raising the landing gear.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Also, the grease gets cold in the winter and the jaws don't move as easily. Dirt can also get in there and keep them from moving properly.

G-Town's Comment
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Cold, freezing weather can cause the jaws to foul.

To prevent high-hooking (what Keith described), undercutting or over-riding of the kingpin, GOAL before getting all the way under the trailer. The lower lip of the trailer should be touching the wings of the fifth wheel. Takes 30 seconds, it’s part of my routine every time I couple-up.

As seen here:

0024748001543936147.jpg

Then perform exact same checks Big Scott described. Details...

G-Town's Comment
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Hey sorry ‘bout that...wrong image. Actually a photo of a trailer sitting too high to couple safely, roughly 2.5”. Supports the premise of GOAL before getting completely under the trailer.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Cold, freezing weather can cause the jaws to foul.

To prevent high-hooking (what Keith described), undercutting or over-riding of the kingpin, GOAL before getting all the way under the trailer. The lower lip of the trailer should be touching the wings of the fifth wheel. Takes 30 seconds, it’s part of my routine every time I couple-up.

As seen here:

0024748001543936147.jpg

Then perform exact same checks Big Scott described. Details...

Ummmmmmm, lol confused.gif

Hey sorry ‘bout that...wrong image. Actually a photo of a trailer sitting too high to couple safely, roughly 2.5”. Supports the premise of GOAL before getting completely under the trailer.

Had me scared there for a second!

rofl-3.gifsmile.gif

Mik D.'s Comment
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I jumped the kingpin once on a fedex load at one of there distribution centers, i was holy #$$&*&$, immediately told fedex, they brought 3 forklifts out there while another fedex guy cranked the landing gear and I pulled out....spent some time inspecting for damage, none, and was on my way...

I have not been that lazy again, and check before hooking up and after, I got lucky...

RealDiehl's Comment
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Well if everyone is coming clean I might as well too. 2 weeks ago, Walmart DC, pottsville (what is it with bad luck at DC's)...Tug test was good, pulled out of my door, turned to the left and my trailer kept going straight. Smashed the passenger side cab extender. Had to have a wrecker come help me out because the crank handle was so close to the back of my truck I couldn't turn it. I was sent to a terminal for some reeducation. Lesson learned!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I got in a hurry one day and jumped the pin, luckily it wasnt too hard to fix.

Also make sure to roll legs down before pulling out from under a trailer, I leaned that one the hard way. shocked.png

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