Always Important To Check The 5th Wheel

Topic 24154 | Page 1

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Jamie's Comment
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Quick post, I was hooking up to the trailer I just picked up, and everything seemed fine at first, it pushed the release arm in, but I got under the trailer to check the latch and noticed it didn't close all the way. I'm sure I would have dropped the trailer if I thought it was fine based off the release arm only and that's why I always check both while coupling and uncoupling trailers or anytime I'm away from my truck. Because it also passed the tug test I did.

Sorry quickly typed this up before leaving.

G-Town's Comment
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Totally spot-on, dead-nuts correct. Never skip any details of this.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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What did you do to get it to close all the way?

Jamie's Comment
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What did you do to get it to close all the way?

I just released the release arm and pulled up and backed up under it again, as I always leave the landing gear down until I'm sure it's secured.

G-Town's Comment
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What did you do to get it to close all the way?

double-quotes-end.png

I just released the release arm and pulled up and backed up under it again, as I always leave the landing gear down until I'm sure it's secured.

Jamie you are definitely doing the right things here.

If this persists, probably a good idea to have the locking mechanism looked at by a mechanic. Sometimes an accumulation of grease and dirt in combination with sub-freezing temperatures causes the locking jaws to malfunction.

I’ve literally had to push the locking arm with a 2x4 to force a positive lock when temps approach zero overnight.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

What did you do to get it to close all the way?

double-quotes-end.png

I just released the release arm and pulled up and backed up under it again, as I always leave the landing gear down until I'm sure it's secured.

Ah, OK. I wasn't sure if there was some trick. I will be sure to always crawl under to check mine.

Old School's Comment
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I’ve literally had to push the locking arm with a 2x4 to force a positive lock when temps approach zero overnight.

I've had to do this a few times myself in the dead of winter. As a flat bed driver, my breaker bar is quite handy for this.

Jamie's Comment
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I had another problem this morning with my 5th wheel latching securely around the king pin, it took about 5-6 times to get it to lock correctly. I assumed it was due to the weather, currently in New York and it's been snowing here.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Turtle's Comment
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Check around the locking mechanism itself for a buildup of grease. If there is, your problem made just continue to worsen, especially in freezing weather.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Check around the locking mechanism itself for a buildup of grease. If there is, your problem made just continue to worsen, especially in freezing weather.

Totally agree with this. I don't think it gets stressed enough about keeping those jaws clean and free of buildup. I also notice a lot of drivers with dry, rusty 5th wheel plates. For those of you newer drivers who do a lot of drop and hook , keep a tube of grease and a putty spreader handy. You don't need to apply a huge amount, just enough to keep it slick between the plate and the trailer. A dry 5th wheel plate can cause various issues if left unchecked.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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