My Satanic Fifth Wheel

Topic 25338 | Page 2

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Daniel B.'s Comment
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Here's an idea. If there's a dashboard button that will unhook it then it will be air powered also if that makes sense.

If you're toggling that dashboard release button and its still not unlocking then next time you disconnect look between your fifth wheel and cab and search for a disconnected air line. Usually it should be running along the inside of the frame and may be difficult to find.

Also, before you try to disconnect set your trailer brakes but NOT your tractor brakes. With the trailer brakes engaged reverse the truck into the trailer hard. The kingpin could be up against your locking jaws and the friction may make it difficult to release.

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

Just a couple thoughts:

1) Before you push the automatic release button you must be in neutral with the tractor brakes set. 2) You have to keep the button pushed until you hear the fifth wheel release. I always roll down my window and listen for it. 3) On my Freightliner a dash message pops up telling you that the fifth wheel is released, are you seeing any indications on the dash that anything has happened? 4)After I hear it release I always put it into gear before releasing the parking brake.

ChefsJK's Comment
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If it is a newer style 5th wheel try lifting it up and while lifting, pull diagonally towards the cab part while still keeping it lifted up. I have seen many drivers struggle with this.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
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If it is a newer style 5th wheel try lifting it up and while lifting, pull diagonally towards the cab part while still keeping it lifted up. I have seen many drivers struggle with this.

I have tried that. Thankfully like I said before 95% of the time I have no problems I dropped and hooked today saying my prayers that it will release and it did... first try and somehow I knew that would happen. SMH. The crazy thing I encountered tonight and I usually look at a trailer and you can tell if it's high or low usually as I'm backing up I didn't feel the pressure from the trailer so I stopped. It was in the dark and the Kingpin went over the fifth wheel. This is where it is weird... had I backed up another two feet I would have hit the reefer unit. I misjudged how far I had backed. But the trailer and the Kingpin was almost an inch above my fifth wheel? How in the hell did that happen the Dolly's got cranked up that high? Just so I didn't catch my 5th wheel I dropped the airbags and pulled forward. This was an older trailer and since it was heavy had to crank it down in high gear. Got my workout in for the day... then the brakes didn't want to release. One of those days when a 10 minute job turns into 45 minutes

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

JYD...

My routine when coupling to a trailer is to stop before completely getting under it. About the point where the rearmost drive tires are just about even with the lower lip of the trailer. It’s very easy to gauge if the trailer is set too high or low before getting into a jam, completely takes the guesswork out of the process.

I do this every time I hook (hundreds of times every year) without fail, takes an extra 30 seconds. Not once have I high-hooked or overrode the KingPin.

Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Great job dealing with the other obstacles. Just another day...

Safe travels.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Perfect example of what I suggested...

0628156001556019725.jpg

Trailer is set higher, at the least causing a high-hook coupling of the KingPin. Or worse.

In this case I lowered the trailer until the lip was almost touching the wings of the fifth-wheel. G.O.A.L.ing before getting completely under a trailer is part of my trucker DNA. Not to be skipped.

One other point for newbies and rookies alike. It’s completely unnecessary to crank the landing gear raising the trailer off the fifth wheel when dropping a trailer. If it’s loaded, lower the gear until both ground pads touch the yard surface. I’ll usually give the arm a half turn extra if very heavy. If the trailer is empty lower the gear within an inch of the yard surface. Think about the next driver that has to deal with what you left them.

Greg M.'s Comment
member avatar

How in the hell did that happen the Dolly's got cranked up that high?

When the trailer is way too high or low that usually means the lot has high and low spots and the yard switcher did not adjust the legs after moving the trailer. We have a row in our yard where the legs come down in a drainage depression. If the yard guy did not adjust them you can not even get the tires under the trailer. Thats when I flag one of them down and ask them to lift it so I can crank them down with the weight off.

Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

JYD

I, too, have issues with my fifth wheel releasing. Also a 19 KW. That switch you located behind the Qualcomm with the red cover switch... I can lift the red cover, however, above and below thay cover are what look to be 5th wheel slide pics. That seems odd to me. Why a cover with a button below if they do the same thing? Or do they? confused.gif

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Junkyard Dog's Comment
member avatar

G-town twice earlier I had done this, I think I posted about this. It was really dark and I didn't think I went back that far. I'm with you I always get out and check the height but I misjudged it this time. Usually as I'm approaching the trailer before I backup I can tell if it's high. Like I said it was really dark. So it surprised me. This was the easiest I have dealt with this situation. Except like I said it was an older trailer and I had to crank my butt off to lower it. You are correct take the extra 30 seconds and check out the situation. It was one of those deals when you thought to yourself I'm going to be out of here in less than 30 minutes. And then you get hit with reality...

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

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double-quotes-end.png
How in the hell did that happen the Dolly's got cranked up that high?

When the trailer is way too high or low that usually means the lot has high and low spots and the yard switcher did not adjust the legs after moving the trailer. We have a row in our yard where the legs come down in a drainage depression. If the yard guy did not adjust them you can not even get the tires under the trailer. Thats when I flag one of them down and ask them to lift it so I can crank them down with the weight off.

This was in Rochelle Illinois and I don't think the yard jockeys ever touch the dollies. This was probably done by one of our drivers but I've been there several times and I never noticed a depression. I've seen the depressions on asphalt but not on concrete that's why this threw me so much. But I totally get what you're saying. We have that situation at our terminal. There is like a 3 or 4 ft section of concrete the rest of the area is asphalt so if someone goes back too far this will occur.

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.

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