5 Th Wheel Position

Topic 28867 | Page 1

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Daniel C.'s Comment
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Hi We are purchasing a new truck with 52 inch sleeper double axel The truck we use now is a single axel truck used for tight spaces in the city where a 53 ft trailer can't get in Can I get similar results using a double axel by moving the 5 th wheel as far back as we can Thanks for any advice

Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
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Hi, Daniel, and welcome to Trucking Truth~!

We are more about helping new grasshoppers get jumping into CDL training, but to answer your question...I've got one for you. Are you going from a single screw day cab to a full size sleeper/tractor? No matter how much you 'mess' with the 5th wheel, it's not even close to similar. Do you know what the wheel base is on that new tractor y'all are looking to get into?

ps: Where's PJ and PackRat when ya need 'em?!?!? ;)


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Joseph I.'s Comment
member avatar

Unless you are hauling light loads you will never get enough weight up front doing that and I will bet your single will turn circles inside what the tandem will do.


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".

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
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Short answer? No. Except maybe if you get a Volvo. They have (at least used to have) about the tightest turn radius for a twin screw road tractor. When compared to your single screw unit, the frame length on a sleeper tractor is going to add quite a bit of turn, and if you've got a twin screw (twin drive axles) you're going to have an even wider turn radius. Good question by Anne - you need to know if you're going to a single or double axle, but if you're getting a sleeper, I've gotta believe it's a double drive axle unit.

I have driven both day cabs with single and double screws, Volvo road unit with sleeper, Freightliner Cascadia with sleeper, and a Freightliner FLD with sleeper. Of all of those, the FLD was the absolute worst for tight work - turned like the USS Ronald Reagan CVN, but rode like smooth silk sheets on the highway from that long frame length. The best was the single screw day cab. Moving the fifth wheel plate to shorten the overall length doesn't give much relief on a double, or at least I never thought so.

Good luck.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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