What Do You Do When You Notice Someone Pulled Your Lock Around The Kingpin Open?

Topic 3790 | Page 1

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Justin N.'s Comment
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When returning to your truck you notice the lever for the lock jaw has been pulled open. Yes I know you can lower the landing gear to keep the trailer from falling and then pull out and then back under again. But is there a way to simply lock the jaws around the kingpin again without going through all that? Maybe a button you can press or something?

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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When returning to your truck you notice the lever for the lock jaw has been pulled open. Yes I know you can lower the landing gear to keep the trailer from falling and then pull out and then back under again. But is there a way to simply lock the jaws around the kingpin again without going through all that? Maybe a button you can press or something?

There is a very simple thing you can do. Once you get parked in your spot set the trailer breaks. Now put the tractor in 1st gear and pull against the kingpin therefore pulling pressure against the locking jaws of the 5th wheel. Now set your tractor breaks making sure to keep the pressure pulled against the kingpin. No one will be able to pull the 5th release against until the pressure is released.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Guyjax is right - that's a good idea.

But to answer your question - I would say yes you could possibly simply the process but not with the end result of knowing it's 100% safe.

You could probably just back up against it and it might lock again. But did it engage 100%? Would you literally bet your life that it's perfectly hooked up 100%? I wouldn't. If it happened to me I would put the gear down, pull forward a bit, and then back under again and lock it down tight.

Always take the surest, safest route. And not only does that mean you should literally follow the safest route to your destination, but you should always make the safest decision possible with everything related to that rig.

I know you were just asking if there was a safe way to simplify the process and you weren't trying to be lazy - just efficient. I'm not trying to imply anything like that. I'm just saying that I personally wouldn't feel comfortable until I did the process over again from scratch. Then I would feel as if I did everything I know how to do to ensure it's safe.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Happy Dog's Comment
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When returning to your truck you notice the lever for the lock jaw has been pulled open. Yes I know you can lower the landing gear to keep the trailer from falling and then pull out and then back under again. But is there a way to simply lock the jaws around the kingpin again without going through all that? Maybe a button you can press or something?

Do you think someone did that to you or is there a possibility it just never completely locked in the first place? I know theyre spring loaded, but to think someone would jerk a kingpin lever out of malice is dang wrong. Scary, too. Good job on the pre-trip!!!!

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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While what Brett said make sense and should always be checked and double check here is the reality that was not mentioned......For one reason or another other drivers WILL pull your 5th wheel release arm just to be mean. While scary and very dangerous it does happen but if you are doing your job you will never drop your trailer on the ground.

If you leave that driver seat even for 5 minutes, for truck stop or sleeper berth or anything else, before you start driving again you always ALWAYS do a check on the 5th wheel which takes 30 seconds at most. Before getting out of the cab you do a tug test and THEN get out and spend the 10 seconds it takes to do a visual check on the 5th wheel. 30 seconds is worth it to ensure that you don't spend the next 2 hours fixing the problem and explaining to your company why you failed to do a very basic safety check. Oh by the way if you drop a trailer cause the 5th wheel was not locked ,does not matter if someone unlocked it or it failed to lock the first time around, it is a Preventable Accident and you will be blamed for it.

I have helped guys re-hook to their trailer after this happened and trust me you do not want to have to roll the landing gear back down to raise the trailer off the ground so you can re-hook up the trailer with all the weight on it. Takes forever and very tough to do. Took us about 3 hours to get back up and that was with 4 guys changing out and taking turning with the landing gear. Very tiring work.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Happy Dog's Comment
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Guy, thank you for that, you're absolutely right and I will do just as you suggested. I guess the trucking industry has changed since I started driving. Thats a shame guys would do that to anyone, new driver or not. Where I come from, even your buddies would kick your ass for doing something so rotten.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
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People that usually pull such "stunts" are people that were fired from said company. It's the same old "somebody done somebody wrong song."

Dave

PorkChop's Comment
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I truly hope that this was just a one time oversight, and that it originally didn't lock correctly. Good catch on the walk-around though! It's sad to think that someone would do this as a prank or revenge. wtf.gif

So that leaves me with a rookie question, "Is there a way to chain/cable and lock the release handle in the locked position?" Although, I can think of a couple of reasons (DOT included) that might frown of this practice.

LittleJoe

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Randall H's Comment
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I truly hope that this was just a one time oversight, and that it originally didn't lock correctly. Good catch on the walk-around though! It's sad to think that someone would do this as a prank or revenge. wtf.gif

So that leaves me with a rookie question, "Is there a way to chain/cable and lock the release handle in the locked position?" Although, I can think of a couple of reasons (DOT included) that might frown of this practice.

LittleJoe

You are right in that doing anything to lock it in place is illegal because it needs to be able to be released by emergency response personnel. During a training class here at Prime we were told a story of this happening to a driver and the jerk that did it was caught because he did it within range of a video camera on the property!!! Unfortunately there are those kind of people out there so we just have to do as stated above and ALWAYS make sure to check it. As Guy pointed out, it does not take long to do. Just need to make it a habit. Better safe than sorry.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

If your 5th wheel doesn't "lock right" and you start out...you won't get to far....one turn, one bump, left off the fuel, speed up,...it takes very little to have that trailer come off that pad....and the landing is always ugly...so I'm sure someone walked by, pulled his pin, and thought it was funny. What they don't realize is that the trailer may wait until you get out on the highway....and it may drop and hit a car...and kill innocent people. There are some truly sick people out there in the world....I know that if I catch 'em....they won't walk away unscathed...And I will drop a dime on them in a heartbeat...

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