Is Your Tractor-Trailer Connection Safe and Secure?

Is Your Tractor-Trailer Connection Safe and Secure?

The very thought of a defective or unreliable tractor-trailer connection is enough to make truck drivers, service professionals and fleet managers shiver. Fleet Equipment Magazine recently ran an excellent article on this important topic: Making Sure Your Tractor-Trailer Connection is Safe, Secure. The article  is filled with practical, detailed information about how to ensure your fifth wheel connection is well maintained and meets all safety considerations.

Author Seth Skydel poses the question, “What should shops inspect on fifth wheels to ensure safe and reliable operation?” He then provides the answers and a wealth of helpful information from a variety of experts.

Some of the key points include:

  • Be sure all parts and adjustments are maintained to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Lubricate locking mechanisms every three months or 30,000 miles and thoroughly clean the locking mechanism every six months or 60,000 miles.
  • Have a certified technician inspect fifth wheel assemblies every three months or 30,000 miles.
  • Perform all fifth wheel maintenance with the tractor uncoupled from the trailer.
  • During a vehicle’s regularly scheduled service, the technician should always inspect the fifth wheel to make sure that no components are bent, cracked or missing, and that all fasteners are secure.
  • Always check the upper coupler.
  • Train all drivers to follow proper fifth wheel coupling procedures for the model used on each of the trucks that they will be operating.
  • Lubricate fifth wheels at every oil change with a premium extended service grease.

These are just a few of the key take-aways — for full details, it’s worth a few minutes of your time to read the article here: Making Sure Your Tractor-Trailer Connection is Safe, Secure

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About the Author

Jake Schell

Jake Schell is an editorial consultant with Mitchell 1. Previously, he served as Product Manager for the Commercial Vehicle Group from 2002 to 2023. Prior to joining Mitchell 1, Jake spent 20 years as a technician. He holds a Chevrolet Master certification in the transmission category as well as ASE certifications in both cars and trucks.