Every semi-truck or tractor-trailer depends on one small piece of equipment for its connection. It’s called the King Pin. This is a pin which connects the trailer to the ‘fifth-wheel’. The receiving piece on the truck is is a horse-shoe shaped platform attached to the tractor. It’s the pivot point between the two units and receives a great deal of wear and tear. Eventually, king pin repair or replacement becomes necessary on all working rigs.

Every semi-truck or tractor-trailer depends on one small piece of equipment for its connection. It’s called the King Pin. This is a pin which connects the trailer to the ‘fifth-wheel’. The receiving piece on the truck is is a horse-shoe shaped platform attached to the tractor. It’s the pivot point between the two units and receives a great deal of wear and tear. Eventually, king pin repair or replacement becomes necessary on all working rigs.

It’s estimated that about 30% of all king pins currently in use on trucks in the U.S. And Canada, if inspected, would not meet current standards for acceptable tolerances. These pins should be repaired or replaced immediately. But which method is best?

Ideally, king pins should not be allowed to be used once their wear exceeds .080 inches. Refurbishing at this point will not only save on future maintenance to the fifth wheel but make the rig safer to operate. Repairing the king pin at this point will also save in other ways. Here’s why.

Refurbishing a worn pin is a simple and inexpensive fix, compared to replacement. It can be accomplished in just a couple of hours as opposed to two or more days. This allows the operator to get the rig back on the road with a minimum of down time.

Every king pin on the road will eventually need to be replaced or repaired. That’s the nature of the tremendous forces playing on this pivot point that connects the tractor with the trailer. Replacing this part normally costs somewhere between $1000-$3000 and puts the truck out of service for several days. Repairing the part is much faster and less expensive.

The good news is that a qualified repair job will usually result in a stronger and longer lasting pin. For these reasons, king pin repair makes much more sense than replacement. It’s easier, cheaper and stronger. It’s definitely a win-win.