Fleets that keep their equipment constantly moving experience a high wear rate on their kingpin and fifth wheels. The daily stops and tight locations that they navigate to make their deliveries result in added stress on the truck and trailer connection.
To keep this wear manageable and the equipment in operational condition, established maintenance procedures must be followed.
Top 3 Ways Connections Are Stressed
It is important to understand what causes connection stress between commercial trucks and trailers. In the 25+ years that we have been providing our kingpin service to fleets, we’ve identified 3 primary ways that the connection life of a trailer is stressed.
#1. Disconnecting and Connecting Equipment. In drop and hook applications a trailer may be attached and detached multiple times a day. This occurs as it is loaded and unloaded from different warehouses and delivery locations.
#2. Daily Operations in Logistics. Delivery locations can be tricky to get into. The driver may have to make several adjustments to navigate the trailer to the dock\ delivery point. To get into tight locations multiple forward and back movements with tight turns may be required.
#3. Daily Operations Creating Load Movement. Liquid loads have shifting momentum that as the vehicle starts, stops, and turns create shifts and opposing force. The connection point is caught in the middle as the truck’s momentum is going in one direction and the load weight goes in another.
The Solution for Connection Stress
In all aspects equipment that has not been maintained properly and is now worn beyond operating specifications intensifies the connection stress. As parts wear damage can occur to both the kingpin and the fifth wheel, therefore, it is essential to have a maintenance program in place.
Here are three maintenacne tips to get you started:
Maintenance Tip # 1: Lubrication
Lack of lubricant creates friction which can result in damage or excessive wear. According to Fontaine Fifth Wheel, it is important to lubricate throughout all four seasons.
Maintenance Tip # 2: Cleaning and Inspection of the Fifth Wheel
Jost recommends that you inspect your fifth wheel and kingpins for signs of damage. To do this inspection properly the area must be cleaned so that you can visually see any damage that has occurred. This may require using a degreasing compound or steam cleaning service.
Maintenance Tip # 3: Cleaning and Inspection of the Kingpin
To maintain your kingpin properly you need to regularly clean and inspect it for signs of damage. It is recommended that this inspection be done every 3-months or 30,000 miles. One trick to check the upper coupler plate for flatness is to use a 48” straight edge and place it on the plate moving it in all directions to see if it is still flat. You can also use a kingpin gauge to check and see if the kingpin is bent, to make sure it is the correct height, and to check for wear.
Many fleets are better equipped to handle other aspects of maintaining their fleet and use Kingpin Specialists to regularly perform theses inspections for them. Yard checks are an important part of regular maintenance and combatting the 3 most common ways connections between commercial trucks and trailers is stressed.
Regardless of who discovers that a kingpin is damaged it must be repaired to prevent it from causing further damage and Kingpin Specialists is there to provide our patented engineered solution to remanufacture the kingpin and return it to the original specification.
We Provide Nationwide Service
If you would like to take the first step and have Kingpin Specialists perform an inspection call us at 1-888-221-7774 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.