The kingpin is an essential but often forgotten component of your business. Every mile that a trailer travels adds stress and wear. As a fleet maintenance manager, you’re juggling all the typical maintenance on your fleet, while watching your budget. So what can you do to make sure the connection between truck and trailer is healthy and efficient?
Maintenance managers should prioritize the kingpin and make sure they are repaired before they cause more damage, costs, and downtime. While trailer kingpins are designed to last at least an average of ten years, there are circumstances that can shorten their lifespan.
The Problem with Connection Problems
As the connection point between truck and trailer, the kingpin not only experiences expected wear and tear, it can also be affected by the environment and driving conditions it operates within. Most trailers wear at around .010 inch per year, although those with heavy loads and tough conditions can triple the wear rate. Even though the kingpin is only one component of the tractor-trailer, its failure will put the brakes on your business.
The 5th Wheel is the Symptom
One damaged kingpin may not seem like a big deal to a fleet maintenance manager with hundreds of units. However, every semi-truck that connects to a trailer with high wear or damaged kingpin is at risk of spreading damage to the fifth wheel, which then damages the kingpins on other trailers in the fleet. It’s like cancer that spreads to healthy kingpins through slight damage on each fifth wheel.
Allowing a trailer with a damaged kingpin to remain in service threatens the connection health of the rest of the fleet. However, removing it from service affects your bottom line. How does a fleet maintenance manager balance these risks? Getting the kingpin repaired quickly and effectively will keep your fleet moving.
What About Replacing the Semi Kingpin?
Instead of repairing the kingpin, wouldn’t it be easier to replace the entire component? Usually, a kingpin replacement is not the best solution. A total replacement is more expensive than a repair. Also, replacement usually needs more downtime than repair, as each one of our certified welders can repair four to five kingpins per day. Using a quality kingpin repair solution is often the most cost-effective, reliable, and fast method to get your trailers back in service.
Don’t Make This Mistake!
When considering an economical way to repair the kingpin, a fleet maintenance manager might rely on a full-service shop or in-house technicians. Don’t make this mistake! Repairing the kingpin to OEM standards requires specialized training and equipment.
A low-quality repair not only wastes funds, but it can also cause more damage to the fleet. Misalignment or improper installation can cause excessive wear or even cause the kingpin to break free. In this situation, the trailer will be detached from the truck in operation, which would be catastrophic for your business. To avoid this risk, only use a company that can ensure a quality repair to OEM standards.
Companies that are not specialists in connection management may not know that it is essential to repair trailers with the most wear first. Trailers with lower wear should be monitored for wear patterns and to ensure they don’t surpass the manufacturer’s specified wear rate.
There is a Quality Kingpin Repair Solution
How do you know if a kingpin repair solution will be worth the money? The company you choose should use an engineered and proven method to get your trailers back in service quickly. The technicians who work on your fleet should be certified and specially trained on quality kingpin repair. A kingpin repaired to OEM standards will wear at the same rate as a brand-new kingpin, extending the life of all the trucks and trailers in your fleet.
Any quality kingpin repair company will work to ensure that your fleet remains operational with as little downtime as possible. Certified technicians from Kingpin Specialists can repair multiple kingpins on weekend days, so your fleet will be in service during business days.
An Ongoing Solution for Your Fleet
Wear is just a part of life when it comes to commercial fleets. Getting the most use out of each unit is a high priority for fleet maintenance managers who are constrained by a budget. However, allowing trailers with damaged kingpins to remain in service accelerates wear on the rest of the fleet.
You can rely on Kingpin Specialists to help your fleet avoid downtime from wear or damage by creating an ongoing maintenance plan. Because every fleet wears differently due to environmental and working conditions, Kingpin Specialists designs a customized maintenance plan based on wear patterns. This plan usually involves repairing the most damaged kingpins first, then monitoring the rest of the fleet for any spreading damage.
Following an ongoing maintenance plan helps reduce and stabilize your fleet’s wear rate while avoiding unnecessary downtime. The Kingpin Specialists will resolve your connection problems and help your costs stabilize by following the customized maintenance plan, and you will avoid wasting precious funds on inferior repair solutions.
Time to Call the Kingpin Specialists
Without understanding the scope of the connection management issues affecting a fleet, it is impossible to quantify the real long-term costs. It is also difficult to make any meaningful progress in fixing the ongoing connection management issues.
Most in-house technicians do not have an engineered solution at their disposal, lack the experience and training required to repair kingpins effectively, and even misunderstand the relationship between the fifth wheel and kingpin.
If you are responsible for fleet maintenance on commercial vehicles, why not take the first step and have Kingpin Specialists perform an inspection and report on the condition of your fleet?
Call us at 1-888-221-7774 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.