Semi-Truck and Trailer with Kingpin Issue

Maintaining a Fleet – Time to Call the Specialists

Managing fleet maintenance needs is a fulltime job. The industry has continued to trend towards the utilization of specialists by contracting out repair needs. This allows the inhouse technicians to focus on the daily needs of the fleet ensuring routine maintenance is completed on time and keeping the fleets equipment in service.  

So when is it time to call in the specialists?

Connection management is largely misunderstood in the trucking industry. The way that the fifth wheel and kingpin interact with each other and the way the wear and damage spread from one unit to the other is where the battle is either won or lost.

A problem that starts off with one kingpin that has excessive wear or damage can quickly spread to the entire fleet within a relatively short period of time. Unfortunately, if inhouse technicians don’t understand the way this works they will recommend solving only half the problem by focusing on the fifth wheel, which is like solving none of the problems because without repairing the kingpin as well the problem continues to spread, and the money and time spent on the fifth wheel are wasted.

A Fleet Wide Problem with Kingpins

When faced with a fleet-wide issue you need a fleet-wide solution. As mentioned previously, a fleet will typically focus on repairing fifth wheels and virtually ignore the kingpins for years.

Then something changes, perhaps a new fleet manager is hired, drivers start complaining about how much banging there is between the kingpin and fifth wheel, or there is a string of structural repairs required on many trailers and the situation comes to a head.

What a fleet does next is a very important decision?

The fleet knows they have an issue. But how big of a problem is it and who is best suited to solve the problem? After all, the fleet’s maintenance staff allowed this situation to occur in the first place.

This is when it is time to call the specialists.

The Pro-Active Solution

Connection management between a commercial truck and trailer is about two things:

Pro-Active Repairs

The return-on-investment far exceeds the cost. The amount of money saved on fifth wheel repairs, downtime, and structural repairs downstream is thousands of dollars more than the cost of maintaining and repairing the kingpin. Don’t ignore the kingpin any longer.

Kingpin Specialists has an engineered solution that is performed by welders certified in the specific weld application needed to refurbish the kingpin. This method is a proven, tested, engineered process. We complete repairs on site. A typical refurbishment takes approximately 2 hours from start to finish. Once completed, the trailer can go back into service and overall downtime is minimal.

Regular Fleet Evaluations

When it comes to connection management, we recommend having a fleet evaluation a minimum of once a year. Twice a year is the recommended interval for fleets that want to have the gold standard in connection management. 

Identifying the wear on a kingpin early and repairing it quickly eliminates added costs connected to fleet-wide wear and damage and unscheduled downtime.

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

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