Fifth Wheel MaintenanceMay 10, 2016
The fifth wheel is an often-overlooked part of the truck. The fifth wheel secures the truck and trailer and is critical to its safety and maneuverability. Symptoms of a dry fifth wheel include (but are not limited to) irregular handing, drivetrain `clunking’ noise, and front-end/steering noise and `popping’.
As a matter of practice, Phil Taylor, the VP of Maintenance at Central Oregon Truck, recommends separating your tractor and trailer every two weeks to apply grease to the surface of the fifth wheel appropriately. A fifth wheel can be over-greased. The rule of thumb is that the fifth wheel plate should always appear `wet’ with grease.
COTC’s planned maintenance (‘PM’) always includes separating the trailer from tractor whether the PM activity takes place in Redmond, Oregon or at a TA/Petro Service Center to accommodate greasing the fifth wheel.
Understanding your equipment and ensuring all planned maintenance has been performed today, will prevent a breakdown tomorrow.