THE FIFTH WHEEL NEEDS GREASING – NOW YOU’LL KNOW WHY
For an over-the-highway truck driver a long way from home, one of the last things on his mind is the grease on his tractor-trailer’s fifth wheel. Until, that is, the heavy load behind him starts doing some of the steering for him … at a not-so-comfortable 65 mph.
Without proper lubrication, the natural friction of the two flat metal surfaces connecting at the fifth wheel will increasingly hinder the free movement required during actual driving and hauling operations. Especially in cold weather, the metal-on-metal seizing can prevent the tractor-trailer unit from turning correctly.
A problematic situation
The result is a tractor-trailer unit that will become increasingly difficult to steer, handle and stabilize. This can stress both the driver and the equipment, to the point of required costly repairs and, potentially, even catastrophic and tragic results. The damage can range from worn tires, to chafed upper and lower fifth wheel plates, to actual disengagement of the tractor-trailer unit!
To avoid such issues, some truck and trailer equipment suppliers have experimented with lubrication-free fifth wheels, while others have introduced slippery pads to eliminate the need for lubrication. However, the overwhelming majority of tractor-trailers in use today still require good ol’ grease on their fifth wheels.
An autolube system from BEKA offers a safe, clean, efficient way to ensure your truck’s fifth wheel is getting just the right amount of lubrication.
Not too much, not too little
As with all of our automatic lubrication systems, our fifth-wheel solution is designed to supply the optimum amount of grease, whether it be as a stand-alone system or part of a vehicle package.
We’ve all seen trucks “bobtailing” down the road with globs of grease on their fifth wheels. They’ve probably just come out of the shop and are on their way to a nearby yard to pick up a trailer to head out on the highway.
Well, as soon as the driver backs that tractor up to the trailer, the vast majority of that grease will be pushed away, either onto the nose of the trailer or, perhaps even worse, onto the ground. This is not only a useless waste of resources, but environmentally unfriendly and creates a dangerous situation.
How it works
When we install an autolube system, we drill and tap the channels or grooves that are built into the fifth wheel design. The grease is then metered up and along these channels, smearing across the flat surface of the fifth wheel while the tractor-trailer moves down the highway. The standard is for four such access points, but we can also attach two additional points at the fifth wheel pivots.
Are you passing through Toronto region anytime from April 19th to the 21st? If so, stop by our booth at Truck World Show at the International Center and talk to Matt or Mike.
Learn why this is going to make your ride safer and save you money in maintenance costs. While you are there, ask them about the time limited BEKA Truck Show Special. Can’t make it to the show? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will “hook you up”.
Our BEKA team has a special connection to truck drivers. Some of us have been there. We know them, we know their families, and more than anything in the world, we want them to return home safely from every single trip.
Till next time.
Jacquie McDougall, Chief Operating Officer