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5th wheel question/problem


Hook n ladder 1
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There's not really a category for fifth wheel questions so I picked suspension.

Anyway I have a Holland FW35.  It's about 12 years old.  I run local semi-dump around Chicago with a quarter frame trailer.  The problem im having all of a sudden is after i dump, there is a gap between the fifth wheel plate and the trailer.  So I'll pull the locking bar and slide the trailer back and get it to sit flat.  I don't have this problem loaded as I think the weight keeps it set.   

I haven't tried adjusting the jaws yet but when hooked up there's about 1/4 inch gap between the bushing on the adjusting rod and the plate.  My holland manual says tighten counter clockwise until the bushing can rotate.  But my bushing rotates already.  Also, the jaws have been adjusted maybe once in 12 years but I never had the trailer not sit flat on the plate.  So my questions are these 1) is adjusting the jaws the answer?  I't doesnt seem like it to me  but if it is do I adjust with the jaws locked or unlocked.

Thanks.

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24 minutes ago, Hook n ladder 1 said:

There's not really a category for fifth wheel questions so I picked suspension.

Anyway I have a Holland FW35.  It's about 12 years old.  I run local semi-dump around Chicago with a quarter frame trailer.  The problem im having all of a sudden is after i dump, there is a gap between the fifth wheel plate and the trailer.  So I'll pull the locking bar and slide the trailer back and get it to sit flat.  I don't have this problem loaded as I think the weight keeps it set.   

I haven't tried adjusting the jaws yet but when hooked up there's about 1/4 inch gap between the bushing on the adjusting rod and the plate.  My holland manual says tighten counter clockwise until the bushing can rotate.  But my bushing rotates already.  Also, the jaws have been adjusted maybe once in 12 years but I never had the trailer not sit flat on the plate.  So my questions are these 1) is adjusting the jaws the answer?  I't doesnt seem like it to me  but if it is do I adjust with the jaws locked or unlocked.

Thanks.

there should be a gap between upper coupler(trailer) and fifth wheel. adjusting the jaws will take up forward and backward slack. it would be wise to inspect king pin and upper coupler for wear and damage along with the fifth wheel and after 12 years it would be wise to remove the fifth wheel flip it over and inspect for wear on the underside also

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7 hours ago, Prowrench said:

there should be a gap between upper coupler(trailer) and fifth wheel. adjusting the jaws will take up forward and backward slack. it would be wise to inspect king pin and upper coupler for wear and damage along with the fifth wheel and after 12 years it would be wise to remove the fifth wheel flip it over and inspect for wear on the underside also

You mean shouldn't?

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in this day and age and for peace of mind and with them being so reasonable I wouldn't even take a chance. throw it away and out a new one on the legs. unless its vintage, fifth wheels are disposable . been a few incidents in recent years up here in Ny with all the scrap and garbage haulers,,, they use a big hoe to push the load down, ended up cracking the fifth wheel down the middle and trailer came unhooked and took out a family van and killed them.not worth it. 

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HnL,  lf you find it's the 5th wheel just replace it like Maddog said. The company l drive for deals with three different repair shops. lf there is a problem with a 5th wheel none of them will repair it. They just replace it due to liability and cost, so l was told.   .....Hippy

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3 hours ago, JoeH said:

You mean shouldn't?

No I mean that it is necessary to have up and down movement between fifth wheel and upper coupler, you will see a gap if  you are not on flat level ground. More than likely with a quarter frame he does not have crank legs but with a trailer that has crank legs you should be able to raise the trailer as much as a half inch above the fifth wheel while coupled.

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2 hours ago, 70mackMB said:

HnL,  lf you find it's the 5th wheel just replace it like Maddog said. The company l drive for deals with three different repair shops. lf there is a problem with a 5th wheel none of them will repair it. They just replace it due to liability and cost, so l was told.   .....Hippy

Well I can tell you if a repair shop is properly insured their insurance company prohibits repair of fifth wheels. My insurance company prohibited me from anything related to the fifth wheel because they said it could come uncoupled and a trailer would go careening all over and kill everyone in it's path, I then asked that underwriter if i could replace king pins on a trailer and his reply was yes why not. The underwriters don't have a complete understanding of what it is that they are dealing with.

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i could see daylight between the fifth wheel and the trailer king pin plate with the quarter frame hilbilt all the way up after dumping. i think it takes all the weight off the fifth wheel when its up. an inch? probably not. might be worn out on the plate or the fifth wheel, or both. trailer was a 97 or 98, tractor was an 01.  both were well used 

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So after running my trailer through a few dump cycles and watching it from the side i was able to figure it out.  The front left draft arm pin that lets the king pin plate on the trailer pivot during dumping had frozen up.  It was actually prying up on the fifth wheel, as it would not sit flat on it.  Usually after unhooking the tractor the plate on the trailer would pivot just by touching it.  I tried to pivot it with my front end loader but to no avail.  A big torch loosened it but not enough so its being replaced.

Thanks for everyone's input.

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