Aug

Fifth wheel neglect

2011-08-01 19:44
Note the loose pedestal mounting bolt. Every time the combination negotiates a corner, excessive stresses are exerted on the remaining mounting bolts, especially on the other bolt on the same side. This could cause the bolt shown here to snap and the mounting bracket to break free from the top plate. I don’t need to tell you what the disastrous outcome of this scenario would be.

Jost South Africa is one of our Brake & Tyre Watch partners and their participation has opened all our eyes to the poor state of maintenance and care of fifth wheels on trucks.

The manual hitch with towing eye shows excessive wear and the fact that the pin is fitted with only a piece of wire as a safety lock poses a real and imminent danger to all road users. I have on a previous occasion investigated a similar incident where the draw bar trailer actually detached from the hitch and subsequently killed three people when it went careering into on-coming traffic. This should not be on the road.

The manual hitch with towing eye shows excessive wear and the fact that the pin is fitted with only a piece of wire as a safety lock poses a real and imminent danger to all road users. I have on a previous occasion investigated a similar incident where the draw bar trailer actually detached from the hitch and subsequently killed three people when it went careering into on-coming traffic. This should not be on the road.

It really is a neglected area of fleet maintenance as these photographs, with comments from Manie Roux, sales and technical manager of Jost, prove. It’s as Roux says: “All these show once again that in our beloved industry where there are so many conscientious operators, there are also elements that do not care two hoots about people’s lives as long as they can make a quick buck. Sad but true.’

These photographs show evidence of poor maintenance and even gross neglect. The safety latches are virtually non existent or damaged to such an extent that they cannot possibly securely lock the fifth wheels. These fifth wheels could open at any stage causing the semi-trailer to detach from the prime mover with disastrous consequences.

These photographs show evidence of poor maintenance and even gross neglect. The safety latches are virtually non existent or damaged to such an extent that they cannot possibly securely lock the fifth wheels. These fifth wheels could open at any stage causing the semi-trailer to detach from the prime mover with disastrous consequences.

These photographs show evidence of poor maintenance and even gross neglect. The safety latches are virtually non existent or damaged to such an extent that they cannot possibly securely lock the fifth wheels. These fifth wheels could open at any stage causing the semi-trailer to detach from the prime mover with disastrous consequences.

These photographs show evidence of poor maintenance and even gross neglect. The safety latches are virtually non existent or damaged to such an extent that they cannot possibly securely lock the fifth wheels. These fifth wheels could open at any stage causing the semi-trailer to detach from the prime mover with disastrous consequences.

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