The Basics of Trailer Repair
New? We’ve Got You!
Lots to Earn, Lots to Learn
If you’ve been working with commercial trucks and trailers for a while, you’re an old pro already. However, if you’re new to hooking trailers or managing a business fleet, we’ve got you. There’s lots of earning potential that requires trucks, but there’s also much learning to ensure safe and efficient trailer hooks. The professionals at ARS Truck & Fleet Service in New Castle, Delaware, are happy to introduce you to the basics of trailer hookups and assist you with all your trailer repair needs.
Let’s start with a basic working knowledge that includes a few definitions. The fifth wheel is the coupler that connects the truck and trailer (shaped a bit like a horseshoe). Once the truck and trailer are joined, a kingpin locks them together so that the steering mechanism of the cab can control the trailer. Until this happens, the trailer rests on legs called landing gear. Air lines deliver air under pressure to the brakes as the air supply valve dictates. This valve is controlled by the large red dashboard button, allowing the driver to release air to unlock the brakes. There’s also a hand valve (Johnson bar and trolley valve are other common names.), but it should only be used to test the brakes. Finally, a tug test lets the driver know if the trailer is indeed appropriately hooked on the truck. It’s done by pulling forward with the trailer brakes on.
A Quick How To
Even if you’re new to commercial driving, you’re likely already familiar with the trailer hookup procedure. However, it’s beneficial to know the protocol either way. Basic steps include:
- Backing the tractor to the trailer at the proper height until the two barely touch.
- Double-checking the height.
- Completing the back under.
- Ensure the handle (out) and cogs (locked) are positioned correctly.
Make sure the kingpin locks, then raise the landing gear and conduct the tug test. Once you’re sure of a proper connection, attach the electrical cord and air lines. Complete the raising of the landing gear, listen for air leaks, and test with the hand valve. Finally, do one more tug test. If you experience equipment difficulties, remember that our ARS Truck & Fleet Service team is here to help you with trailer repair.