GotQuestions? Lubricants

Q. What's the correct way to grease a fifth wheel?

March 31, 2014

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A. Good question and an area that is most often neglected or done incorrectly. Many truck 5th wheels are re-lubricated by simply taking the grease dispensing unit and dispensing a ribbon of grease around the 5th wheel plate and often neglecting the 5th wheel jaws which engages the trailer pinion entirely.

To properly lubricate the 5th wheel, one should trowel the grease with an even film not too thick, 2/3 up the 5th wheel beginning at the bottom and proceeding 2/3 of the way up with more grease at the bottom allowing for trailer displacement of the grease upon engaging the trailer. Grease should also be applied to the jaws to reduce wear on both the jaws and the trailer pinion. Using heavy duty grease designed for higher loads encountered in heavy duty trucking and applying these practices has proven to add 100,000 of miles to 5th wheels before rebuild.

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Author Bio

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Mark Betner

Heavy Duty Lubricants Manager

CITGO Lubricants

Mark Betner boasts 35 years of experience in the lubricants business. As the Heavy Duty Product Manager for CITGO Lubricants he is responsible for initiating and implementing the marketing of new products and human development programs and oversees communications with the media, trade shows and consumer education.

Prior to this, he was a field sales manager and technical training administrator at an independent lubricant company specializing in heavy equipment lubrication.

Mark earned a master’s and bachelor’s degree in both chemistry and biology from Indiana University. He holds a certification from the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers and is a member of the Truck Maintenance Council.


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