Purkeys Fleet Electric has developed what it calls a 5th Wheel Light that illuminates the jaws so drivers can see that they've grabbed onto the trailer's king pin. This, says Bruce Purkey, the company's president and chief creative engineer, should reduce incidents of dropped trailers.
The 5th Wheel Light is a compact box that mounts to a crossmember, off to one side and facing forward toward the fifth wheel, he said. It's wired into power and ground circuits, and into the circuit for backup lights or alarm. It illuminates when the driver shifts the transmission into reverse and stays on for a preset time, usually five to 15 minutes, then automatically shuts off.
The LEDs shine into the fifth wheel, eliminating shadows on the locking mechanism and reduce the need for a flashlight. "We've had it run on vehicles for a while and don’t seem to have any problems with it," he said. "There's a lid over it and the electronics are podded. And that area of the tractor doesn't seem to get much dirt or grease."
“This simple product can help drivers and fleets avoid expensive, catastrophic accidents by allowing drivers to visually inspect and confirm a proper coupling between the truck and trailer,” Purkey said. "It's completely automatic and the driver doesn't have to do anything."
Click here for more information on the 5th Wheel Light.