Operating a freight business over Australia’s often harsh transport network involves keeping prime movers and trailers in good serviceable condition to improve their reliability and serviceable lifespan.
While there are more obvious maintenance requirements like your rig’s motor, tyres and suspension, the coupling between the truck and trailers also warrants attention.
When it comes to truck trailers, there are a few options for coupling systems. A fifth wheel and a C-ring are common in commercial fleets. Fifth wheels use a locking mechanism that slides into place once attached. These are some of the more commonly used trailer coupling types used in Australia.
Bartlett Ball Trailer Coupling
A proven industry standard for heavy-duty trucking applications, Bartlett Ball coupling designs have been around since 1977.
These couplings meet or exceed SAE J684 standards and have been rigorously tested to ensure safety and durability.
In addition to being more reliable, pintle hooks are less expensive than fifth wheel assemblies and will last longer because they don’t need to be greased, adjusted or repacked.
Flying Saucer Coupling
Your conventional rubber-ball and socket coupling has a lifetime of 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Under tough driving conditions, you’ll likely burn through it in 3,000 miles or less.
The Flying Saucer Trailer Coupling has no such limitations. Just install it once, as soon as you buy your new trailer (or just before), and forget about it for as long as you want to use that same equipment.
Because these VBG Couplings are so light and strong, they cost less to ship. They also require less maintenance over time because of their superior strength and reliability. And they are easier to service if something should ever go wrong with them.
These couplings are built using stainless steel so it can withstand extreme weather conditions from -60F to 180F. The V.Orlandi Coupling is compatible with all standard containers and used in international transportation. It can be easily removed for removal of the container from trucks by simply undoing 6 bolts.
Trailer couplings are integral components of every commercial vehicle, yet rarely is any thought given to maintaining them. But in many cases, doing so could actually save you time and money.
The self-adjusting coupling enables its user to more accurately match their current tandem’s weight distribution – so it requires less power from your tractor unit.
In turn, that means lower fuel consumption and reduced wear-and-tear on your tractor’s tires. It also helps prevent premature tire damage during loading operations by eliminating bump-steer (which occurs when tractors or trailers shimmy during turns).
The Lifespan of a Coupling
All coupling types have a finite lifespan and eventually need to be replaced for safety reasons.
A vehicle that travels in harsh or under heavy duty conditions is more likely to wear moving components in the trailer coupling more quickly, so its important that the coupling is carefully inspected regularly.
TCK Coupling Wear Guage
TCK provides a convenient and easy to use ‘Go-No Go’ coupling wear gauge known affectionately as the ‘Cool Tool’. This makes it quick and easy to check the trailer couplings for acceptable wear.
The tool is particularly useful as it can be used by non-technical staff with only a miniomal amount of training and only takes a minute to discover if a trailer coupling is worn beyond the manufacturer’s specification.
Speak to your Truck parts supplier or contact TCK direct to find which Wear Guage suits your truck configuration.
Saving Money Replacing a Trailer Coupling
Time and again, the TCK Trailer Couplings have been shown to outlast the original supplied coupling. TCK coupling outlasts the competition because:
- We only use high tensile Australian steel
- Engineered with more robust pins
- Have added a larger contact area between the tow eye bush and pin
The end result is longer service life and therefore reduced costs for road train and truck and dog trailer operators.
If you would like to know more about how you could save money and trailer coupling maintenance contact your Truck Component Supplier or click here to contact the team at TCK direct.