Making the connection. Tractor trailer connection, that is.

In a previous post – You’re going to run out of blinker fluid – I mentioned a future post topic to be about hooking up to a trailer.

Folks, today is your lucky day. I will put some information in your head that you may not want there for eternity.

All of these trucks, at the Love’s Travel Center in Santa Nella, California, hook up the same way I will be showing you. The only difference is I have a “Flatbed”.


Once I locate the trailer I will be taking to the auction in Las Vegas I will back up to it. This is not something I do everyday so I have to “GOAL” – Get Out And Look – instead of trusting my faulty depth perception.


From the inside of my daycab I can watch my progress backing through the rear window. I have to line up the frame rails of the truck with the center King Pin Plate on the trailer. Dirty windows help lots :/


Working my way back under the trailer I have to stop, once again, to check on my alignment and the trailer height to the 5th Wheel.


This trailer is a little higher than my 5th Wheel so I have to lower it until it just rests on the 5th Wheel plate.

This will be accomplished by using the “Jack Handle”. This crooked handle cranks clockwise to lower the “Landing Gear” and counter clockwise to raise it.



This is the “Landing Gear”. Some people call this the “Stand Off”.


Watching carefully, I raise the landing gear to lower the trailer to rest on the 5th wheel plate. First I have to be positioned under the trailer to do this. If I do this part first I could lower the trailer too far and not be able to get under it. I’m lazy. I don’t want to be getting up and down, in and out, of the truck any more than I have to. I mean, I really don’t want to get too much exercise out here. (It would do me good to do more of it though)



When I have the trailer resting on the 5th wheel I will back up to seat the King Pin in the 5th Wheel clamping device.


After I hear the metallic clank denoting the pin is clamped in I put the truck in a forward gear and give the pin a little tug. Just to make sure.

Get out of the truck once again, after I have set the brakes (I have heard stories of drivers who have forgotten to set their brakes and have had to sprint like an Olympian to catch the run away truck). Once out I will raise the landing gear completely and set the crank back into its holding bracket.



Last thing to do is connect the air lines and electric cord from the truck to the trailer.



Then off I go. I have to keep in mind I have a long tail behind me.


The countdown has begun. Two more trips to Tracy, California. The end is near. Yippee Skippy!

Hope you all enjoy your Monday.



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

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