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Driver and trailer safety in mind with
Fontaine's Fifth Wheel Tech Lock System

Fontaine’s patented fifth wheel Tech-Lock system prevents ‘high hitching’ and is designed to stop miss coupling and significantly reduce the risk of a dropped trailer.

Dropped trailers are one of the biggest health and safety issues faced by trailer operators. Most often than not incidents are caused by a lack of driver awareness and the failure to check the fifth wheel is correctly closed before starting a journey. The safety clip is all too often not fitted or the interlock handle checked for proper engagement in the side of the fifth wheel.
In terms of maintenance, correct lubrication is important but all too often neglected. The upper surfaces of the fifth wheel are caked in grease whist the mechanism is often neglected.

The main spring and handles of fifth wheels require regular checks. Handles are bent by drivers completely missing the fifth wheel which can catch the handle with the king pin. The bent handle will stop the fifth wheel from fully closing by not allowing the safety clip to be fitted. The spring can become over stretched when not fitted correctly and therefore loose closing force.

“We would estimate that this attributes to 95% of problems seen” comments Martin Fallon, Fontaine Operations & Engineering Manager.

Along with the Tech-Lock system, Fontaine offers a two position slider which eliminates the need for split coupling. Its patented sensor system restricts the speed of the vehicle if the fifth wheel is left in the wrong position.

The Tech-Lock system is recognised by major fleets as a contributing safety feature. Extended handles are offered to make it easier for the driver to fit the safety clip and improves the visibility of the clip to highlight when it is not fitted correctly. Electronic sensors are fast becoming popular aids for coupling procedures, however it still remains the responsibility of the driver to check the fifth wheel is closed, the safety clip is fitted and the interlock handle is latched.

Fontaine are the world’s largest manufacturer of both pressed steel and cast fifth wheels. Their innovative products are robust and considered some of the lightest on the market today.