One way fleets can reduce their lubrication costs and protect the environment is to avoid over-greasing their fifth wheel top plates. The top plates of Fontaine 7000CC Series Clean Connect fifth wheels don’t require grease, since they contain high-strength plastic insert pads that reduce friction between the top plate surface and the trailer coupling plate. Only periodic greasing of the locking mechanism is necessary. As a result, said Fontaine, the costs of labor, materials, downtime and disposal associated with greasing and re-greasing the top plate are eliminated, as is the possibility of storm water pollution from excess lubricant falling onto roadways. (Industry estimates place the amount of grease washed off fifth wheel top plates at around 100 million lbs. per year.)
The 7000CC Series Clean Connect fifth wheels incorporate Fontaine’s patented No-Slack II self-adjusting fifth wheel lock. Their exclusive safety trigger eliminates false trailer couplings to prevent high-hitching. An optional in-cab air release is operable only when the parking brake is set.
Because the trailer moves easily on the Clean Connect surface, steering is improved and tire life may be extended, according to the manufacturer. The Clean Connect fifth wheels also perform better in cold weather than those with greased top plates, the company added, because grease tends to solidify in cold temperatures, increasing friction and making it more difficult to maneuver the trailer. Fontaine Clean Connect top plates also minimize the need to steam clean the grease off the fifth wheel surface for inspections and maintenance.
“We are constantly exploring new and better ways to improve our customers’ experiences with Fontaine fifth wheels,” says Terry Mennen, Fontaine International vice president of sales and marketing. “By drastically reducing the need for lubrication on many of our fifth wheel products, we are helping fleets save time and money, while reducing our
overall environmental impact. And that is a positive step for everyone.”
Fontaine also has reduced the need for lubrication on many of its fifth wheel mounts. The greaseless bracket liner installed in many of Fontaine’s air slides, manual slides and adjustable plate mounts uses similar technology to the Clean Connect inserts to provide consistent lubrication, reduce wear and cut maintenance costs. These mounts are compatible with traditional and Clean Connect top plates.
For more information, visit http://www.fifthwheel.com or call (800) 874-9780.