Volvo, Fontaine debut lightweight fifth-wheel system

Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) has unveiled a new fifth wheel it has developed in conjunction with Fontaine Fifth Wheel. The OEM is displaying the lightweight system at this week’s Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Tampa, FL

Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) has unveiled a new fifth wheel it has developed in conjunction with Fontaine Fifth Wheel. The OEM is displaying the lightweight system at this week’s Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Tampa, FL.

“Fifth wheel system designs have historically been limited by the need to fit on top of the frame rails – this innovative frame-mount design eliminates unnecessary weight without sacrificing the refined ride and drive characteristics of a Volvo,” said Wade Long, VTNA marketing product manager.

“Reducing vehicle weight lowers fuel consumption, costs and greenhouse gas emissions,” he added. “We’re committed to providing customers with the safest, most fuel efficient and most environmentally friendly trucks on the road.”

The system is designed to support both the fifth wheel and the truck frame, allowing engineers to reconfigure the top plate without sacrificing stability, strength or durability, according to VTNA.

The cast steel top plate weighs 165 lbs with the whole system weighing in as much as 100 lbs. lighter than competitive models, the OEM said.

Fontaine’s top plate lock design to prevent high-hitching of the kingpin as well as a secondary lock are included. The fifth wheel can handle a vertical load of 50,000 lbs. and a drawbar pull of 150,000 lbs.

Available optionally is air actuation with an in-cab release operable only when the parking brake is engaged.

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