Fontaine Coupling Solutions introduces Armor, the first fifth wheel designed from the ground up specifically for yard trucks.
“Fontaine Coupling Solutions personnel spent more than three years thoroughly studying the yard truck fifth wheel market, talking to more than 100 customers about how they use fifth wheels across warehouse distribution, industrial, port and rail applications,” said Robbie Laney, director of sales and leader of the market study team. “We learned that terminal tractor or ‘yard truck’ fifth wheels may be coupled and uncoupled up to 300 times a day vs. just once for most over-the-road trucks. In port applications, they load containers weighing tens of thousands of pounds on them daily. These extreme operating conditions lead to high maintenance costs as customers have to frequently rebuild and replace fifth wheels that were not specifically designed to handle these tough applications.”
The Fontaine Fifth Wheel Group stated it created a new company specifically to address the yard truck market. Fontaine Coupling Solutions said it designed its Armor fifth wheel from the ground up to meet the unique needs of the market.
“To rebuild other yard truck fifth wheels, technicians must remove the wheel from the truck, and then turn it over to work from the bottom,” the company explained. “The total rebuild process can take up to three hours. The Armor fifth wheel’s unique lock design simplifies maintenance — critical locking components can be replaced from the top side, reducing rebuild time to as little as 15 minutes.”
The Fontaine Armor fifth wheel is built with all components tucked away from the edges of the top plate to help shield against kingpin damage, according to the company. To provide greater useful life, the wheel features replaceable wear pads and a composite air cylinder. Its locking mechanism includes a proprietary anti-high-hitch feature to help prevent dropped trailers due to false coupling, Fontaine said.
According to Fontaine, the Armor fifth wheel can handle 80,000 lbs. vertical load and 200,000 lbs. drawbar pull.
“The Fontaine Armor fifth wheel addresses all of the yard truck customer ‘pain points,’” says Steven Alldredge, product manager. “It cuts rebuild times, reduces maintenance and provides an overall lower total cost of ownership for customers in virtually any yard truck application. We’re really proud to introduce such an innovative new product.”