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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Video: Avoiding Trailer Mishaps, A Lesson in Safe Trailer Unhooking

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In a recent video that has gone viral on social media, a truck driver’s simple mistake turned into a disastrous scene as he offhooked his semi-trailer, leaving it teetering and eventually nose diving to the ground completely breaking the landing legs.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of following proper procedures when unhooking trailers. Let’s break down the mistakes made and provide some valuable advice on how to safely unhook a trailer.

The first mistake the truck driver made was to offhook a loaded superlink front piece trailer. This should be avoided at all costs because the popsition of the landing legs for this type of trailer are meant to support it only when it’s not loaded. When loaded you need extra support which is placed closer to the front of the trailer.

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Unfortunately, the driver did not take this into account, and the consequences were almost catastrophic.

In the absence of front support, a loaded superlink front piece trailer will tip over to the front and damage the landing legs as you will see in the video below.

Read | How To Safely Drive Through A Bend With A Truck

The second and most glaring mistake in the video was the driver’s overly abrupt movement when he offhooked the trailer. Instead of taking it slow and steady, he rushed the process. This sudden jerk caused a destabilizing effect on the trailer, causing it to come crashing down.

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Safe Trailer Unhooking Tips:
To prevent similar mishaps and ensure a safe trailer unhooking process, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:

Stay Calm and Composed
Maintain a calm and composed demeanor throughout the unhooking process. Rushing or panicking can lead to avoidable errors.

Choose a Level Surface
Always park your truck and trailer on a level surface. An uneven surface can make the unhooking process more challenging and increase the risk of accidents.

Chock the Wheels
Before unhooking, place wheel chocks behind the trailer’s wheels. This simple step prevents unexpected movement and ensures stability.

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Release Tension Gradually
When releasing the fifth wheel lock or kingpin, do so gradually and smoothly. Avoid any sudden movements that can destabilize the trailer.

Use Landing Gear
Lower the landing gear to support the front of the trailer as you disconnect it from the truck. Ensure that it can bear the weight of the trailer (this is where the truck driver failed).

Stay Vigilant
Continuously monitor the trailer as you offhook it. If you notice any unusual movement or signs of instability, stop immediately and reassess the situation.

Prioritize Safety Over Speed
Remember, safety should always be your top priority. Take your time to offhook the trailer safely, even if it takes a few extra minutes, this also applies to those springboks paid per load.

Training and Certification
Ensure that all drivers undergo proper training and certification in trailer operations. Regular training can refresh their knowledge and enhance safety awareness.

The viral video of the truck driver’s mishap while offhooking his trailer serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers in the industry.

By following these essential safety tips and avoiding the mistakes made in the video, we can ensure that every trailer unhooking process is a safe and incident-free one. Safety should always be the driving force behind every action taken on the road. Safe trucking.

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