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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > B&W fail or Operator Error?

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MFL

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Posted: 08/27/22 06:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fulltimer50 wrote:

I dont understand some peoples obsession with not using proper procedures or included safety features. The pin in the handles is there for a reason why not us it? Is it soooo hard to do a pull test?


Of course you should pin the B&W handle, or better yet use a padlock, so someone cannot pull the pin!

John's buddy...the rig in pictures, stated he did a pull test. The pull test failed to save him from this disaster!

On hitch pictured, a visual test would have alerted him, that something is not right. Handle not closed properly? A gap between hitch head and pinbox? Jaws not full wrapped around pin? East to SEE, if you understand how this hitch works.

Some folks are more mechanically minded than others, but knowing and understanding how YOUR hitch works, no matter the brand, adds much to the safe hookup of any hitch.

Jerry





rhagfo

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Posted: 08/27/22 07:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well likely didn't get the pin fully seated, and didn't do a VISUAL check to make sure the pin was fully seated in the jaws. It is stated that he did a pull test, but maybe not hard enough.


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Posted: 08/27/22 07:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fj12ryder wrote:

Likes to tow wrote:

B&W hitches are very good but if you don't get the handle all the way back and pin it correctly this can happen. Also if you get the kingpin over the jaws this can happen. A pull test should have caught this. Now I'm worried about my B&W pulling a trick like this!!
The handle doesn't need to be pinned if it's in place. When you hook up, and the handle comes all the way back, the hitch is secure. You can pull out and the trailer will not come loose, even if you haven't pinned the handle.

You cannot put the kingpin over the jaws, unless you're blind. If you can't see a couple inches of clearance above the hitch head, then you probably should give up driving. [emoticon]

This was operator error, pure and simple. I read about one guy that dropped his trailer with a B&W hitch, and it turns out he had pinned the hitch jaws open and forgot to remove the pin when hooking up. The jaws didn't close, the handle didn't move, and he still pulled out.

The guy just messed up. Happens to the best of us.


New to fifth wheels and I can confirm you don't need to pin the handle. Been there done that and it won't happen again. Towed 3 hours to the next fuel stop when I did my stop check and just about @#$ myself that this happened to me, but it did and fortunately nothing really horrible happened.

All this seems like operator error to me too. I do visual and pull check just to be sure and still can't figure out how I missed the pin.

Rob


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Posted: 08/27/22 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Likes to tow wrote:

B&W hitches are very good but if you don't get the handle all the way back and pin it correctly this can happen. Also if you get the kingpin over the jaws this can happen. A pull test should have caught this. Now I'm worried about my B&W pulling a trick like this!!

Depends on how hard the pull test was done.
As Jerry mentioned any brand hitch can drop the trailer if the jaws weren't closed around the pin..... or was high hitched.

Even a semi with a heavy loaded trailer may pass a light pull test but usually the first turn slides off the hitch plate ....if the operator did a visual he would have seen the high pin or the jaws not around the pin. A proper visual requires getting out of the truck and look at hitch opening from the rear.

Sounds like a typical rv operator error when the proper steps aren't done.

I wouldn't worry about the hitch failing....just worry about not following instructions from the pros/hitch mfg.


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cummins2014

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Posted: 08/27/22 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MFL wrote:

Fulltimer50 wrote:

I dont understand some peoples obsession with not using proper procedures or included safety features. The pin in the handles is there for a reason why not us it? Is it soooo hard to do a pull test?


Of course you should pin the B&W handle, or better yet use a padlock, so someone cannot pull the pin!

John's buddy...the rig in pictures, stated he did a pull test. The pull test failed to save him from this disaster!

On hitch pictured, a visual test would have alerted him, that something is not right. Handle not closed properly? A gap between hitch head and pinbox? Jaws not full wrapped around pin? East to SEE, if you understand how this hitch works.

Some folks are more mechanically minded than others, but knowing and understanding how YOUR hitch works, no matter the brand, adds much to the safe hookup of any hitch.

Jerry



IMO there has been so much hype about NOT being able drop a fifth wheel with a B&W , its done a disservice to some . Here is a good example ,they all can drop a fifth wheel , except a Andersen . Yes I have read where they have not locked the hitch ,but have yet to read where one has jumped the ball .

Walaby

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Posted: 08/27/22 07:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an Andersen, and I suspect over a rough road, it could jump the ball if not locked. Not likely with 3000+ pounds on the pin, but I've been on some roads where I've thought "hope I locked that hitch".

Anything's possible, and eventually there will be that one...

Mike


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cummins2014

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Posted: 08/27/22 07:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Walaby wrote:

I have an Andersen, and I suspect over a rough road, it could jump the ball if not locked. Not likely with 3000+ pounds on the pin, but I've been on some roads where I've thought "hope I locked that hitch".

Anything's possible, and eventually there will be that one...

Mike


I am sure there will be , or already has been . Just like there are probably B&W hitches that have broke or failed , just because we haven't heard of one doesn't mean it hasn't happened .

I believe I did read of one Andersen owner discovering he had failed to lock it when he got to his destination . I have to believe its been done more then once , but yes there will be that one .

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Posted: 08/27/22 09:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like the tailgate took all the damage to the truck - he got really lucky.

Too bad we can't see if the jaws are open or closed. With the B&W the action of backing in closes the jaws. If you then open the handle, they will come open once force is on them, like driving away. This is part of the disconnect process. If he opened the jaws, then closed them, I suspect they would open. Even if you put the pin in, I think it might open. I don't plan to test this, but that might be where he went wrong.

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Posted: 08/27/22 10:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fulltimer50 wrote:

I dont understand some peoples obsession with not using proper procedures or included safety features. The pin in the handles is there for a reason why not us it? Is it soooo hard to do a pull test?


100% agreed. We use a Trailer Saver TS 3 hitch with the Holland-Binkley hitch head, and it is very positive and nearly foolproof hitch. But I still lock the lever, visually confirm the jaws are set and the pin is captured and then a tug test.

Ken


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Posted: 08/27/22 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Walaby wrote:

I have an Andersen, and I suspect over a rough road, it could jump the ball if not locked. Not likely with 3000+ pounds on the pin, but I've been on some roads where I've thought "hope I locked that hitch".

Anything's possible, and eventually there will be that one...

Mike


A goose neck ball can come off the ball. I have seen a couple of goose neck hitches jump the ball when turning into a drive with a good dip. Could just as well happen to an Andersen.

Ken

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