Anyone who has hooked up a fifth-wheel and then pulled away, only to have the trailer come unhooked, knows how scary that can be. There are many things — from being in a hurry to a poor inspection routine — that can cause this. Almost always, the cause is driver error, and it can be very costly and dangerous.
I always look at the jaws on my fifth-wheel hitch to ensure that they are securely around the kingpin, and at night I use a flashlight. To help make this easier, I placed a small piece of yellow reflective tape on the jaw, so it shows up easily. Now, not only can I check the latching handle, but I can also easily see the jaw. If the tape isn’t in the right position, I know to recheck everything before moving. The first illustration shows the fifth-wheel jaw open, and the second shows it closed (the proper position for moving your trailer).
Jay Key, Harrison | Arkansas