Lost trailer

There have been more than a few cases recently of drivers losing their trailers in truck stop parking lots, or as they are exiting the parking lots. The cause is easy enough to deduce and very easy to prevent. For reasons known only to the culprit, they pull the release handle on your 5th wheel as they walk past, causing your trailer to fall off. It’s a dirty trick and completely unnecessary, yet for whatever reason, it happens with surprising regularity. Other nefarious actions some people take include releasing your axle slider pins, which can cause your trailer axles to come completely out from under the trailer, they might break the seal on your trailer, open the trailer doors, or sabotage your airlines by putting a quarter in the service line, disabling your trailer brakes. Flat deck drivers have even had straps stolen off a load or had them cut off and have had chains tampered with.

To help prevent these culprits from making you their next victim, check everything whenever the truck has been out of your view for any amount of time. Walk around the unit and visually inspect the 5th wheel lock, all your airlines and electrical cord are properly connected, all the tires are still inflated, straps or chains are still tight and in good repair, the doors are still securely closed, and the seal is intact. If the seal has been tampered with, immediately contact your company and the police, as someone may have placed contraband in the trailer to try and smuggle something across the border.

If all seems to be in order, before you leave, pull ahead 20 or 25 feet and apply the trailer handbrake to ensure the trailer brakes are working.