Fontaine earns fifth wheel patents for yard trucks

After learning about the unique pain-points customers experience in warehouse distribution, port, and rail applications with competitors’ yard truck fifth wheels, Fontaine has developed its own solution: Fontaine ARMOR.

Launched last fall after three years of research, engineering, and field testing, ARMOR is the only fifth wheel built specifically for the yard truck market. And as of now, Fontaine says the innovative design that helps minimize downtime and maintenance cost is now patented (#9,302,557 issued April 2016 and #9,327,782 issued May 2016).

“We achieve more uptime for our customers and reduce maintenance costs by making wear parts (including the locking jaw/mechanism) removable and replaceable while the fifth wheel is still on the truck,” says Madhu Madheswaran, Fontaine’s director of advanced product development.

The newly patented system utilizes armor grade steel wear plates that can be easily removed to gain access to the wear components. In addition, Fontaine says ARMOR helps take the “guess work” out of the rebuild process by incorporating a wear groove in the jaw for quick and easy visual guidance. Another important design feature is that there are no protruding items extending around the top plate casting. This helps prevent the typical damage caused by misaligned kingpins in yard truck applications, the company says.

“All put together we believe we have built a heavy duty fifth wheel solution that will truly benefit yard truck customers,” Madheswaran says.

The Fontaine ARMOR is currently available at all major yard truck OEMs: Ottawa, TICO, Capacity, and Autocar. It also is available as a direct retrofit onto existing Holland FW35 yard truck fifth wheel brackets, the company says.

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