A Complete Guide to the Most Common Types of Fifth Wheels

A Complete Guide to the Most Common Types of Fifth Wheels

If you work in the semi-trailer industry, you’re familiar with fifth wheels. But do you know what types of fifth wheels are on the market? From stationery to sliding, we’ve got them all. Plus, besides JOST International, other brands make their own models as well. Here are the types of wheels explained. 

Types of Fifth Wheels Explained: JOST International

At JOST International, we’re proud to be a world market leader and international supplier for the commercial trucking industry. We provide top-of-the-fifth wheels that accommodate various applications – sliding fifth wheels and stationary fifth wheels.

Sliding Fifth Wheels

A sliding fifth wheel is a coupler that connects the tractor unit and semi-trailer together. It features a mechanism that slides the coupler forward and backward. Sliding fifth wheels are mounted to the semi-tractor’s frame. Unlike a stationary fifth wheel, it can move along the frame rails.

Advantage: Sliding fifth wheels help transfer weight to or from the steer (front) axle when customers change trailer types or have variable loads. The number of options for customers and revenue opportunities are increased.

JOST sliding fifth wheel

Stationary Fifth Wheels

Stationary mount fifth wheels, also known as fixed fifth wheels, are the original fifth wheel. These fifth wheels are ideal for applications where the semi-trailer’s kingpin setting, axle loading, and vehicle length are all constant throughout the fleet. As a rule of thumb, stationary fifth wheels are lighter than sliding mount fifth wheels.

Advantage: Stationary fifth wheels offer greater weight savings and maintenance simplicity. Customers increase revenue through greater payload and reduce operating costs with greater simplicity.

JOST stationary fixed wheel

For more information about our products, download our Fifth Wheel Product Line handout. 

Identifying Types of Fifth Wheels

JOST fifth wheels are standard products for many trucking companies. There are also other brands on the market that produce quality fifth wheels, including Holland and Fontaine. If you need to identify a type of fifth wheel, here’s how to do so:

JOST International Fifth Wheels

Every JOST fifth wheel has a unique red identification tab with the item’s model and assembly numbers. It will also have the JOST logo cast in the top surface or prominent on the ID tag.

Every JOST International genuine-made component meets the strictest OEM first-fit requirements for specifications. We make an array of compatible replacement parts for other brands of fifth wheels.

JOST logo fifth wheel

Invest in Industry-Leading Fifth Wheels

When it comes to types of fifth wheels for semi-trailers, JOST International is the industry leader. We’ve been manufacturing fifth wheel coupling devices globally since 1956, and we even submitted the patent for the very first steel-cast fifth wheel coupling. 

If you’re looking for more information about JOST fifth wheels, we’re here to help. Take a look at our inventory of fifth wheel products or contact our team today.

Expert Reviewed On 5/23/23

Brian Moynihan is the VP of OEM Sales & Development and has worked in the trucking industry for over 35 years. In that time he has become an expert in truck and trailer technologies and products.

Brian Moynihan

JOST International

Download the jost fifth wheel catalog

A comprehensive look into each of the JOST fifth wheel products.