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Old 09-15-2008, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How did 5th wheel get its name?

So why is it called a 5th wheel? I have never really understood it. Gooseneck is pretty obvious but where does 5th wheel come from?
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think way back in the day the trucks that first pulled trailers with a hitch like that only had 4 tires so it was nicknamed the 5th wheel cause it looked like a spare tire maybe?? Im too young to know for sure though
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good question!! I guess I never thought about where came up with that one.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Its been driving me nutz for years. Guess I should just google it.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxwannabe View Post
So why is it called a 5th wheel? I have never really understood it. Gooseneck is pretty obvious but where does 5th wheel come from?
Take a look here
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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IIRC, the TV show "How It's Made" showed the manufacture of an old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon. The steering was from a "wheel" mounted horizontally under the frame, and the whole front axle pivoted on that "wheel". The modern trailers pivot, or steer, from that same point in front. Just like the old-time wagons. My $0.02...
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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wild!!!!! thats cool, thanks MR4WLR
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well ain't that something. I also dug this up.

The term fifth wheel comes from a similar coupling used on four-wheel horse-drawn carriages and wagons. The device allowed the front axle assembly to pivot in the horizontal plane, to improve turning. from Wikipedia
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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fifth wheel

Google Robert McLaughlin, 1880, gear of wagon.

Regards,

Ron L
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