Fifth-wheel lock sensors

Jost International has introduced what it calls the “revolutionary” Sensor Coupling System on its JSK37USK series air-release fifth wheel with sensor technology. It  allows the driver to confirm that the fifth wheel is properly and safely coupled from inside the cab.

The JSK37USK’s system has dual sensors. The first verifies that the kingpin is in the lock position and the second indicates that the fifth wheel is locked and the release handle is secured.

The lock status can be shown either by a Jost-supplied dash display or communicated through the vehicle’s CAN bus.

The streamlining associated with a variety of aerodynamic technologies has made physically accessing the fifth wheel for uncoupling, and visually confirming a safe couple, difficult at best, Jost says. Thus the adoption of cab-actuated air-release wheels on fleet-driven OEM builds is in full swing, but Jost believes this automation of the coupling process is also inevitable. The next logical step in that automation is the JSK sensor coupling system, it says.

Jost further says that this evolution in tractor-trailer connections will culminate at some point with fully automated coupling systems, where all operations — i.e. mechanical, electrical, pneumatic and applicable auxiliary functions — are performed automatically.

Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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