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Landing Gear Crank Handle
Positioning on Dropped Semi Trailers


Does the position of the landing gear crank handle on your dropped semi trailer matter?

We contend that it does, not just from a convenience standpoint, but also in potential equipment damage, personal injury and lost time.


A dropped semi trailer with its landing gear crank handle sticking out. When Mike saw this on the trailer next to his, he did the driver a favor by placing it properly on the hook. Mike knew that the next driver to back next to this trailer might not be so concerned. The photo shown is of a dropped semi trailer with its handle sticking out.

When Mike saw this on the trailer next to his, he did the driver a favor by placing it properly on the hook.

Mike knew that the next driver to back next to this trailer might not be so concerned.



Equipment Damage

If a driver backs a trailer into a spot close to another with its landing gear crank handle in the ready-to-crank position, the back of the backing trailer could conceivably snap the handle right off. Or it could conceivably bend the assembly. See Vicki's illustrations of how this might occur. The image on the right is the close-up of where the impending contact is about to be made.

An illustration showing what could happen if a trailer being backed into a spot next to a dropped trailer with its landing gear crank handle sticking out. The crank handle could literally be snapped off or bend out of shape. A close-up of the illustration showing the back of a trailer backing into a spot next to a dropped trailer with its landing gear crank handle sticking out. This has not been drawn to scale.

Obviously, the trailer will need to be repaired if the handle is snapped off or badly bent.



Personal Injury

There's a common sense principle about not putting a stumbling block before the blind. Yes, professional drivers should be watching where they are walking between trailers.

But if it is dark outside, a driver may not be counting on having to watch out for the crank handle sticking straight out from the side of the trailer parked next to his or her rig.

Imagine the pain of walking into it, even at a moderate pace. Depending on the person's height and the position of the handle, it could hit him or her in the stomach, groin or thigh, potentially causing a significant amount of pain.

Be neighborly and practice kindness and courtesy by putting the handle back in its place.



Lost Time

Some drivers think that by just leaving the handle hanging freely but not on the hook, they've done their duty. However, if a driver has dropped a trailer in a dock on which works a particularly vigorous forklift operator, theoretically, the bouncing of the trailer could cause the crank handle to swing such that it gets stuck under the bottom of the trailer. It could take a significant amount of time and strength to dislodge it.

Besides being snapped off, a crank handle that gets backed into can be bent or the assembly so damaged that the landing gear has to be repaired.

If bent into an unusable state, but the assembly is still good, the driver may be faced with having to draw up the mechanism another way. Have you ever tried to crank up 40000 pounds with a screwdriver? It's a long, tedious, and strenuous effort.



Examples of Incorrectly Positioned Landing Gear Crank Handles

In these two examples, please notice that at a distance, it may not be apparent that the handles are incorrectly positioned. However, look at the close-ups.



A dropped refrigerated van at a receiver, left with its landing gear sticking out. This is the blurry close-up of the refrigerated van's landing gear sticking out.
This refrigerated van was dropped at a receiver's location, parked by itself.


A dropped dry van at a receiver's location, with its landing gear sticking out. The proximity of the trailer on its left is such that anyone doing a walk-around inspection might have been injured if not looking. A close-up of the dropped dry van's landing gear sticking out.
These are two trailers dropped side by side at a receiver. Notice that the trailer on the left has its handle sticking out, directly toward the other trailer.




Examples of Correctly Positioned Landing Gear Crank Handles

Although this semi trailer is connected to a tractor, this is the correct position of the landing gear crank handle behind a fixed hook. Although this semi trailer is connected to a tractor, this is the correct position of the landing gear crank handle behind a fixed hook.

This is a close-up view of the trailer's crank handle from above, tucked into place behind a fixed hook. A close-up view of a landing gear crank handle, tucked into place behind a fixed hook on a trailer.

Although this semi trailer is connected to a tractor, this is the correct position of the landing gear crank handle behind a movable hook. Although this semi trailer is connected to a tractor, this is the correct position of the landing gear crank handle behind a movable hook.

This is a close-up view of the trailer's crank handle from above, tucked into place behind a movable hook. A close-up view of a landing gear crank handle, tucked into place behind a movable hook on a trailer.





truck drivers money saving tip icon

Money saving tip: Is there more to putting the landing gear crank handle back in place after dropping a trailer than you thought? The way you leave it can end up costing you a lot of money and possibly some time. It could also do damage to a fellow driver.

Do yourself (and others) a money saving favor by being diligent to replace the handle behind the hook every time. Save yourself the unneeded expense of repairs and personal injury.








Return from Landing Gear Crank Handle Positioning on Dropped Semi Trailers to our Tricks of the Trade page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page.












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