No-Lube fifth-wheel technology from Holland

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A Laser-Induced Surface Improvement (LISI) system, the result of Holland’s partnership with the University of Tennessee Research Corp., Knoxville, Tenn., adds a slurry of binding materials and slick alloys to the lock area, eliminating the need for lubrication. Other components traditionally needing lubrication are now coated with durable, dry-film, lubricating compounds.

Holland Hitch Co. and The Holland Group have improved their LowLube 3500 Series fifth wheels by eliminating the need for lubrication altogether.

The company has replaced the existing, low-lube top-plate inserts with a stronger, ultra-high molecular weight, no-lube compound, which forms a stronger bond with the steel plate and is more consistent over a wide range of temperatures.

In addition, Holland has created a lube-free locking system by using two new coating processes:

1. A Laser-Induced Surface Improvement (LISI) system, the result of Holland’s partnership with the University of Tennessee Research Corp., Knoxville, Tenn., adds a slurry of binding materials and slick alloys to the lock area. “We then expose it to a highly-focused laser that micro-welds the slurry to the lock so it becomes an integral part of the metal,” explains Jack Gisinger, Holland vice president of engineering. “It requires no lubrication and won’t chip off.”

2. While the LISI process eliminates lock jaw greasing, other components that previously required greasing – such as the yoke and shaft, cam plate, roller and washers, lock pins and anchor bolt washers – are now coated with durable, dry-film, lubricating compounds.

The result? “This technology means that a customer no longer needs to grease the top plate, locks or brackets of a Holland 3500 Series NoLube fifth wheel,” asserts Scott Fowler, director, fifth wheel product management team.

Look for availability for on-road applications in the third quarter of this year, with no planned cost increase over current product.