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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    no tractor now

    Default why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    Why do you have 5th wheel couplings for camper/rv type vehicles but use a gooseneck coupling for equipment/haulage type trailers?
    I am from new zealand and we didn't have these here (5th wheels have made an appearance in the last 5 years), so I have zero knowledge of the pro's and con's for either type of hitch.

    Towing wise we use bumper pull trailers, up to 2.5 ton over-run braked or 3.5 ton electric braked. If we haul heavier then we use a truck (class 2 or class 4 depending on weight) . The US CDL @ class 8 weight = our class 5

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    8,408
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    Shingle Springs California
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    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    That's an interesting question.

    Most times in US, Gooseneck is used for utility type trailers; flatbed trailers, dump trailers, horse trailers etc. 5th wheels are predominately used for RV trailers.

    Comparison of Gooseneck and 5th Wheel Towing | etrailer.com
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Sep 2013
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    Syracuse NY
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    Farmall A, Allis Chalmers C, VW Rabbit (repowered with a Geo engine} tractor/backhoe, Cat D4-7U

    Default Re: why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    In some locations a goose-neck will be considered noncommercial and be licensed differently than a fifth-wheel. If the fifth-wheel is a camper then it is considered an RV and registered differently again. So some of the choice is based upon the state's DMV.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2008
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    2,381
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    Western PA
    Tractor
    John Deere 5083E MFWD, Kubota L3400 HST

    Default Re: why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    I don't think it has anything to do with registration type. PA doesn't care about that atleast. RV has their own standards to be able to register that way. Fifth wheel is generally considered a stronger/safer connection but lacks articulation that a gooseneck has.
    '11 John Deere 5083E, 563NSL Loader, MX10 Mower, 78" Bucket, Forks/Bale spear (interchangeable)
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    '01 International 4700 LP, DT530, Allison MD3060, Air Ride, Crew Cab
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  5. #5
    Super Member newbury's Avatar
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    9,187
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    From Vt, in Va, retiring to MS
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    Kubota's - B7610, M4700

    Default Re: why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    Can't remember ever seeing a semi with a gooseneck.



    did find a pic on the web.
    My rides - '95 Kubota M4700 w/ PEC, LA1001 FEL :'07 B7610, LA352 FEL, Bush Hog SBX 48 box blade, '09 Woods BH70-X w/ 16" bucket and thumb, 3pt pallet forks, Dale Phillips PHD, Jinma 8" chipper, 2 Piranha's, Winco 12KW PTO generator, Howse plow, 5' KK tiller, 5' Big Bee cutter, with a 2002 7.3L Ford F350 CC DRW 4x4 and '07 18' Hudson HSE Deluxe trailer - 5 Ton to haul it all
    My saws - 12" B&D 40 volt,JD CS 62, efco 3500, Stihls - 021, 660 w/woods mod, 660 w/ DP muffler, 088, Woodmizer LT10

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Jul 2017
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    North Tx
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    800 ford,MF65,Cub Lowboy,Farmall B,Ford 600

    Default Re: why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    Both hitches transfer some of the tongue weight to front tires,increasing tow capacity,giving better braking and steering plus are quicker to hook up than bunper pull. Both can be turned around in less space than bumper pull and goose in less than 5th wheel. 5th wheel is easier for occasional users to hitch up. An important advantage goose has over 5th wheel is bed of truck is open and usable when no trailer is on hitch. Goose is easier to adjust for different highths trucks often found in contractor fleets. It's $500 to $800 cheaper setting up for goose which is important when several trucks and trailers are in a fleet.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    2,046
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4440

    Default Re: why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    A fifth wheel gives you added side to side stability. The hitch plate pivots front to back to allow the tow vehicle and trailer to move up and down relative to one another but is fixed side to side and restricts movement in this direction. A gooseneck allows pivoting in all directions.
    1980 John Deere 4440
    2006 John Deere 550 J dozer
    2016 John Deere 333E compact track loader
    2018 John Deere 35G excavator

  8. #8
    Super Member Wagtail's Avatar
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    St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
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    JD 4105 / JD D110

    Default Re: why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    Quote Originally Posted by bdog View Post
    A fifth wheel gives you added side to side stability. The hitch plate pivots front to back to allow the tow vehicle and trailer to move up and down relative to one another but is fixed side to side and restricts movement in this direction. A gooseneck allows pivoting in all directions.
    Today I've learnt that there is a difference between 'gooseneck' & '5th wheel' hitches. I simply thought that they were interchangeable terms or that they were slang words for the same thing.

    Thanks TBN!

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    Are all the small RV type 5th wheel hitch ridgid laterally?
    The semi trailer hitches(full size/class 8) I have seen have a lateral compensator mechanism to reduce the torque loading on the coupling and vehicle. I had assumed the RV type would be the same.
    What sizes of goose neck are there and what loading can they take?

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2017
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    Roy, UT
    Tractor
    LS XU6168CPS

    Default Re: why have 5th wheel and gooseneck couplings?

    The older ones were usually fixed laterally. Now that is usually only found on the least expensive hitches. The higher end 5er hitches have some sort of lateral movement. That allows the jaws to fit the kingpin tighter and reduces “chucking” every time you hit a bump.

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