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What is Jackknifing?

What the trucking industry usually calls jackknifing is something you would prefer to avoid from both a safety and cost perspective.

Trucks towing trailers frequently encounter situations that can be somewhat difficult to handle.

Jackknifing is one such situation. What it means is that the trailer and truck fold against one another at a highly acute angle. When vehicle components are damaged as a result of jackknifing, repair costs and downtime can lead to considerable expense.

How and when does jackknifing occur?

When driving on slippery roads but also when reversing. It can occur, for example, when you don’t want to uncouple the vehicle but rather angle it from the trailer in order to tip the load over the drawbar – this only happens when reversing. It can also occur when you are in a tight turning area and need to fold the vehicle to turn around, inside forests when collecting timber, or at roadworks and construction sites.

It’s impossible to predict with 100% certainty at what angle jackknife damage will occur, or at what angle it will no longer be possible to compensate and rectify the situation, since it all depends on the vehicle’s construction.

Also read our blog article: ‘Jackknifing Damage and Repairs – what’s involved?

If you have questions about jackknifing and the impact it can have on your vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact us – one of our experts will gladly help you.


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