Mission Critical for Safety and Sustainability: Soy-Biobased Fifth Wheel Grease Pads

Innovative fifth-wheel grease pads made with the U.S. Soy can help ensure safe operation of vehicles, at the same time they boost sustainability—all at a cost-competitive price.

Iowa-based Gear Head Lube makes the soy-based grease pads that lubricate fifth-wheel hitches found on semi-tractors and other heavy-duty trucks. The fifth-wheel is used to couple the kingpin of a semi-trailer, livestock trailer or RV to the tow vehicle.  

“When you think about it, a semi-truck and trailer are held together with a simple handshake,” said Vince Crisanti, director of operations for Delia, Kansas-based Paw Creek Trucking. “The connection has to hold together under all kinds of extreme weather conditions, or the 40-ton rig could break free, and disaster would ensue.”

“The soy-based grease pads are mission critical as the lubricating link to holding the tractor and trailer together in any weather condition. We tested the Gear Head pads in negative 20-degree temperatures with no problem.”

Crisanti explained that regular petroleum-based grease can be cold and stiff, preventing the hitch from closing. “You can overcome the issue with synthetic grease, but not at the same price point as the Gear Head pads.”

And it’s not lost on Crisanti that the soy-based product he’s using supports farmers and the local economy. “The fact that it’s coming out of the fields I’m driving through is awesome. It’s a circle.”

Cost and Performance Key

Lonnie Smith grew up around trucks. Some of his earliest memories are of seeing the country from the front seat of his dad’s 18-wheeler. He followed in his father’s footsteps becoming a professional truck driver himself and today works as the lead driver for S&S Trucking Services, Inc., based in Mill Spring, North Carolina.

“Between the time I spent on the road with my dad and my own career, I’ve tried just about every grease product out there,” said Smith. “The soy-based fifth-wheel grease pads made by Gear Head Lube are all-around the best thing that I’ve used. The price is astronomically different and we’re saving a lot of money. They also work great in any temperature, are simple to use, don’t make a mess like grease guns and are an environmentally friendly product.”

Smith explained that he is saving money with Gear Head Lube.

In addition, Smith points out that because the grease pads are so easy to use and don’t make a mess or drop off like regular grease, drivers are much more likely to properly lubricate the fifth-wheel which helps to ensure even tire wear. According to Smith, if the fifth-wheel is not fully lubricated it can cause metal-on-metal friction forcing the truck to fight to stay straight, which in turn increases tire wear. Smith reports that because they are so easy to use and driver friendly, the soy-based grease pads have extended the tire life on his truck.

A Farmer Who Walks the Talk

Todd Hanten, who farms 3,800 acres near Goodwin, South Dakota and serves as a United Soybean Board Director also uses soy-based fifth-wheel grease pads.

“The grease pads are easy to use and don’t make a mess like using a grease gun to lubricate the fifth-wheel,” Hanten explained. “You just put two pads on the fifth-wheel plate, and they disperse smoothly and evenly.”

Originally shared by the United Soybean Board, March 3, 2023.

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