Structural Analysis of Fifth Wheel Assembly

Case Highlights:
Client : Heavy Transport Engineering Consultant, Australia
The Objective : To perform structural analysis on fifth wheel assembly and the interconnected frame structure, and also evaluate the structure’s overall strength against the stress development.


  • Developing precise CAD model to be utilized for structural analysis
  • Establishing directional constraints and boundary conditions to simulate real application conditions

Software Used: ANSYS Professional NLS 14.5

Solution: The performance of the fifth wheel assembly coupled with the frame structure was analyzed through structural analysis, and the resulting stress and deformation values were found within the permissible range.

Fifth Wheel Assembly
Fifth Wheel Assembly

Fifth wheel assembly is an essential link between the trailer and towing truck. Serving as a coupling, the assembly is expected to undergo deformation due to the stresses developed by forces generated by vehicle motion and road surface. It is crucial to consider such crucial parameters while designing the fifth wheel assembly, in order to prevent the linking system from failure.

A leading engineering consultant from Australia, required design solution for the fifth wheel assembly used in heavy duty trucks. Important concerns from the client were to obtain an efficient design to withstand load and stresses, without excessive deformation.


The fifth wheel assembly was virtually developed through CAD tools, in order to obtain precise results through structural analysis. Individual components as well as the entire assembly; including the connected frame structure was analyzed through the application of physical constraints and load values.

It was observed that the stress values were exceeding the permissible range, suggesting a design modification, in order to avoid deformation and failure.


  • Predicted the assembly failure virtually, reducing the prototyping test trials
  • Structural assessment of the fifth wheel assembly suggested the required design modifications to avoid premature failure
  • Improved assistance to the design team by providing critical factors responsible for coupling system failure

About Hi-Tech

Hi-Tech FEA is a division of Hi-Tech iSolutions LLP, a pioneer engineering outsourcing company since 1992 based in India & USA. It provides expert Computer Aided Engineering - CAE consulting services for engineering / product design analysis by modeling & simulation.

The primary services extended include Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Analysis (FEA), product design optimization and value engineering services to Automotive, Building / Construction, Process industry, Power Generation, Manufacturing & Heavy Engineering industries.