Audrey's Auto Blog
About Me
Audrey's Auto Blog

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Audrey and today, I would like to invite you all to learn about the wonders of the automobile. I first became interested in the auto mobile after the death of my husband. Until that point, I had no interest in cars at all. My husband did all the driving and I simply had to turn up on time and climb into the back. However, a few days after the funeral, I walked into our garage and I decided that I would learn how to drive and how to maintain an automobile. Our mechanic has been very good at teaching me a few things and giving me some top advice.


Audrey's Auto Blog

Commercial Truck Maintenance: Preventing Wheel Separation Incidents

Tracy Arnold

The consequences of wheel separation from a commercial truck can be dire. As implied, this type of auto accident occurs when a wheel detaches or unfastens from a moving vehicle. Often, the separated runaway wheel becomes a deadly projectile which can cause damage, injuries and fatalities in the surrounding area. Also, when the wheel disengages, the driver will lose control of the truck. Here are practical guidelines to ensure that there are no wheel-off incidents in your transport operation:

Establish Proper Bearing Installation Procedures

Bearing failure is one of the common causes of wheel separation accidents. Over the last few years, there have been advances in truck components manufacturing. Therefore, there are numerous wheel bearing products and hub systems which are used in vehicles. Unfortunately, this has complicated installation and adjustment processes. It is important to establish wheel bearing maintenance procedures in your operation to ensure safety and repeatability. 

The outlined processes should be detailed to ensure that every technician can follow the details. You should also provide the right equipment and accessories for bearing installation and adjustment. For example, torque wrenches and dial indicators are crucial in ensuring accurate and consistent bearing placement. Also, the procedures should take the different hub systems into account. For instance, if the nuts in pre-set hubs are torqued like conventional systems, the bearings will be damaged.

Prepare the Wheels and Hubs

The loss of clamping force on truck wheels can result in a separation incident. Therefore, you should make certain that this problem is eliminated by preparing the wheels and hubs before installing them on your trucks. Often, the contact surface between the hub and the wheels can become dirty. In simple terms, the wheel end mounting surface can collect grease, rust, dirt and general debris. Consequently, there will be a thickness in the joint. 

As the accumulated material shifts in the joint, the tension of the bolt holding the wheels and hubs together will decrease. This translates into the loss of clamping force and subsequent wheel separation. You can prevent this problem in your fleet by ensuring that the wheels and hubs are correctly prepared. Cleaning the contact surfaces with a wire brush will ensure correct installation and minimal shifting of the bolts.

Perform Daily Inspections

You should charge your drivers and maintenance workers to perform regular inspection of your commercial truck wheel systems. Early detection of problems will allow prevention of actual wheel-off accidents. The employees should watch out for lubricant leaks, fastener looseness, hub cap window discolouration and gasket striation. 

Contact a truck wheel alignment service for more information and assistance.