Sometimes, it is better to keep things just the way they should be. Similarly, it is important to ensure that parts of your vehicle are just the way they should be because it is just the matter of following a process. This is one fundamental reason why manufacturers issue a vehicle manual and ask you to carry out timely maintenance checks.
Wheels being a very important component of any vehicle, it becomes important to maintain them properly. Although, most commercial business owners tend to ignore this fact and do not carry out regular maintenance checks unless a major repair is required.
Discussed below are different ways to prevent wheel separation –
Wheel and hub preparation
Before you put back the wheel on the truck, it is essential to check the inner and outer surface of the wheel. Make sure that the surface is free from dust, dirt, rust, grease and other contaminated particles.
The reason being that accumulation of such unnecessary particles on the surface leads to additional thickness in the joint. This may eventually cause the tension in the bolt to decrease and lead to a loss of clamping force.
Painted wheels need additional care because rust gets easily formed on the broken part of the painted surface which causes flaking. If you get your wheels painted then ensure that the coating is not thicker than 3-3.5 mils.
Excessive coating thickness may result in a loss of clamping force, which will gradually loosen the wheel nuts leading to wheel loss.
Seek timely assistance from professionals
There are several guidelines provided in the manual for manual bearing adjustment but it is always wise to contact the experts for this task as they can handle this better. For example, in order to ensure wheel nut safety for truck operators you need to get in touch with an experienced and reliable company that can fix the wheel immediately.
These companies have quality industry experience and know solutions to diverse technical problems. They know which tool has to be utilised for what specific purpose and accordingly carry out the needful process. In other words, they know and understand how to install varied types of wheel end systems and their use.
Many people and technicians believe in the misconception that stronger the torque the better it is, which is far from the truth. There are technicians who make efforts to achieve the maximum clamping force and apply more than 500 ft-lbs of torque. They do not realise the possible ramifications of doing this.
There is high possibility that if the wheel stud is exposed to excessive torque the stud might stretch past its yield point. If this happens then the joint will act as if it is under-torque along with a low clamping force.
One way to avoid this condition is to snug the nuts and bring them to the final torque with a calibrated torquing device. Remember that there is no one size that goes well with every wheel nut and each torque is used for a specific purpose. Torque is critical as the stud might stretch like a spring. Therefore, use the correct torque to acquire correct clamp load. Using the wrong torque or over torque is the most common mistake made by some technicians.
Trained drivers and maintenance staff have a crucial role to play in determining emerging problems in a vehicle. For instance, lubricant leakage from the inner wheel seal may leave an oily streak in interiors of the inner tire. This is an indicator of lubricant loss which may result in overheated and failed bearings.
Regular inspection helps you to determine such wear and tear in different parts of the vehicle. This will ultimately help you prevent potential outbreaks which could have severe consequences on your vehicle. It is therefore, necessary to train your drivers to cope with sudden outbreaks or vehicle failures.
At times, drivers cannot determine problems despite there being obvious signs due to a lack of proper tools. For example, rivulets of rust extending outward from a wheel or signs of slippage on the wheel around the flange nut.
Avoid re-using old components
There are some companies who believe in re-using old components on their vehicles. However, the use of old/faulty components can have potentially calamitous consequences for your vehicle.
It is therefore wise to take advice from the experts as they can suggest an optimal solution based on your current problem.