Advice on getting the wheel end right to assist the road transport industry to improve commercial vehicle wheel end security is published as a Technical Advisory Procedure, ‘Wheel End Security’, by the Australian Trucking Association.
The TAP was developed by the ATA’s Industry Technical Council (ITC) to provide operators with key information about commercial vehicle wheel end security to reduce the incidence of commercial vehicle wheel offs.
A wheel off can be defined as the separation of a tyre and rim assembly from a vehicle due to the failure of component performance. This failure can be due to component fatigue, installation techniques, maintenance procedures and/or lack of follow up procedures. Wheel offs cause downtime and equipment damage, and, of far more importance, they may cause personal injury or a fatality.
The TAP sets out industry best practice techniques about wheel installation and maintenance procedures to ensure optimum component performance. The ATA stresses, the TAP does not override manufacturer’s specifications and directions. It discusses the types of wheels commonly dealt with in the road transport industry, vehicle jacking and wheel removal techniques.
Installation procedures for common types of wheels and their components are divided into individual sections for the service provider, including maintenance providers, contractors, and the driver, plus roadside requirements.
“Safety must always be our first priority. A poorly secured wheel can cause component damage and may even result in wheel loss, which is a danger to everyone on the road,” said a statement from the ATA at the time of the TAP’s release. “This advisory procedure provides best-practice advice and extensive technical information on every aspect of wheel security, covering the types of wheels used, removal and installation procedures, checking the wheel assembly and manufacturer torque recommendations.
“Drivers should also be made aware of how they can check wheel integrity during a journey. The advisory procedure includes advice on how to perform these inspections, as well as a guide to help drivers estimate tightening torque when changing wheels out on the road. This guidance means that drivers can have confidence in the safety of a changed wheel until they can get back to the workshop.”
This is just one in a series of technical advisory procedures, which provide best practice guidance for trucking operators, maintenance operations and suppliers, about key technical issues.