When I got my first car twenty years ago, I was clueless when it came to maintaining it and keeping it in a roadworthy condition. As a result, I had to pay for costly repairs that could have been avoided if the car had been looked after better. I learned my lesson and started reading everything I could about basic car maintenance. I started this blog to share what I've learned in the hopes it will save other new drivers making costly mistakes. I blog about a variety of topics, such as troubleshooting uneven tyre wear, the benefits of regular servicing and maintaining your car during the winter months. I hope you find my blog useful.
Many truck fleet managers are baffled when they keep getting reports that wheels have come loose on their trucks. Such fleet managers wonder what could be causing that problem since they take steps to ensure that preventive maintenance is done regularly. This article discusses some factors that can cause truck wheels to come loose.
Contaminants in Nuts
The nuts keeping truck wheels in place can lose their clamping force due to a variety of causes. First, paint can reduce the space available at wheel-end components so it becomes hard for the nut to clamp effectively. Secondly, rust can also accumulate on the internal rings/threads of the nuts. This rust also reduces the clamping power of those affected nuts.
Overstretching Wheel Studs
Some truck service personnel use non-calibrated tools (such as impact wrenches) when replacing wheels that have been removed from trucks. The service technicians may end up over tightening the wheel studs. The studs can exceed their yield limit when the truck is driven in challenging conditions (such as off-road). This can cause the wheel to come loose when the stud gives way.
Loss of Lubricant
Wheels can also come loose when wheel bearings are under-tightened during preventive maintenance. Under-tightened bearings cause wheels to wobble in their spindles. This can damage the seals that prevent the lubricant from leaking out of the wheel studs. The bearings will overheat and the wheel may come loose.
Failure to Follow Nut Tightening Sequences
Some service technicians become less attentive when replacing wheels after doing maintenance work. Consequently, they may fail to follow the tightening sequence stipulated by the truck manufacturer. This can result in some nuts being tighter than others are. The loose nuts can give way when the truck is eventually loaded.
Wear and Tear on Nuts
Wheels can come loose when the threads in their nuts become deformed due to wear. Some nuts develop cracks as they age. These defects reduce the effectiveness of those nuts. Faulty nuts can give way when the truck is loaded.
Poorly maintained wheels can contribute to other problems such as alignment issues. It is very important to select a preventive maintenance team that is experienced so that errors that cause wheels to come loose are minimised. An experienced maintenance crew will also point out components that are nearing the end of their service life. This early detection can prevent many of the accidents that result when wheels come loose. For more truck care tips, contact a company like Peninsula Diesel.