Wheel-separation from semi-trucks, while not a common issue, can still happen and result in serious and sometimes deadly accidents. Many things can result in off-wheeling, which makes it so dangerous. Small details or problems that get missed during installation or inspection can quickly become a severe on-road risk and send your vehicle in the shop for semi-truck repairs.
With proper maintenance, checks, and pre and post-trip inspections, the risk of off-wheeling is preventable.
What Causes Off-Wheeling?
When wheel bearings fail, it results in a wheel on a semi-truck coming loose and flying free. Failing bearings and off-wheeling usually occur because of incorrect installation of the wheel. For example, lug nuts being installed with too much or too little torque, risk wheels coming free. Other factors as well, such as rust or dirt between wheel-end connection points, risk the same. Other times, off-wheeling is caused by a structural failure of axles or suspension. There is no one exact reason, but the best way to prevent it is to be aware of what can cause it and get semi-truck repairs before it happens.
Proper Wheel Installation Guideline
Trained professionals should always do wheel installation, but there are still tire guidelines to be aware of. If you know what to look for during a pre- or post-trip inspection, you can catch the issue. When mounting tires or wheels, always check that any debris, rust, or dirt is completely cleaned off. The hub mounting face for both must be completely flush; otherwise, it affects the clamping force. When dirt or rust comes off, it lessens the tension, inviting unnecessary risks.
Any damaged studs should be replaced immediately, as well as the adjacent studs for safety. Semi-truck repairs should always be dealt with as soon as any problems are found, to avoid the problem worsening. Correct torquing of wheel tires is essential to securing the tire and avoiding off-wheeling risks. Always use a calibrated torque when doing so, and follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. After torquing, do a final check of the wheels after 50 miles of driving. Wheels tend to settle after traveling and should be rechecked for proper tension and clamp force. If you’re not sure, bring it into Motorplex in Spokane or Auburn and we can inspect them for you.
Importance Of Professional Installation
Properly mounting a wheel on a truck and properly securing it plays two different roles in avoiding the risk of off-wheeling. If a wheel is not properly secured and attached, it risks the wheel coming free. That’s why it’s so important and beneficial to leave wheel installation and mounting to professional companies. Semi-truck repairs are also best left to the professionals, to ensure the problem is properly fixed. Beyond just ensuring a wheel is properly installed, companies such as Motorplex will catch the small details as well. We will check to ensure that there is no dirt, rust, overstretched studs, or worn out nuts.
At Motorplex, they have the skills, experience, and knowledge to handle any vehicle, whether fleet, heavy trucks, or semi-truck repairs. Each member of their team has specialized training and certifications to ensure that when your drivers are on the road, they and their vehicles stay safe.
Need repairs, maintenance, or wheel installation? Motorplex offers fleet maintenance in Spokane WA, and fleet maintenance in Auburn, WA, so no matter where you are, we can help. Call now to book an appointment, to ensure your fleet and drivers are safe and your wheels secure.