One Way to Prevent Truck Wheel Detachment

July 27, 2017
Heavy truck tires can detach when wheel nuts loosen.

Truck wheel detachment can occur when wheel nuts loosen or if there’s a wheel bearing failure. The best-case scenario is downtime; the worst is a heavy truck accident in traffic or on a job site.

Heavy equipment managers looking for an edge to make wheel inspections and preventive maintenance easier on operators might want to consider a product called Wheel-Check, made in Irvine, Calif.

Wheel-Check allows drivers to identify a loose wheel nut with just a visual inspection. Here’s how it works: When the wheel nuts are properly torqued to spec, the colored Wheel-Checks (with extensions prominently shaped like arrows) are placed on the wheel nuts in a uniformed pattern.

Once a wheel nut has loosened, the Wheel-Check will become out of sequence and visible when the driver does his or her walk-around. It’s easy to see when maintenance is required.

Seeing that nuts are still in sequence can also eliminate unnecessary and time-consuming retorquing.

In addition, Wheel-Check says its product is heat sensitive. If there’s a binding brake or seized bearing, heat is transferred through the stud and nut. When the temperature exceeds 2,480 F, the product will start to blister around the circumference and eventually begin to distort. This condition can be seen and referred to maintenance before wheel bearing failure and a possibly dangerous detachment at highway speed.

More than 17 sizes are available, and managers can also request custom sizes—or colors matching their fleet—from the company.