Wheel issues

There seems to be a lot of issues reported lately with tires coming off trucks at highway speeds. By now, I’m sure we have all seen the video (https://youtu.be/IxZnJ7LhHiA) of what can happen when a tire comes off a passenger vehicle, in this case a pick up truck. Imagine the outcome had that been a truck tire!

As part of our daily pre-trip, you are required to check the wheels, rims, and fasteners (lug nuts), but do you really know what to look for to prevent wheel separation?   

First, check that all the lug nuts are present and tight. No one expects you to carry a torque wrench to check for proper torque, but if you can turn the nut by hand, then it’s too loose. Check the rim around the lug nuts for corrosion, any mis-sharpen lug holes, any cracks anywhere on the rim. If you find any of these issues, then the rim must be replaced as soon as possible, preferably before you start driving. Any evidence of oil around the hub or on the rim, or any damage to the site window on the steering axle is a good sign your hub oiler is damaged and needs replacing. Most trailers have the same type of lubrication system, so check the trailer axles for the same issues. Drive axles are generally sealed, but again, any evidence of lubricant leaking, you need to have it checked out as soon as possible.  

Any of these issues, if found at a truck inspection station will get you a very expensive citation, and you will be placed out of service until the issues are resolved.  If the inspector finds multiple issues with your tires, there is also the risk of having the license plates seized.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.